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Jennifer Lopez Releases New Album; `NYPD Blue` Airs Final Episode; Should FCC Crack Down on Indecency on Cable?

Aired March 1, 2005 - 19:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: We`re live for the biggest drop in Times Square since New Year`s Eve.
KARYN BRYANT, CO-HOST: And singin` the blues. It`s the end of an era on television. I`m Karyn Bryant.

HAMMER: And I`m A.J. Hammer. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Tonight, get right over to Times Square. J.Lo`s new record is dropping, and we`re there live.

BRYANT: All hail the queen. Queen Latifah, up close and personal, tonight on "Tuesday In Style."

HAMMER: Leann Rimes in the driver`s seat. She was a country star before she could drive. Tonight, she talks about driving the music on her new record.

BRYANT: Tonight`s "SHOWBIZ Showdown." Imagine "The Sopranos" without all the effin` cursin`. The indecency crackdown: Should cable TV be next?

HAMMER: Fade to blue. "NYPD Blue" star Gordon Clapp tells me about the end of the show and the new beat he`ll be walking now.


LEANN RIMES, COUNTRY SINGER: Hi, everyone. I`m Leann Rimes. If it happened today, it`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


BRYANT: Hello, everybody. I am Karyn Bryant, and you`re at the top of the show.

HAMMER: And I`m A.J. Hammer. We`re live with you from Headline Prime studios in New York City for the next hour.

BRYANT: Tonight it`s Jennifer Lopez`s "Rebirth." And right now in Times Square, her fans are going wild over J.Lo.

HAMMER: Yes, her new album, "Rebirth," drops today, and J.Lo is riding high in the heart of New York City to get things going with a record signing. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s David Haffenreffer -- I`m so excited that you`re in the middle of it all. It must be like Times Square New Year`s Eve out there.

DAVID HAFFENREFFER, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT: It actually is, I think, except for it`s not New Year`s Eve, of course. Everybody down here, of course, celebrating the release of this new album, called "Rebirth." It was a little bit busy, a little bit chaotic here earlier today in front of the Virgin megastore as fans began to gather outside the store, awaiting Jennifer Lopez`s arrival. She had done a brief visit over with the folks from MTV at "TRL" -- "Total Request Live" -- across the street. Shortly thereafter, she literally walked across Times Square, into the Virgin megastore, descended down to the lower level, where she is currently signing those albums at the moment.

Fans are thrilled to see it. It is a 12-track album. It is her fifth album. And she`s sold about 35 million CDs in her music career thus far. She is very excited about this particular release. In fact, she even had an opportunity to work with her new husband, Marc Anthony, on this album, as well as some of her former producers from older albums.

We had a chance to catch up with her earlier inside the store, and we`ll bring you that interview a bit later on in the program. Back to you in the studio.

HAMMER: All right, David. Be careful out there. David Haffenreffer in Times Square -- Karyn.

BRYANT: No new album for Usher tonight. Instead, it`s an NBA basketball team. You heard me right, one of the world`s biggest pop stars is now on the same team as the world`s biggest basketball star. Earlier today, Usher officially became a part owner of LeBron James`s team -- that, of course, the Cleveland Cavaliers. As part owner, he says he plans to help in improving the game experience and getting the team involved in the community.


USHER, PART OWNER, CLEVELAND CAVALIERS: I`m interested in making sound moves, as a young man, and being a part of strong teams. Cleveland, you know, just from afar, as a fan -- and I`d seen the progress made in a very short amount of time. So when the opportunity permitted itself, I jumped right in.


BRYANT: And coming up, find out what Usher says is his next career goal.

HAMMER: Well, we have big TV news tonight. And how the once-mighty NBC has fallen. Nielsen ratings out late this afternoon show that for first time ever, Fox finished a sweeps month in first place. And for the first time ever, NBC finished in fourth. With a boost from "American Idol" and the Super Bowl, Fox was No. 1 in primetime in February. However, if you do take the Super Bowl out of the mix, Fox would have finished third. But as they say, a win is a win is a win.

BRYANT: Tonight: Cable TV may be next in the crackdown on indecency. Can you imagine "The Sopranos" all cleaned up? Well, Alaska Republican senator Ted Stevens said today that he wants to bring cable TV under the same indecency standards as regular broadcast channels. Now, if that happened, the FCC could then fine cable operators for profanity or nudity. So we`re going to be all over that story tonight with our debate in tonight`s "SHOWBIZ Showdown." The question -- Indecency crackdown: Should cable TV be next? We kick off our debate at 15 past the hour.

Of course, we want to know what you think, so please take our poll at or e-mail us at, and we will read some of those e-mails later on.

HAMMER: Well, after 262 episodes, 82 Emmy nominations, 20 Emmy wins and countless fights with the censors, "NYPD Blue" is going off the air tonight. I`ll be talking to one of the cast members who`s been there from the very first season in just a moment. But first, here`s a look at the ground-breaking show.



DENNIS FRANZ, "NYPD BLUE": The chief of detectives gave me the squad.


HAMMER (voice-over): "NYPD Blue" has solved its last case, interrogated its last suspect, replaced its last cast member and bared its last bottom. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was there with cast members the night after they filmed the last episode. Mark Paul Gosselaar told us what we won`t be seeing in the grand finale.

