Jones promises ‘killer’ Oscarcast

GOOD MORNING: “This will be a hot show — a killer — a monster. It will be different. It will be full of energy. And it will still be elegant. But it will really be hot.” That’s Oscar show producer Quincy Jones on the eve of the announcement of Oscar nominees by Acad president Arthur Hiller and Oscar winner Holly Hunter. Jones admits the anticipation of nominees has, of course, made preparations for the show “a moving target.” But he already has ideas from start to finish (about some of which I am sworn to secrecy) that are entirely new. The exuberant Jones admitted, “I do not feel one drop of pressure or stress. I feel happiness and enthusiasm. Not one bit oftension. But I don’t want you to think I am being cocky. We are also calling on divinity,” he laughed. “Doing the Oscar show you also have a great humility. Gil Cates did such a great job for six years.” He praised his fellow producer David Salzman’s equal enthusiasm, also that of the entire staff of past years rejoining. As for ABC, he laughs, “They keep reminding me to keep it at three hours — well, maybe three hours and 15 minutes. In that time there’ll be plenty of time for all kinds of surprises — humor — and dignity as well”… While Buenos Aires newspapers continue to encourage local cooperation and “the avoidance of scandal” with the “Evita” company filming there, the “Man Who Captured Eichmann” TNT troupe continues to receive complete cooperation — even when filming in slum areas. And they are on schedule. Robert Duvall, playing Eichmann, is a favorite down there. He is seen dancing the tango — he’s an expert — in many neighborhood clubs.

“WE’VE RECONCEIVED THE CHARACTER,” says Don Johnson of his upcoming CBS one-hour “Nash Bridges.” He’s now a cop, “an inspector” on the San Francisco force. Later in the series, he’ll become a private eye. He wants CBS to give him the Wednesday, 10 time slot. “I don’t care about the lead-in,” says Johnson, reminding this series is again action-packed, but also features comedy — Cheech Marin co-stars. Also glamorous ladies Serana Scott-Thomas and Annette O’Toole. The scene in San Fran lends itself to everything, he says, from murder to drugs, bunco, etc. It’s like shooting a movie every week — on a tight schedule. He loves the new S.F. setting, is buying a house up there. He has a pact for 13 segs and on completion will do another (untitled) movie. His feature co-starrer with Kevin Costner, “Tin Cup,” is released in July. Johnson and ex-wife Melanie Griffith have an amicable three weeks and three weeks custody arrangement with the children who travel with Griffith and Antonio Banderas in Argentina, Budapest and London for “Evita”… Monica Seles signed a deal with HarperCollins for her bio, “From Fear to Victory,” to be co-written with Nancy Ann Richardson, the deal made by IMG. The book will be rushed out in time for Wimbledon. Martina Navratilova has a new HBO pact to be commentator at Wimbledon, and she’ll be signing her second novel, “Breaking Point” (Villard Books), at Borders on La Cienega on Tuesday. IMG’s Mark McCormack is also producing a tribute to Sergei Grinkov, the 28-year-old figure skater who died of a heart attack. It airs on CBS March 1 … Last Friday, George Burns listened to the track he recorded (eight months ago) of “Easy Money” by Cy Coleman for Cy’s upcoming B’way musical, “The Life.” Burns is among 14 singers to have cut sides for the CD. It’s a pre-B’way cast album.

TWO DAYS WORK: $800,000. That’s what Ringo Starr reportedly got for a “Ringo Suttar” natural juice commercial to be shown only in Japan. He speaks partially in (very good) Japanese. The commercial was filmed in front of “Mount Fuji”– a fake one in the Barnaby Studios in Vancouver. Tokyo Front Line’s Janet Thomas (daughter of the AP’s Bob Thomas) was the dealmaker. She specializes in those Japanese commercials featuring Hollywood stars … Bob Stack’s the voice of a detective, Bruce Willis a gangster on this week’s taping of “Beavis and Butt-head”… Eric Douglas is the new voice for QVC commercials. Douglas inked with ICM’s Jeff Danis for voiceovers. Young Douglas is also booked at N.Y.’s Comic Strip … It was literally overflowing for the three workshop performances of “The Lullabye of B’way, The Life and Lyrics of Al Dubin” by Joel Kimmel, presented by Corky Hale Prods. and Shirley Strick at the Jazz Bakery. The eight talented performers, director David Galligan et. al., with only four weeks rehearsals made the “‘workshop” look more like an outta town production … Paula and Rod Steiger renewed their vows on their 10th wedding anni at the Camelion’s restaurant. Tony Hopkins brought his mother, Muriel; Kathleen and Chip Rosenbloom were also there — he’s editing “Shiloh” with Steiger starring …”Y&R’s” Kate Linder and husband Dr. Ron Linder celebrate their 20th wedding anni Valentine’s Day.