GOOD MORNING: The first “Michael Douglas Philanthropist of the Year” award goes — to Kirk. And Douglas, pere, couldn’t be prouder of his son. Kirk will receive the award Dec. 15 at the Four Seasons Biltmore Hotel in Montecito, Calif. “No longer will his generosity go unrecognized,” the invite notes of Kirk, but he told me he wants Michael’s many charitable generosities to be recognized. It was Michael who bought a parcel of land in Santa Barbara that developers were bidding to convert into houses, etc. Michael’s million-$ bid has resulted in the Douglas Family Park. Funds from the dinner go to supporting camps for kids — like a junior wheelchair sports camp, etc. Kirk further complimented Michael on the choice he and wife Catherine Zeta-Jones made to establish a charitable foundation in newborn son Dylan’s name as wedding gifts. “As a young man he (Dylan) will learn to be charitable, like his father is” — and like his grandparents are, Kirk could have added. Michael, f’rinstance, follows Kirk’s example in hefty support for the Motion Picture & Television Fund’s House & Hospital … Kirk’s voice continues to strengthen and he told me he’ll accept the Berlin Film Fest’s Golden Bear — speaking in German. Kirk is at work on another book: “My Stroke — of Luck.” He hopes the book will be helpful to others who have suffered a stroke or any other incapacitating illness. “There’s a lot of humor in it,” he promises. “You’ve got to have a sense of humor.”
THERE’S MORE SHOOTING ahead for “Peter Gunn.” Blake Edwards’ classy series (1958-61) which starred Craig Stevens and the inimitable theme and score of Henry Mancini, returns as a series for Canada’s Muse Entertainment. Blake’s son Geoffrey Edwards and Jeff Tinnell will exec produce, launching with a two-hour telepic, followed by 22 hour-long shows to shoot in Quebec and Montreal. Norman Snyder will write the initial script; Blake, who originally owned 50% and has since acquired rights to the remainder, will write some of the following segs, as well as direct some, sez son Geoffrey. The character had made a return as the feature “Gunn” in 1967, as well as the ’89 telefilm. In the new, modern, hip version, Mancini’s theme remains the key, Edwards promises. The father-son Edwards team is also moving in on the B’way-bound musical version of “The Pink Panther” — again with Mancini music, this time teamed with Leslie Bricusse. Blake says son Geoffrey “is (even?) a helluva lot funnier than I.” Of course the inevitable question of who to follow Peter Sellers as the (singing) inspector Clouseau. Blake says he wouldn’t approach anyone until the book and music are completed (by year’s end). But if Kevin Spacey found the libretto in his Christmas stocking, I wouldn’t be surprised … And something off key: Frank Sinatra Jr. has filed a lawsuit against singer-pianist Frankie Randall, demanding the return of music arrangements personally given to him by his friend of 38 years, Frank Sinatra. The suit was filed in Superior Court in Riverside County, Calif. Randall’s attorney, Gerald Margolis, of Manett Phelps & Phillips, said, “The case is without merit.” Sinatra, pere, had given several close friends his arrangements plus an OK to use them. Among ’em: Jerry Vale, who said he’d been given six by Frank, “And I still use them.” Vale pays tribute to Frank in his autobio, “A Singer’s Life,” which has gone into its second printing.
IF YOU WONDERED WHY Showtime showed three combined segs of its “Queer as Folk” series to the MPAA for a rating (before the cabler aired the opening two episodes on Sunday), so did I. The answer from Mark Zakarin, Showtime’s exec VP of original programming: “They (the MPAA) are the experts on sex scenes. We wanted their input. They’re like a focus group. We didn’t want to be exploitive; rather we wanted to be real.” But the MPAA doesn’t rate TV shows; was this a test for a feature or videocassette? “We kind of put together the three, without credits to play it as a movie,” he allowed, “but we said we’d probably kick off with the two.” (As they did.) Without the cuts, it would have gotten an NC-17. The recommendations, he said, amounted to cuts totaling 35 seconds — less lingering (down from five to three seconds) on the questioned scenes. “We made some of the changes they suggested–thus making it non-exploitive” … The steamy love scenes between Wesley Snipes and Sanaa Lathan in HBO’s “Disappearing Acts” (airs Dec. 9, HBO), got its big and bigscreen bow at the Village theater in Westwood Tuesday night. The celebration followed at Eurochow, where the group included veteran producer-director Stan Lathan congratting his daughter. HBO Film prez Colin Callender hosted along with senior VP Keri Putnam. The filmmakers preem in N.Y. tonight at the DGA with the bash at Brasserie 8-1/2 … The sensaysh Salon IX at the Mark Taper celebrating the centennial of Kurt Weill and hosted by Michael Feinstein raised $250,000 for Center Theater Group … The trailer for Steven Spielberg’s “A-I” bowed on America Online Wednesday night and is on AOL, at key word: Coming Soon, until early Friday morning. The pic opens next June … The Harlem Globetrotters celebrate their 75th anni Jan. 5 at Chi’s Palmer House with a charity gala. They hit the road next day for a 300-city tour.