MARK PAUL GOSSELAAR, "NYPD BLUE": There`s no blow-ups. There`s nobody dying. Might piss off a few people.

HAMMER: That`s exactly what it did when it premiered 12 years ago. In early 1993, "Murder, She Wrote" was TV`s most popular one-hour drama. But when "NYPD Blue" burst onto the scene, controversy over its blue language and graphic sex scenes led more than 50 ABC affiliates to refuse to air the show. We asked star Dennis Franz how the show was able to overcome the early uproar.

FRANZ: We loaded it up with some characters that we did some introspective studies on, and I think that separated it from what we`ve done in the past. Sprinkle in a few dirty words and a couple of naked butts, and you got a hit show.

HAMMER: There have been fewer dirty words and naked butts lately. Creator Steven Bochco says you thank the recent FCC crackdown.

STEVEN BOCHCO, CREATOR, "NYPD BLUE": It`s been chilling, and I really don`t believe that in this climate, you could create and put a show like "NYPD Blue" on the air.

HAMMER: Fortunately for television, "NYPD Blue" was put on the air. And it leaves the airwaves as one of TV`s most honored dramas.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good night, boss.



HAMMER: Well, only two original cast members remain since the very first season of "Blue," Andy Sipowicz, played, of course, by Dennis Franz, and Detective Greg Medavoy, played by Emmy winner Gordon Clapp.

Gordon, thanks for dropping by SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

GORDON CLAPP, "NYPD BLUE": It`s a pleasure.

HAMMER: Nice to see you here. I want you to take me back now to the very first season of "Blue." Now, some people you didn`t start up immediately at the beginning of the first season. It was, like, three episodes in?

CLAPP: Yes. I came in on in the third episode of the first season. I was a guest. My agent called and said, We got, you know, one day, maybe two days` work, maybe 12 seasons. We don`t know.

HAMMER: You never know.

CLAPP: And it all worked out.

HAMMER: Much was always made, particularly at the beginning, and now that people are looking back at the show, about how ground-breaking it was because of the nudity and the mild profanity and how that was something new for TV back in the early `90s.

CLAPP: I had a dinner party scene with two women, and I had a line that I didn`t think ABC would sign off on. And they did.

HAMMER: Dennis told me, you know, most often, the swear words, the profanity that was used was really for the sake of trying to be as realistic as possible, and not necessarily for the sensation of doing it. Do you agree with that?

CLAPP: Oh, absolutely. Yes, absolutely. I mean, you know, we had to talk as much like cops as we could because it was the way it was shot.

HAMMER: Tell me about that last day on set.

CLAPP: Oh, the last day!

HAMMER: Has to have been quite emotional.

CLAPP: I had one scene in the final episode, and I shot it on that last day. I was the first guy to wrap, and you know, it was like the flood gates opened when I wrapped. And I wish we -- we documented the day. We had a camera crew there that day.

HAMMER: Right.

CLAPP: And I would love to see some of the stuff. I guess some of it will be featured in the special tonight.

HAMMER: Yes. And that special`s going to air in the hour before the finale. Tell me a little bit about the finale because Steven Bochco`s been very public about the fact that, you know, we`re not blowing up the precinct.

CLAPP: I think what Steven wanted to show was that the 15th Precinct is still going to be there, but we won`t be -- the public won`t be seeing it every week, but that life will go on. There are a couple of new detectives coming in. And it`s almost -- it almost looks like there`s another season.

HAMMER: Right. Sort of just a continuation.

CLAPP: But there`s not. There`s no chance there will be.

HAMMER: What are your plans for watching the show tonight, getting out the chips and dip?

CLAPP: Yes, I think a few of us are going to get together.

HAMMER: And the future for you? I know you`re going to be getting back to your roots, going back to do some theater, starring this spring...

CLAPP: Right.

HAMMER: ... on Broadway here in New York City.

CLAPP: Right. A production of "Glengarry Glen Ross," the first big Broadway revival of the show since it opened in 1984.

HAMMER: So you`re a Hollywood guy.


HAMMER: Probably have a nice, big house in Hollywood. Are you going to take up residence here in Manhattan?

CLAPP: That`s right. I`ve rented a closet for six months.


CLAPP: And yes, I`m going to be very happy here.

HAMMER: All right. Well, thank you very much for stopping by SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Congratulations, Gordon, on 12 years of incredible television. I`ve always been a big fan, and you`ve been a big part of what`s made the show so great.

CLAPP: Thank you so much.

HAMMER: All right. And you can catch Gordon Clapp in the series finale of "NYPD Blue" tonight on ABC.

BRYANT: Michael Jackson on the witness stand? Could happen. We`ve got a lot to tell you about in SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s "Legal Lowdown." During opening arguments today, Jackson`s defense attorney hinted his client might testify in his own defense at his sexual molestation trial. Then journalist Martin Bashir testified for the prosecution, while the jury watched his controversial Jackson documentary.

Lil` Kim told a big lie. That`s what federal prosecutors said today in opening arguments at her trial in New York City. The Grammy Award- winning rapper is accused of lying to a grand jury about her knowledge of a 2001 shooting. That shooting involved Kim`s entourage and a rival hip-hop group outside a New York radio station.

