GOOD MORNING: Michael Douglas called his dad Kirk Wednesday to say he’d proposed to Catherine Zeta-Jones and had given her a beautiful ring. Kirk told him, “No one is going to look at the ring — she is so beautiful herself.” Michael said, “Dad, you still have a great line!” Kirk added to their news, “It’s about time: I want more grandchildren.” But their decision robs Kirk of another line when reporters asked him when/if Michael would marry Cathy. “I would say, ‘I’d marry her myself but my wife won’t let me.’ ” As you can tell, everyone is very happy about this news, despite the fact Catherine and Michael are flu-felled at his ranch in Aspen; last week, a doctor wanted to put Michael in the hospital … Next week Catherine is skedded to film hair product commercials in N.Y. Michael is working on openings of “Wonder Boys,” the release of which is pushed up from April to Feb. And he bows the culture center/museum in Majorca March 25 for which he’s filmed a 15-min. multi-screened tribute to the Costa Nord, where he has another home. Zeta-Jones does not yet have a start date on her next film, “Without Borders” with Kevin Costner, which, she told me, will film around the globe.
AS THE CURTAIN CLOSES on one “Brady Bunch” show, others are waiting in the wings. Production wound Wednesday on “Growing Up Brady,” Par-NBC’s two-hour version of the book by original cast member Barry Williams (Greg Brady), “Growing Up Brady, I Was a Teenage Greg.” Also Wednesday, Sherwood Schwartz, creator, original producer and writer of “The Brady Bunch,” was at Par with son Lloyd talking two new shows: one a satire about politics, “The Brady Bunch in Washington” and “The Other Brady Bunch” — about black and white Brady families. In the just-completed “Growing Up Brady,” Schwartz is portrayed by Michael Tucker (“L.A. Law”), with Sherwood making a surprise appearance in the finale (he worked one day as an actor). Williams also appears in that final scene as Greg, today. Schwartz was happy that Tucker (52) portrays him in the re-enactment of those early days. But also reminds that “I had no control over who could play me: I’m a public figure.” He, of course, comes off great in the telefilm; not so (the late) Robert Reed (Mike Brady), played by Daniel Hugh Kelly … I spoke with Tucker and wife Jill Eikenberry, who are off on a new career as celeb cohosts of the GenerationA.com Web site. She says they will be “entertaining” as well as informative on the site and will conduct chat rooms as well with the over-50 audience. (He’s 54, she’s 53.) They will discuss how couples can better communicate for a longterm marriage. “We might also write a column (on the web),” she added. They will initiate TV/radio commercials to ask audiences to log in. They are not hawking products and don’t participate in the sale of any items that may appear on that web site. But they do have stock in GenerationA.com, a site on which others can also contribute. Michael says he uses the Internet to “fantasy shop for a house in France.” He’s also busy as host of Pax Net’s “Chicken Soup for the Soul.” Asked whether they’d do another dramatic series, they admitted, “We’re holding out to work together.”
HE’S HAVING A BALL — and he sounds it. William Shatner is the voice of Priceline.com, and if you’ve heard his audio commercials, wait’ll you see his video blurbs for the web site. There are 10 30-second spots in which Shatner, as a saloon singer, interweaves lyrics to songs like “Free Bird,” “Convoy,” “I Want You To Want Me,” and more –urging viewers to get on the site. Shatner (68) looks great and he’s a hysterically convincing Presley-like warbler and the commercials’ audiences loves him (they’re paid extras). He tells me he’ll even go on singing tour “if it works.” The web site did “millions and millions of $ a month ago,” he reports. He got in on the stock “at the beginning of the site” and “on paper I’m doing all right — and I’m not selling. They approached me before they went public. I fumbled around at first. Now, I’ve become an example of how performers can get paid in shares.” Meanwhile, he reminds, it’s still a paper profit, but allows it’s been “so much fun and I’m grateful.” He’ll be having fun again guesting on “3rd Rock From the Sun” and says as a result of his original guestint, he’s invited to host the Montreal Comedy Fest. Shatner’s production arm is also prepping a feature, “The Shiva Club.” (That’s Shiva as in “Sitting Shiva” after a Jewish funeral.) “Out of mourning” for his wife, Shatner says, ” I came up with a comedic idea.” He added, “Grief is a condition we’ve all had, and will go through again.” He’s also readying a sitcom, “Down For The Count,” about wrestling. Would actor-turned-singer Shatner play a wrestler? He countered with, “I could wrestle and sing ‘I’ve Got You On Top Of My Skin.’ ” Ouch … Good timing: as CBS readies for Sunday’s “People’s Choice Awards” (6-8 p.m. from the Pasadena Civic), Vantage Press readies the release of the show’s supervising producer John K. Potter’s novel, “The Warehouse” — a long ways from showbiz, Potter researched the suspenser in maximum security prisons.