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SHOW BIZ TONIGHT for March 9, 2005, CNNHN

Aired March 9, 2005 - 19:00   ET


KARYN BRYANT, CO-HOST: Dan Rather signs off.
A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: And keeping celebrities on. I`m A.J. Hammer.

BRYANT: I`m Karyn Bryant. And this is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


DAN RATHER, CBS NEWS ANCHOR: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) going to work. Feeling good.


HAMMER: Dan`s done. Rather just finished his last "Evening News" broadcast. We`ll look back and see what`s ahead, live.

BRYANT: Tonight, hip hop harmony? 50 cent and The Game came face to face this afternoon. What happened? We`ll tell you.


KIRSTIE ALLEY, "FAT ACTRESS": John Goodman`s got his own show, and Jason Alexander looks like a frickin` bowling ball!


HAMMER: Big roles or fat chance? Tonight`s "SHOWBIZ Showdown." "Fat Actress": Does it send a bad message?


LIZZIE GRUBMAN, "POWER GIRLS": People, places and things -- I make them famous.


BRYANT: Plus, power play. These "Power Girls" work hard and play hard. Celebrity publicist Lizzie Grubman joins us live.

And oh, boy, Omarion. From boy band to working with Outkast`s big boy and topping the charts.


HENRY WINKLER, "HAPPY DAYS": Hi. I`m Henry Winkler. And if it happened today, it`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


BRYANT: Hello. I`m Karyn Bryant. And you are at the top of the show.

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

BRYANT: Just moments ago, Dan Rather signed off as anchor for "The CBS Evening News," 24 years to the day since he first sat in the chair.

HAMMER: Let us get right to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s David Haffenreffer, who is live outside the CBS Broadcast Center in New York City -- David.

DAVID HAFFENREFFER, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT: Hi, Karyn and A.J. Yes, the man who`s used to telling the news made a bit of news here today. Just moments ago, Dan Rather signed off as the anchor of "The CBS Evening News" for the last time. He was surrounded by his staff in Studio 47 of the CBS Broadcast Center directly behind us. And do you know that after 24 years, Dan Rather holds the record for the longest tenure as a network news anchor?


WALTER CRONKITE, CBS NEWS ANCHOR: Dan Rather will be sitting in here for the next few years...


HAFFENREFFER (voice-over): It lasted more than a few years -- 24, to be exact. It was 1981 when Dan Rather took over for Walter Cronkite as the face of "The CBS Evening News."


DAN RATHER, CBS NEWS ANCHOR: This is "The CBS Evening News," Dan Rather reporting from Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China.

HAFFENREFFER: He`s traveled the globe several times over, reporting the events that defined our times.


RATHER: The hurricane has been hitting full force right in here to Panama City beach and...


HAFFENREFFER: Now, after more than 6,000 broadcasts, this morning, Rather walked into the CBS Broadcast Center to anchor for the last time.

QUESTION: How do you feel about your last broadcast, Dan?

RATHER: Feel great. Thank you very much.

HAFFENREFFER: His good-bye is bittersweet. In September, Rather fronted a flawed story for "60 minutes II," questioning President Bush`s National Guard service during the Vietnam era.


RATHER: I want to say personally and directly I`m sorry.


HAFFENREFFER: The scandal cost four people their jobs and tarnished the image of the "Tiffany network." Shortly after, Rather announced plans to step down from the anchor chair. Rather`s predecessor, Walter Cronkite, told CNN`s Wolf Blitzer he was surprised CBS stood by him.

CRONKITE: It`s quite a tribute to him that he -- that CBS held onto him so long under those circumstances.

HAFFENREFFER: Controversy aside, Rather signs off at a challenging time for the major networks. Fewer people are tuning in to the nightly newscasts. Richard Leibner has been Rather`s agent for the last 40 years. He changed the game for anchor salaries, negotiating Rather`s first multi- million-dollar contract.

RICHARD LEIBNER, N.S. BIENSTOCK: It`s a historic run. Nobody has anchored on network television news as long as Dan has.

HAFFENREFFER (on camera): You say bittersweet. Why bittersweet?

LEIBNER: Only because of the little bump in the road from the "60 Minutes II" report. But Dan`s about reporting. And if he didn`t take risks and if he didn`t go after important stories, then you wouldn`t have the greatness that he`s done.

HAFFENREFFER (voice-over): Rather passes the baton on to CBS`s chief Washington correspondent, Bob Schieffer. He`ll do the job until a permanent replacement is chosen.

RATHER: For "The CBS Evening News," good night.


HAFFENREFFER: And Dan Rather wrapped up his final telecast this evening using the word "courage," thanking the viewers, as well as his staff. And although he won`t be in the anchor seat any longer, he will continue on full-time as a correspondent for "60 Minutes."

And he leaves at a time with his credibility in a bit of a state of decline. In a new CNN/"USA Today" Gallup poll out today, it asks people, "How much of what Rather says do you believe?" The responses are less than a quarter of the public believes all or most: 29 percent say some, 25 percent say little, 19 percent say none. All in all, though, a very remarkable career. A.J., back to you.

HAMMER: OK, David, thanks very much. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s David Haffenreffer live in New York City -- Karyn.