Well, Usher`s career confession. We told you about his hoop dreams coming true but he has another big goal for his career. How Usher fared at the Soul Train Awards and what he really wants to do, coming up.

HAMMER: Plus, Leann Rimes tells about getting back to her roots.

BRYANT: Now tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly" "Great American Pop Culture Quiz." Here we go. The surviving members of Joy Division went on to form what seminal `80s dance group? Was it, A, Depeche Mode, B, Bronski Beat, C, General Public, or D, New Order? We will be right back with the answer.


BRYANT: Welcome back. So again, today`s "Entertainment Weekly" "Great American Pop Culture Quiz." The surviving members of Joy Division went on to form what seminal `80s dance group? Kind of a techno-dance thing. Was it, A, Depeche Mode, B, Bronski Beat, C, General Public, or D, New Order? The answer is D, New Order. They are fantastic! Love that band, A.J.

HAMMER: I`m so glad I got it! I wasn`t quite sure, but I got it. New Order.

Well, it`s 14 minutes past the hour and time for more "SHOWBIZ Shorts," a look at more stories that are making news tonight. A galaxy far, far away is coming to "The O.C." We learned today that the full trailer for "Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith" will premiere March 10 on "The O.C.," which airs on Fox. The final "Star Wars" movie is scheduled to be released in May.

And Beck`s coming to "The O.C.," too, also on March 10. "The O.C." is going to premiere five songs from Beck`s new album, "Guero." It`s his first studio album in three years.

And we`ve got more "SHOWBIZ Shorts" coming up throughout the show.

BRYANT: It`s 14 minutes past the hour. Time now for the "SHOWBIZ Showdown." A little earlier, we told you that Republican senator Ted Stevens of Alaska said today that he wants cable TV to face the same indecency rules as regular broadcast channels. Our "SHOWBIZ Showdown" question of the day -- indecency crackdown: Should cable TV be next? Joining us live from Los Angeles, executive director for the Parents TV Council. That`s Tim Winter. He says, Yes, the FCC should crack down on cable TV. And Al Rantel from KABC radio, who says, No, the FCC should not crack down on cable TV.

Al, you`re up first. State your case, if you would.

AL RANTEL, KABC RADIO: Well, I guess the case, quite simply, as a Republican and as a conservative, I find it shocking that we have a leading Republican who wants to get into this kind of a thing. First of all, you have to invite cable into your home. It`s one thing to talk about the public airwaves. And I agree with people like the Parents Television Council -- they`re a fine group -- that we`ve slid down in a cultural sewer in many ways, and I share their concerns. But you`ve got to invite cable in your home. You`ve got to invite pay TV in your home. You`ve got to not only physically invite it, you`ve got to write a check for it. I have -- you know, I have the cable radio or satellite radio. I got to pay for.


RANTEL: The government has no role here to dictate what`s on those channels.

BRYANT: Tim, what do you have to say?

TIM WINTER, PARENTS TELEVISION COUNCIL: Well, I don`t actually disagree very much with our other guest. I think that the senator`s motivations here are pure, but I think there`s a better way to accomplish this. Right now, if I want to invite the Disney channel into my home for my family to watch something that is fun for the whole family to watch, I`m forced to subscribe and pay for networks like MTV, FX, Bravo.


WINTER: And where I think we should draw the line is if we`re going to invite channels into our house, we should be able to pick and choose which channels we are able to invite into our house.

RANTEL: Well, we have...

WINTER: And if I`m forced...

RANTEL: ... that technology already. That`s -- you have that.

WINTER: And unfortunately...

RANTEL: Parental controls on every television, a V-chip on every television. It`s already there.

WINTER: But I shouldn`t have to...

RANTEL: There`s no more government necessary.

WINTER: I shouldn`t have -- I shouldn`t have to pay for it. And right now, I`m forced to pay for it.

BRYANT: So Tim, your hoping, then for a la carte choices, basically, then, when it comes to choosing your channels.

WINTER: I`m hoping for one of two things. My first preference is a la carte, allow me to pick and choose which networks I want to have in my home. And if the cable operators won`t let me have that, then I want to be able to have a basic cable package which does adhere to the same standards of decency that the broadcast channels have.

BRYANT: Well, here`s the thing, though. When you talk about indecency, who gets to decide what is moral and what is amoral? I mean, for example, Oprah Winfrey did a show one time where she talked about maybe improving your sex life at home, used some graphic language. Oprah is beloved. She got away with it, whereas somebody else doing that show really -- you know, his name is Howard, and he works on the radio -- a little bit of a different medium, but he, you know, got fined for basically saying the same types of things. What do you think about that, Al?

RANTEL: Well, the problem is, look, we live in a free marketplace, and the consumer decides. If the consumer doesn`t want to pay for those programs, they don`t order those channels. If they don`t want to watch them, then it goes away. And that`s how it should work. Let`s not -- you know, the fact that conservatives are now promoting more government in areas where the free market will do just fine is -- to me is unacceptable. I`m shocked to hear this even going on from a Republican senator.

BRYANT: Tim, yes, how do you feel? Do we need more government? Do we want the government to raise our children? Shouldn`t my mom and dad just tell me, you know, Oprah may be too risque today. Don`t watch it, and no, you can`t watch "The Shield" tonight because, you know, you`re too young for that, you know, if I were a young kid? How about that?

