By Tom Cunneff
July 15, 2002 12:00 PM

When CSI: Crime Scene Investigation creator Anthony E. Zuiker recently heard that Kim Delaney might be interested in headlining CSI: Miami, the CBS casting people recommended that he write her a “woo letter.” He did, but when he began his missive with “Dear Goddess,” the network brass asked him to change it, fearing the actress might take offense. Zuiker refused, saying if she couldn’t take a little kidding she wasn’t right for the show. Later, when Delaney met with Zuiker for dinner, she told him she got a kick out of the appellation but was a little freaked by a razor blade that was inadvertently dropped into the packet during packaging. She took the job and will costar with another NYPD Blue alum, David Caruso, in the drama, which airs in September.

Need to lose a few pounds? Try the Will Smith Diet Deal, which worked wonders for a friend of the MIBII star. When Kurt Alexander, an L.A. hip-hop station deejay known as Big Boy, had ballooned to 510 lbs., Smith became concerned for his health, so he gave him a challenge last December. If Alexander lost 50 lbs., he would donate $50,000 to the deejay’s favorite charity. Alexander did better than that. He has lost 96 lbs., and when he sheds another four, Smith will present him with a check for $100,000 to be split among a few charities. “I’ve got to start sending him pizzas to protect my money,” Smith tells us with a laugh.

Singer Chris Isaak got to surf with four-time world champ Layne Beachley while touring Australia in June. A surfer for 25 years, Isaak was making an appearance at a music store in Sydney when Beachley approached him and invited him to go surfing. The next day the pair went to Manly Beach but Isaak didn’t really see much of her, he tells me, because Beachley was always on a wave while he was bobbing in the ocean “like a cork.” “It was fun to see this petite woman kick butt,” says Isaak, whose Showtime series The Chris Isaak Show has its season finale July 9. “The guys out there got a real attitude adjustment.”

Chinese actress Bai Ling left for her homeland on July 2 to try and save her career there. Since the Communist government has opened up its borders, many films are now being shot in China, but authorities have told filmmakers that Ling is persona non grata. The government is still angry that Red Corner, the 1997 drama costarring Ling and Richard Gere that was critical of the Chinese judicial system, was timed to be released in the U.S. during the visit of President Jiang Zemin. Ling, 31, now an American citizen who lives in Los Angeles, has apologized in writing, saying it was never her intention to disrespect China. Since no reprieve was forthcoming, Ling felt a personal visit with the minister of culture might help her case.