GOOD MORNING: “In all the police records I’ve ever examined, I’ve never seen a 30-inch Sony listed as a murder weapon.” That’s “Law & Order” exec producer-creator Dick Wolf talking after hearing politicos pot-shotting TV as the cause of the country’s murderous malaise. Wolf quickly counters with, “The biggest problem is easily the accessibility of guns.” He points out that Senator Sam Brownback (R., Kan.) who voted to repeal the ban on assault weapons, also takes aim at Hollywood as responsible for the ills of the country. As for those “watchdog” studies (Daily Variety, May 27) about the webs’ numbers of “bad words,” “violent incidents” and “sexual incidents,” I did my own “study” and found that parents watching NBC had the worst record of using more “bad words” in front of their children, parents watching CBS displayed more violence toward each other and their children and parents tuned to Fox displayed the most extra- and pre-marital sex. So, Congress, let’s get to work on rules laws against parents, pronto … And talking about Washington — Dick Wolf’s new series, the WB’s “DC” will take on current issues — but never with a Demo or Republican p.o.v. The principals, five 22-23 year-olds working in Washington will have points of view on issues including violence, says Wolf, but “in an intelligent way.” John August who has written the series and also exec produces with Wolf, created a unique prep course for the young principals, describing their characters in a monologue for each regarding his/her views on homelessness. Their points of view are important in “DC,” since the characters have significant jobs, including clerking for a Supreme Court justice … As for Wolf’s other new show, “Law & Order: Special Victim Unit,” it, focuses on the “aftermath and affects of these serious crimes on its victims, rather than depicting them onscreen.” Wolf credits TV as being the medium where intelligent discussions of issues and points of view can be — and are — aired.
90 IS NOT OLD’: Dolores (Mrs. Bob ) Hope was partied on her 90th birthday Thursday night at the Beverly Hilton’s Coconut Club of the Beverly Hilton. The black-tie’d party was given by her children, Tony, Linda and Kelly Hope with other family and friends (350) coming from as far away as Ireland. Entertainers included the Hilton’s Merv Griffin, Rosemary Clooney (who duetted with Dolores at Rainbows and Stars, Palm Springs — and anywhere both are together), Steve Allen, Sid Caesar, Shirley Jones and Marty Ingels, Tony Martin and Red Buttons — who, of course did his “90 is not old” routine like, “Dolores, 90 is not old — old is when you keep calling Bob, ‘Honey,’ ‘Baby,’ ‘Sweetheart’, because you forgot his name!” Red closed his stand singing the “fight” song of Evander Childs High School in the Bronx which both attended — 10 years apart. Others on hand to birthday Dolores: Nancy Reagan, Lorna and Milton Berle, Ann Blyth and husband Dr. Jim McNulty, Dick Clark, Pete Wilson, George Schultz, Barbara and Marvin Davis. His Eminence Roger Cardinal Mahony delivered the invocation. The Hopes’ celebration continues Saturday which is Bob’s 96th birthday. It’ll be at Lakeside C.C. — outdoors, said Bob, “indoors, all those candles would burn down the place!” The celebration also noted the 60th birthday of daughter Linda, the 30th birthday of grandson Zach … “Stealing Time: The New Science of Aging” — a revealing three-hour (8-11 p.m.) PBSpecial Wednesday — is exec produced by John Rubin, son of actress Kathleen Hughes and producer-writer Stanley Rubin (81) who says he’s taking his son’s advice — he’s readying a feature pic. “I plan to live to 120!” … Sad to report services will be held at 11 ayem today at Beth Jacob Synagogue in BevHills for Richard Cohen, philanthropist-private investor husband of Barbara (Grant). Cohen collapsed into a coma at dinner May 15 and died Thursday ayem.
GET OUT THE HANKIES: “Now You Know” — reactions after seeing ‘Private Ryan’ ” hits the bookstalls in time for Memorial Day, D-Day Anni, Flag Day — and Father’s Day. It’s based on selections from over 30,000 messages posted on America Online following the release of Steven Spielberg’s powerful, Oscar-winning pic. Should be required reading for high schoolers. DreamWorks and AOL donate all author royalties to the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans. Jesse Kornbluth and Linda Sunshine edited … Mark Rydell goes back on the boards for the first time in close to 30 years playing Quentin in Arthur Miller’s “After the Fall” costarring Rebecca DeMornay as Maggie but it’s only for one night, June 8 at the Barnsdall Park Theater. Rydell says he agreed to director Stephan Morrow’s request “In a weak moment. It’s like taking on ‘Hamlet.’ ” Also starring: Sally Kirkland, Lisa Richards, Stefan Glerasch, Cynthia Frost, Lyle Kessler and Barry Primus. Rydell returns to pix directing “Wild Horses” by Karen O’Toole for Sony, Peter Samuelson producing … Eartha Kitt plays the Catalina Bar & Grill June 1-6 — and her first-ever greatest-hits compilation, “Purr-Fect” is released with all her original (redigitalized) hits, like “Santa Baby,” “I Want to Be Evil,” “C’est Si Bon” and her first, “Uskadara.” Kitt (72) admits, “I am very fortunate my voice has remained the same as in 1950.” No, Eartha, we are the lucky ones! And she’ll be on B’way, Jan. 2000 in “Wild Party” with Vanessa Williams and is also talking revivals of “Mame” and “Bitter Sweet.”