L.A.'s business elite came out to celebrate Cheryl Saban's newest book "What Is Your Self Worth? A Woman's Guide to Validation" at a party hosted by Saban's husband, media mogul Haim Saban, former studio executive Sherry Lansing and Beverly Hills socialite Lili Bosse. The April 23 event was at Wolfgang Puck's WP Restaurant in the Pacific Design Center, where guests nibbled on Chinese chicken salad, vegetable pot stickers, beef short ribs, bite-size hamburgers, and indulged in chocolate truffles and champagne.

The crowd of 350 included: California first lady Maria Shriver; former Univision Chairman Jerry Perenchio; philanthropist Barbara Davis; novelist Jackie Collins; political pundit and Huffington Post founder Ariana Huffington; legendary actor Sidney Poitier; Universal Studios President Ron Meyer; former Gov. Gray Davis; musician Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds; actress Fran Drescher; "Entertainment Tonight" host Mary Hart; television personality Leeza Gibbons; "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" producer George Schlatter; LAPD Chief William Bratton; and Bratton's wife, legal commentator Rikki Klieman.

Cheryl Saban spent the evening thanking her guests for attending while Haim Saban chatted animatedly with Huffington on a nearby couch.

Children's Hour

Some executives do extensive research before deciding which venture to tackle next. But sometimes it's enough just to listen to their kids.

That's the case with Mark Burnett, president of Mark Burnett Productions. Burnett is perhaps best known as the producer of smash-hit realty TV shows such as "Survivor" and "The Apprentice." But he recently agreed to produce something different for him: the MTV Movie Awards.

Why? "Because my kids said, 'Dad, if you don't take this gig, we're going to kill you,'" Burnett recently told an audience at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Burnett was part of a panel on the future of reality TV that included Tyra Banks, "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" producer Michael Davies and "Big Brother" executive producer Allison Grodner. The event was sponsored by the Hollywood Radio & Television Society.

And the movie awards aren't the only time his kids have influenced Burnett. He also admitted he's producing a new show with one of the stars of MTV's "The Hills" because of his daughter. "She loves that show."

USC Coach Punts

At the annual Milken Institute Global Conference last week, business leaders packed into the Beverly Hilton Hotel to hear from luminaries such as Eli Broad, Steve Forbes and Pete Carroll?

In a discussion with other sports leaders, USC's successful football coach was put on the spot by moderator and NBC broadcaster Jim Gray, who asked Carroll if he would do away with the controversial college football Bowl Championship Series system in favor of playoffs. President Obama has said he would like to see a playoff system, and USC has gotten bad breaks in recent years as a result of the BCS rules.

"Ask coach," Carroll said dryly, drawing laughs as he passed the question on to Mike Krzyzewski, Duke University men's basketball coach, who was sitting to Carroll's left.

Carroll ultimately answered the question. "It just seems so logical," he said of a playoff system. "I mean, the president wants it."

Reporters Alexa Hyland, Charles Proctor and Richard Clough contributed to this column. Page 3 is compiled by Editor Charles Crumpley. He can be reached at ccrumpley@labusinessjournal.com.

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