WINTER: No one I have ever met in my whole life wants government to make these choices for us. We should be able to make these choices for us. The cable operators have this technology, and they won`t allow us to because it disrupts their business model. I should be able to pick and choose. And absent that...

RANTEL: Well, you can.

WINTER: How can I pick and choose?

RANTEL: I don`t know if you`ve -- I don`t know if you`ve checked the menu of your television. Maybe you need to buy a new television. Every television I have seen has parental control, where you can block out certain channels...

WINTER: And Al, who...

RANTEL: ... as easily as touching a button.

WINTER: Who picks...

RANTEL: It`s easy.

WINTER: Who picks the ratings, Al? The networks pick the ratings for their own shows.

RANTEL: So what?

WINTER: The networks pick shows that have lower ratings so that their advertisers won`t run away from them. It`s a -- they have a conflict of interest, and we should have an independent board, just like we do for motion pictures.


BRYANT: Well, gentlemen, I tell you what. This is a debate that we can continue to have, and perhaps we will have you back to do just that. I want to thank you, Tim Winter, executive director of the Parents TV Council, and Al Rantel of KABC radio.

RANTEL: You`re welcome.

BRYANT: Thank you for joining us here...

WINTER: Thank you.


Now, of course, you at home, we want to know your thoughts. Indecency crackdown: Should cable TV be next? You can vote at, or if you want to tell us more, e-mail us at We`ll share some of what you had to say later on in our program.

HAMMER: Well, it`s a pretty chilly night to be hanging out in Times Square, but J.Lo is there, and so is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s David Haffenreffer. We will go back to them live.

BRYANT: Plus, looking like royalty. Queen Latifah on the cover of "In Style" magazine. How she got there, coming up in "Tuesday In Style."


BRYANT: Simon says! Cowell makes them cower on "American Idol," but is his feud with Paula Abdul the real thing? That is coming up later on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: Well, we told you earlier that Usher bought into the Cleveland Cavaliers today. He had a good night last night, too. The multiple Grammy winner won multiple awards again at the Soul Train Awards in Los Angeles. Usher and Alicia Keys, who already share a Grammy for "My Boo," shared another for Best R&B Soul Single by a Group or Duo. Usher won for Best Male R&B Soul Single for "Confessions Part 2," as well as the prize for Best R&B Soul Album by a Male Artist for "Confessions."

So we asked him last night, what`s next?


USHER: It`s movies and business, lots of very good business. Outside of the music industry, a little bit of licensing, just really branding the name, branding each and everything that I`ve used to bring me this far.


HAMMER: And he`s going to keep on going. The 19th annual Soul Train Music Awards will air on March 12 in syndication.

BRYANT: Time now for "Tuesday In Style." On the cover this month, Queen Latifah. "In Style" magazine gives us the inside story on how you can get the same glamorous look, worthy of the queen.


MARISA FOX, "IN STYLE" MAGAZINE: "In Style`s" March issue is all about getting gorgeous, and who better to represent that then Queen Latifah, who is just so beautiful inside and out. Queen Latifah said in the interview that she feels very much like an old soul singer, like, she`s got that voice, she`s got that vibe. In fact, you listen to her voice, whether she`s speaking or singing, and it`s like this gorgeous sort of, like, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday type voice.

We chose dresses that were silks and satins and chiffons. And the dress that she wears on the cover is a Zac Posen dress, and it`s just gorgeous -- clean lines, and it`s great for full figures because it just pulls the eye down in a vertical direction, makes you look long and slim. That particular dress is $2,900, and it`s available at Barney`s. However, you can get a very similar style at the Dress Barn for a fraction of the cost.

Queen Latifah does not do any sort of chemical processes to her hair. So what her hair stylist has been using for years and years is a heated pressing comb, and she warms it up in, like, a little portable oven that she takes with her. And it just straightens her hair, flattens it out perfectly. And then she just adds, like, this $3 carrot oil that you can get at any drug store.

The bracelet that she`s wearing on the cover -- catch your breath -- is an almost 55-carat gold diamond, $667,000. If you want to recreate that look for $85, check out this beautiful cuff bracelet by R.J. Graziano. It`s just as glamorous.

Queen Latifah is this wonderful source of inspiration for a lot of women. Like a lot of women, she`s can be very down to earth, and she also enjoys the glamour of it all.


BRYANT: So what is next for queen Latifah? Well, "In Style magazine" has the details. You can pick up a copy of their March issue. It is on newsstands now.

HAMMER: Jennifer Lopez getting right with her fans. We`re going to go back live to Times Square for her big record release. That`s coming up.

BRYANT: Plus, the Oscar nominees behind the scenes. We`ll flip through the photo album as the stars got ready for their big night.

HAMMER: Now it`s time for tonight`s "Birthday Shoutout." Little Opie, Ron Howard, turns 51 years old today, and the shoutout comes from Henry Winkler.


HENRY WINKLER, ACTOR: Ron, it`s your older brother. Happy birthday. I love you so much.




HAMMER: Simon versus Paula. Is it a real feud, or a made-for-TV drama? Simon sets the record straight.

BRYANT: Leann Rimes, she`s a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll. And she`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT."