BRYANT: It`s another story people are talking about. Just hours ago, the young boy accusing Michael Jackson of molesting him took the stand. CNN`s Miguel Marquez is live for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT from Santa Maria, California.

Now, Miguel, you must have been able to hear a pin drop in the courtroom today.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was a pretty tense moment because the accuser`s brother was on the stand at first, and then the accuser came on. There was a few minutes for him to come onto the stand, and it was certainly very quiet in that courtroom here. He was on the stand for about an hour today on direct examination from the prosecution here in Santa Barbara County.

He testified to several things, first that Michael Jackson -- on his first day at Neverland ranch back in 2000, when he was still in the throes of cancer, it was Jackson himself who suggested that he and his brother spend the night in his bedroom. Their parents agreed, and the second night that they were there they did. And they say that Mr. Jackson`s associate showed them porn sites for about 15 to 30 minutes in Mr. Jackson`s master bedroom.

He also testified about the Bashir video, the Martin Bashir video, "Living With Michael Jackson," the documentary -- that that video -- that Mr. Jackson told him that, If you want to be an actor, this is your big chance to act. I want you to call me Daddy or Daddy Michael in that. And he also said that he -- that he helped -- he wanted the boy to say that he helped him through cancer and helped him -- and get -- cure his cancer, as well. The boy said he did not know that that video was going to be shown around the world, thought it was going to be for Mr. Jackson`s personal use there at Neverland ranch.

The boy will take the stand again tomorrow, continuing on direct examination, and it will be, I`m sure, a very lengthy cross-examination after that. Back to you.

BRYANT: OK. Miguel Marquez in Santa Maria. Thank you.

HAMMER: Well, supermodel Petra Nemcova will attend the funeral of her late boyfriend, Simon Atlee. He was swept away by the Asian tsunami in December. Today`s "New York Post" reports that Nemcova, the "Sports Illustrated" swimsuit model who was almost killed herself in the ordeal, plans to attend the service in London. No date has been set.

Tonight, in her first televised interview, Nemcova tells her story to ABC`s Diane Sawyer.


DIANE SAWYER, ABC NEWS: I read that they had trouble getting you to leave Thailand because you had said that you were so sure God would bring him back.

PETRA NEMCOVA, SUPERMODEL: Yes. I was -- I was very -- you know, hoping and having a big hope and...

SAWYER: Did you know that your bones were broken? Did you know?


SAWYER: You could feel it breaking?

NEMCOVA: It was breaking many times. I was just screaming from the top of my lungs.


HAMMER: Diane Sawyer`s full interview with Nemcova airs tonight on ABC`s "Primetime Live."

BRYANT: Time for "SHOWBIZ Shorts," a look at more stories making news tonight. Bullock does Britain. Just a few hours ago, Sandra Bullock showed up at the London premiere for "Miss Congeniality 2." Her friend, Hugh Grant, came along. The movie opens in the U.S. March 24.

Keanu Reeves committing himself to sin -- "Sinbad the Sailor," that is. We learned today that the "Matrix" actor is in talks tonight to star in "The Eighth Voyage of Sinbad."

We`ll have more "SHOWBIZ Shorts" coming up throughout the show.

HAMMER: Well, 50 cent and The Game get together and talk about their beef. We`ll tell you what happened this afternoon. That`s coming up.

BRYANT: And not everyone is laughing at Kirstie Alley`s sitcom. Is "Fat Actress" sending a bad message? Our "SHOWBIZ Showdown" next.

HAMMER: It`s time now for tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly" "Great American Pop Culture Quiz." Who sings backup on Carly Simon`s smash hit, "You`re So Vain"? Was it A, James Taylor, B, Kenny Rogers, C, Mick Jagger, or D, Johnny Cash? We are coming straight back with the answer.


HAMMER: Welcome back. So again, today`s "Entertainment Weekly" pop culture quiz. Who sings backup on Carly Simon`s "You`re So Vain," James Taylor, Kenny Rogers, Mick Jagger or Johnny Cash? If you guessed James Taylor, you`re wrong because the answer is C, Mick Jagger.

BRYANT: It`s 11 minutes past the hour, time for tonight`s "SHOWBIZ Showdown." Kirstie Alley`s new Showtime sitcom, "Fat Actress," is hitting a sore spot. In the show, Alley is seen as a severely overweight down-and- out actress.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you want to get your own show, you`re going to have to lose some weight.

ALLEY: Well, why can`t I just get a show first and then lose the weight?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s not the way it works, my friend.

ALLEY: You know what, my friend? It does work that way with the guys. I mean, look, John Goodman`s got his own show, and Jason Alexander looks like a frickin` bowling ball!


BRYANT: But not everyone thinks binge eating is funny. Today the National Eating Disorder Association called the show "dangerous and appalling," saying eating disorders are no joking matter.

That brings us to our "SHOWBIZ Showdown" hot topic. "Fat Actress" backlash: Does the show send a bad message? Joining us live in LA, TV critic Mary Murphy -- she is a senior writer for "TV Guide" -- who says, No, it does not send a bad message, and Jessica Weiner, ambassador for the National Eating Disorder Association and a Hollywood producer, who says, Yes, indeed, it does send a bad message.

