GOOD MORNING and good luck Emmy nominees. One of the segments on the four-hour NBC show will be devoted to news stories of the past half century that TV not only covered, but helped unite viewers in understanding those events. Chosen to host the segment and lend his authority to its presentation will be NBC’s Tom Brokaw. At Wednesday night’s reception at the Beverly Hills Hotel, it was evident this year’s nominees were particularly honored to be part of the 50th anniversary show. Don Mischer noted, “I only hope 50 years from now — at the 100th anniversary — their nominees will feel we gave proper respect to the first 50 years!” … Along Came Mary’s Mary Micucci is the Emmy Awards caterer and event designer for the Emmy Awards Governors Ball (for 2,500 in the Shrine Ballroom); Mary did ditto duties for Thursday night’s MTV Video Music Awards party at Universal Studios … Giorgio Armani dressed MTV Awards host Ben Stiller with several suits throughout the show. Armani also suited Wyclef Jean and the Refugee All Stars well as hip-hop legend Crazy Legs Colon and Mark Wahlberg … Stuart Weitzman’s shoes will adorn the tootsies of these Emmy participants: Roma Downey, Jane Leeves, Katie Holmes, Sarah Michelle Geller, Lisa Nicole Carson, Christina Applegate, Olympia Dukakis and Mary Hart … Soap Opera Hall of Fame ceremonies will be held Monday at N.Y.’s Planet Hollywood, presented by Soap Opera Weekly. Inductees include Betty Rea, Ruth Warrick, Eileen Fulton and Gloria Monty. Peter Bergman (“The Young & the Restless”) hosts. It’ll air as an E! special in October.
JUST THE TIP of the iceberg — only a drop in the bucket — well it’s hardly something to sneeze at: the 200th episode of “Melrose Place” celebration. It becomes a part of the legend of Aaron Spelling’s 3,934 hours of TV entertainment! At Wednesday night’s celebration at Alto Palato (on La Cienega), Spelling was toasted by Fox Entertainment Group prez Peter Roth as “the most successful producer in television history — my mentor — and dear friend.” Spelling said, “For awhile, I thought he was talking about Rupert Murdoch.” Spelling gave hefty credit to the cast whose regular members on hand included Josie Bisset, Thomas Calabro, Rob Estes, John Haimes Newton, Heather Locklear (“My good luck penny,” said Spelling), Jamie Lunar, Lisa Rinna (with husband Harry Hamlin), Kelly Rutherford, Rena Sofer, Jack Wagner, Mark Taylor and “Nurse Amy,” Selma Archerd. When they posed before the congratulatory cake, Estes and Wagner pushed Calabro’s face into the thick frosting — a delightful photo op, natch, for the hefty squadron of photogs and TV cameramen. Spelling also thanked longtime partner Duke Vincent. They have nine shows on the air this season and Spelling said they already have five scripts in the works for the 1999-2000 season. While Spelling is, of course, most noted for the long list of nighttime soaps, he also has a record of 148 TV movies and he is most proud of “And the Band Played On” (HBO) and “Day One” (CBS), which pondered why we should not have dropped the bombs on Japan.
“TURANDOT” AS PRESENTED in the Forbidden City, Beijing, “was the most spectacular theater I’ve ever seen,” reports Edie Adams, who’s just returned. Adams, a Juilliard alumna and onetime operatic singer, says “I have never seen anything like it.” She reported that the cast of over 1,000 in spectacular costumes, performing as giant sets moved in and out of the Forbidden City setting while ancient, giant drums thundered, was an experience never to be forgotten. A friend (40 years) of conductor Zubin Mehta, Adams says she was also surprised when several in the orchestra waved to her — they had been at Juilliard together! Adams next heads to SanFran Sept. 26 for the opera bow of “A Streetcar Named Desire,” a first-time opera for composer Andre Previn — who has been Adams’ musical director on her TV show. She recalled, “He also played great jazz” … Add serious showbiz: Christopher Plummer in his Tony-winning role of John Barrymore at the Ahmanson, is also busy co-starring in the “Untitled Michael Mann Movie” for Touchstone between dates on the legitour. He’s playing Mike Wallace in the true story of the Brown & Williamson/”60 Minutes” story starring Al Pacino and Russell Crowe. Plummer returns for two weeks in the pic after “Barrymore” in L.A., and Sacramento, and before winding the tour in Chi, D.C., New Haven and Toronto … L.A. Times theater critic Laurie Winer is on a “three-month leave of absence.” But she is not returning. There were the usual “creative differences — as everyone has, but — ” She says she wants to do “other writing” … Arthur Cohn reunites with his “Central Station” director Walter Salles on “Wait for Me.” Their “Station, a Sony Pictures Classic,” which won a Golden Bear at the Berlin fest, and was a sellout at Telluride, having gotten its initial rave reviews at Sundance, will preem Nov. 12 at the Academy in BevHills at an AFI gala … Mel Torme, recuping from his stroke, celebrates his 73rd birthday Sunday at home with his family … Granada Entertainment USA has obtained remake rights to British writer Lynda LaPlante’s acclaimed U.K. TV series, “The Governor” as a potential telefilm with franchise opportunities.