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Showbiz Today

Summer Movie Season Fails to Pack Theaters; CBS Hopes to Break 'Big Brother' Slump; Quin Twins Are One of a Kind Sister Act

Aired September 5, 2000 - 4:30 p.m. ET


JIM MORET, CO-HOST: Hi, everyone. I'm Jim Moret in Hollywood. Laurin Sydney is in New York.

Contenders for the box-office crown have taken another pom-pom pummeling. The cheerleaders of "Bring It On" finished number one again in another tepid weekend at the movies. This rah-rah film earned an estimated $14 million over the Labor Day weekend, pushing its total above the $36 million mark.

Now, "Bring It On" has been a welcome surprise in a summer that didn't bring them in as Hollywood has expected. Theater admissions fell to their lowest level in three years and revenue was down from last year.

Sherri Sylvester reports on a box-office season with more drizzle than sizzle.


SHERRI SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This summer, Hollywood faced its own mission improbable, trying to top 1999's record-breaking box office. And while "Mission: Impossible 2" is 2000's biggest success story, the rest of the summer slate failed to measure up.

PAUL DERGARABEDIAN, PRESIDENT, EXHIBITOR RELATIONS CO., INC.: This summer, we're going to wind up about 7 percent down on revenue and about 10-to-12 percent down in attendance.

SYLVESTER: Estimates put this summer's ticket take at about three billion dollars,, compared with $3.2 billion last year. But higher ticket prices in 2000 make the figures seem closer. The summer of '99 began with "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace" and ended with "The Blair Witch Project" and "The Sixth Sense," with no slowing down in between.

ANNE THOMPSON, "PREMIERE": Movies like "Tarzan" and "Big Daddy" and "Austin Powers" were wide, wide-appeal movies. They were PG-13. They went over with kids and families. They may have been slightly gross, but they didn't go too far.

SYLVESTER: This year, as in '99, the same number of films reached the $100 million mark, but "MI2" was the only one to hit $200 million. Films performed well, but failed to excite critics or movie- goers with the kind of buzz that makes a blockbuster.

DERGARABEDIAN: There's sort of a water-cooler effect that happens, where, you know, last year, if you hadn't seen "Austin Powers," you felt really left out. This year, "Survivor" was sort of that thing that you needed to be aware of to be able to talk about it with your colleagues and friends.

SYLVESTER: "Survivor" may have aired only once a week, but it did generate more buzz than any feature. "The Patriot" verses "The Perfect Storm" debate had a considerably shorter news cycle, as did talk of whether the "X-Men" would live up to the comic book that inspired it.

THOMPSON: "The Klumps" wasn't quite as big as it might have been. "Hollow Man" opened pretty well, but it wasn't "The Sixth Sense." You know, "Me, Myself & Irene" wasn't "Something About Mary."


MARLON WAYANS, ACTOR: Can I tell you a secret? I see dead people.


SYLVESTER: Some films did exceed expectations. "Scary Movie" is nearing a $150 million gross. "What Lies Beneath" tops $130 million, "Chicken Run," $100 million. But few had season-long staying power, and theater-owners are feeling the burn.

DERGARABEDIAN: There's about 38,000 theater screens in this country. It's very difficult to fill those if you're not generating excitement and you're not getting people into the theaters.

SYLVESTER: Theater-owners get a bigger percentage of profits the longer a film plays. This summer, both the Carmike and Edwards multiplex chains have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. And viewer interest in the Olympics and the presidential election could drive the box-office slump into fall.

Sherri Sylvester, CNN, Los Angeles.


LAURIN SYDNEY, CO-HOST: While the box office faced a harsh reality this summer, "Big Brother," CBS' reality show, is facing its own slump. With viewers dwindling, producers are pulling out all the stops to boost the show's ratings.

Jodi Ross has a "Big Brother" update.


JODI ROSS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Unlike that other small-screen sensation, "Big Brother" is barely surviving. Ratings have disappointed CBS. And even TV critics are struggling to watch. MARK SCHWED, "TV GUIDE": "Big Brother" is just getting more and more boring as each week passes, and as the viewers kick off the bad guys from the house, and we have less interest in people inside the house.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The houseguest to be banished is Brittany.


ROSS: The latest to leave the "Big Brother" compound is 25-year- old Brittany, but her eviction might have been a conspiracy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Brittany, see you later!

