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SHOWBIZ TONIGHT

Blake Not Guilty; Will Ferrell in New Woody Allen Movie, CNNHN

Aired March 16, 2005 - 19:00:00   ET

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


KARYN BRYANT, CO-HOST: A dramatic ending to a real-life courtroom drama.
A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: Tonight, a verdict in the Robert Blake trial. We`ll get a live update. I`m A.J. Hammer.

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

HAMMER: "Melinda and Melinda," and SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Woody Allen`s new movie with Will Ferrell premieres where else but Manhattan, and we`re there live.

BRYANT: "American Idol" minus Mario. The backlash over the bail-out. But the show must go on, and it is. We`ll get a live update.

HAMMER: Naomi Watts returns in "The Ring Two."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NAOMI WATTS, "THE RING TWO": It`s all about to unravel.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Naomi tells us about some creepy coincidences on the set in the "SHOWBIZ Sitdown."

BRYANT: Your ticket to fashion week in Los Angeles. Two hot shows, two hot parties. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is all over town.

HAMMER: What it`s like to be a fashion show producer -- the models, the seating, the celebrity guests. Running a runway is hard work. We`ll take you behind the scenes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, what`s up? I`m Maya (ph). And if it happened today, it`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. So keep it right here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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: A Hollywood stunner. Tonight, a verdict in the Robert Blake trial: not guilty.

HAMMER: Baretta was charged with killing his wife in cold blood, and all eyes were glued when the verdicts came in. Pat Lalama of "Celebrity Justice" is live in Burbank with up-to-the-minute details -- Pat.

PAT LALAMA, "CELEBRITY JUSTICE": Well, you might say that at his favorite restaurant, Vitello`s, there`s a new dish called the acquittal. That`s exactly what happened today, almost a clean sweep. Robert Blake and attorneys speaking to media and people outside the courthouse, as we speak. And what we`ve heard him say, in a long and kind of droning, probably very emotional tone -- I mean, let`s consider what he`s been through -- thanked all his attorneys, said they came on board with "short dough and long hours," were his exact words, and that he was broke and needed a job. So we know that Robert Blake is still always the actor.

Now, let`s get to what this jury decided to do. On one count of solicitation, they said, Hey, we`re hung. We just don`t buy the stuntman`s testimony. We thought it was disjointed. This guy we could not believe in. The other solicitation charge, he was just downright acquitted of. And the murder charge he was downright acquitted of. And so what they said, what the jurors said, was, Hey, you had these two bumbling -- well, they called them many names, but you have these stuntmen who were drug addicts, had lots of problems, and who could believe them? And then there was really no physical evidence, no DNA, no blood, no eyewitness.

So even if in their heart of hearts, they might have thought Robert Blake talked about so-called whacking his wife, in the end, they did what the law told them they must do, and that`s believe beyond a reasonable doubt that he did it. And obviously, they did not. And Mr. Blake is now a very free man.

BRYANT: All right. Well, thank you so much for that report. Pat Lalama of "Celebrity Justice" from Burbank. Of course, there will be more coverage of the Robert Blake trial on "NANCY GRACE" following SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: It is time for "SHOWBIZ Shorts," a look at more stories that are making news tonight. Another term for "The West Wing." Sources tell "The Hollywood Reporter" that the show is coming back for a seventh season. The show`s getting ready for a regime change, with Martin Sheen`s character`s term ending. Sources say "West Wing" producers have Alan Alda and Jimmy Smits both under contract for next season. Their characters have been campaigning for president.

You`re hired. ABC is casting a TV movie about Donald Trump. The biopic is called "Ambition." Actor Justin Louis will play the Donald. Louis was on the short-list NBC series "Hidden Hills" and is on Lifetime`s "Missing."

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

BRYANT: Director Woody Allen is premiering his new film right now, where else but in New York City, his home and favorite back lot. The new movie, "Melinda and Melinda," stars comic genius Will Ferrell, and SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s David Haffenreffer joins us live from the premiere. Now, David, is there any sign of Will?

DAVID HAFFENREFFER, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT: Well, you take a look for yourself, Karyn.

BRYANT: Oh, my gosh!

HAFFENREFFER: He`s standing right next to us. Comic genius, believe it or not. Comic genius?

WILL FERRELL, "MELINDA AND MELINDA": Really?

HAFFENREFFER: Really.

FERRELL: Oh, yes. OK.