CLAPP: Hi, I`m Gordon Clapp. If it happened today, it`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT."

BRYANT: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It`s 30 minutes past the hour. I`m Karyn Bryant.

HAMMER: And I`m A.J. Hammer. Here are tonight`s hot headlines.

BRYANT: Usher hoops it up. He`s got Grammys, multiplatinum albums. Now he`s got a basketball team. This afternoon, the R, rhythm and blues -- R&B star, that`s what he is, he was part of a group that bought the Cleveland Cavaliers. It`s a $375 million deal, but no word on how much of that Usher put up himself.

HAMMER: Cable next? Today, Alaskan Republican Senator Ted Stevens said he wants to bring cable TV under the same indecency standards as regular broadcast channels. And that could mean potential fines for shows that have profanity or nudity, like "South Park" or "The Sopranos."

BRYANT: And that leads us back to our SHOWBIZ showdown question of the day, indecency crackdown, should cable TV be next?

Keep on voting at, and send us your e-mails at We`ll share some of what you had to say at 55 past the hour.

HAMMER: The renaissance of J-Lo. Her new album, "Rebirth," drops today, right now, in Times Square, as a matter of fact, in the midst of frenzy of all the fans and the media out there.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s David Haffenreffer is there live. David, you had a chance to talk to J-Lo, I understand.

HAFFENREFFER: We did, A.J. And, you know, she is still jenny from the block, provided that block is Seventh Avenue between 45th and 46th Streets here in Times Square in New York City. We did have an opportunity to get in to speak with her before she started signing albums, which she`s doing right now. This is what she had to say.


JENNIFER LOPEZ: What`s your name?



HAMMER: David Haffenreffer with CNN.

LOPEZ: Oh, good.

HAFFENREFFER: Look beautiful. This is your fifth CD. You`ve sold 35 million CDs in your career. Best part. Tell me a little bit about what "Rebirth" represents to you.

LOPEZ: You know, just having a new album out is always such an exciting thing. It never gets old to me. That`s the thing that kind of surprises me the most about it. Hi, guys. It`s just an amazing feeling, it`s an amazing feeling. And I named the album "Rebirth" because it really does feel like a new beginning, like kind of a phase two, you know, the first album to the last album I did felt like phase one. I took a little break, and I`m back again. So here we go.

HAFFENREFFER: Kind of a new chapter. You had the opportunity to work with your husband on this album a bit. Tell me a little bit about that experience, what that was like. Did he push you vocally to improve in the process?

LOPEZ: Marc Anthony and I have worked together a lot. We`ve always had a good working relationship. And just like any artists, we always push each other.

I love you guys, too. Oh, God.

HAFFENREFFER: Yes. Very nice. The "People" magazine article recently making such a fuss over, A, actually married, B, interest in a baby. Making too much of a deal?

LOPEZ: Not talking about personal stuff today. Talking about albums, albums and stores and fans, amazing fans.

HAFFENREFFER: Congratulations.

LOPEZ: Thank you so much.


HAFFENREFFER: "Rebirth" is Jennifer Lopez`s fifth album. All told, she has sold something in the order of 35 million albums in her music career. A.J., back to you.

HAMMER: David, I believe Jennifer got you a little flustered there for a moment.

HAFFENREFFER: It`ll happen.

HAMMER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE), I saw your face turn bright red. She is lovely. And I hope you a good time hanging out with her.


HAMMER: All right. Karyn?

BRYANT: Well, just up the block from the girl from the block, the legendary Lauren Bacall signed copies of her new book. It`s called "By Myself and Then Some." Now, the book is an update of her memoirs, which she first wrote 25 years ago. The 80-year-old actress was married to the late Humphrey Bogart. And Bogie and Bacall starred in many movies together throughout the 1940s and 1950s.

HAMMER: Well, Karyn, I know you`ll be watching tonight, and if you`re a fan of "American Idol," you`re about to come up short, because starting tomorrow, the Wednesday elimination round is only going to be 30 minutes long. Fox wants viewers to see the castoff even faster. But does that mean that Simon and Paula will be fighting less?

You know, over the weeks, much ado about something`s been made over the judges` squabbles.


SIMON COWELL: Don`t talk about me. Talk to my face, OK?


COWELL: Fine, well, then, say it to my face.


COWELL: Then say it to my face if you (UNINTELLIGIBLE).


COWELL: Yes, you are.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Simon, you said it.

COWELL: You just said it yourself.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m not accusing you. Simon, I don`t have a problem saying anything in front of your face.

COWELL: Well, then, say it to my face.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not one thing in front of your face.

COWELL: Well, then, say it to my face.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I talked to him because he`s behind me. He can`t stand someone, OK?


HAMMER: Everybody`s been wondering if all of this hostility is just a ratings ploy. Well, this morning, on "Today" show, Simon Cowell spoke with Katie Couric, and she asked him just that. Simon also said it may be sexual tension that drives their confrontations.


KATIE COURIC, HOST: Talk about the big brouhaha between you and Paula. I have to ask you, because I smell a rat when I hear stories about how you and Paula aren`t getting along. I`m, like, publicity. Am I too cynical?

SIMON COWELL: Yes, I think so, yes. If Paula can`t get her own way sometimes, she`s an artist. They go nuts. I mean, she would jump me in a moment.

