GOOD MORNING: “It’s the best fun I’ve had since leaving Paramount,” sez Brandon Tartikoff, who hosts TNT’s Thursday airing of Paddy Chayefsky’s 1976 “Network.” Of Chayefsky, Tartikoff adds, “He’s the idol for me — he was the Nostradamus of TV.” Tartikoff spent last weekend in L.A. auditioning talent for his MCA syndie’d “Last Call,” a latenight half-hour stripper. Tartikoff will not appear. “I’m too old to be on it — the talent will be anywhere from late 20s to early 40s.” There will be four or five regulars, a drop-in guest and one satellited. “It will give what’s missing now on talk and news shows — commentary.” The talent auditioned from three pools: local news, actors/actresses/comedians, and print journalists who can make the bridge. They tape the pilot Nov. 21. It will be a giant month for Tartikoff, who also starts taping his Weekly World News spex for CBS, plus 13 segs of the “Steven Banks Show” for PBS. And he tapes the “X’s and O’s” serial for CBS. His local New Orleans show, “N.O. It Alls,” has been upped to local primetime … And talking latenight: Chevy Chase showed up live at the Improv in Hollywood Monday night with the Off the Wall improv group led by Archie Hahn, who was a regular on Chevy’s TV talker. He invited C.C. to join ’em. Chase stayed onstage with ’em 90 minutes, made no mentions of his show’s demise. He got a standing ovation, report the Improv’s Budd Friedman and Mark Lonow. When asked to do an improvisation on the day’s verdict (obviously the Reginald Denny verdicts), Chase went into a version of “The Verdict”– as played by Paul Newman … Conan O’Brien says he’d like to do a gameshow if his show’s canceled by NBC. O’Brien, on Charlie Rose’s PBShow tonight, explains: “Prizes are involved — people like those kinds of things, and it just feels good.”
ALL IN THE FAMILY: Peter Fonda would like to direct daughter Bridget Fonda in a remake of the 1936 classic “The Petrified Forest,” which starred Bette Davis, Leslie Howard and Humphrey Bogart. Among those talked to reprise the male roles, Jeff Bridges and Dennis Quaid. Bridget, now in “Cop Gives Waitress $ 2 Mil Tip,” has a Nov. 29 start on “The Road to Wellville,” then “Rough Magic”… Isabella Rossellini takes over as “Big Nose Kate” in Larry Kasdan’s “Wyatt Earp” with Kevin Costner, Gene Hackman, Dennis Quaid in Santa Fe … And Cliff Robertson is in Jackson, S.C., joining Penny Marshall’s “Renaissance Man” as an Army colonel who comes up with the scheme to bring in a civilian, Danny DeVito, to instruct “borderline recruits”– much against the wishes of drill sergeant Gregory Hines … Mia Farrow, back in N.Y. following her bigscreen feature “Widow’s Peak” in Ireland, next tapes Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic “The Scarlet Letter” for Dove Audio … Audrey and Billy Wilder dined with Madeleine and Andrew Lloyd Webber at Drai’s. The Wilders, who attended the London bow of “Sunset Boulevard,” will rejoin the movie’s Nancy Olson and her husband Alan Livingston at the Shubert opening Dec. 9. The Wilders and Webbers talked enthusiastically about Glenn Close in the Gloria Swanson role here. The Webbers have rented a BevHills house and will remain through the L.A. bow … Sally Kellerman and David Aykroyd are rehearsing in N.Y. for a Hasty Pudding Theater production of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” in Cambridge, Mass. Next spring, Sally segues to Paris for Robert Altman’s “Pret-a-Porter”… At the world preem of “The Killing of Michael Malloy” at the Tiffany: Daryl Hannah (sans John Kennedy Jr., back east), David Brown, Helen Mirren and Taylor Hackford, Shelley Winters, the Alan Ladds Jr., and Diane Ladd … William Morris’ Robert Lee and Malissa Feruzzi will wed next July in Kauai.
BACK IN L.A. AND TOTALLY OK — that’s Sean Connery, who’s talking three projects: the “Ghost and Mrs. Muir” remake at 20th, “Smoke and Mirrors” at Cinergi and “Don Quixote” with Arnon Milchan and Quincy Jones at WB …”People are not just looking for food — but new ideas,” says Jimmy Murphy of Jimmy’s, who inaugurates his “Musical B’way Night” starting Thursday with Chris Curtis’ cast of five tuning musical hits in the eatery’s Palm Court (seats 70). The pre-set dinner and show: $ 45 … Leonard Stern hosts the Producers Guild Dinner Seminars panel — Donald Bellisario, Barney Rosenzweig, Don Reo and Leonard Hill — starting Nov. 9 at the St. James’s Club. The subject: “Problems Facing Today’s TV Producer.” The dinner tab: $ 60 … Fred Hayman joins the infomercial world with live home shopping telecasts from his Rodeo Drive store. Ray Manzella , who info’d Vanna White, Suzanne Somers, etc., is producing the Hayman shows. Fred’s also bowing a boutique in China’s “American Place”; in Guangzhou.