HAFFENREFFER: This is a bit of a departure for you. This is -- the actor -- the character`s name you`re playing is Hobie.

FERRELL: Right.

HAFFENREFFER: Tell me a little bit about Hobie and how different this role is from others you`ve played in the past.

FERRELL: Well, this is -- you know, this is a little more of a realistic movie, in the sense that it`s -- you know, I`m not running around naked or anything crazy like that. I`m not...

HAFFENREFFER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) stretch.

FERRELL: I`m not in yellow tights or anything. But you know, Hobie`s a neurotic, believe it or not, out-of-work actor who`s unhappy in his marriage and finds love in a different place.

HAFFENREFFER: You have said before that this is the role that Woody Allen would be playing, if he was in this role.

FERRELL: Right.

HAFFENREFFER: What was it like working with him?

FERRELL: You know, once I got over the initial trepidation of having him actually stare at me and hoping I wasn`t going to get fired after the first day, then it was great. But yes, you`re -- it`s a little tough to get over the fact that you`re working with the actual Woody Allen and -- and -- but I have to say, he was a wonderful director and really let me kind of do whatever I wanted to do. And it was great fun.

HAFFENREFFER: Could you offer your voice into this role? As we said, the writer and director -- it`s his voice that you`re -- that you`re using.

FERRELL: Yes. It`s tough at times, I mean, because it is definitely written, as you said, in his voice, and his even distinct mannerisms. And yet that -- you know, that was kind of the battle that I faced. I tried to still make it unique to what I do. And hopefully, I kind of blended the two in a way.

HAFFENREFFER: I saw your wife coming in earlier. You have a 1-year- old at home now.

FERRELL: Yes.

HAFFENREFFER: Tell me a little bit about parenthood.

FERRELL: Well, I wouldn`t know that much. I don`t really see the child that often. In fact, I don`t even know what he looks like. I saw him three weeks ago.

HAFFENREFFER: You looked very...

FERRELL: A handsome kid. But it`s great. We`re having a great time. And you know how it is. You just make it up as you go along. But we`re having a great time.

HAFFENREFFER: Thank you for talking with us.

FERRELL: Sure.

HAFFENREFFER: "Melinda and Melinda" opens this Friday. Congratulations.

FERRELL: Thank you.

HAFFENREFFER: Nice to see you. Back to you in the studio.

BRYANT: All right. Thank you, David Haffenreffer. I love Will Ferrell! There you go, A.J.

HAMMER: All right. Well, is it your dream to have Paris Hilton call you master? Well, if you dream of Paris, tonight your American dreams come true. A little confused? Let me explain here. The hotel heiress is going from reality TV to the set of the NBC drama "American Dreams." Paris is guest-starring as "I Dream of Jeannie`s" Barbara Eden. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jeannie!

PARIS HILTON: Oh, before you guys go, my niece is a huge fan of your show.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe she`d like an autograph.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m sure she would.

HILTON: Also, I`m having a little get-together at my house tonight, and she`s going to be there. So I`m wondering if you girls want to come.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, we`ll be there!

HILTON: Fabulous.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And not that it matters, but from one television celebrity to another, will there be any other stars there?

HILTON: Oh, just the usual -- me, Mia, Marlo...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: You can catch Paris blinking her way into living rooms tonight on NBC.

BRYANT: From "American Dreams" to "American Idol," the show is on again tonight, and it`s going on without contestant Mario Vazquez, who dropped out last weekend. But a substitute, Nikko Smith, has dropped in. How`s he doing? And has Mario changed his tune about why he left? Let`s go to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Brooke Anderson in LA for the scoop.

BROOKE ANDERSON, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT: Karyn, Mario has not changed his tune, first of all. And this whole "Where`s Mario" controversy isn`t hurting "American Idol`s" ratings any. In numbers released just this afternoon, we learned that last night`s "Idol" drew a jaw-dropping 28 million viewers. Of course, Mario Vazquez wasn`t on the show, but as everyone buzzes about his departure, he is showing up elsewhere on the tube.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARIO VAZQUEZ, FORMER "AMERICAN IDOL" CONTESTANT: Screw it. I`m quitting this, too.

DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST: What? Wait a minute.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON (voice-over): Mario`s knack for abruptly quitting TV gigs was the big joke when he did the top 10 list on "The Late Show With David Letterman" last night. But assuming he was kidding when he said...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VAZQUEZ: Ryan Seacrest is all hands.

