December 15, 1998 12:00 AM

While it may be too early to predict the success of Bryant Gumbel’s return to morning TV, CBS pulled out all the stops for its debut today of “The Early Show” with Bryant Gumbel and Jane Clayson. “The Early Show” began with a solemn welcome leading into a report on the investigation of Sunday’s crash of EgyptAir flight 990 but later included segments on the show’s set and location (near Central Park South), a set interview with Mel Gibson and a live, short interview with landlord Donald Trump. After a public disappointment last week — losing guest Mariah Carey to Bryant’s old show “Today” when a performance permit wasn’t obtained in time — Gumbel bagged a bigger guest: the President. In the interview (billed as exclusive), taped Sunday in the Oval Office before the President’s departure for Oslo for Middle East talks, Gumbel questioned Clinton on the air crash, the Middle East, the upcoming Presidential race, his wife Hillary’s run for a Senate seat in New York, and his return to public life. And, proving that his mind may still be on the golf course, Gumbel invited Clinton to play a few rounds with him in New York.

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