Producer-director Miller finds CMAs hospitable

GOOD MORNING and congrats Emmy winners … And now the awards action shifts from Pasadena to Nashville for the three-hour CBS Country Music Assn. hoedown Sept. 29. You can’t get a room in the town as the Grand Ole Opry becomes the Taj Mahal of showbiz. CMA producer-director Walter C. Miller (an Emmy nominee — for the Tonys) says he’s not received one turndown from anyone. That makes it unlike the Grammys, says Miller, who will do ditto duties there in March. The feeling is different at the Grammys, sez Miller. “Here you can’t even give anyone a dressing room because everyone’s out in the halls shaking hands with everyone — or two guys are busy picking away writing a song together. There’s no rivalry. Backstage, it’s all family. And everyone who is performing is a nominee.” There’ll be 20 performers and Miller says, “Everyone is cooperating to hold down their time so the show can come in at three to 3 1/2 hours.” Dwight Graham will be a first-time performer. “We’re giving more importance to the Hall of Fame,” Miller adds. In contention are Merle Haggard, Ray Price, Willie Nelson, Harland Howard and Don Gibson. A committee makes the decision here while 7,000 industry professional members of the CMA vote on the other categories … Larry McMurtry’s “Streets of Laredo” was bought by Robert Halmi Entertainment, thus all’s well following their “Lonesome Dove.” McMurtry and Diana Ossana will script and CBS gets first shot. A major franchise follows and mebbe a series, too. Irving Lazar also made the deal for McMurtry to script “Pretty Boy Floyd” at WB, and “The Standoff” at Universal. Total: $ 2 million … The Gersh Agency set Robin Givens as Damon Wayans’ co-star in “Blankman” at Col with Mike Binder directing.

“SUNSET BOULEVARD’S” BOW at the Shubert is delayed a week to Dec. 9 and previews moved to Nov. 23 because of a “delay in completing final casting”– includes the two major roles of Joe Gillis and Max Von Mayerling. Tony Goldwyn is the latest thesp under consideration for the Gillis role. The delay in previews will not affect the gala charity benefit bash by Barbara and Marvin Davis on Nov. 30. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s busy cycling between the Shubert and the Las Vegas Hilton, where his “Starlight Express” bows Wednesday … Tom Bosley got an OK to report a coupla days late to the Oct. 4 start of rehearsals for the B’way-bound “Beauty and the Beast”– his daughter Amy (TriStar VP) weds Matthew Baer (Giant Films VP) Oct. 3, here. Bosley, B’way’s Tony-winning Fiorello, plays Belle’s (Susan Egan’s) father in the $ 10 million Disney legit musical, which opens in Houston (en route to B’way) April 7 at the Palace. Co-starring are Terence Mann as the “Beast” and Burke Moses as Gaston … Robert Benevides flew to New Westminster, British Columbia, last Friday with the remains of Raymond Burr and the ashes of Burr’s mother, Minerva, and both were interred alongside William Burr, Raymond’s father, in the family cemetery … Lorenzo Lamas, in N.Y. for “Renegade” p.a.’s with wife Kathleen Kinmont, was a real hero when he pulled an elderly man from a wrecked, burning car on Fifth Avenue. Lorenzo received a commendation from Mayor Dinkins for his action. The auto-racing thesp credits his knowledge of first aid to the fact that “I see a lot of this on the race track.”… Producer Joe Wizan and title designer Nina Saxon (“The Fugitive”) were married Saturday in BevHills and are on a Paris honeymoon. Wizan and Todd Black next team on “Dunston Checks In” at 20th … Susan and Richard Moll, married July 24, expect the stork in April … Capitol Hill gets another hefty contingent of showbiz visitors when Planet Hollywood opens in D.C. Oct. 3. The Planet principals — Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone , Demi Moore, producer Keith Barish (“The Fugitive”) and restaurateur Robert Earl — head a hefty showbiz group and Willis and his band will entertain outside for the bleachers-filled fans. This is the sixth Planet Hollywood.

ZSA ZSA TO THE RESCUE. Z.Z. filmed a series of commercials for call-in psychic assistance. Sure, she gets a piece of the phone action. She’s also on a Canadian home shopping network hawking rings. Who better? Right now, she’s busy readying for daughter Francesca’s wedding reception. All the Gabor girls will attend, including mama Jolie, who celebrates her 93rd birthday Sept. 29 … Eva Gabor and Raymond Katz were at Dan Tana’s … The AFI’s Jean Firstenberg, back from 11 weeks driving around the country (15,000 miles) on a Durfee Foundation grant, says she learned “how important movies are to the American public and their deep love for the movies”… Robert Altman, one of the ace contributors to Esquire’s 60th anni, writes, “When I go to make a picture and people say, ‘Oh, this is very dicey, you’re taking a big gamble here,’ I say, ‘What’s my gamble? There’s no gamble.’ Not making it would be more of a gamble.”

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