GOOD MORNING: Among those glued to TV watching the O.J. drama unfold Friday was the staff of “A Current Affair,” which had sent out a casting call for lookalikes of all the principals — O.J., Nicole Simpson, Ronald Goldman and the two young Simpson children. “Affair” had planned to start shooting Sunday and today. The stranger-than-fiction turn of events Friday was hardly expected by anyone, including O.J.’s attorney Bob Shapiro, whom I saw the night before at Sony’s Cary Grant Theater where we all viewed “Wolf,” about even more bizarre, but fictional murders … George Burns (98), who underwent bypass surgery 20 years ago, had a checkup at Cedars-Sinai and is OK. He played a cameo in “Radioland Murders” as a radio comedian in 1939. It was filmed at Hollywood Center Studios where Burns has had his office for 42 years. I asked George how he was feeling. “Wait till I take this cigar out of my mouth,” he said. Next month, he has dates at Caesars Tahoe, Atlantic City and Vegas, then Foxwood Resort in Connecticut. Does Burns gamble at any of these sites? “I used to play blackjack,” he said, “but I don’t anymore because people keep coming up and asking me to hold their babies on my lap. I can’t concentrate on gambling with a baby on my lap!”… Cubby Broccoli is recuping in N.Y. after undergoing eye surgery at John Hopkins. He told me the cataract and lens implant surgery was successful. And he’ll be working on the James Bond pic, which will film in London, plus Russia and other sites … Marvin Worth has set Jeremiah Chechik (“Benny & Joon”) to direct WB’s “Diabolique” from a script by Dan Roos. Last week, Worth, director Des McAnuff and screewriter Israel Horovitz were holed up — sans phones or any interruptions — in a conference room at Warner Hollywood Studios to talk the hoped-for year-end start of the James Dean biopic, since McAnuff will first be occupied with the legit “How to Succeed in Business…” at La Jolla. They also want to be certain to make the fall ’95 date of the B’way legiter “Lenny” to star Alec Baldwin with McAnuff directing.
NICKY BLAIR FILED for Chapter 11 for his Sunset Strip eatery. Blair, who has been there for his many pals during his 25 years as a restaurateur, now calls on all pals to be there for him as he will remain open to try and meet all his obligations … And talking about obligations, among the dough owed by the Jacksons from their MGM Grand stand is $ 48,000 that Michael owes Gary Smith for tix Michael purchased and gave away — but never paid for. All the Jackson defendants were served and are in default for non-court appearance, reports Smith. The producer’s now readying the July 17 World Cup closing ceremonies show starring Whitney Houston at the Rose Bowl, 45 minutes before the championship game. The show will NOT be televised in the U.S. (ABC does the game) just as last Friday’s opening cermemonies from Chicago were not shown here. But Gary was able to view ’em on his dish — he picked up the Mexico channel! The World Cup Block Party gala July 10 will be held on Rodeo Drive extending all the way from Wilshire to Santa Monica Boulevard with a miniature “soccer field” outside Dick Carroll’s shop. Rodeo will be lined with food stations repping the 24 countries in the World Cup and celebs will be at the bars, the soft drink stands manned by younger thesps. It’s all for the Concern Foundation for Cancer Research. U.S. and visiting soccer teams will be on hand with showbiz celebs … Carol Connors and Gwendalina Cariaggi penned “For All Mankind,” the theme for “The Legends of Soccer” docu produced by Gwendalina’s father, Pier Quinto Cariaggi.
“LION KING” TOY STORES are being set up this week in AMC lobbies where kids are already clamoring for the many items adding to the ancillary jackpot for the looming Disney hit … And talking ancillaries, Al Pacino’s “Carlito’s Way,” which passed the $ 80 million box office mark worldwide, will go over $ 100 million with vidcassette sales, reports producer Martin Bregman. They teamed on four other successes, “Scarface,””Dog Day Afternoon,””Serpico” and “Sea of Love, ” and are prepping their sixth teaming in U’s biopic of Ruth Etting and Moe the Gimp, to be directed by Harold Becker from a script by Judith Rascoe … James Earl Jones adds a CD-ROM disc, “Under a Killing Moon,” to his accomplishments. He’ll be heard, but not seen, as the Poe-quoting Big P.I. (private investigator) in the sky … Tracey Gold stars in ABC’s “For the Love of Nancy,” a true story of an anorexic. She’s battled anorexia herself, and went public to try and help others … Danette Herman, whose credits include the Oscars, Emmys and Kennedy Center Honors, will line up talent for “Extra — the Entertainment Magazine” distibuted by WB TV to bow Sept. 5 here on KNBC.