ROSS: Family and friends of houseguest George rallied his hometown of Rockford, Illinois. A free phone line was installed at a local bar and residents were encouraged to make the call.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Vote early, vote often, and vote Brittany.

LINDA, GEORGE'S FRIEND: We're going to save George and get Brittany out.

ROSS: Brittany's family and many viewers say playing the game this way is unfair, but...

SCHWED: All's fair in love and television. It doesn't seem fair, but you know what? That's the rules of the game. That's the way it's been set up. There's nothing CBS can do about it.

ROSS: And that's fine with CBS. A spokesperson for the network told CNN: No rules have been broken. "


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look in the mirror.



ROSS: With still another month to go, a last-ditch effort is being made to bring drama to the show. On Wednesday's episode, one "Big Brother" castmember will be offered $10,000 in cash to leave the house immediately and forego the grand prize.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm ready to leave the show because I don't want to do any more of this stuff.

ROSS: That person will be replaced by a 22-year-old woman named Beth, who the producers describe as -- quote -- "very attractive." Of course, she'll also be eligible for the half-a-million dollars.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "BIG BROTHER") UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because I want it more than anyone else.


ROSS: So who wants it the most? We'll have to wait and watch.

Jodi Ross, CNN Entertainment News, New York.


SYDNEY: Now, we don't have to wait any longer to get the inside scoop on the "Big Brother" house. Joining us now is Brittany Petros, the most recent evicted houseguest.



SYDNEY: I didn't think that we would see you so soon, actually, Brittany.

PETROS: Oh, well.

SYDNEY: So are you crying unfair for what George wife's did?

PETROS: I don't think that it was fair, but then again, I'm the one that's banished. I think what she did was pretty much as close to cheating as you can get without cheating. It's surprising. I had this idea of: George and his wife married 20 years, and three kids, from the small town, hard-working, and moral, all this kind of stuff. And I see these clips of these two years-olds: Press two now. Get off Brittany.

And you're going: What is this? You know.

SYDNEY: Is there any message that you would like to give to George's wife right now?

PETROS: I just -- I don't think money is worth it. I don't think money is worth your integrity. And I don't dollar signs in your eyes are a good thing to see. So...

SYDNEY: Speaking of money, the producers are now going to offer $10,000. And you said it's going to go to $20,000 if someone just wants to leave now. Do you think anyone is going to take that?

PETROS: I would be very surprised. They are so close. They are so close to the half-a-million. And we've been through so much. And I also think, when you are in the house, there is this feeling of us against the world. And I think everyone would bond together. And if somebody leaves, they might feel like they are a quitter, or quitting for the money. And I would be shocked if somebody took it.

SYDNEY: And what do you think about that they might bring a new person in? That seems totally inbalanced? PETROS: Yeah, that surprises me, because I think -- I thought that the point of it was to not have any outside influence. And obviously, this person is going to have some idea of what's going on. But, you know, I think it will spice things up, so we'll see.

SYDNEY: Absolutely. Spice things up: ratings, perhaps?

PETROS: Yeah, maybe.

SYDNEY: Brittany, although the name of the show is "Big Brother," kind of seemed a little bit freaked out certain hidden cameras and hidden mikes. Were you?


SYDNEY: Or did you know right off the bat?

PETROS: Well, we knew that they was hidden ones everywhere. I mean, most of them were. There was only a few that were visible, It would just take you back when, you know, you are in the mirror fixing your hair, and all of a sudden, you hear (UNINTELLIGIBLE). You're like: OK, I'm fixing my hair and there's the camera.

I mean, it was just -- sometimes you would block it out so much that it would just surprise you. And things that I would never think were TV-worthy end up on TV.

SYDNEY: Like what?

PETROS: Just dumb things, like when I was stretching, and when I couldn't sleep that one night, and my back hurt, and I was like stretching on the couch, and doing, you know, backflips stuff. I would never think that would never end up on TV. And I'm like: Oh, my God.

SYDNEY: And what about the fact, besides TV, that it goes out on the Internet?

PETROS: Yes, I guess that didn't concern me so much, because I figured if someone is watching on the Internet, they're always watching on the Internet. You know, or -- and they probably have a pretty good feel for what's going on. And if it's real time. I mean, I was doing that in the middle of the night. And I figured: Well, anybody else is up in the middle of the night doing something weird too, so...

SYDNEY: Time zones all over the world, all over the world.

