Awards shows take backseat to nat’l crisis

It’s not a GOOD MORNING — and it will not be for a long time to come. “The threat level will be around for a long time,” the FBI tells me. They also warn that those in the biz who have shown hostility to forces threatening world peace are known to the cowards of violence … It is not surprising that the biz is putting the bizness of award shows on hold. “This is a national crisis and no time to be handing out awards or to comment on what people are wearing,” Emmy producer Don Mischer told me Tuesday morning about the cancellation of Sunday’s Emmy Awards. “They will occur some time in the future, but we don’t know when. We don’t even know how many (participants) will want to fly again soon. We’re in a period of national mourning.” Among those who were to wing to L.A. for the awards were the cast of “Sex and the City,” including nominees Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall, and “Sopranos” members Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco and James Gandolfini. Plus “Saturday Night Live’s ” Darrell Hammond and Will Ferrell. Andy Garcia, who is filming in N.Y., was to fly out to present an award. Jon Stewart from “The Daily Show” and the cast of “Everybody Loves Raymond” (who were in N.Y. this week doing a press tour) were due to fly here to be on hand at the Emmys … The Latin Grammys were canceled; it was to have been the 40th Grammy show produced by Pierre Cossette Prods. Only once before was a Grammy show threatened, but not canceled: In 1971 the Grammys were delayed at the Shrine because of a bomb scare, 20 minutes before showtime. Although the show this year was switched from Miami to L.A. because of the threat of protesters, there was no evidence of same during the rehearsals at the Forum and none at Monday night’s MusiCares tribute to Julio Iglesias at the Beverly Hilton. All Latin Grammy acts except one had arrived in L.A. before Tuesday’s catastrophe; Destiny’s Child was due to wing in Tuesday ayem from a Utah gig … Latin Grammys producer Walter C. Miller is skedded to fly Monday to Nashville for confabs on the Country Music Awards to air live on CBS Nov. 7, but Miller does not know whether that meeting’s sked will be met. Meanwhile, his son, director Paul Miller, was skedded Tuesday to start directing the first of a series of commercials for American Airlines to be aired on “Saturday Night Live.” They were canceled. Walter’s daughter Deborah Miller directs the Rosie O’Donnell show from the GE building in N.Y.; that show too was KO’d Tuesday.

FATE DEALS STRANGE HANDS:Jack Sussman, senior VP of specials for CBS, caught a 7 ayem flight out of JFK for LAX Tuesday; at 11 ayem, the pilot told them there was a problem (not identifying the disaster) and they had to land at Kansas City, Mo. Sussman had covered the Michael Jackson show for a future CBS special and was coming to L.A. for the Latin Grammys. When told of the catastrophe upon landing, Sussman and seven other L.A.-bound passengers rented two cars in Kansas and drove in to L.A. — to learn there were to be no Grammys, Emmys,. etc. … What about the other award shows? Security has always been the byword for these high-profile, celeb-heavy events. After being out front at the Oscars these 55 years, I know only too well how the caution and protection have increased every year. This year is a new venue: the Kodak Theater in the Hollywood Blvd. & Highland Ave. complex. And I mean complex — there are many openings in the various structures and several streets. Acad president Frank Pierson was well aware of them as we talked Tuesday. We have both examined the buildings. He allowed that the issue of security is a real one. “No question. I have already scheduled a security meeting. It is a different situation from downtown (the Shrine and Dorothy Chandler Pavilion)” … Another high-profile showbiz event requiring high security is the annual Kennedy Center Honors (this year, Dec. 3). Tuesday, George Stevens Jr. in D.C. had moved his staff from their Kennedy Center offices to his house to conduct business after the Pentagon and World Trade Center Towers were struck and D.C. virtually closed down. He reminded that the gala is always carefully checked because of the President’s presence as well as the celebs. Dogs check the theater from top to bottom four days ahead as well and the President arrives by a separate entrance. Stevens positively noted, “I am confident that the U.S.A. will be very functional by the time of our awards — and sooner.” And the bicoastal Stevens further said, “I’m not going to stop flying. You cannot live in fear.”

KING ABDULLAH II OF JORDAN was to give a small dinner party for Jack Valenti in L.A. today, with Valenti winging out from D.C. Jack, of course could not fly here; the King, a movie fan who once did a walk-on on “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” also quickly altered his plans and winged home (in his own plane, of course) Tuesday. Valenti did not close his D.C. office: “I refuse to let terrorists control me” … Also from D.C., I spoke with my grandson, Dan Falk, a part-time intern at the Intl. Spy Museum, planning for a Spring bow. It is temporarily headquartered across the street from FBI h.q. before opening its block-square building at 800 F St. in the arts and entertainment district of D.C. When the FBI quickly shut down its tour doors Tuesday, the Spy Museum’s fire alarm went off and its staffers evacuated their building. The museum, a Malrite Co. of Cleveland venture, has hefty plans to combine some movies with the reality of the spy world. But the spy museum will now, no doubt, be careful about screening any previously-stranger-than-fiction shows … Among the many travelers unable to make it back to L.A.: Tori and Randy Spelling who were on vacation in Bermuda. Meanwhile, dad Aaron Spelling, who just got a clean bill of health from the hospital, was unable to go back to his office Tuesday; it closed, as did his two series in production, “7th Heaven” and “Charmed” … One event that will go on today — the Motion Picture Screen Smart Set’s fund-raising (MPTF) lunch at the Bistro Garden in Sherman Oaks. Nothing stops these valiant ladies.

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