LETTERMAN: Look out!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: ... Mario`s reasons for dropping out of "American Idol" over the weekend are still a mystery today. Mario and "American Idol`s" producers are sticking to the same story, that he did it for personal reasons.

CYNTHIA SANZ, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: We`ve been talking to lots of people who know Mario, who worked with him, to his family. And they really do say that it`s just a personal reason, that -- you know, some of them aren`t even quite sure what he`s referring to. But it`s something that`s unconnected to his career, that he just didn`t want to continue.

ANDERSON: Back in Hollywood, on "American Idol," the show must go on. The finals got under way, but not before host Ryan Seacrest addressed the Mario matter.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RYAN SEACREST, "AMERICAN IDOL": "American Idol" has never been without its share of real-life drama, and this season is certainly no exception. Unfortunately, late Friday night, Mario Vazquez withdrew from the competition for personal reasons. So we all wish him the best for the future. We`ll miss him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: It is back to the stage for Mario`s "American Idol" fill- in, Nikko Smith, who`s the son of Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith. Nikko was booted from the show last week, but Saturday, after getting an early morning phone call in St. Louis, he was on a plane back to LA for a somewhat triumphant return to "American Idol."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m glad that you`re back, man. Welcome back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Remember, we said somewhat triumphant.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SIMON COWELL, "AMERICAN IDOL": Yes. Nikko, forgive me, because I thought you sounded horrible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Oh, well. Despite Simon`s loving criticism, Nikko was popular during his first run on the show. He came very close to getting voted into the top 12 on his own. Now that he`s back, is he a front- runner?

SANZ: Nikko does have a lot of fans, and there were a lot of people who thought that he had been booted off too early. So maybe he`ll be around a little longer this time.

ANDERSON: But if viewers agree with Simon, Nikko may find himself back in St. Louis again real soon.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

Tonight, one of the 12 finalists is getting sent home. Well, we think it`s still 12 contestants. You never know when someone`s going to pull a Mario and leave early. And Karyn, we`ve been monitoring "Idol" fan Web sites and message boards, and there is a simmering backlash. Basically, many fans are saying, OK, enough already, Mario. Just tell us why you left the show.

BRYANT: All right. Thank you, Brooke Anderson in Los Angeles. I want to know why he left the show. What about you, A.J.?

HAMMER: We`ll talk about it on the "Buzz Bench" tonight, as the team rolls on.

Anyway, it`s been exactly one week since Bob Schieffer took over the big chair at "The CBS Evening News," and the news tonight, well, it`s not that great. The ratings are slightly down from when Dan Rather was anchor. Minus Rather`s spike on his last night, the numbers show that Schieffer is actually attracting almost 300,000 fewer viewers than Dan Rather. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT had the chance to catch up with Mike Wallace today to ask him what he thought of his colleague`s first week on the job.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE WALLACE, "60 MINUTES": Bob is a first-rate reporter, a first- rate anchor. Everybody has confidence -- I`m serious. Everybody at CBS News has great confidence in Schieffer.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Well, Schieffer is only in the job temporarily. CBS is still mum about the future of the show.

BRYANT: Former "Baywatch" star Alexander Paul`s activism recently led to her arrest. She`s with us tonight for the "SHOWBIZ Showdown," a debate on whether stars help or hurt the cause. That`s coming up.

HAMMER: Plus, Ashton Kutcher says don`t believe anything you read about him and Demi. We will take that to the "Buzz Bench."

BRYANT: Now tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly`s" "Great American Pop Culture Quiz." Iggy Pop and David Bowie once shared an apartment in what European city? Was it Berlin, London, Frankfurt or Paris? We`ll be right back with the answer.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BRYANT: Welcome back. So again, tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly" "Great American Pop Culture Quiz." Iggy Pop and David Bowie once shared an apartment in what European city? Was it, A, Berlin, B, London, C, Frankfurt or D, Paris? The answer is A, Berlin.

HAMMER: That music can mean only one thing: 15 minutes past the hour and time now for the "SHOWBIZ Showdown." No matter what it is, every cause has its celebrity, and vice versa. Whether it`s Bono`s work seeking debt relief for third world countries and AIDS awareness or Angelina Jolie`s stint as a good will ambassador for the United Nations, celebrities lend their fame to further along all kinds of issues. But is a celebrity endorsement always a good thing for a cause? And that is tonight`s hot topic. Celebrity activists: Do they help the cause?