PETROS: I know.

SYDNEY: All right, who is going to win?

PETROS: I don't know who is going to me, but I can tell you who I would like to.

SYDNEY: Who would you like to? PETROS: OK, well, I think of it as three winners. I would like it to be Eddie, Josh, and Curtis, as the three.

SYDNEY: But we know it can only be one.

PETROS: I -- OK -- I think all three of them have a very good heart and are real. And as far -- I would say Eddie, because he needs the money the most. And that's the main reason why I would pick him, because he needs it. But any of those three I would be very happy to see win.

SYDNEY: OK, well, we're happy to you see, Brittany.

PETROS: Thank you.

SYDNEY: Thank you for stopping by today.

And SHOWBIZ TODAY will be back with a lot more winners right after this, so don't go anywhere.

Dennis Franz's arresting performance in "NYPD Blue" wins him an Emmy nomination. And these twins have music fans seeing double.


MORET: Speaking of honors, by this time next week, Dennis Franz may have another Emmy to his name. He competes for television's highest award Sunday against the head of a Mafia clan and the American president, among others.

Paul Vercammen spent some time on the set with NYPD's man in blue.



DENNIS FRANZ, ACTOR: You're thinking of Milton Berle and the "Texaco Star Theater."


FRANZ: No? I guess you were right, I can't read your mind.


PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): "NYPD Blue"'s Dennis Franz is both liked and respected in show business circles. The two don't always meet. In Franz's case, likability and acting ability have made him a poster adult for Emmy hardware. His fellow actors have awarded Franz four trophies for "NYPD Blue" and nominated him seven times, including this year.

FRANZ: That in itself is such a huge reward, you know, to be recognized by your peer group and in our particular case, this being the 7th year of the show, this -- you know, this might be the most satisfying one.


FRANZ: I figure, I'm a split personality. I sleepwalk, where I did something to you I have no recollection of.


VERCAMMEN: This Vietnam War veteran plays the veteran, complex and tortured, Andy Sipowicz, always trying to be a good police officer and decent human being, and sometimes failing.

FRANZ: I'm fortunate in the sense that people want to stick around and share the misery that Sipowicz has to deal with on a weekly basis for this long a time.

VERCAMMEN: Some fans saw a softer side of Franz in "City of Angels."


FRANZ: Nathaniel Messenger, glutton, hedonist, former celestial body, recent addition to the human race.


VERCAMMEN: Franz has the reputation of helping elevate the performance of other actors. He'll even fix a reporter's tie. Perhaps he's a natural leader and a playmaker.

FRANZ: That's where I was going to get into, was sports, and football was one of the sports that I was interested in. And, yes, I was a quarterback for two years in the high school team.

VERCAMMEN: Franz's choice to pursue acting at first stunned his father, a blue-collar German immigrant, postal worker.

FRANZ: He scratched his head and thought, oh my, where did I go wrong? What did I do here, you know? What's my boy doing to me? Unfortunately, he's no longer with us. He passed away years ago, but long enough to see that his only boy was going to do OK in this business.

VERCAMMEN: Translation of that understatement: an Emmy nomination for every single season of "NYPD Blue."


FRANZ: OK, Katie, OK, Katie.


VERCAMMEN: Franz, the man with a silver badge and a heart of gold.

(on camera): ... for this year is pretty well set. FRANZ: Let me straighten this tie.


FRANZ: all right.

VERCAMMEN (voice-over): Paul Vercammen, CNN Entertainment News, Hollywood.


MORET: For much more on Dennis Franz and TV's biggest awards show, go to and click on to our special Emmy page. It's got trivia, games and the inside scoop on all of the nominees, including outstanding made-for-TV movie. Here's a look at that category.


ELLEN DEGENERES, ACTRESS: It's all from love. How can that be wrong?

SHARON STONE, ACTRESS: You're going to be a great mom.

DEGENERES: I hope so.



LIEV SCHREIBER, ACTOR: Along the way, I think we just might discover something amazing together.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: That's swell, Orson. Now, where do you want to put the camera?




JACK LEMMON, ACTOR: Sometimes I see myself dancing, and I think, wow, oh, boy. I don't have ALS after all. It's a big mistake. It's all part of a lovely fantasy.



ALICIA MORTON, ACTRESS (singing): The sun will come out tomorrow, so you have to hang on until tomorrow.