So Mary, I do want to start with you. So you`re saying this show, it`s just comedy, it`s fine, it`s OK?

MARY MURPHY, "TV GUIDE": Oh, no, I`m not saying it`s just comedy. I`m saying that this show is courageous enough to bring this issue front and center to the American public, the first time we`ve ever seen it in primetime, and that it deals in, I think, stereotypes and things that people don`t like, but it also deals in the truth of the subject. And it has already become water-cooler conversation everywhere I`ve gone in the last two days.

BRYANT: OK. Jessica, what are your thoughts?

Oh, I`m sorry. We can`t hear you right now.

I`m going to go back to you, Mary. I do want to know, though -- I mean, you know, Showtime did put out a statement today, and they said that, yes, the fact that Kirstie Alley has decided to speak out about the absurdity of Hollywood standards is inspirational. Do you think, though, that a show like this is really going to change people`s ideas and start -- you know, Hollywood will start casting bigger women?

MURPHY: I think that a show like this probably won`t affect the casting of Hollywood movies or television shows, but I think it may affect the most serious issue, health issue about obesity in this country. I think that`s the value of this show, not that overweight women are going to get roles because we know Hollywood discriminates them. What the truth is, is that it shows really the obsessiveness, the addictiveness of this kind of eating, the eating in the car, the bingeing, all of which is true.

BRYANT: OK. Jessica, we`re going to go to you now. What are your thoughts?

JESSICA WEINER, AUTHOR, SPEAKER, PRODUCER: OK. Well, first of all, I`ve got to agree with Mary. Yes, it`s become water-cooler conversation. Our fear and my fear is, not just as a producer but an educator and somebody who`s survived eating disorders, is that we`re sending the wrong message because we are again layering in stereotype after stereotype.

Binge eating affects over 25 million women in this country, and men. We have 10 million women and 1 million men with eating disorders, and they`re not a laughing matter. And I think that some of the stereotypes that we see in "Fat Actress," while I understand the intention and I`m excited that there was an idea to put a full-figured woman in a leading role, it is such a horrible stereotype to have a woman pulling food from her apron, to be having food in her mouth all the time. That`s not how fat people behave. That`s not how overweight people behave.

BRYANT: But isn`t that...

WEINER: That`s how the media portrays fat people and overweight people behaving.

BRYANT: Well, but doesn`t this draw from Kirstie`s true experiences, though? Hasn`t she contributed, you know, by giving some of her own truths to the show?

WEINER: I think that, absolutely, Kirstie is bringing forward her experiences, which we value and we appreciate. But when you`re talking about this as a larger issue affecting America, it is not a laughing matter. This is something that we`re in an epidemic health crisis about, and making fun of it and -- you know, fat phobia wasn`t the only stereotype in the program. It was sort of a larger stereotype, looking at women and women`s bodies. And I think we don`t have enough proper information about the disease and illness around eating disorders in this country to show a woman in sort of dire straits like that.

I understand the attempt and the intention, and I think the 55 million women in this country who are above a size 14 appreciate and want to see themselves on television. We`re just not the butts of jokes, and we`re not a piece of schtick.

BRYANT: OK, Mary, your response?

MURPHY: I think my response is that some of the truth of the show -- when she does become the butt of jokes, especially in network executive offices, that`s true. When she does hide in her car, that`s true. And the stereotypes are not just confined to women over a size 14. There are stereotypes all over the show, with network producers, with black network executives, with overweight women. I mean, it`s all there, and they`re making fun of it.

But within the context of the fun is really -- I agree, is saying, Be aware of this. This is not healthy for our society. And in that sense, I think the show is doing a service.

WEINER: I just -- I kindly and politely disagree with that. I wish that there was an effort to have -- I think this conversation is beautiful and we need to have more dialogue around this. Unfortunately, when you have somebody on the program advising to start bulimia as a weight-loss tactic, you guys don`t understand that there are millions of young girls in this country, and women, who really do believe that bulimia is a weight- loss control tactic.

And by saying, you know, Stick something beautiful down your throat and purge -- I know the parody and the satire intended, but when you talk to, like I did this morning, a father whose daughter weighs 55 pounds and she`s 28 years old, she`s getting a message. And it becomes in the zeitgeist of the conversation. We`re not moving it forward, we`re actually taking a step backwards.

BRYANT: All right, well, you know, at least the channels are open now. We are getting some dialogue going. So I thank you for that. TV critic Mary Murphy of "TV Guide" and Jessica HAMMER of the National Eating Disorder Association, I thank you both for joining us for the "Showdown."

We would like to know your thoughts at home. Overweight actresses: Does Hollywood discriminate against them? 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 in the show.

HAMMER: Well, they work with some of the biggest names in Hollywood, and we`ve got an inside look at the world of celebrity public relations. Lizzie Grubman and her MTV "Power Girls" are coming up.

BRYANT: Plus, he`s rescuing hostages again. We`re at the premiere of Bruce Willis`s new movie.


HAMMER: When a star`s picture is in a magazine or when they`re called out for kanoodling in a gossip page, it`s not always by chance. It could be a carefully calculated public relations move. And now celebrity publicist Lizzie Grubman is letting us in on her secrets. She`s doing it with a team of gorgeous gals in a new MTV reality show called "Power Girls." Check it out.