Joining us live in Washington, lawyer and lobbyist Jack Burkman, who says that celebrity activists can actually hurt causes. And in Los Angeles, celebrity activist Alexandra Paul, who says celebrities certainly can help a cause. In fact, she was just arrested at a vigil trying to keep GM electric cars from being destroyed.

So Alexandra, I`d like to start with you. Tell me your thoughts.

ALEXANDRA PAUL, CELEBRITY ACTIVIST: Well, I think that Jack is right, that sometimes a celebrity can hurt a cause. But overall, the adage "No publicity is bad publicity" helps a lot of these issues because what they most seek is for people to be aware of them, of the issue and the organization.

JACK BURKMAN, D.C. LAWYER AND LOBBYIST: Well, the problem, A.J. -- I agree with some of that. The problem is, you have more and more stars getting involved in politics and other things, and there are more and more dangers today with using stars. Consider -- the obvious example is Kobe Bryant. Consider all of the causes for which he was a spokesman and all of the products he endorsed. All of a sudden, one little problem in his life, he`s accused of something, turns out he was acquitted, and all of those companies are in trouble. All of those causes are in trouble. Another example, something like Mark McGwire...

PAUL: You know -- wait. Jack -- Jack, wait, wait, wait. Jack, those causes aren`t in trouble. But they do have to deal with Kobe. But the -- and I agree with you...

BURKMAN: but they are in trouble. They are in trouble because they have to start again. You see, they have to rebrand themselves. They have branded them to this guy, to this image, and not...

PAUL: They got a few good years with Kobe beforehand. And you`re right, this is a celebrity culture. And it`s so unfortunate and so much pressure for the organizations because they have to keep seeking bigger and bigger stars to bring their cause to light. And so there is a lot of pressure.

BURKMAN: But see, I -- I -- here`s where we disagree. You`re right, the CEOs, the heads of these organizations, the heads of these companies, whether it`s a cause or a product, yes, they want bigger and bigger stars. My point is, from their point of view, I don`t know if that`s a good thing for them because the CEO -- Give me a name, get me a name, get me a name -- that`s Madison Avenue. The problem is, is that really targeted? Is that targeted to the marketing? I mean, you know, they have Catherine Zeta- Jones, who`s nice to look at, but has T-Mobile sold more phones since she started? I don`t know. I -- there...

PAUL: Well, actually, I`ll tell you that I actually became aware of T-Mobile because of Catherine Zeta-Jones being the spokesperson. And I -- because I`m not a very techie person. I really don`t care what phone I have.

BURKMAN: OK, but...

PAUL: But because Catherine`s doing those advertising, that sort of sticks out in my...

HAMMER: OK, but -- let`s get back to the subject of activism here because we`re not talking about endorsements. Jack, you have other reasons why you think it`s a bad idea other than...

BURKMAN: Well...

HAMMER: Go ahead.

BURKMAN: Absolutely. Consider -- I mean, consider what`s going on tomorrow in the House of Representatives here in Washington. You`ve got a hearing. Think of how many -- think of how many causes these sports figures are championing -- Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire. All of a sudden, you have all of these guys being investigated for illegal drug use. Imagine how many causes, how many children`s causes. I mean, these people are involved in countless numbers of things. All of these entities will need to rebrand themselves.

And what I`m saying -- what I`m urging here...

PAUL: Yes, I think...

BURKMAN: ... there is too great a tendency to just say, Let`s find a star. You need the right person, No. 1, something that`s targeted for your cause or your product, and then...

HAMMER: What about -- let me get Alexandra in there. What about that? What about -- you know, it`s always been said that celebrities join up with causes because of PR. There are often cases where a publicist will join a celebrity with a cause just for the sake of doing it, but maybe not something that the celebrity is passionate about. Is that a bad idea?

PAUL: I think that the celebrity always cares about the cause. I mean, if the publicist sets a celebrity up because it`s kids with cancer, I mean, the celebrity cares about it. They`re donating their time.

HAMMER: Right.

PAUL: And it helps that cause. I want to just answer Jack`s comment earlier.

HAMMER: Do it real quickly. We have about 20 seconds.

PAUL: I think the American people -- the American people are smart enough to separate the brands that Kobe Bryant represented...

BURKMAN: But they`re not. They`re not.

PAUL: ... from Kobe Bryant...

BURKMAN: You can see they`re not.

PAUL: ... when Kobe Bryant falls from grace.

HAMMER: OK.

BURKMAN: That`s -- that`s the issue, is...

