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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

What's the Buzz?

Aired June 20, 2003 - 20:55   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: What is the buzz? It is time to check out what the buzz is around the country. I have a couple of topics in mind. Al Gore's reported interest in a cable television network, for one, and for another, what's so special about "Friends" star Jennifer Aniston? Besides, of course, the fact she's talented, funny, probably very, very rich, married to Brad Pitt and easy on the eyes. Besides that, though, "Forbes" magazine puts Aniston at the top of its list of hot celebrities, ahead of Eminem, Dr. Dre, Tiger Woods, Steven Spielberg and Jennifer Lopez.
So let's bring in our panel of "What's the Buzz?" experts to talk about this. From "The Washington Post," the "Reliable Source" columnist Lloyd Grove. In Los Angeles, "Variety" senior columnist Army Archerd. And here with me in New York, Michael Musto of "The Village Voice."

Michael, let's start off with you. What about it? Jennifer Aniston, why is she at the top of this list?

MICHAEL MUSTO, VILLAGE VOICE: She's everybody's imaginary best friend. She's likable. She projects an every day Jane quality. She also nabbed Brad Pitt. She domesticated him. That makes her enviable to a lot of people. She's way preferable to, let's say, Britney Spears at this point, who is at a crossroads, if I can use the name of her (UNINTELLIGIBLE) movie...

COOPER: Oh, very cleverly worked in there.

MUSTO: ... which I saw in her career.

COOPER: So you were the one.

MUSTO: Yes, and I paid, too. And she's currently re-evaluating her image and doing more introspective song writing, I'm sure.

COOPER: But now, there were -- or, at least you say introspective song writing for the first time -- there were some people who were on the list who are no longer there. Tom Cruise, I believe, who else, Madonna didn't make the list. What happened?

MUSTO: Well, two words for Madonna, "Swept Away." Again, I'm the only one that saw it and liked it. But also, her album "American Life" kind of fell off the charts when she pulled the video for that song because it was controversial. So she's pulling her punches for the first time and she's losing popularity as a result. Tom Cruise's last movie was "Minority Report," which didn't bowl everybody over. His wife I'm sure will -- his ex-wife, Nicole Kidman, will be on the list next year and I don't think he will.

COOPER: Let's go to L.A. Army Archerd, were you surprised by this list? Do you think it's just nonsense?

ARMY ARCHERD, VARIETY MAGAZINE: Well, it's all nonsense unless you believe it. And of course, everyone would like to believe that about Jennifer Aniston because she's so well liked, because she and Brad Pitt are like a new American first family, like Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. of way, way, way back. But they're really well liked, well loved. And very well paid.

COOPER: Well, they certainly are that. No argument there. Now, Army, you in the "Variety" I saw you wrote an article about this Max Factor heir. Apparently, there are already some movies in the works. Tell us about it.

ARCHERD: Well, this movie was -- is in the works up in Canada. They only had about four or five days left to go, and they had already shot a sequence showing the real Andrew Luster and asking people to be on the lookout for him, to see if they could find him and please report to the authorities. And of course, he was captured in Puerto Vallarta and now they are going to have to redo their ending. They're actually going to build a set showing a prison in Puerta Vallarta. And they will also show a real scene showing of him as well. So it is the best laid plans of mice and men often could go awry, as certainly happened in this case.

COOPER: I guess they're going to have to get a new character to play this bounty hunter, this "Dog" Chapman, who is quite a character out of a movie himself. I'm not sure who is going to play that, but that will certainly be interesting to see.

Let's go to Washington now, Lloyd Grove. Let's talk a little bit about Al Gore possibly getting into cable TV. What's that about?

LLOYD GROVE, WASHINGTON POST: Well, this is a subject he's been interested ever since college. He wrote his senior thesis at Harvard on television and the impact on politics. But the question is, if Al Gore starts a cable television network, is it commercially viable? I mean, he's not an entrepreneur, he's a politician, he kind of has an academic turn of mind and he's been consulting all this kind of noncommercial people, although recently he did have dinner with NBC Entertainment President Jeff Zucker, but I think that was more to discuss his daughter Kristen, who is a writer on "Futurama" and some pitch she had before NBC.

COOPER: Sorry, in the paper yesterday, I think you wrote with some possible programming ideas for Al Gore TV. I think we're going to put them up on the screen. I enjoyed them. Tell us a little bit about them.

GROVE: Well, there they are.

COOPER: Recount. Let's see.

GROVE: Tipper's banned record party. Miami fraud, a political crime drama. These are just ideas I had for programming. But now I think maybe a good commercial basis for him would be celebrity nude camp. I think that would work for him.

COOPER: Michael Musto, would you watch?

MUSTO: As long as he's not on it, Al Gore that is, because he's very un-telegenic. I think Michael Moore and Jeanine Garofalo are naturals for that channel. And me. Put me on, Al.

COOPER: And you?

ARCHERD: Al Gore has a lot of friends in Hollywood who would be very helpful with him on television. They've given him a lot of, a lot of assistance. You can be sure of that.

COOPER: So you think it could be a reality, it could happen?

GROVE: I don't.

ARCHERD: Anything can happen on television.

COOPER: All right. We're going to leave it there. Gentlemen, appreciate you joining us. Lloyd Grove, Army Archerd, Michael Musto, always good. Thank you.

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