LIZZIE GRUBMAN, "POWER GIRLS": I`m Lizzie Grubman. I`m a publicist. I represent nightclubs, restaurants, corporations, movie stars. These clients come to me because they want to get their names in the press. People, places and things -- I make them famous.

I have a lot of people working for me, but I have four glamorous girls who really are the face of my company.

But PR is a tough business, and life is not always glamorous behind the velvet ropes.

Don`t screw this up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`ve got me here looking like a complete bozo right now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Puffy`s coming in in two minutes!

GRUBMAN: The pressure`s intense.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m not happy with this.

GRUBMAN: And in this competitive industry, success is measured one club opening, one hit record and one red carpet at a time. This is the world of "Power Girls."


HAMMER: Joining us live now are Lizzie Grubman and those "Power Girls" of hers, Ali, Kelly, Millie and Rachel. Ladies, welcome to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

GRUBMAN: Thank you for having us!

HAMMER: It`s our pleasure to have you here. And Lizzie, for people who don`t know, give us the quick, 30-second education on what a PR firm does.

GRUBMAN: Well, PR firms do so many different things. What we do is we connect celebrities with products and put them in the press. Is that quick enough?

HAMMER: That was quick. That was a good explanation.

GRUBMAN: Basically, that`s what we do, don`t you think?

HAMMER: Now, Lizzie, it`s really important for you, obviously -- you have clients who are paying you tons of cash to get the best message out about them, so they want to know their money is being well spent. So my question is, what`s your motivation for doing the show? Because it does not always paint you guys in the best light. Sometimes it shows you slacking off a little bit and not really, you know, spending their money wisely.

GRUBMAN: Well, we`re real. People make mistakes. And what you see is what you get. We`re not perfect. And we -- basically, in the show, you go behind the scenes, and what we do is, like, show what real-life things happen. And it`s fun. It`s real. It`s light-hearted. It`s MTV. Come on!


GRUBMAN: People -- you know, don`t take it too seriously...


GRUBMAN: Exactly, you know?

HAMMER: A big part of what you do is placing those items in the gossip column...

GRUBMAN: Well, no.

HAMMER: ... like "Page 6" here in New York.

GRUBMAN: Yes. Yes.

HAMMER: Well, you show -- on tonight`s show, we actually see you phoning up "Page 6" and saying, This is what happened, I want to see it in the paper.

GRUBMAN: Right. That`s only a part of what we do. These gossip things are fun, and you know, they happen. The photographs, the paparazzi, that`s one aspect of our job. But also, we do "Wall Street Journal," "New York Times," "Forbes," the big-picture press, the things -- CNN.

HAMMER: Right.

GRUBMAN: We get our clients on your show. That`s what -- you know, also fun and exciting. So you know, don`t lose perspective on what PR really is.


GRUBMAN: But you know.

HAMMER: All right. Well, several years ago, there was an article in "New York" magazine called "Power Girls," from which this show gets its name. Ali, you say that you saw that article and said, I want to do that, I want to be in a PR firm. So here you are. You`re working for Lizzie for a while now. Has it worked out? Has it met up to your expectations?

ALI ZWEBEN, "POWER GIRLS": It totally has met up to my expectations. When I read that article, it just really piqued my interest. I`m, like, This is a great career for someone young and in the city to do and just be at the right places and do all these things...

HAMMER: A lot of fun, but I imagine a lot more work than you expected it to be.

ZWEBEN: Yes. And I was actually just really impressed with Lizzie and how she managed to grow her company, and that`s why I went to work for her, because I knew I`d be learning from the best, and I`ve just -- I love it.

HAMMER: OK. All right. Now, Kelly, Lizzie questions whether you want to rep celebrities or be one.


HAMMER: Which one is it, Kelly?

KELLY BRADY, "POWER GIRLS": Well, you`re going to have to watch the show and find out. But I really love PR. I`ve really found, like, it`s actually become my dream job. It`s really fun.

HAMMER: And you love having the cameras following you around, don`t you.


BRADY: I`m not going to lie. I love the cameras.

HAMMER: All right. OK, now, Rachel, what`s the best part about what you do?

RACHEL KRUPA, "POWER GIRLS": I think going out and meeting so many different people, that you never know who`s sitting next to you, what they`re doing, and who you may know that are mutually -- you know?

HAMMER: Well, what`s the worst part?

KRUPA: The worst part?


KRUPA: I don`t know...

HAMMER: When something goes horribly wrong at an event that you`re planning?

KRUPA: When something goes horribly wrong, I`m a cryer, so...

HAMMER: OK. Well, one of those things happens at something we`re going to see on the show tonight, Millie. You`re part of this whole Ja Rule autograph signing, and you don`t bring pictures.


GRUBMAN: No. That`s not Millie, that`s another Kelly.

HAMMER: My confusion, then.

GRUBMAN: Yes, it is. No, it`s not Millie. Millie is the diva in the show.

HAMMER: OK, that`s right.

GRUBMAN: She`s really tough.

HAMMER: How do you feel about being portrayed as the diva? Are you OK with that? Because you know, reality shows are going to be cut to show the biggest drama.

