GOOD MORNING: Just like in the movies? Michael Douglas goes to the White House tonight — as a guest at the president and first lady’s dinner honoring France’s President Jacques Chirac. You recall in “The American President,” it is the very effective “President” Michael Douglas who hosts a White House dinner for the (movie’s) French president … Steve Tisch and Jamie Alexander, women’s wear exec pretty enough to be in front of Tisch cameras, will wed in early Oct., hopefully in Napa Valley. Meanwhile, Tisch is in Austin, Texas, where this week he started production on “The People Next Door” with Faye Dunaway, Nicolette Sheridan and Michael O’Keefe, with Tim Hunter directing the CBS vidpic. Next month, Tisch starts two bigscreeners: “Dear God” for Par, with Garry Marshall directing and Greg Kinnear starring, and Morgan Creek’s “Wild America” starring Jonathan Taylor Thomas. Tisch also reports negotiations are going well and nearing conclusion with the Elvis Presley estate for music rights, etc., on the Fox feature “Last Train To Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley”…”Sex in the City” is headed to the screen, big or small. Darren Star (“Melrose Place,” “BevHills, 90210” and now “Central Park West”) optioned N.Y. columnist Candace Bushnell’s collection of her columns, which he plans to turn into a feature or hourlong anthology. Star says CBS is “being incredibly $upportive, bringing Gerald McRaney and Raquel Welch to (‘CPW’).” He dispels the tabloids’ reports of problems with Raquel, says “She is terrific. I love Raquel and we get along just great. I needed a beautiful, glamorous bitch; but bitch roles don’t work unless the audience loves the character — and she must have a sense of humor, and Raquel has it.” Raquel laughingly told me, “I get to be real nasty — and people confuse you with the part you play. But then again, there are some people who will say I’ve been playing this part all my life.” Welch added of her first series outing, “TV is tough. I get up at 3-4 ayem to be onstage at 7, but it’s exciting.”
ABC BOLSTERS ITS WEDNESDAY 8:30 p.m. slot with “The Faculty” following “Ellen.” Meredith Baxter stars as a harried school vice principal in the sitcom, which she also created, developed and serves as exec producer with Gary Murphy and Neil Thompson. She’s completed the first 13 segs. Baxter’s now back to heavy drama in CBS’ “After Jimmy,” as a mother who must come to terms with the suicide of her eldest son. Bruce Davison, Eva Marie Saint and Peter Facinelli co-star. Glenn Jordan directs for exec producers Aaron Spelling and Duke Vincent. It’s been a busy time for Baxter, who also recently wed screenwriter Michael Blodgett … Back in l989, when Ted Harbert and Bob Iger asked “America’s Funniest Home Videos’ ” Vin Di Bona, after viewing his first seg, “Do you think you can do 10 shows?” Di Bona said, “Sure,” then gasped to himself, “Oh my God, can we?” Well, we now know the answer, or rather answers: Thursday, Di Bona adds “The World’s Funniest Home Videos” with hosts Dave Coulier and Eva La Rue (“All My Children”) to his enormous output. “America’s Funniest Home Videos” is in 78 countries(!).”We’ve made friends all around the world. Fourteen (countries) produce their own shows,” Di Bona notes. He is readying yet another, different clip show, and he and Chris Bearde start 22 segs of Showtime’s “Sherman Oaks.” Di Bona also is developing a Fox sitcom, “Acme Boy,” which he describes as a combination of “The Mask” meets “Northern Exposure.” And he’s readying a dramatic TV show, “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” calling this one, based on the best-selling book, a “‘Forrest Gump’ for TV.”
NO CONFETTI PITCHING by Rip Taylor for a while. His right (pitching) shoulder was fractured in an auto accident in Las Vegas. Still, he went onstage at the Debbie Reynolds Theater on Tuesday night to explain why he would be unable to continue with his part of the show — which requires climbing up a camera crane … Glen Neufeld, Emmy nominated for visual effects on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” and his wife, Maren, welcomed son Lukas on Friday at Santa Monica Medical Center. Mace Neufeld is the happy grandpa … Add political jazzmen: Idaho’s Gov. Phil Batt, a jazz clarinetist, asked Lionel Hampton if he could join Hamp’s 10-piece band on Feb. 24 at the annual LH Jazz Festival in Moscow, Idaho. It’s OK, Guv … MGM/UA takes over Bernard Erpicum’s Eclipse for its Oscar party dinner March 25. Eclipse moves into the studio preem party catering biz with Fox’s “Broken Arrow” bash for 700 at the Museum of Flying … Alan Ludwig is toasted today at the BevHills Grill as he departs the eatery to head up the Santa Monica Pier Project … Julianne Michelle (11) is the youngest star-auctioneer tonight at Sotheby’s N.Y. celeb-auction for the Children at Heart fundraiser to benefit the children of Chernobyl. Steven Spielberg co-chairs with Elie Wiesel … Rob Reiner receives the ACLU Foundation of So. Calif.’s Torch of Liberty Award on March 11 at the Century Plaza. Reiner has long been a supporter of the org.