Grey goes big, Douglas goes ‘Cuckoo’

GOOD MORNING: Among those in N.Y. celebrating the new TV season sales was Brad Grey — his banner will bow “Pasadena” on Fox. The one-hour drama’s pilot was directed by Diane Keaton. Also, Grey, in partnership with Touchstone TV, sold “Dad,” starring Jim Belushi to ABC, and teamed with Touchstone and ABC for “The Wayne Brady Show.” And, “Just Shoot Me” got a two-year pickup as did “Politically Incorrect.” And, of course, “The Sopranos” will return for a fourth season as this season’s finale airs Sunday. I asked Grey for reaction to those who claim there’s too much violence, language and nudity on the show. “This is probably the strongest season we’ve had. The ratings have been extraordinary — with more viewers coming in. Remember, in the United States you’re entitled to pay for what you enjoy. No one can condemn the quality — it is well-written and well-acted. If you find it offensive, well, don’t watch. No one is cavalier about the violence or the language .” I asked about organizations (Italian-American) which had objected to the portrayal of Italian-Americans. And also told him that both Robert Loggia and Stanley Tucci told me they objected — and wouldn’t again play Mafia-like roles, which they’ve done so effectively! … Grey said the performances in “The Sopranos” are “authentic to the characters and the telling of their stories — in my opinion.” Monday Grey accepts the Peabody Award at the Waldorf. He celebrated last night — catching “The Producers.”

REVISITING “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”: Kirk Douglas, in N.Y. with wife Anne, is at the Royale tonight to see “Cuckoo’s Nest” in which Kirk played Randle McMurphy in the original, 1963 production. The Douglases will be backstage afterward with current McMurphy, Tony nominee Gary Sinise. (Jack Nicholson played the role in the multi-Oscar-winning movie produced by — Michael D). Last night the Douglases were at the Belasco to see pal (Tony nominee) Polly Bergen in “Follies.” Friday they’ll be at the Barrymore to see pal (Tony nominee) Michele Lee in “The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife”; and Saturday at the St. James to see Mel Brooks and the multi-Tony-nominated “The Producers.” And, oh yes, Kirk is also in N.Y. to meet with Morrow on publication of the latest installment on his life, “My Stroke Of Luck,” which he admits “Is the best book I’ve written” … On their night off stage, Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Mary-Louise Parker (Tony-nominated for “Proof”) and Michele Lee and members of “42nd Street,” “Class Act” and “The Rocky Horror Show” performed at the Manhattan Theater Club’s annual gala, which raised $1,300,000. The MTC acquired the Biltmore theater on West 47th St. It will be restored so its future shows — in a Broadway house — will be eligible for Tonys without having to move as both “The Tale Of The Allergist’s Wife” and “Proof” did to qualify … At the Waldorf Tuesday night, Itzhak Perlman, one of five American Jewish Congress honorees, was serenaded by Michael Feinstein playing a rarely heard George Gershwin tune, “Mischa Jascha, Tascha, Sacha” — Perlman’s a great Gershwin fan … Roger Williams, donating his Steinway to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, will be playing his “favorite piano” at the Simi Valley Reagan site in a nonstop concert from 11 ayem June 12 to 11:05 p.m. … Perry Como will be remembered in L.A. Friday at the home of Felisa Vanoff, whose husband Nick started his career as Como’s cue card boy rising to his producer. (Perry sang the “Ave Maria” at Nick’s funeral). Those on hand who worked with Como will include Bob Finkel, Ray Charles, Danny Daniels, Buz Kohan, Joe Lipman, Peter Matz and Dwight Hemion. The funeral will be held in Jupiter, Fla. Friday, which would have been Como’s 89th birthday.

WHEN “I AM SAM” starring Sean Penn and Michelle Pfeiffer hits the nation’s screens this fall, there’ll be a tribute to L.A. Goals. That’s where Penn and many of the filmmakers researched the pic about an autistic man (Penn) and his relationships. So it was not surprising to see the pic’s co-screenwriter Kristine Johnson at the Skirball Cultural Center Tuesday night at the beginning of the L.A. Goals’ exhibit (until July 8) of the artistic creations of artists with developmental disabilities. The showing, spectacularly mounted by the Skirball resulted in over $10,000 in artworks sold — on the first night. On hand also were the artists, some of whom played roles opposite Penn in the pic produced by Ed Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz, Jessie Nelson (also directed), Rick Solomon, and David Rubin. The exhibit, titled “In Search of Home” was also a tribute to Jan Baum, whose gallery on La Brea has been home for a one-day exhibit for L.A. Goals for many years. … Also there, Susan Baerwald, former NBC vice president, also on the Goals board, who is readying a book of their artwork, titled, “Disabled Fables” — Aesop’s fables as seen by the eyes of the developmentally disabled. She became involved with L.A. Goals when she produced the NBC special “One Special Victory” starring John Larroquette. Among those taking bows were Petite Konstantin, Susan Wilder, Werner Wolfen and Skirball assistant curator Tal Gozani. Sony was a sponsor … Mike Farrell hosts tonight’s Women’s Rights Division of the Human Rights Watch CAA gathering starring Paula Poundstone, who is not returning to “To Tell The Truth” … George Schlatter receives the “Spirit Of Life” award June 4 at the BevWilshire … Anjelica Huston and Barbara Kruger receive the Museum of Contemporary Art Award to Distinguished Women today at the BevWilshire.