MILLIE MONYO, "POWER GIRLS": That`s -- exactly. I think people need to understand that it`s cut in a way that, you know, I`m not like that every day of my life. But you know, there`s some days when I`m a diva, and it`s just going to happen.

HAMMER: Lizzie, is that right? Just some days?

GRUBMAN: No, she is the sweetest girl in the entire world. And I want you to know...


MONYO: Just some days.

GRUBMAN: Just some days. And these girls are a big group of cryers, so you`re going to see a lot of crying. It`s not me. I`m not -- I`m the nicest girl in the world, but they all cry a lot. So just everyone know I don`t make them cry!


HAMMER: We`ve got to go. Ladies, thanks for stopping by. Best of luck with the show. "Power Girls" premieres Thursday night on MTV, so check it out.

50 Cent and The Game get together. It`s the very first time since their beef allegedly erupted in gunfire. So what went down? We are going to tell you.

And Fred Durst strikes back. His sex tape surfaced on line. Now he`s...


BRYANT: "Hostage" party. It`s a lot more fun than it sounds. We`re checking out the premiere of Bruce Willis`s latest movie.

HAMMER: Omarion alone. His first solo record is tearing up the charts. We have your look at what makes him tick.


OMARION: Hey, what`s going on, everybody? I`m Omarion. And if it happened today, it`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Yes.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It is 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer.

BRYANT: And I`m Karyn Bryant.

Here are tonight`s hot headlines.

Dan Rather signed off for the last time on "CBS Evening News" tonight, after 24 years in the anchor chair. He wrapped up the broadcast saying 9/11 was the biggest story of his time. Signing off with the word he used years ago, "Courage," he thanked his viewers and his staff as well.

HAMMER: Accuser on the stand. The boy who says Michael Jackson molested him took the stand in the trial late this afternoon. The boy said the first time he went to Neverland, Jackson suggested he and his brother sleep in his bedroom, and they looked at adult Web sites together. The accuser will be back on the stand tomorrow.

BRYANT: Saying goodbye. "The New York Post" reports supermodel Petra Nemcova will travel to London to attend the funeral of her boyfriend, Simon Atlee, who died in the tsunami that nearly killed her. The date of the service has not yet been set.

Startling story tonight from rocker Scott Weilan. He`s telling all about his drug use, and how Courtney Love came into the picture. In the April issue of "Esquire," magazine, the Velvet Revolver front man says after a 10-year drug binge, he`s finally happy and off drugs for good. Weilan says at one point after his first drug arrest in 1995, he spent a month in a hotel room in Los Angeles next to Courtney Love. He says they shot drugs the whole time, nothing went on between them, though, because, quote, "Dope was the most important thing."

HAMMER: Well, tonight rapper 50 Cent is blowing up on the charts and cooling off his feuds. In new numbers out today, 50`s new CD, "The Massacre," massacred the competition. It debuted at number one on the "Billboard" album chart. 50 also surprised us in another way today. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was there in New York City as 50 announced a truce with rapper The Game.


50 CENT, RAPPER: I just want to apologize on behalf of myself, 50 Cent.

HAMMER (voice-over): Rappers The Game and 50 Cent squashed their beef this afternoon, pretty much the same way their dispute began 10 days ago, with heavy media coverage.

50 CENT: I`m almost ashamed to have participated in the things that went on the last couple of weeks. So I`m here, I`m apologetic.

HAMMER: The two multimillion-selling rappers got together in Harlem this afternoon to make donations to youth music programs in New York and Los Angeles. But with cameras rolling, they also put a very public end to their even more public feud.

THE GAME, RAPPER: I feel like this is a opportunity for people to see us make peace.

HAMMER: 50, the more established rapper from New York, and The Game, an L.A.-based rapper who 50 helped discover, appeared tight as they burned up the charts with their song "How We Do," which is still in the top 10. Then, a couple of weeks ago, 50 mysteriously announced he was dropping The Game from his G-Unit clique for disloyalty.

Days later, the feud escalated into a shooting at a New York City radio station, where 50 was making a guest appearance. Police say a member of The Game`s posse was shot and wounded when associates of the two rappers squared off outside the station.

So why are the two ending their beef now?

THE GAME: In the shadow of the untimely death of Biggie, today marks the anniversary of his death.

HAMMER: Eight years ago today The Notorious B.I.G. was gunned down, some say as a result of a beef he had with West Coast rappers.

MINAL PATEL, "BILLBOARD" MAGAZINE: I think what happened eight years ago with his death was a learning, it was a lesson for all involved in the culture. And the events of today just go to show that 50 Cent, The Game, and everyone involved truly has learned their lesson.

HAMMER: Both rappers have CDs on the charts, and 50 Cent`s new CD, "The Massacre," is now number one. And maybe the end of their feud will help put the focus back on their music.


HAMMER: And about their music, I mentioned just a few moments ago that 50`s new CD debuted at number one on the charts. Meanwhile, The Game`s debut album, "Documentary," is at number five. It has already sold more than 1.5 million units.

BRYANT: In the reality world, they`re cutting it down to the final 12 on "American Idol" tonight. It was ladies` night last night. Let`s take a listen.

