GOOD MORNING: “I felt horrible — I didn’t know what to do,” “Drew Carey Show” director Sam Simon told me after completing a show in which Carey gets a greyhound and enters him in a race. You see, Simon, a multi-Emmy and Peabody award winner is a dog lover. So what did he do? He donated his salary for the seg — plus reruns — a total of $92,000 to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The contribution is to “raise awareness of the cruelty in the dog-racing industry and to help end the forms of abuse against ‘man’s best friend’.” Further proof of Simon’s determination to help dogdom: On April 23, his Simon Foundation launches the first of five mobile vet clinics for free spay and neuter services to pet owners in lower income areas. His foundation also trains dogs to visit patients in hospitals and in homes for seniors. But while Simon’s busy with all of the above, he’s also managing heavyweight contender Lamon Brewster who fights Wladimir Klitschko at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, April 10, the bout on HBO. He’ll be on hand for the bout between readings and filming of the last Carey show. … “Good Day Live’s” Steve Edwards aired strong objections to Wednesday’s skedded appearance of Michael Bergin, author of “The Other Man: A Love Story: John F. Kennedy Jr., Caroline Bessette & Me,” resulting in a cancellation of Bergin’s appearance by the show’s exec producer Lisa Kridos. Edwards told me, “You’ve got to draw the line someplace. This crosses the line. I felt we’d have to take a shower after that.” He said he’d received plenty of e-mails applauding his stand. And that cohosts Dorothy Lucey and Jillian Barberi agree with him. I asked Edwards if he’d previously objected to a booked guest? “Yes, but I never before expressed those objections on the air.” His aired objections to the book by Bergin, which chronicles his affair with Bessette after her marriage to John F. Kennedy Jr. “I really hate this stuff when a man writes (about) having sex and the troubles with a famous person who’s dead. Why do we have to put up with this? I really think our producers should rethink this booking and cancel it.”
HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES and Southern California will get the glamour treatment from the Miss USA show which will air on NBC from the Kodak Theater April 12. The “incredibly beautiful” 51 girls, thus described to me by choreographer Scott Grossman, will be seen in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater, the Sunset Strip, Rodeo Drive, Universal Studios City Walk, Dodger Stadium, Chinatown, the Queen Mary — and Hollywood Blvd.’s red carpet walk in front of the Kodak. He promises that the evening gown and swimsuit segs will be the most glamorous ever. He should know — Grossman’s an alumnus of 10 Miss USA shows, played himself in “Miss Congeniality” and just wound choreographing regal scenes for Gary Marshall’s “Princess Diaries II” and Garry’s musicalized “Happy Days.” He’ll preview these beauties Wednesday at the Universal Hilton for national press. Despite this year’s Hollywood additions to the pageant, he’s assured Donald Trump the show will come in on time and on budget. “I don’t want to hear those words, ‘You’re Fired’!” … And talking of glamour, Rodeo Drive displayed it for Tom Ford Sunday night as he received the second Rodeo Drive Walk of Fame award. (Georgio Armani received the first last year). While there was no fashion show per se this year, his creations were on view at both Gucci and St. Laurent on Rodeo. He winds his pact with both May 1 and starts his new career in showbiz with his CAAgent Bryan Lourd holding off the offers. Ford plans strictly to direct in his future film career.
DEATH PENALTY FOCUS, the abolition organization chaired by Mike Farrell, dedicates its 13th annual dinner, Oct. 20 to the memory of Gregory Peck, one of its great friends and supporters. In addition, the evening (at the BevHilton) will honor Rosalynn Carter, Harry Belafonte, Robert Wise, Bishop Gabino Zavala and Aqeela Sherrills. The “West Wing’s” Bradley Whitford m.c’s. the Gregory Peck Reading Series at the Main L.A. Library, continuing under the leadership of Veronique Peck. And on April 27, a first: “A Celebration of Words and Music” with Larry Gelbart on words, Pat Gelbart and Alan Bergman on music. Since its inception by Peck in 1995, the program has boasted stars of stage and screen and television. Tony, Oscar and Emmy winners have made the program a tribute to the biz — and to Peck. Shirley Jones was surprise-birthday’d on her 70th by husband Marty Ingels who arranged the bash aboard the S.S. Regent Sea with guests including the mayor of Smithton, Pa., where she was born. He gave her a plaque of the new Main Street — “Shirley Jones Blvd.” Shirley was lured into the party on the guise (including a fancy phony invite) she was celebrating longtime friend Arthur Hiller’s Life Achievement Award bash. It was also Jones’ 50th showbiz anni — as she readies to return to B’way (after 40 years) — to star in “42nd St.” with son Patrick. All four (Cassidy) sons, of course, on hand for mom … Jane Russell is named the permanent, official “Sweetheart and Pin-up Girl of the “Mighty Eighth Air Force, Second Air Division of Southern Calif., WWII.” At a reunion, WWII airmen purchased raffle tix to win a chance to dine with Jane. The winner was Tom Nelson who, as a teenager, dated her in San Diego. They’ll dine at Lawry’s Prime Rib on Wednesday … Buena Vista Motion Pictures Group prexy Nina Jacobson will be honored by Teen-Line, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s peer-to-peer counseling hotline during their Food for Thought luncheon on May 6 at the BevHilton. Carrie Fisher makes the Voice Award presentation … And Cedars-Sinai’s Women’s Guild bows its ninth annual Antiques Show April 29 with a gala preview — the show running to May 2. Mavis and Jay Leno and Geri and Richard Brawerman are honorary chairs and Wendy Goldberg is the gala’s co-chair.