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NBC says it won’t give up Hope

GOOD MORNING: “Nobody is going to put Bob Hope out to pasture,” NBC’s Don Ohlmeyer emphatically told me yesterday. “Bob is a part of the NBC family.” As for Thursday’s reports about Hope’s parting with the Peacock, Ohlmeyer reminded that the web talks to him after the regular sked’s set this weekend. “And then we’ll see what Bob wants to do. It’s my understanding that NBC traditionally sits down with Bob to discuss it. This is all much ado about nothing.” Meanwhile, Ohlmeyer says of tonight’s three-hour “Bob Hope: The First 90 Years” spec, “It’s terrific — it’s not only a show, it’s an event. He’s part of the history of show business. I had the pleasure of working with Bob in the ’70s on an all-star comedy salute to baseball. Working with him was like getting a three-credit course in comedy”… I got Hope’s reaction to the above reports while talking to him on his car phone as he wound festivities for his fourth star on the Walk of Fame and was headed to the airport for a gig tonight in Noblesville, Ind., and then on to Carnegie Hall where he (and Dolores) will perform at Skitch Henderson’s 75th birthday and 10th anni of his symphonic orch. Hope showed no signs of slowing down! He said his rep, Chuck Scott, was in negotiations with NBC. “And I want to do the same number (of shows) I did last year — four”… Ohlmeyer said Don Mischer, who produced (with Linda Hope) the Bob Hope special, next teams with George Stevens Jr. on a National Sports Awards special, “The Great Ones,” to tape in D.C. June 20. “It will be a very prestigious show,” Ohlmeyer said. President Clinton is expected to participate. … Before continuing on his “sabbatical” overseas, Francis Ford Coppola put in a day at UCLA’s School of Theater, Film & TV: Four hours with the general assembly, two with the faculty, another two with Dean Gil Cates and the evening guesting in Peter Guber’s class … Dr. Billy Taylor, who performs tonight at UCLA’s Royce Hall, returns June 19 to deliver a commencement address … Al Freeman Jr.’s promoted to full professor at Howard U., where he chairs the Dept. of Theater Arts.

ANOTHER HOLLYWOOD MOVIE’S MINUS ITS STAR next week — Bruce Willis gets time off “Color of Night” to join partners Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger at Planet Hollywood’s big blowout in London Monday. London papers proclaim there’ll be a bigger turnout of international stars for this event than for a coronation … And the Cannes AmFAR Cinema Against AIDS gala on the 20th (at the Moulin de Mougins) is a total sellout. The party follows the Palais screening of Stallone’s “Cliffhanger”… A little traveling music, please: Jack Jones previews his new album “Hopeless Romantic” next week on Bruce Forsyth’s BBC-TV’er. Jones recorded “live” at the Palladium for England’s D Sharp label … Maximilian Schell appears with the Berlin Philharmonic in Israel next week, reciting Schoenberg’s “The Survivor of Warsaw” to commemorate the 50th anni of the Warsaw uprising. Max wound the British movie “Justice” from the novel by Swiss countryman Friedrich Durrenmatt … Friedrich Solms-Baruth of England’s “Allo2″ series, has moved to L.A. — Americanized his name to Frederick Solms …”Hollywood has not forgotten St. Jude,” said Marlo Thomas, who, with sister Terre and brother Tony, have taken up the reins for daddy Danny and his favorite charity — to be celebrated June 4 at the Century Plaza. Headlining is new mother Whitney Houston, grateful she has a healthy baby, says Marlo. The town’s younger generation has joined in the fray and it’s expected $ 1 million will be raised. Marlo winds her eight-month tour in “Six Degrees of Separation” Sunday in Boston and will be here next week to continue working on the benefit. She then summer-vacations with husband Phil Donahue and starts work in September in CBS’ “Reunion” with Lee Grant directing … Shari Belafonte hosts the (season’s) final two shows of “Vicki!” Shari’s launch of her “Islands By Shari” cosmetics line for women of color on the Home Shopping Network was told it was that web’s most successful start for any product … Anthony Crivello, Tony-nominated for his performance in “Kiss of the Spider Woman — The Musical,” also produced “Confessions of a TV Junkie” here and is talking taking it to Off B’way.

A SCHOLARSHIP FUND honoring the late MGM exec Robert Dingilian was announced at the Writers Guild memorial service. The scholarship will go to journalism students. The fund h.q.’s at Barbara Perlman Co., (213) 823-1657 … The Pediatric AIDS Foundation fundraiser, at the new BevHills Emporio Armani, brought the total contributions from Armani sales to $ 75,000. “The Sheikest party in town” was Arabian nights-themed, complete with belly dancers and snake charmers for the fez-tival. Elizabeth Glazer, foundation founder, was on hand, plus many of Hollywood’s younger set … Add second-generation thesps: Amy Povich and Stacy Ruckeyser debut in Robson Entertainment’s “Gordy” filming in Atlanta … Pat Buttram, Nanette Fabray, Ricardo Montalban, Gale Storm, Alvy Moore, Anita Loos and Edward Albert are among dais members for Eddie Albert’s salute by the Pacific Pioneer B’casters May 21 at the Sportsmen’s Lodge …”Forever Plaid” celebrates its 500th performance at the Canon May 18.

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