GOOD MORNING: The Kodak Theater, home to the Oscars, gets a new look for the AFI’s Life Achievement Awards June 12, honoring Tom Hanks. The orchestra seats will be scaffolded and tiered with 50 tables seating 12 each, connecting up to the stage, which will hold another 50 tables of 12 seats; grand total 1,200 attending. The AFI’s Jean Firstenberg reminded that the Oscar theater-style seating held 3,200. Attendees will enter the theater on Hollywood Boulevard and of course will be reminded of the traffic in the area — the event starts at 6 p.m. on a Wednesday night. No stores on the boulevard will be asked to shutter — but two lanes of traffic on Hollywood will be closed. No shops along the red carpet leading into the theater will be closed. And fans will be allowed to border the red carpet — although they’ll be separated by stanchions from the VIP arrivees. Yes, there will be security checks. The show is exec produced by Gary Smith, Bob Gazzale is producer-writer and Louis J. Horvitz is the TV director. Art director Rene Lagler will convert the look of the stage (which will include a 16-by-30-foot screen) and theater. The show will air June 24 on USA. Honoree Tom Hanks receives his award from Steven Spielberg. And five others who directed Hanks in two films, will participate: Bob Zemeckis, Ron Howard, Nora Ephron, Penny Marshall and John Lassiter (the two “Toy Story” pix). A close friend of Hanks, Steve Martin, will open the show. Wolfgang Puck will again please the palates of the salivating showbiz black-tie’d house. And, oh yes, everyone will be required to enter through metal detectors. It’s the new way of life, y’know. The AFI Life Achievement Award show is the only motion picture award show permitted in the Oscar-contracted Kodak. The other AFI shows do not have that OK. Other awards-type shows are OK’d in the house — but not during the first quarter of the year — when Oscar’s warming up.
QVC AND THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY FOUNDATION team for the fifth annual QVC Cure by the Shore, this year shifting from Cannes to Malibu. The beneficiary is the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Tom Sherak is co-chair with EIF’s Lisa Paulson. His daughter Melissa Sherak Resnick has MS. During the June 1 party in Malibu, QVC will offer millions of $ in items on the live telecast (10-1 PST, 1-4 EST). Don Diamont of “The Young and the Restless” will guest host the event (he has a family member with MS) and Judy Crowell is QVC’s on-air talent. Items to be auctioned — at half retail price — range from Burberry, Carrera, Christian Dior. Gucci, Kate Spade, Valentino, Bob Mackie/Elaine Lai, Givenchy, Joan Rivers, Kenneth Cole, Smashbox, Sun Labs, Tommy Hilfiger, etc. Tony Danza volunteered for a print ad, and Calista Flockhart did a vidcommercial… And young William Sherak has co-founded the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s EIF Genesis organization. It brings together the next generation of entertainment industry leadership to help continue the philanthropic mission of the Entertainment Industry Foundation. It is recruiting entertainment industry members under 35 years to make a lifelong positive impact on humanity. The EIF Genesis continues the legacy of connecting caring entertainment industry members with vital charitable causes in our community
ANGELA LANSBURY RETURNS to her “Murder, She Wrote” sleuthing in “The Celtic Riddle,” a two-hour Universal telepic for CBS. It will be shot here, with Angela winging to Ireland for a few days of covering shots. Son Anthony Shaw directs and Charles Engel is exec producer… “Would you believe it?” asks Jerry Weintraub, a graduate of Taft High School in the Bronx, who speaks at Stanford U.’s Business School Distinguished Lecture series today … LeVar Burton is at P.S. 234, the United Nations and Hastings-on-Hudson Firehouse Ladder Co. No. 1 this week shooting segs for the “Reading Rainbow,” the excellent PBS children’s programs in its 19th season with celeb narrators including Jeff Bridges, Ed Harris, Regina King and Naomi Judd … At the June 1 Stella Adler Awards at the Highlands, James Coburn receives an Adler Lifetime Achievement award, Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas get the Adler Angel Award … Valentino — who has been creating (since November 2001) Claudia Schiffer’s gown for her Saturday wedding to producer Matthew Vaughn — wings from Rome to attend … Shirley Jones inked for 10 stands at Harrah’s hotels. Jones, 68, who co-starred with Robert Preston in Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man,” attended (with Marty Ingels) the 100th-anni celebration of Willson’s life in Mason City, Iowa, where a statue of Willson was unveiled … Florence Henderson sings “America the Beautiful” at the Indianapolis 500 Sunday, where Nicole Brink, Mrs. World/Mrs. America, rides in the celebrity lap around the track She’s kicking off a campaign by Mrs. America and Procter & Gamble to educate about osteoporosis prevention… “What Baseball Means to Me: A Celebration of Our National Pastime” (Warner Books), includes stories about the game by Dave Barry, Tom Brokaw, George Bush, Rudy Giuliani, Dan Rather, Elmore Leonard, Ann Richards — and a poem by thesp David Birney about himself and son Peter at age 10 at a ballgame. It’s something both will always remember–so will all fathers and sons.