Fox doubles Dodgers coverage

GOOD MORNING: And now to Rupert Murdoch’s other winner — the L.A. Dodgers — and its Hall of Famer Vin Scully who lunched Wednesday with the Fox Sports West group at Jimmy’s. He says Fox will air 80 Dodger games next year, compared to 40 this year. Peter Chernin called Scully last week to say how delighted they were to be a team. Coincidentally, Chernin had met with Vin and Sandra Scully a couple of years ago — when he looked to buy their house — which wasn’t for sale! The Scullys are no strangers to the movie biz — daughter Erin is at New Line. When Peter O’Malley sold the team, Vinnie told me, “It’s bittersweet for me.” But with O’Malley deciding to sign on for a year, Scully said, “It’s comforting for those of us who love him and a nice chance to give his executives at Fox time with him.” Until now, Scully says he’s never had an annual contract. “And I’ve never taken it (49 years) for granted. But I am thinking of making it a permanent job.” And so he signed a one-year deal with Peter O’Malley before the sale. … Scully says plans are already in the works to spruce up the stadium in time for the opening game vs. St.Louis April 7. Of course the Freeway series is slated to start, rain permitting, this weekend. Vin says it should be interesting when the Atlanta Braves come to town “and the two conglomerate giants, Turner and Murdoch are pitching against each other!” … Stars are lining up to be interviewed for “AFI’s 100 Years of Movies.” The “Greatest American Movies” will air in a three-hour CBSpecial June 16. Among those already taped: Woody Allen, Chevy Chase, Clint Eastwood, Sidney Lumet, Billy Friedkin, Carly Simon, Walter Cronkite, Charlton Heston, Martin Scorsese, Ted Turner and Steven Spielberg, and many others already committed. The show is exec produced by Gary Smith, and a series of 10 one-hour specials that follows on TNT are exec produced by Mel Shapiro and Richard Schickel. The AFI’s director and CEO, Jean Firstenberg, is, of course, working with the producers. … And Marvin Hamlisch and Alan and Marilyn Bergman have written a song, “A Ticket to Dream,” which will be the theme used on all the shows. I can only guess Barbra Streisand will record it. The composers will donate the proceeds to the AFI.

CASTING CALLS: On April 1 — you-know-what-that-is: The Bethesda Yacht Club will be the site for Ron Smith’s search for lookalike principals in the Washington Follies. He chose the D.C. area since it is the “mother lode” of the whole story. His list, of course includes carbons of Monica Lewinsky, Paula Jones, Linda Tripp, Kathleen Willey, plus Kenneth Starr, William Ginsburg and the White House principals. … A call for more legit talent is the pitch from the Radio City Prods. for Rockettes — for the Christmas Spectacular. They claim the 1997 show was seen by 1.7 million in New York — plus Chi, Detroit, Myrtle Beach and Branson. And more productions are planned for this year’s holiday season. So they’re looking for Rockettes, other dancers, singers — and kids. The open casting call will be held April 2 at Radio City Music Hall, stage door entrance, 44 West 51st St. Rockettes, dancers and singers must be at least 18. Callbacks will be held the day after each audition and rehearsals start in mid-October. For more info, call the Audition Hotline: (212) 632-3630. … Luise Rainer, who made a triumphant return to Hollywood at Monday night’s Oscars, will be seen on screen again in the feature, “The Gambler.” BAFTA-LA will screen the film, which stars Michael Gambon, Johdi May, Polly Walker and Dominic West, Friday at the Writers Guild — for BAFTA members only. Rainer and producer-writer Charles Cohen will participate in a Q&A after the screening The terrif film packages of the memoriam and the 70 Academy Award-winning best films on the Oscar show were produced by Mike Shapiro. It was Mike’s sixth year as part of Gil Cates’ team Johnny Depp wore Jack Keroac’s jacket (he acquired it from Keroac’s estate) when he performed some of Keroac’s writing for Chuck Workman’s upcoming feature docu, “The Source” about the Beat Generation.

FASHION WAS AGAIN THE WORD — this time for charity as the Best of Beverly Hills fashion show was femceed by Diahann Carroll at the BevHilton, with celeb models showing threads from Emporio Armani, Ermenegildo Zegna, Christian Dior, Carroll & Co., Avant Garde, Andrea’s Fashions, Fendi, Gianfranco Ferre, Susanna BevHills and Sulka, benefitting the ERAS Center. Gloria Franks chaired for ERAS Exec director Barbara Cull. … UPN prez and CEO Dean Valentine receives the Alliance for Children’s Rights National Champion for Children Award April 13 at the BevHilton. Larry Miller hosts Candy Bergen, having wound the final, funny, warm and, of course, sad “Murphy Brown” seg took off to vacation with daughter Chloe. They are visiting Russia and France. When Bergen returns she’ll find offers awaiting her to read scripts for a miniseries — and two theatrical features.

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