COURIC: Oh, my God.

COWELL: She would. Without question, she wants me.

COURIC: Oh, come on.


HAMMER: Karyn, you know that Paula disputes that every single time that Simon brings that up.

BRYANT: He`s such a humble guy, that Simon Cowell.

Well, from "Idol"`s tough judge to some Nashville country love. The reality series "Nashville Star" kicks off tonight on the USA Network. It is a singing competition somewhat like "American Idol," with one big difference. All of the contestants write their own music. And host Leann Rimes says that`s what makes the talent in this competition better than that of "American Idol." And she should know, of course, because she is pretty talented herself.

Now, Leann is a busy lady these days. Besides her new TV show, she also has a new album out. It`s called "This Woman," and I got a chance to sit down with her to talk about it.


BRYANT (voice-over): Twenty-two-year-old Leann Rimes, getting back to her country roots on the new album "This Woman."

LEANN RIMES: It`s definitely a country record, but it`s on my own terms this time.

BRYANT: It`s got some pop, but it`s considerably more country than her last release, "Twisted Angel."

(on camera): So many things today, I think, have too much polish on it. So I applaud that you have kind of let it happen, let it feel more organic.

RIMES: I wanted to record songs live in the studio. And record how not -- most people don`t record these days. I mean, a lot of things are fabricated and made in the studio.

I wanted to sing songs that just let my voice soar, and have fun with it, and be free with it, and not have every little thing tweaked. It`s like the way they used to make music.

BRYANT (voice-over): Leann burst out of nowhere when she was only 13. Her Pasty Cline-like single, "Blue," debuted in the number one spot on the country charts and helped win her two Grammys, including best new artist.

(on camera): You know, it`s one thing, it`s amazing when you hear a young artist come out with an incredible voice, but always there`s that question of, Well, how can this 17-year-old sing about love and loss?

RIMES: Well, as I got older, I mean, at 13, yes, it was a little different. Now I feel like it`s kind of -- everything`s caught up, you know, after being -- I got married at 19, so I was obviously, you know, a lot different at 19 then most 19-year-olds.

BRYANT: Now, I did read a quote, though, that said you`re not quite sure if you had a child, you`re not quite sure you would have him or her do what you did, start so young, and do that. Do you still feel that way?

RIMES: Yes, absolutely. I -- if they had a tremendous talent, you know, I would love to help them nurture it, anyway, if that`s what they want to do. But I definitely would keep them in school, and, you know, have -- this business is insane. And I am a freak of nature to actually have a career, and a strong career, after a decade.


BRYANT: Well, you know, A.J., something interesting for Leann. She started out in country, then started to do some pop. And she wrestles with the idea of staying true to one form while wanting to grow and branch out into the other. It`s just, it`s a really interesting thing. Others, like Shania Twain, that kind of thing, gone through the same problem, so -- but she`s a talented young girl.

HAMMER: And the fact is, she should be able to do whatever the heck she wants to do.

BRYANT: Whatever she wants. Buy it or don`t buy it, you know?

HAMMER: That was great, it was nice seeing you guys together.

BRYANT: Thank you.

HAMMER: Candid Camera on Oscar day. We`re going to show you some of the new shots of the stars that we have to show you, coming up.

BRYANT: Plus, have an Oscar, make more money? We`ll see if Oscar gold turns into cold hard cash. That`s coming up.


HAMMER: Tonight, it`s Candid Camera, celebrity-style. America Online turned stars into shutterbugs by giving them cameras to capture behind-the- scenes Oscar moments. And here are some of them.

Winslet`s window dressing. Best actress nominee Kate Winslet gets ready while gazing out the window of her hotel. Wonder what she was looking at?

Catalina gets cheeky. Best actress nominee Catalina Sandino Moreno gets some makeup at the Four Seasons Hotel.

And Laura`s locks. Supporting actress nominee Laura Linney gets her hair done at her Los Angeles apartment.

It`s the third annual AOL Celeb Candids, and you can find more at

BRYANT: Oscar viewers couldn`t get enough of Jamie Foxx. His emotional acceptance speech when he won the best actor award...


JAMIE FOXX: ... only now she talks to me in my dreams.


BRYANT: His emotional acceptance speech when he won the best actor award for "Ray" was the top Tivo replayed moment of the Oscars.

The second-most popular, the best picture win by "Million Dollar Baby."

HAMMER: And speaking of popular, tonight in the show`s biz, does winning an Oscar mean more money for a movie?

Well, joining me to talk about the Oscar bump that we always hear about is Julia Boorstin, who covers the entertainment industry for "Fortune" magazine.

Julia, let`s take a look at how much the five best picture nominees right now and see how much they`ve earned domestically so far. We know it was a lower number than usual this year. But which of these movies -- and I guess we`ll take "Ray" out of the picture, since it`s already out on DVD. But which of the other films here can we expect to see do more business at the box office because of their Oscar nominations?

JULIA BOORSTIN, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: Well, the rule is, the smaller movie, the smallers budget, in particular, the smaller its marketing budget, the more the Oscars really help it. They provide exposure. And for this year, I think we really should look at "Sideways." "Sideways" was a low-budget movie with no stars to get it attention.