(CROSSTALK)

HAMMER: Jack, I`m sorry, we`re going to have to leave it at that. We are out of time.

BURKMAN: Thank you.

HAMMER: I want to thank you both for stopping in tonight on the "SHOWBIZ Showdown." Alexandra Paul, of course, actress and activist, we appreciate you being here. And Washington, D.C., lawyer and lobbyist Jack Burkman, always good to have you, as well.

And now please tell us your thoughts. The hot topic debate leads to our "SHOWBIZ Showdown" question of the day. Celebrity activists: Do they help the cause? What do you think? You can take the poll by going to cnn.com/showbiztonight. Or if you have more to say, e-mail us at showbiztonight@cnn.com. What you have to say later in the show.

BRYANT: "The Ring Two" comes out this Friday, and Naomi Watts says there were some chilling moments behind the scenes. That`s coming up in the "SHOWBIZ Sitdown."

HAMMER: Plus, the beautiful people show up for Cindy Crawford`s show with a cause at LA`s fashion week. We have the highlights coming up, as well.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BRYANT: "The Ring Two" is set to hit theaters Friday. Naomi Watts stars in the sequel, and she recently sat down with SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas. And Sibila joins us live from Los Angeles. How`s it going out there?

SIBILA VARGAS, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT: Oh, pretty good. It`s a beautiful day, thank goodness!

(LAUGHTER)

VARGAS: But let`s talk about Naomi Watts. We talked about her character, Rachel, doing a sequel and some spooky coincidences that happened on the set.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NAOMI WATTS, "THE RING TWO": Some things started going wrong with -- the hair and makeup trailer got flooded and the production office. You know, and it could just be weird coincidences, but it was a little strange. And you know, we wondered if it was something that we should read into, or if it was just, you know, down to a horrible coincidence.

VARGAS: Your character, Rachel, she is -- she went through some serious stuff in the first one, but now she`s back again and she deals with more stuff. Where does she find her strength?

WATTS: Well, she has to. She`s a survivor, and she has to protect her child. And the way -- the condition we left her in in the last one, where she was -- she chose to protect her child over everyone else and -- which is a huge moral dilemma, obviously. But you know, she`s a human being. I would have done the same thing. But what -- the way we`ve left her is with a huge amount of guilt.

VARGAS: Samara, she`s way out of control. In fact, she`s scarier.

WATTS: Yes, much more so (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

VARGAS: And after seeing the first one, why should we go back to see the second?

WATTS: Those are always the questions with a sequel. You know, why do you go back to do more? And you know, I think the obvious reason is that the first one did work out so well and it did make an impact. And you know, it`s kind of fun to go back and try and improve on that or, you know, make it as good as and, hopefully, better.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VARGAS: Naomi also told me that as far as future roles, she wants to keep changing it up. And by the looks of it, she`s getting her wish. She`s in the remake of "King Kong" as the damsel in distress, of course -- Karyn.

BRYANT: Yes, of course, the role made famous by Fay Wray. And I love "King Kong." Can`t wait for that one. So thank you very much, Sibila.

HAMMER: Well, it`s fashion week in LA right now. New York`s wrapped up last month. On both coasts, some of the most exciting moments happen behind the scenes of a fashion show. Coming up, we`re going to show you what it`s like to be a fashion show producer.

BRYANT: Plus: What`s up with Mario? He isn`t talking, but "American Idol" marches on. We`ll take it to the "Buzz Bench."

But first: 50 Cent is cashing in and crushing the competition on the "Billboard" charts. In numbers out today, his album, "The Massacre," is No. 1 for the second week in a row, selling 771,000 copies, more than half a million copies more than the competition. Jack Johnson`s "In Between Dreams" is in second place this week. The Game`s "The Documentary" is in third. Jennifer Lopez`s "Rebirth" slips to No. 4. And Green Day`s triple platinum "American Idiot" is No. 5.

We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)

BRYANT: It`s thriller night. The master of disaster gives an exclusive first look at his new film Wes Craven`s "Red Eye."

HAMMER: And Hugo Boss does its thing but Cindy Crawford rocks the runway herself. Have no fear, we`re everywhere. It`s LA`s fashion week.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi (INAUDIBLE) If it happened today, it`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It`s 30 minutes past the hour. I`m AJ Hammer.

