GOOD MORNING: Shirley Temple and 20th Century Fox are talking again. She and her longtime O’Melveny & Myers attorney Rick Ross were on the Fox lot Thursday, talking with 20th attorney Bobbie Bogin. Well, Shirley wasn’t exactly back at the alma mater — but her lawyer’s offices are on land that was once part of the huge Fox studio property that boasted Western streets, a giant garden, the “Song of Bernadette” village, etc. etc. It later became ABC, the Century Plaza and adjoining hotels, etc. Shirley and her husband (of almost 50 years) Charles Black drove down from their home in Woodside, Calif., for the meeting and drove back, past the street where she lived as a child in Brentwood. They stopped overnight at Pismo Beach … As for the talks with 20th, her attorney Ross would only say that they are “in the very earliest stages of a future business arrangement.” Shirley, you recall, signed her Fox pact in 1932 when she was 4 years old. She was the No. 1 boxoffice star four years in a row with films including “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, “The Littlest Rebel,” “Heidi” and “The Little Princess.” 20th has, of course, been selling the videos of these hits for years. Shirley has been tight-lipped (but polite) about complaining (to me) about return$ from these sales. But Bogin reminded me those pix were made before 1969’s SAG agreement. Bogin also told me, “We were the first to approach her (about future arrangements) some time ago. We wanted to re-invigorate the Shirley Temple titles in the video arena. It didn’t happen at that time. We are now talking a future relationship. We want to try to come to an agreement in a positive light. Everybody at this stage is hopeful for a future relationship. After all she is our history!” … Talking about 20th’s history, the studio is not only selling memorabilia from its films on fox-auction.com — it took in over $300,000 from 200 “X-Men” items — but is also trying to reacquire items of its past glories from collectors out there.
THEY’RE GOING TO KILL US” — the Senate Commerce Committee’s hearing tomorrow, that is. The prediction is by Haim Saban, who quickly notes that the responsibility for these political jabs is caused by “the irresponsible ones” in the biz, “who make it difficult for all of us concerned.” The stance by Demo candidates Al Gore and Joe Lieberman on the issue does not dampen the ardor that Saban and other showbiz supporters have for them over the GOP’s candidates. Saban reminds, “America is not about this (showbiz), it is more about subjects like our relationship with Israel — and other important issues.” Saban and wife Cheryl are cohosts, along with Cindy and Alan Horn, Michele and Rob Reiner and Ron Burkle at the Sept. 18 ($10,000-$100,000 a couple) gala for Gore and Lieberman at Burkle’s Green Acres estate. It’s expected to draw a hefty showbiz crowd to hear Reiner well as his dad Carl. Latter will m.c. a show including Don Henley, who will sing three songs, and comedy by Larry David and Garry Shandling (who said at the Emmys, “I read for the part of Vice President (on ‘West Wing,’ but) they said, ‘Too Jewish’ ” … Tonight at the Democratic National Committee’s fundraiser at the Sony Blockbuster Entertainment Center in Camden, N.J., Al Gore will be on hand and entertained by Cher, Michael Bolton, Sister Sledge, Hootie & the Blowfish. Since the former Mayor of Philadelphia Ed Rendell is organizing the event, it’s not surprising that one of Philly’s favorite sons, David Brenner, will tell the jokes. … Non-political (?) note: President Clinton, who is honorary chairman, will attend the Carousel of Hope gala Oct. 28 at the BevHilton hotel.
CONGRATS DEPT. TO: Seth Abraham, who joins Madison Square Garden as exec VP and chief operating officer, and whose responsibilities include Radio City Entertainment … Who’s the luckiest guy in town? Joe Roth, who’s got Tom Sherak joining his Revolution banner … “The West Wing” troupe celebrated the nine Emmy wins with champagne and milk shakes during the lunch break Monday … Cathy Moriarty and husband Joseph Gentile welcome twins Catherine Patricia G. and Joseph John G. Monday (Sept. 11) in N.Y. … Cyd Charisse is toasted Sept. 15 at Santa Barbara’s Lobero theater, where the State Street Ballet presents a program in her honor performing dance excerpts from some of her (40) films, including “Singin’ in the Rain,” “The Band Wagon,” “Brigadoon,” “Silk Stockings,” etc. … The Internet’s powerful overseas penetration: A visitor from Rome made a special visit to the Boswell (as in Boswell Sisters of 1930’s fame) Museum in East Springfield, N.Y. European countries are now releasing the sisters’ CDs via webs … And with a three-night (ugh!) devotion to hip-hop by “Nightline,” it’s refreshing to know that talented young musicians will be getting an added outlet when John Dankworth and Cleo Laine launch the Mancini Room on their English estate at Wavendon to intro new talent. “Hank did a great deal to introduce us to the West Coast — in 1973,” reminds Dankworth. The duo just played at the Hollywood Bowl and tonight bow at Feinstein’s at the Regency in NY. Ginny Mancini will be on hand Oct. 5 when the Mancini Room bows … Jacqueline Stallone, Sly’s mom, will give astrological forecasts to attendees at tomorrow’s Screen Smart Set annual lunch at the BevHills Hotel. P.S. She’ll also autograph her book, “StarPower –An Astrological Guide to Super Success.”