But the nominations and then the Oscar (UNINTELLIGIBLE) nominations, but Oscar, even though it didn`t win, will provide a lot of attention. The fact that it won best screenplay will draw some attention to it as well.

I think another interesting thing about "Sideways" is the fact, it was released with perfect timing for Oscar season, because again, a huge number, more viewers, because of that.

HAMMER: And "Million Dollar Baby," of course, winning best picture, that has to help it out. It`s still in theaters.

BOORSTIN: It`s going to be huge. The other thing is, it is a Clint Eastwood movie, but it`s not a huge blockbuster. Did not have an enormous marketing budget. The fact that it was timed so perfectly to Oscar is going to keep people going to the movies for another couple weeks.

HAMMER: OK. Well, of the nominees, which is really not going to benefit from, you know, having the nomination?

BOORSTIN: Well, I think the bigger, more Hollywoody movies. like "Aviator," they`re probably not going to benefit as much. I mean, if you look at "Aviator," it was released, wide release right away. So the people who were going to see it probably already did. And "Aviator" didn`t quite win as many Oscars as it could have after the nominations.

HAMMER: And they spent a fortune making that movie, and it`s still playing catch-up.

BOORSTIN: It was a very sensitive movie. They`re still playing catch-up. It will do fairly well overseas and make back some of that money. But it`s not going to get that bump from the Oscars because they did spend so much money to promote it already.

HAMMER: Well, as I mentioned earlier, "Ray" already out on DVD, and we told the story yesterday of how "Sideways" is coming out on DVD on April 5. They would have left it in theaters had it won the best picture. So that`s coming out. How does its affiliation with the Oscars, the nomination for best picture, affect DVD sales? Is it the same sort of thing?

BOORSTIN: Of course it`s going to help. It`s going to help because, I mean, people loved seeing Jamie Foxx`s acceptance speech. And plenty of people who want to see that movie, they can`t go to movie theaters to see it, they`re going to go out and they`re going to buy it. So it will affect it.

HAMMER: And real quickly, is it a guarantee, when you get a best actress or best actor nomination, that that actor or actress is going to start making more bucks at the box office...

BOORSTIN: It does raise your profile.

HAMMER: ... or per picture?

BOORSTIN: I mean, if you look at Jamie Foxx, he only got $2 million for "Collateral." But now he`s bringing in $8, $8, and $10 million per movie. Halle Berry, she was getting $2 million per picture before, now she`s getting paid $12 million per picture. So if you win, you get that acceptance speech and get everyone`s attention, it is going to boost your profile.

HAMMER: Well, thanks for the insight, Julie Boorstin from "Fortune" magazine.


BRYANT: It`s 45 minutes past the hour, time for more SHOWBIZ shorts.

A Beatle baby today. "People" magazine says Stella McCartney, of course, daughter of ex-Beatle Paul McCartney, has named her new son Miller Alistair James Lewis. Now, Stella`s husband is Alistair Lewis. Her grandfather is James. No word on where the Miller part came from, though.

BRYANT: Her grandfather is James. No word where the miller part came from. Cold play with the biggest show it has ever played in the U.K. The venues will hold 30,000 people. The band`s new album drops in June.

BRYANT: Big and bigger Coldplay, great band, said that it will kick off its biggest world tour ever with the biggest shows it has ever played in the U.K. The venues will hold 30,000 people, and the band`s new album drops in June.

HAMMER: So does Kelly Ripa have a crush on a weather guy? Some pretty racy stuff in the chitchat this morning. And that`s coming up in our talk of the day.

BRYANT: Plus, it`s metareality television on "Fear Factor." We will be right back.


HAMMER: Some ratings reality tonight. NBC`s "Fear Factor" was the third most-watched show last night, behind Fox`s "24." And that may be because some of the reality stars of one show made it onto this one. "The Apprentice"`s Omarosa and a couple of former "Survivor" contestants made the leap, along with bachelorette sweeties Trista and Ryan Sutter. Now, Trista watched her man compete through nasty stunts on "Fear Factor," managing to pull off another reality show victory, winning it all. This brings Ryan`s reality show record to two and 0.

Well, Ryan may be two for two, the "The Bachelorette"`s Jen Schefft is now zero for two. Not only was the finale a ratings letdown for ABC, coming in fourth behind "Fear Factor," but a huge letdown for the two men vying for Jen`s love.

First, Jen rejects John Paul`s proposal, and then tells Jerry she wants to wait just so she`s sure. And then came the twist. Jerry proposes a second time on ABC`s "After the Final Rose," the live show that happened afterwards. And she tells him, quote, "I think we both came to the realization that we were better as friends." That`s got to hurt. So what did Jerry say to that? "I love you for that."

BRYANT: Well, they`ve been talking all day, and we`ve been listening. Here`s the best from today`s talk shows. Weather guy Sam Champion was on "Regis and Kelly" this morning, and when Kelly asked him about the storm in New York, things got a little steamy.



SAM CHAMPION: Hi, Kelly. Thank goodness you`re sitting beside him.

RIPA: Sam, is that a new suit? You look great.

CHAMPION: Oh, no, thank you. You know what? You look beautiful too.

RIPA: Sam, how many inches?

CHAMPION: How many...

RIPA: Of snow?

CHAMPION: How many inches of snow? I think six to nine was the popular range around the area.

