GOOD MORNING: Don Hewitt knows where he’s going and what he’s gonna be doing once his stand at “60 Minutes” winds on Sunday and he become executive producer of CBS News.” He prefaced telling me of his plans “no one (at CBS) explained to me why they’re making this change.” Hewitt happily unveiled the blueprint for his new show, or rather for 19 new shows– each to be produced at/for the 19 CBS O&Os and titled “30 Minutes.” The first is “30 Minutes in San Francisco.” He leaves June 14 to start the pilot there. It’s the forerunner of ditto shows: “30 Minutes in L.A.,” “30 Minutes in N.Y.,” Dallas, etc. “I want to travel to each city — it’s my baby and I want to pick the right people and teach them how to cover the news.” Hewitt, 82, has been with “60 Minutes” for 36 of his 56 years at CBS.
I HAVE NEVER HEARD an actor as emotional as Martin Landau was on his return from locations in Warsaw, Lublin and Krakow for John Daly’s “The Aryan Couple.” The WWII-set film’s about a Jewish industrialist and his meetings with Adolph Eichman and Heinrich Himmler to get passage to Palestine for 30 of his family members doomed to a death camp. Landau says the entire company of actors (Brits playing the Nazis) visited the death camp of Majdanek out of Lublin. “It was five kilometers from town. The victims had to walk to it. The camp remains exactly as it was 65 years ago — gas chambers intact, the mountains of shoes of the victims still there, the room full of teeth, gold fillings removed. It’s very powerful.” Landau says, “John Daly is obsessed with making this movie, which will illustrate something that should not be forgotten. I think it will make a noise.” Oscar-winner Landau reminded me he played Caiaphas , the head rabbi who paid Judas the 30 pieces of silver in George Stevens’ “The Greatest Story Ever Told” (1965). He got back to L.A. in time for Friday’s preem at L.A.’s Regent Showcase theater of “Wake,” in which he has a role. The film’s produced by daughter Susie Landau and directed by her husband Roy Finch.
SAVE THE CHILDREN — from coast to coast: Martha and Dino De Laurentiis hosted and underwrote Tuesday night’s leadership forum and dinner for 90 at their L.A. home. Board member Bill Haber made the opening remarks and board member Dr. Judith Reichman (Mrs. Gil Cates) m.c’d. She’s recently been to Ethiopia on behalf of Save the Children and may next hit Nepal. Her speech focused on children having children. The numbers are frightening. Among those on hand lending support: Samuel Goldwyn Jr., Ron Meyer, the Ted Harberts, Suzanne and Rick Kayne, Barbara and John McMahon, Mary Carol Rudin, Nancy and Fred Specktor, Bruce Vinokour, Mark Shriver, VP and managing director of Save the Children U.S. Programs, and Richard Hoff, director of the Western Region. Haber jetted back to N.Y. for the June 7 Save the Children International Gala in Pier 60; Alec Baldwin hosts. Haber also attended meets Wednesday in N.Y. on “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” the musical bowing Dec. 21 in Chi, heading in March to the Shubert in N.Y. The show, written by Eric Idle with music and lyrics by Idle and John Du Prez, directed by Mike Nichols, is based on the 1975 film, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” One of the sponsors of “Spamalot” is Hormel … Hollywood welcomed New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, chairman of the 2004 Democratic National Convention and chairman of the Western Governors Assn. Wednesday at the home of Sherry Lansing and Billy Friedkin. Among those on hand here were: Shirley MacLaine, Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman, Jeff Berg, Faye Dunaway, Dennis Hopper, Val Kilmer, Philip Noyce, Judge Rheinhardt, Jim Brolin and Barbra Streisand and Ben Stiller, Martin Sheen, Joel Zwick, Mark Rydell. New Mexico’s film incentives include a 15% film production tax credit … And soon to open in Albuquerque is the Rio Grande Studios of director Michael Jacobs and actress/producer Ruby Handler, who tell me they have the support of New Mexico’s Film Commission. They will also offer post-production packaged services … On a day off filming “The Trouble With Frank,” directed by Arthur Hiller in Greensboro, N.C., Jon Bon Jovi winged home to New Jersey for a day with his newborn son and a quick look at his Arena Football team, the Philly Souls … Director Joe Sargent, whose “Something the Lord Made” bows on HBO Sunday, admits of the two leading characters in the story, “I wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for those guys.” He underwent bypass surgery in 1993. He’s next prepping the story of a young FDR at Warm Springs, Ga., during his early days with polio … Author-publicist Peter J. Levinson’s readying a two-CD set of Nelson Riddle’s recordings by Capitol for February in conjunction with the paperback of his Riddle biog, “September in the Rain.” And he’s just completed the Tommy Dorsey bio, ” Livin’ in a Great Big Way” (Da Capo-Harper Collins). Levinson’s now researching his fourth, straight biog — an appreciation of Fred Astaire … Oscar winner Arthur Cohn receives the Guardian of Zion Award from the Bar-Ilan University today at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. He will deliver the lecture on “Roots and Wings” … The West Coast Jewish Theater honors Arthur Hiller, Rocky Kalish and Leslie Martinson June 6 at the Pacific Resident Theater in Venice with Monty Hall hosting a special performance of Clifford Odets’ ‘Rocket To The Moon” … David Cassidy’s mom, Evelyn Ward, celebrates her 81st birthday Monday … Among the list of celebs toasting Beach Blanket Babylon’s 30th anni week at the Club Fugazy in SanFran is Olympia Dukakis, June 7 in the Beach Blanket version of “Mrs. Madrigal” in “Tales of the City,” which filmed a seg on the stage of the Fugazy. The evening, one of the weeklong $100,000 per night benefits, donates its contribution to the American Conservatory Theater … Frederica von Stade’s appearance June 4 benefits the SanFran Opera.