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STARS TO LEND TIME FOR MS FOUNDATION.

Byline: - Staff and Wire Reports

Smokey Robinson, Donna Summer and Don Henley are scheduled to perform at the ninth annual ``Race to Erase MS'' benefit on May 10 at the Century Plaza Hotel & Spa.

The Nancy Davis Foundation for Multiple Sclerosis, which is dedicated to the treatment and ultimate cure of the disease, will be the beneficiary of the event, hosted by Sela Ward.

She will be joined by celebrity auctioneers Tom Arnold, Tony Danza and Bill Maher and guests Jennifer and Sylvester Stallone, Dustin Hoffman, Ben Stiller, Teri Garr and Montel Williams, among others.

Tommy Hilfiger will oversee a fashion show that will encompass the evening's ``Peace and Love to Erase MS'' theme and feature the cast of ``That '70s Show'' and other celebrity models.

The Nancy Davis Center Without Walls is a collaboration of the world's leading MS research scientists representing the University of California, San Francisco; Harvard University's Brigham and Women's Hospital; Yale University; the Cleveland Clinic; Oregon Health Science University; and USC.

BURY WHAT HATCHET?: Louis Rukeyser, still angry over his dismissal from PBS' ``Wall Street Week,'' is trumping his former network - on its Orange County affiliate, anyway.

This weekend, about a month after he split with PBS, he is launching his new CNBC program, ``Louis Rukeyser's Wall Street.'' At 6:30 p.m. Saturday, KOCE in Huntington Beach will begin running it, too; the station is one of the PBS affiliates accepting CNBC's invitation to carry the program for free. It follows the regular ``Wall Street Week'' program, now being helmed by guest hosts.

KCET in Los Angeles has not yet decided whether to pick up the new Rukeyser program, according to spokeswoman Barbara Goen.

FETE FOR BENNETT: The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers will present its Pied Piper Award to Tony Bennett.

Lyricist Marilyn Bergman, ASCAP's president and board chairman, said the presentation will take place at ASCAP's 19th annual Pop Music Awards on May 20 at the Beverly Hilton.

Artist k.d. lang will be on hand to join ASCAP in honoring Bennett, who will be recognized ``for his consummate musical artistry and extraordinary career as the foremost interpreter of the 'Great American Songbook.' ''

Bennett ``has touched audiences for over five decades during his remarkable career,'' Bergman said. ``Tony is a true musical treasure and one of the best friends a song ever had.''

Previous recipients of the ASCAP Pied Piper award include Fred Astaire, Rosemary Clooney, Peggy Lee, Bob Hope, Lena Horne, Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand.

Established in 1914, ASCAP currently has more than 130,000 active composer, lyricist and music publisher members.

ALL-STAR ENDGAME: How would the villainous Richard Hatch do against sweet-talking schemer Tina Wesson? Can you imagine Susan Hawk from the first ``Survivor'' dressing down Rob Mariano from the current show?

Such what-ifs could happen. ``Survivor'' executive producer Mark Burnett said this week he's planning an all-star edition matching memorable players from past editions of the game. He'd like to make the alumni game sometime next year.

Burnett wouldn't be limited just to the players who won. He would have free rein to match his favorite personalities, and said most would love to do it again.

The current, fourth edition of ``Survivor,'' on the South Pacific island of Marquesas, has represented something of a critical comeback for the show. Burnett conceded that the third ``Survivor,'' in Africa, didn't resonate quite as well with viewers.

``I loved it, but clearly from a viewer's point of view, it was a bit harsh, there wasn't enough chemistry, and we could have used the water challenges,'' he said.

CBS is planning to shoot the concluding episode of the current ``Survivor'' in New York City's Central Park, if permissions could be granted. The last two final shows were shot in Los Angeles.

Burnett recently received government approval from Thailand to shoot another ``Survivor'' edition on a tropical island there. He wouldn't confirm that's where ``Survivor 5'' will be, saying he's also scouted locations in the Amazon.

And he said he's continuing to pursue a deal with Russian authorities to shoot a reality show in space. A previous agreement fell through, literally, when the Mir space station fell to Earth.

CARTOON KAFKA: Kelsey Grammer is taking a second job in television - as an animated rat.

The ``Frasier'' star's production company is making a new cartoon, ``Gary the Rat,'' that will debut on TNN next year. Grammer will provide the voice of the lead character.

Gary is described as a New York attorney so evil that one day he wakes up and he's no longer human.

``He becomes the most sought-after lawyer once it is discovered he is actually a rat,'' Grammer said Tuesday.

The cable network is hoping to launch a prime-time night of cartoons next year. It has acquired the rights to ``The Ren & Stimpy Show'' and hopes to persuade its creator, John Kricfalusi, to make more episodes. Also in production is ``Stripperella,'' a cartoon from ``Spider-Man'' co-creator Stan Lee that features Pamela Anderson as a stripper who moonlights as a superhero.

TNN is the former Nashville Network that, since its purchase by Viacom, has repositioned itself as a network for young men. It is debuting two other new series in the fall: ``Oblivious,'' a game show where contestants don't even know they're playing, and ``Slam Ball,'' a basketball game played on trampolines.

THE CELEBRITY-BABY BEAT: Actor Johnny Depp and his longtime love, French actress-songer Vanessa Paradis, announced Wednesday the birth of their second child.

The couple's son, Jack John Christopher Depp III, was born April 9 in Paris, according to Los Angeles-based publicist Tracy Shaffer.

Mother and son are doing great, according to Shaffer.

Big sister Lily-Rose, who was also born in Paris, will be 3 years old next month.

Also Wednesday, ``ER'' star Noah Wyle and his wife, Tracy, announced they are expecting their first child in late November.

The couple will be married two years in May.

``The couple is happy to report that Tracy is feeling great and that they are both thrilled with the upcoming new addition,'' said publicist Eddie Michaels.

Tracy Wyle is a makeup artist.

Wyle has played Dr. John Carter on the NBC medical drama for eight years.

His upcoming big-screen releases include ``Enough,'' opposite Jennifer Lopez and Billy Campbell, and ``White Oleander,'' with Renee Zellweger and Michelle Pfeiffer.

CAPTION(S):

4 photos

Photo:

(1) Louis Rukeyser is offering his new CNBC show, ``Louis Rukeyser's Wall Street,'' to PBS affiliates for free.

Lisa Helfert/Associated Press

(2) Smokey Robinson heads a list of names scheduled to perform May 10 at the ``Race to Erase MS'' benefit.

Robert Mecea/Associated Press

(3) ASCAP will give its Pied Piper award to Tony Bennett.

(4) Kelsey Grammer will provide the voice for ``Gary the Rat.''

Kevork Djansezian/Associated Press
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Apr 18, 2002
Words:1135
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