March 23, 1998 12:00 PM

Magic Johnson has finally settled on the digs for The Magic Hour, his syndicated talk show that debuts in June, and he should feel right at home. He’ll be taping the show where his longtime pal Arsenio Hall enjoyed a five-year run—on Stage 29 of the Paramount lot—and where Magic often visited. So what advice did Hall, who is currently filming a CBS pilot for a one-hour series, give his buddy? “I told him everyone loves a man in a suit,” says Hall. “We found the numbers for my show were directly related to what I wore: higher when I wore suits and lower when I wore hip-hop clothes.” But Magic’s off to a strong start. “It took me a long time to get my first major guests,” says Hall. “But Magic got Mel Gibson and Cher for his pilot. They broke their butts to help him out. I didn’t get that when I started.”…

When Tim Allen broke the sitcom-payment ceiling in January to earn $1.25 million per episode as the star of Home Improvement, a couple of his costars started wondering when they’d share the wealth. For example, after Allen’s stratospheric salary, the pay drops to the low six figures and a percentage of profits for Patricia Richardson, who plays his TV wife, and below that for costar Richard Karn and the three young actors, including Jonathan Taylor Thomas, who play Allen’s kids. New contract negotiations start in April. “It’s not adversarial on the set,” a source says. “They realize it’s Tim’s show. But some of the cast think it would be fair to spread the wealth around.”…

Jennifer Love Hewitt, the 19-year-old star of TV’s Party of Five who also appeared in the hit horror flick I Know What You Did Last Summer, is joining the ranks of teen moguls with development deals. Hewitt says the idea for a romantic screen comedy entitled Cupid’s Love, which she will executive-produce and star in, came to her in a dream. “It will be her first adult role,” says her spokesperson of the New Line Cinema film, which begins shooting next year. Hewitt, who’s also a singer with three CDs, seems to have it all these days, except for one thing: a driver’s license. She got her learner’s permit but hasn’t taken a road test….

The Insider recently noted that all presenters and Oscar-night performers receive a goody basket filled with cool stuff like a silver champagne cork. Now comes the news that the hoi polloi who sit on bleachers outside the Shrine Auditorium to cheer the stars’ arrival will get goodies too. All 1,000 fans will munch on a boxed KFC dinner. In addition to chicken and cole slaw, they’ll receive a survival kit with hats and T-shirts—useful items for fans who stake out spots early Sunday morning for the Monday night ceremony.

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