‘Nanny’ hopes its plane seg will fly

GOOD MORNING: The season opener of “The Nanny” will continue with the plane crisis that was the cliffhanger on last season’s closing show. The closer included panicked passengers the Nanny (Fran Drescher) and Mr. Sheffield (Charles Shaughnessy) admitting to each other, “I love you,” as they feared plunging to their deaths. Despite the real-life TWA and ValuJet dramas, the Sept. 9 season-opener (show moves to 8 p.m. Wednesdays on Sept. 18), will not change the scary setting, showing (as you might guess) the TV plane and its passengers landing safely. Drescher, who is also one of the series producers, and husband Peter Marc Jacobson, who is an exec producer, say the seg is already shot and cannot be changed. He hopes the real-life tragedies will have “softened” by air date and that no other tragedies will occur. Fran reminds of their show, “We bend over backward never to hurt or offend anyone.” Guestarring in the first show will be “Seinfeld’s” Jason Alexander as a sightless date of the Nanny’s in a touching scene about real priorities. Other upcoming guestings: Joan Collins, Rosie O’Donnell and Lainie Kazan … I met up with Drescher and Jacobson on Par’s Stage 30, where she is starring with Timothy Dalton in the bigscreen “Beautician and the Beast.” She and Jacobson also exec produce the feature. Ken Kwapis directs producer Todd Graff’s script. Howard W. Koch Jr. also produces. Drescher is in every scene of the romantic comedy. The Emmy-nominated actress has a new look for the movie: hair pulled back and stylishly costumed, with one gown by Bob Mackie. There is nothing to compare her to “The Nanny” and that’s the way Drescher’s future features will also be planned. She is currently on the bigscreen in Francis Ford Coppola’s “Jack.” Next in feature preparation for her and her husband are “The Ump” (she’s a baseball ump), for Hollywood Pictures; “Shlepped Away,” TriStar; and Fran and Stacey Title’s untitled two-femme relationship movie. “Beautician” heads to Prague next week for castle scenes for this mythical Eastern European-set $18 million movie. They return Sept. 7, the Emmys are on the 8th and “The Nanny’s” fourth season starts on the 9th. She hopes to direct one seg this season, in preparation for the day “When I’m not so cute anymore.” That’ll be the day! … Director Kwapis next winds his first docu, “It Ain’t Me Babe,” about the annual Bob Dylan look-alike contest at the Speakeasy Club in Greenwich Village. This is some versatile group.

“YOU’VE GOT TO STOP THE SHOW and get ’em back,” Olympics exec producer and show director Don Mischer was told by ACOG’s Billy Payne when the 9,000 athletes broke out of the stands and entered the field — five minutes ahead of sked in the closing ceremonies. As we all saw, the exuberant Olympians soon melded into the 1,800 performers on the field, swaying to the music of the stars singing in the tribute to music of the South: Gloria Estefan, Tito Puente, B.B. King, Sheila E., Wynton Marsalis, Faith Hill, Al Green, Little Richard, the Pointer Sisters and Stevie Wonder. Mischer told the Olympic topper, “I can’t do that. However, if I see any threat or sign of violence or danger, I will stop the(ir) music.” He viewed the proceedings on 26 cameras, said, “All I saw was a great mix of love and happiness with the athletes and the cast, mixing even though they didn’t know each other’s languages. It was a great scene. And countries like Germany, Australia, Japan and many others asked us to continue the coverage until midnight (Eastern time). And we did.” While NBC covered 175 hours of programming, Mischer, who directed for world coverage, said the average for most countries was 325 hours! They watched complete Games, night and day.

THE BATTLE OF THE BISTROS HAS BEGUN. Kurt Niklas and son Christopher — founders of the original Bistro on Canon and owners of the Bistro Garden down the street, and the other in the Valley — are filing suit against new owners of their former site, who are using their Bistro name (as revealed here July 26). Attorney Neil Papiano says he sent a cease-and-desist order to attorneys of 246 LLC, Asia Pacific Co. and its prez Tony Sanders, and is now filing the restraining order not to use the Bistro name. The Niklases claim they are seeking their own site for their Bistro. “When this restaurant opens, it will be the real thing,” they say … Fans of the venerable Sea Lion eatery in Malibu are pleased to know the site is completely renovated and now houses Duke’s Malibu. It’s named for Duke Kahanamoku, Olympic swimming champ who also appeared in 28 movies. It joins the chain of Dukes in Waikiki and Kauai well-known to showbiz. Of course there’s Hawaiian music … Horace Heidt Jr. and his 18-piece orch and singer will play for the GOP Convention in San Diego, Monday through Aug. 15 at the Convention Center. And Manny Harmon’s tooters (19) and singer will entertain at the GOP Convention gala Aug. 15 finale at the Embarcadero … Coast to coast tee’ing: “The Tin Cup” followed its Westwood Village preem here with a N.Y. all-star bash at the Official All Star Cafe on B’way Tuesday night.

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