That episode easily gave Fox another big ratings win last night. Tomorrow`s episode of "The Apprentice" features some big names in music, like Barenaked Ladies, Gene Simmons, and Moby. The "Apprentice" teams asked musicians to donate a personal experience to be auctioned off for charity.

HAMMER: Well, Bruce Willis`s new movie, "Hostage," opens on Friday, and SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was there as the stars came out to celebrate in New York last night.

First the premiere, where we found out Willis negotiated with several stars to get them on board, including the wisecracking Kevin Pollack.


KEVIN POLLACK, "THE HOSTAGE": I loved the novel by Robert Treys. I was doing "The Whole Ten Yards" with Bruce Willis. And he gave me the book for "Hostage." He said this was his next movie, and maybe there was a part I might be interested in, and his company was producing it. And I said, Who are you again, and why are you in my trailer?

And then I read the book and was amazed and thrilled.


HAMMER: Also amazing and thrilling, the afterparty at Planet Hollywood in Times Square. Willis played host to a bevy of celebrities, including Sylvester Stallone and Lindsay Lohan.




HAMMER: In "Hostage," Willis plays a retired hostage negotiator who is forced back into that role. And in movie-speak, this time it`s personal.

Speaking of which, the new issue of "People" magazine has Willis opening up about sex, his ex, and the secret to a happy divorce. As for whether he`ll ever get married again, well, Willis says, quote, "I think unless the hand of God intervenes, I am going to go out as a bachelor," unquote.

We`ll have much more about Bruce Willis tomorrow. He`ll be right here live on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

BRYANT: Have you heard about the Fred Durst sex tape? Well, Mr. Durst is not at all pleased. He`s taking legal action, and we`re taking it to the buzz bench, later on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: Plus, Omarion on the scene. We will hear how he feels about the Justin Timberlake comparisons. That`s coming up.


JAI RODRIGUEZ: I`m wearing Cavalli, Roberto Cavalli. And it doesn`t seem like it would be, because it`s pretty tame, but to the inside, it`s all Cavallied out, so -- And I have Chapar jewelry. A little bling.



BRYANT: Time now for tonight`s edition of the buzz bench.

While it has been Rather interesting night tonight as a mainstay of network news says goodbye, 50 Cent, The Game, and Fred Durst are trying to steal the spotlight. There`s a lot going on today.

HAMMER: There is a lot going on. We`ve got some great contributors on the buzz bench tonight. It is "Rolling Stone"`s Joe Levy, CNN pop culture correspondent Toure, and "Entertainment Weekly"`s Jessica Shaw.

I want to start with you. An emotional goodbye from Dan Rather.

JESSICA SHAW, "ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY": (UNINTELLIGIBLE) especially for me, because I did cry.

HAMMER: You shed a tear.

SHAW: I did shed a tear. It was emotional. You know, he addressed his fellow journalists who have covered stories overseas. He addressed victims of the tsunami, of 9/11, the troops. And, you know, he ended his final broadcast with the word "Courage," which is what he`s been known for. And don`t be a skeptic. I thought...

TOURE, CNN POP CULTURE CORRESPONDENT: Well, no. But, I mean, I`m, I, it`s weird because he kind of gets kicked on his way out the door by the "New Yorker" story, where his peers are saying, Well, we don`t watch him, we watch Jennings, we watch Brokaw, we prefer Brian Williams.

JOE LEVY, "ROLLING STONE": (UNINTELLIGIBLE) got kicked on the way out of the door by Walter Cronkite, the man he replaced.


LEVY: But is it OK that I don`t care? Is it OK?


TOURE: I don`t really care, either.

SHAW: I think you will start caring when there`s a big story, and -- such as the presidential election 2000, when Rather compared the race to a too-tight bathing suit. That is the time we need Dan Rather.


BRYANT: ... too long ride home from the beach. I mean, that`s poetry.


TOURE: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE) like George Michael saying, I retired, and it`s, like, didn`t you already retire? I mean, this is kind of the same thing.

HAMMER: Well, he`s not going away. He`s going back to what he says he prefers doing, which is reporting.

BRYANT: Reporting, reporting.

SHAW: You know, that`s the thing. I kind of wish he would just sort of retire and exit...

LEVY: Just go away?

SHAW: ... stage left gracefully. And, you know, doing these extra things on "60 Minutes," I don`t know about that.

BRYANT: Well, I want to move on to the next topic, which is The Game and 50 Cent. They`ve called a truce. We just saw that, you know, they`ve made donations to charities, they`re making nice, they`re playing nice.

TOURE: And can we not call it a rap war? Because it never really escalated to war.


LEVY: What would like to call it?


TOURE: It was a skirmish.


TOURE: It was a skirmish.


TOURE: Just a minor skirmish. And we know it`s over. I mean, I think this, the heart of this was that 50 Cent was jealous that he didn`t get to work with Dr. Dre as much as The Game did last year. And he had to change his release date for The Game. And it`s kind of like little brother jealousy or big brother jealousy over the new little brother...

SHAW: I found you, and then you got more attention.

TOURE: Exactly. You`re not taking (UNINTELLIGIBLE), what`s going on? Jimmy Eyevine, the head of Interscope, and Eminem and Dr. Dre, called 50 Cent in and said, Hey, you`re embarrassing all of us, stop. So this is over.