RIPA: It always is, isn`t it?

REGIS PHILBIN, HOST: Hey, Sam, hey, Sam, in your dreams.

BRYANT: Whoo! Well, you know that Missy Elliott song, "Work It"? Well, it is not about what you think it`s about. Ellen gets the real answer from Missy herself on the "Ellen DeGeneres Show."


ELLEN DEGENERES, HOST: Basically, it`s, is it worth it? Let me work it. I put my fang down, flip it, and reverse it?

MISSY ELLIOTT: Yes, that`s wow.


MISSY ELLIOTT: That`s right. You got it.

DEGENERES: What`s that referring to?

MISSY ELLIOTT: Pancakes. Flipping pancakes.

DEGENERES: Flipping pancakes?


DEGENERES: Oh. So put my fang down, is that a spatula reference?

MISSY ELLIOTT: Wow, yes, exactly.

DEGENERES: OK, I`m down with it.

MISSY ELLIOTT: Most definitely. That`s hot.

DEGENERES: It most definitely is hot, right.


DEGENERES: Fang, put the spatula down and reverse it.

MISSY ELLIOTT: On the pancake.


BRYANT: You know, A.J., you just -- sometimes you`re not supposed to break the music down, you just listen to it. You groove to it.

HAMMER: Put my fang down, flip it, and reverse it, what`s the difficulty there?


HAMMER: All right.

Time for more SHOWBIZ shorts right now. Keri`s gone cannibal. Today`s "Hollywood Reporter" says that former "Felicity" star Keri Russell will show in "Butterfly," the grim love story. She plays a student who becomes obsessed with a cannibalistic killer.

And desperately seeking DVDs, while "Lost" is found. The first seasons of "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost" will be released on DVD this September. They`re both going to contain plenty of extras.

Robin Williams news coming up. We`re coming right back.


BRYANT: It is time to get your laugh on in laughter dark. Here`s the late-night laughs that you may have missed.

HAMMER: The "Tonight" show`s Ross the intern took a shot of NyQuil before covering the "Vanity Fair" party, which made for some pretty interesting moments.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Janet, can I say hi?



OK, that is the closest I want to be connected to the Michael Jackson trial.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mazeltov. On your Bar Mitzvah.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then inside, it`s -- there`s a place for money? So I give you a dollar for every year we`ve been best friends.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That means so much to me.


Anniversaries are my favorite. I am so getting some tonight.

Oh, it`s the cast of "Nip/Tuck." Oh, no. It is Donatella Versace.

And you didn`t win the Oscar, but I have a second best, a gold little prize for you. It is a Twinkie.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the most disgusting...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know. I didn`t even eat it. How many people can say they ate Alan Alda`s Twinkie?


HAMMER: See, he never wanted to part with that Twinkie.

On "Jimmy Kimmel Live," Kimmel caught up with street sweeper Robin Williams, who was left to clean up after the Oscars.


JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST: After everybody there, this guy`s sweeping up. Hi, sir. How are you doing?

ROBIN WILLIAMS: Hi. How are you?

KIMMEL: What was your favorite part of the show?

WILLIAMS: My favorite part? I think when they would line all those people up like the end of "Star Search."

KIMMEL: Oh, well, there`ll be another show next year.

WILLIAMS: Yes, it will be, Jimmy, because, you know, next year, it will be crazy, and they`re actually going to put the award in the middle, and the first one down gets it.


BRYANT: Throughout the show, we`ve been asking you to vote online on our SHOWBIZ showdown question of the day, indecency crackdown. Should cable TV be next? Let`s take a look at how the vote is going so far, 17 percent of you said cable TV should be next, 83 percent said no, cable TV should not be next.

So you`ve also been sending us e-mails on this question.

Carley from North Carolina says, "Yes, definitely yes. Cable TV should be held to the same decency standards as network TV."

And Richard from Iowa says, "Please tell the senator from Alaska to turn off his cable and mind his own business."

Now, remember, you can continue to vote at, or send us your thoughts to

HAMMER: It`s time to see what`s playing this week on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Let`s take a look at the SHOWBIZ marquee.

ANNOUNCER: Tomorrow, this is really cool. It`s Travolta in "Be Cool." He`s been cool since "Grease." We go together with John Travolta like rama lama ding dong zunga, whatever. We`re one on one with John tomorrow in the SHOWBIZ sitdown.

Also tomorrow, confessions of a teenage movie queen. Lindsay Lohan opening up about drugs, her dad, and her body. No topic off limits tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

And playing Thursday, calling all Hollywood tough guys. Are you man enough to handle this?


VIN DIESEL: We`ll take this hill one inch at a time. Only then can we rise to the challenge.


ANNOUNCER: Yes, that`s Vin Diesel, trading in the saddle tank for a minivan? Yes. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is there. So you be there on Thursday.

HAMMER: I guess Vin Diesel going to be playing against type. We`ll have to find out what`s all about.

BRYANT: I guess. I like when tough guys go comedic. I think it`s kind of fun to see what happens (UNINTELLIGIBLE). I don`t know.

Well, we will see you right here tomorrow. Of course, Headline Prime continues next with "NANCY GRACE."

HAMMER: First, we`re going to get a news update from our friends at Headline News in Atlanta.


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