HALLE BERRY, ACTRESS (singing): If you can hear the whistle blow, it ain't too far.



SYDNEY: The wacky Dweezil Zappa is celebrating his 31st birthday today. Raquel Welch, still sexy at 60. And lovable Bob Newhart is 71.


SYDNEY: And cheers to them. A peppy squad of attractive young women is part of a Web site that is getting a lot of attention. puts models under the kind of surveillance that may remind you of "Big Brother."

Dennis Michael reports for "SHOWBIZ Online."


NARRATOR: Do you want to be a model?

DENNIS MICHAEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Reality-show fans can look inside the secret world of models.

HUNT LOWRY, ROCKCITY.COM FOUNDER: Go with them to a casting audition, go with them to a runway show, you know, go with them to a party.

MICHAEL: Entertainment portal teamed up with the firm L.A. Models for the series.

SCOTT MATTINGLY, "L.A. MODELS" PRODUCER: Basically, each episode, you get to know a little bit more about the models. You get to know how they're doing in the industry, as well as you get to know how they're doing in their life.

MICHAEL: Sixteen-year-old Amie was unfazed by the extra cameras on her.

AMIE CARTWRIGHT, MODEL, L.A. MODELS: You know, it's like starting, like, a whole new thing, like TV, when they first introduced it. You know, anybody who was on TV, it was just like: that's amazing.

And now I get to start out with this whole new generation, where people might be watching their Internet more than they'll be watching, like, a TV set.

MICHAEL: Twenty-seven episodes are in Web rotation, and RockCity is shopping the series to television. These models might soon jump from virtual to actual reality. This is "SHOWBIZ Online."


SYDNEY: Wednesday on SHOWBIZ, Renee Zellweger is on the run from hit man Morgan Freeman and Chris Rock in "Nurse Betty," and Doris Roberts turns her performance as Ray Romano's nagging mom into an Emmy nomination.


MORET: Popular music has had its share of sister acts, the Sledge and Pointer siblings come to mind.

But the Quin sisters of Canada are taking it a step further. They're identical twins. Dennis Michael reports on the pair, who make music to the power of two.



MICHAEL (voice-over): Tegan and Sara Quin are not your average 19-year-old singer-songwriters. These Canadian-born identical twins offer something new to the teen music scene, where boy bands dance and young divas rule.

TEGAN QUIN, MUSICIAN: We can't dance...


TEGAN QUIN: Well, we can't dance and sing and play guitar at the same time. So, you know, I think that that stuff is entertainment, and that's what you pay to see.

TEGAN AND SARA QUIN (singing): So I got a real job, working 9:00 to 9:00. I'm making five bucks an hour until the day I die. Got a strong side of me, I'm doing just fine...

MICHAEL: Just fine is something of an understatement. Tegan and Sara are spending their summer vacation on tour with The Pretenders and Neil Young.

TEGAN QUINN: When you say Neil Young and The Pretenders no one goes, "Who?" So that's scary.

SARA QUIN: It's pretty cool.

I'm excited. I'm excited. I'm just nervous/excited. I don't know.

TEGAN QUIN: Say "excited" a couple more times.

MICHAEL: Their album, "The Business of Art," went on sale in July.


MICHAEL: Tegan and Sara have two distinctly different voices, and struggle to remain distinct in other ways.

TEGAN QUIN: She had really long hair and I had short hair, but I can tell you right now, that a lot of the pressure to look the same comes from the music business.

MICHAEL: Tegan and Sarah are each others' toughest critics.

TEGAN QUIN: Sarah brings me a new song and I'm like, you should do this, she gets up and leaves the room and I'm like...

SARA QUIN: It has to be really emotionally done.

MICHAEL: Though their future in the music business is uncertain, Tegan and Sara intend to stay true to themselves.

TEGAN QUIN: We look great in bathing suits, so -- second video, bathing suits.

SARA QUIN: "Thong Song." We got Sisqo to come out and -- cool.

MICHAEL: Dennis Michael, CNN Entertainment News, Hollywood.


SYDNEY: Two for the price of one. That's it for now, but tomorrow on SHOWBIZ, Renee Zellweger is "Nurse Betty," and we will have more on the actress' new film.

Until next time, I'm Laurin Sydney in New York.

MORET: And in Hollywood, I'm Jim Moret. We leave you now with more music from Tegan and Sara. Hope you enjoy.




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