LEVY: Just to clear, get our terms clear, it`s not a rap war, it`s a skirmish. But somebody still got shot. It`s a skirmish, Joe...


LEVY: ... because he only got shot, he only got wounded, so it`s a skirmish.

SHAW: I have to say, I think we`re missing a big story here, which is that J-Lo`s album came out the same week and sold 261,000, and 50 Cent sold, what, 1.4 million or some crazy amount. So I think J-Lo needs to start a skirmish.


HAMMER: I don`t think we need to start this up right now. I don`t think so. We`re come a long way from Roxanne`s revenge, haven`t we?


BRYANT: Right. Well, either way, regardless of whether the skirmish was fabricated or real or jealousy, or whatever, it helped them sell records.

HAMMER: Well, what will Limp Bizkit do when...


TOURE: I don`t think it helped 50 sell a lot of records. I know you`re trying to do the tease...

HAMMER: I`m just trying to (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

TOURE: ... for the next one...


TOURE: ... if he had three hot singles...


TOURE: ... that`s what pushed of 1.2 million records, not the shooting.

SHAW: Not the...

HAMMER: OK. Well, we have to move on to the next (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

BRYANT: Altercation, yes.

LEVY: Do we actually have to...


HAMMER: But this brings up a good question, of course. A few weeks ago, a sex video was allegedly stolen off of Fred Durst`s personal computer, hacked into it, he says, by the same person who got into Paris`s Sidekick, and then it was being sold on the Internet. So now he`s announced that he`s suing the places that are selling.


HAMMER: Limp Bizkit, Limp Bizkit also working on a CD right now, (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

LEVY: Let`s be clear about this. It`s not Fred Durst who says that it may be the same hackers who got Paris`s Sidekick. It`s the FBI who have suggested that it may be the same people. And also, just to be clear, Durst`s lawsuit, and he`s suing 10 different Web sites for something like $80 million...


LEVY: ... also says that he was first approached about this tape in December. So these guys have had it for a while, and possibly got to Durst before Paris Hilton. But let`s get to the heart of the matter.

TOURE: Please.

LEVY: Who keeps...


LEVY: ... a tape of themselves having sex...


LEVY: ... on their hard drive of their computer? Besides you, Toure.


TOURE: Well, I`m sorry.

SHAW: (UNINTELLIGIBLE), I mean, wasn`t it just two years ago that he was going on and on about how he`d gotten it on with Britney Spears and she was denying it? He should be happy. He has proof that he`s having sex.


BRYANT: Well, see, I think that that means...


BRYANT: ... that it`s not such a great tape.

LEVY: Actually, actually...

BRYANT: Right?

LEVY: ... actually, if you`d seen the tape, we would all know why he`s not happy. There`s some news that he`d rather not have out there.


SHAW: That`s what I`ve heard, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) not...


LEVY: It`s not Tommy Lee-size news.


SHAW: ... is making money off that tape.

TOURE: In general, in the modern era, you don`t lose fame from a sex tape. You gain fame. This is the beginning of Pam Anderson`s big career, the beginning of Paris Hilton`s big era in her career.

BRYANT: But it might be different for a man if he`s perceived to be less than a great lover. I think it could be...


HAMMER: ... of our (UNINTELLIGIBLE) buzz bench for today. Thank you very much, "Rolling Stone"`s Joe Levy, CNN correspondent for culture and pop culture, Toure, and, of course, Jessica Shaw from "Entertainment Weekly."

BRYANT: Nicely done.

HAMMER: Thank you.

BRYANT: Robin as a robot. Robin Williams paints the town red, promoting his new movie, coming up.


ROBIN WILLIAMS: I`m a trained professional.


HAMMER: Plus, Omarion, in control. Barely out of his teenage years, he`s definitely a man with a plan. How he got to the top, also coming up.

BRYANT: Now, tonight`s birthday shoutout. Bow Wow turns 18 years old today. The shoutout, an unlikely one, from Michael Buble.


MICHAEL BUBLE: Hi, this is Michael Buble. I`d like to say a very special happy birthday to Bow Wow. Bow Wow, now that you`re a big boy, I`m taking the name Little. So signing off is Little Buble.


HAMMER: Omarion is making a break from boy band stardom and doing it on his own. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was there as his debut solo album hit that top spot on the "Billboard" charts.


HAMMER (voice-over): He`s all grown up. Omarion, the former front man for the boy band B2K. His first solo album hit the number one spot its first week out, outselling Ray Charles, Green Day, and The Game.

OMARION: I`m ecstatic. I mean, it`s kind of hard to talk about, because, you know, I didn`t expect it to be, you know, like this, number one, R&B and pop. You know, like, thank you, God.

HAMMER: Not bad for a guy who isn`t even 21 yet.

OMARION: Busy man, trying to get my work on, you know what I`m saying?

HAMMER: Omarion hit the scene in 2001 as the lead singer in the quartet B2K. The group hit the big time a year later with the single "Bump Bump Bump."

OMARION: P. Diddy, we actually did "Bump Bump Bump" together, and P. Diddy, P. Diddy, you the man.

HAMMER: B2K broke up last year. But that didn`t stop Omarion from going from boy band to boy wonder.

