Mischer looks to change pace of Emmycast

GOOD MORNING: The energy of the 50th Emmys show will be “dramatically charged,” says exec producer Don Mischer, with the addition of 2,000 fans in the Shrine seats. Tix go on sale via Ticketmaster ($75-$100); the money will help support the TV Acad. Mischer has also added NBC Sports commentator Bob Costas to the show. He will be outside the Shrine, as will yours truly, at 4 p.m. setting the stage on the first act of the four-hour show. The airing is delayed until 7 p.m. on the West Coast — thus, the final hour will still be in progress on the Shrine’s stage while the first hour has started to air in L.A. … The Emmy audience in the Shrine will actually only be seated 15 minutes longer than those at the last Oscars, which went three hours and 45 minutes, reminds Mischer. The show looks likely to hold audience attention, as its cup runneth over with nostalgia, newcomers and the anticipation of the 50th awards. There will be 55 minutes of film clips of great moments in TV, including such Emmy winners (and movie greats) as Laurence Olivier, Ingrid Bergman, Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn, Fred Astaire, etc. Two-time Emmy (and Oscar) winner Helen Hunt will host the 50-year reminiscing clips from 1939 at the N.Y. World’s Fair with David Sarnoff … The interpretation of “Cinderella” over the years will be told by Whitney Houston, whose version received nine nominations; Brandy will sing “The Sweetest Sounds” in that seg. Julia Louis-Dreyfus will lead in the “goodbye” segs: final shows of “MASH,” “Mary Tyler Moore,” “Cheers,” and of course, “Seinfeld.” Garry Shandling (who goodbye’d this season after receiving 15 nominations and never having won one himself) will have an opportunity to comment, while presenting — and comedians Jay Leno and Chris Rock will be afforded time to tell how television has affected their lives. There’ll also be audience participation quizzes on years of important historical teledates a la “Dateline’s” “year of –?” seg. “If all goes well,” Mischer predicts, “It will be a very moving evening.” The Emmy nominees will be lunched at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Sept. 9. Miramax has already booked the BevHills Pink Palace for its Oscar party, and Arista Records has booked the hotel for its Grammy party, Feb. 23.

THE CATASTROPHIC EVENTS in Russia bumped a “60 Minutes” seg, hosted by Leslie Stahl, on the infamous 1971 “Stanford Prison Experiment,” which was skedded to air Sunday. But a movie on the subject, being readied as a Leonardo DiCaprio starrer, tells of the experiment in which 18 male students (from Stanford, Cal and other campi) volunteered to react to a prison environment, both as prisoners and guards. Writer Michael Lazarou learned of it while a UCLA student and has been working on the screen project seven years. He is the writer and an exec producer, along with Industry Entertainment’s banner, with DiCaprio’s dad George also one of the producers, says Lazarou. Footage of the original experiment “is excruciating to watch”: it broke down after five days of the planned three-week period because of the searing psychological strain. Lazarou described to me the horrendous effect (seen on tape) it had on actions of some of the students. DiCaprio would play one of the student mock-guards … More news of the Russian fallout: the Stanley and Karen Kramer deal for productions with the Russian NTV Profit banner (reported here Aug. 14) has ended before it began: The parties were unable to agree on management policies.

POLITIX AND SHOWBIZ: Sherry Lansing hosted a fundraiser for Barbara Boxer at her home, where participants were urged to each make 10 phone calls urging friends to (register and) vote for Boxer, natch. Among those there, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Swoosie Kurtz and Frances Fisher, with Fisher going one step further: She agreed to an “ET” interview only if allowed to wear a “Vote for Barbara Boxer” T-shirt on camera … Catch ’em before they close dept.: The sensaysh “Chicago” company closes at the Shubert in Century City Sunday, moving on to the San Diego Civic Sept. 1-6 and then to Salt Lake City, Sept. 8-13 … And the inimitable Joe Bushkin, 81, plays the Jazz Bakery through Sunday … Priscilla Presley won a $75,0000 judgment against Elvis Presley’s army buddy Currie Grant over his claims (printed in the Suzanne Finstad-authored bio, “Child Bride”) that he had sex with the then 14-year-old Priscilla — but the movie version is set to roll Jan. 15 from 3rd Coast Entertainment, headed by Bud Grant and Bob Burge. They have set Julian Stone to direct Finstad’s film script. It is fully financed ($5 million) and the search is on for Presley and Priscilla look-and-act-alikes. Meanwhile, Priscilla and 3rd Coast Entertainment continue to sue each other, with the latter asking her for $30 million for interfering with the production, as reported here June 5 … Jeannie Neill Silberkraus, one of the filmmakers (“The Innocent Bystander”) in UCLA Extension’s Short Film Premiere Screening, Sept. 16 at the Acad, was a hostage of Palestinian and Lebanese warlords in Beirut in 1976 — she was a witness to decapitations and mutilations of fellow kidnapped captives. She has never fully recovered from the experience.

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