OMARION: Now I really feel that I have control of my goal, and where I want to go, and how I`m going to get there.

HAMMER: He tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that he picked up his pen and paper for this album, writing four of the 13 songs on the record. It wasn`t all him. O brought in some big names to help him out. Big Boi from Outkast did a track. He also teamed up with several heavyweight producers, including the Underdogs and Pharrell Williams from the Neptunes.

OMARION: I`m in the studio with Pharrell. We went in there, we worked. And usually, you know, you get a song sent to you, and it`s, like, OK, check this one out, or we`re going to record this one. But we did that on the spot, a song called "Touch" on my album, which is number two on the disc.

HAMMER: Critics have been comparing him to Justin Timberlake, something that doesn`t bother him in the slightest.

OMARION: He just came from a group, just the same as myself. So it`s all good to me. I mean, these are guys who sell millions of records. So it`s cool. That`s fine with me.

HAMMER: Just like Justin, Omarion is no stranger to the ladies. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was there to catch plenty of them going wild at a free concert he gave in New York.

But it`s not just the young girls that are buying his record.

OMARION: Now, you know, being 20, just a lot of, you know, like, older women, you know, listening to my music, 33, you know, up there. That`s not old. Don`t get me wrong. That`s young and right.


HAMMER: Omarion is still selling records in his second week as a charting solo artist. This week, his album came in at number eight on the "Billboard" chart.

BRYANT: We know Penelope Cruz can act. But can she hold her own with Ellen on the dance floor? That is coming up in talk of the day.

HAMMER: And there is still time for you to sound off in tonight`s SHOWBIZ showdown question of the day. Overweight actresses, does Hollywood discriminate against them? Go to the Web to vote. is the address, that`s Got more to say? E-mail us what`s on your mind at We`re going to read some of what you had to say coming up next.


BRYANT: They`ve been talking all day, and we`ve been listening. Now, as we do every night on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, the best from today`s talk shows.

HAMMER: You know how Ellen DeGeneres loves to dance? She`s got all those wacky dance moves. Well, Penelope Cruz came up with some of her own today on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."


ELLEN DEGENERES, HOST: I`m sorry. I couldn`t hear you.

PENELOPE CRUZ, ACTRESS: You can dance with no rhythm at all, like antirhythm.


CRUZ: And I know difficult for you to do that, but...



BRYANT: Very cute, very cute. Well, it is -- What?

HAMMER: No, she`s adorable no matter what she does, (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

BRYANT: Yes, she is adorable.

HAMMER: She can`t mess up.

BRYANT: It is time to get your laugh on now in laughter dark. As we do every night, we bring you the latest, the late night laughs, rather, that you might have missed.

HAMMER: And as we told you earlier, Kirstie Alley`s show "Fat Actress" has caused some controversy. Well, as Conan O`Brien points out on "Late Night," the fat actress is all about good deeds.


CONAN O`BRIEN, HOST: "Fat Actress." you know the show "Fat Actress"? Star Kirstie Alley announced that every time she strays from her diet, she donates $100 to her favorite charity. That`s nice. Yes. Yes, as a result, as a result three diseases have been completely eradicated. They`re just gone.


HAMMER: Which brings us to this. Throughout the show, we have been asking you to vote online on our SHOWBIZ showdown question of the day. Overweight actresses, does Hollywood discriminate against them?

Let`s take a look and see how the voting`s going so far. Yes, 92 percent of you say Hollywood does in fact discriminate against fat actresses, leaving only 8 percent of you who said no.

And we`ve been getting some comments on this as well through e-mail.

From Julie in Vancouver, she says that "`Fat Actress` is going for all the cheap shots for ratings, and Kirstie Alley is simply a pawn."

Remember, we`d like you to continue to vote by going to Let us know what you think.

BRYANT: Kind of overwhelming, the response on that one, I think.

HAMMER: Ninety-two percent. Can`t argue with that.

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

ANNOUNCER: It`s the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT dating game. Tomorrow, bachelor number one. He enjoys long walks, romantic dinners, and rescuing hostages. Added bonus, he`s one of the biggest movie stars in the world. Bruce Willis, live on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT tomorrow.

Also tomorrow, bachelor number two. He`s a Hollywood tough guy, good with kids, and a true man of style. He likes jeans, cowboy boots, and Prada suits. Find out how Vin Diesel gets his high-octane look on Thursday in style.

And playing Friday, bachelor number three. He likes to travel, and he`s a great conversationalist.


SAMUEL L. JACKSON, ACTOR: Oh, I`m sorry. Did I break your concentration?


ANNOUNCER: Ah, yes, you broke our concentration, and, well, he`s not actually a bachelor. We`re going for a theme here, people. Stay with us.

Samuel L. Jackson`s new movie, it tackles a really big topic. And he tells us all about it Friday on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: Sam Jackson`s new movie, "In My Country," about the South African apartheid reconciliation hearings. A tough sell, but he`s going to explain it all to us and tell us why we should go see it.

BRYANT: He`s such a good actor.

HAMMER: Unbelievable. Did I break your concentration?

BRYANT: Excuse me.

HAMMER: Well, that`s it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. We`ll see you back here tomorrow. "NANCY GRACE" is up next, after the very latest from Headline News.


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