BRYANT: I`m Karyn Bryant. Here are tonight`s hot headlines. Not guilty. This afternoon actor Robert Blake was acquitted of murder in a Los Angeles courtroom. He was on trial for the 2001 shooting death of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley. Just a short time ago, Blake spoke outside the courtroom about the financial burden the case has had on him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERT BLAKE, ACTOR: If you want to know how to go through $10 million in five years, ask me. I`m broke. I need a job.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRYANT: More on the verdict with Nancy Grace right after SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: Well, we`ve been asking you to vote on tonight`s show biz showdown question of the day. Celebrity activists, do they help the cause? What do you think? Take our poll at cnn.com/showbiztonight or e-mail us at showbiztonight@cnn.com in case you have more to say. We`ll share some of what you have to say a bit later in the show.

BRYANT: Models, musicians and TV stars all hit the red carpet in LA`s fashion week as it officially got under way. Now SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Brooke Anderson joins us live again from Hollywood with all the details. Now Brooke, you guys were all over the place in LA.

ANDERSON: Karyn, we are everywhere. You`re right. Cindy Crawford and Hugo Boss competing for attention last night at two swank soirees here in LA, but SHOWBIZ TONIGHT had it covered.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON (voice-over): LA`s fashion week officially kicked off with no other than Cindy Crawford hosting rock the runway, a cancer research benefit. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was right there with her.

CINDY CRAWFORD, "ROCK THE RUNWAY": I think that LA fashion is kind of having its moment right now. You see it. It`s not specifically only in LA now. It`s how people really dress. It`s casual. It`s a little funky. It is not trying to be New York fashion or Parisian fashion or from Milan. It`s its own thing.

ANDERSON: Doing their own thing, actors Jesse Metcalf, Johnny Maxwell, Diana Ross, all there to lend support. And we asked Maya what is it that makes fashion such a pretty face?

MYA, "ROCK THE RUNWAY": I love fashion. It is a part of a person`s persona, personality. And it reflects that.

ANDERSON: At the same time, across town, fans of Hugo Boss swooned over his fall collections. For Boss, no love lost.

JASON PRIESTLEY, ATTENDED "HUGO BOSS" SHOW: I find that the Hugo fashions are really cutting edge and always a lot of fun to see. I`m looking forward to seeing what`s right around the corner.

ANDERSON: And around the corner "NYPD Blue`s" Garsle Buevo Milan (ph).

GARSLE BUEVO MILAN: Great suits, great clothes, hip, young, really cool.

ANDERSON: No nipping and tucking here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The only thing that`s not Hugo are my shoes. But everything else is, trust me.

ANDERSON: While (INAUDIBLE) conversed and reality TV star Nicole Richie canoodled, Lori Loughlin of TV Summerland was there for the fashion.

LORI LOUGHLIN, ATTENDED "HUGO BOSS" SHOW: It`s just fun to come out, see all your friends, see what the different designers are showing and I think it`s great that LA is embracing and celebrating fashion week because we certainly love fashion out here.

ANDERSON: Singer Jewel looked forward to the runway.

JEWEL: I haven`t seen a look book (ph) or anything. So I come here with fresh eyes.

ANDERSON: And it wasn`t disappointing.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: And Cindy Crawford wasn`t disappointed either. Last night`s bash raised more than $100,000 in research money for the Las City of Hope Hospital. Back to you Karyn.

BRYANT: All right. Well, we will have more fashion tomorrow night. We`ve got your exclusive look at Marc Jacobs hot new LA digs. He`s opening a brand new store and we will be seeing it first.

HAMMER: It is time for more showbiz shorts. A new edition for a "Sopranos" star. Edie Falco`s people confirmed with us today that she has adopted a baby boy. His name is Anderson. That`s Falco`s mother`s maiden name. Falco plays Tony Soprano`s wife, Carmella of course.

And more baby news. Sealed and to be delivered, "People" magazine says that super model Heidi Klum and British pop star seal are expecting a baby. Klum and Seal are engaged. Sources say they`ll seal that deal in a couple of months.

BRYANT: Well, more families, more family films. For the first time in 20 years, family films did better box office than their R-rated counterparts. How much so? Get this. With the help of family friendly fare like "Shrek 2" and "The Incredibles," PG films out-grossed R films by $200 million in 2004. And what does that mean for Hollywood? Well, joining us is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`S Julia Boorstin who covers the entertainment industry for "Fortune" magazine. Now Julia, on last year`s list of big moneymakers, PG movies held five of the top 10 spots, which I guess is kind of unusual. I want to go through this. The "Passion of the Christ" was the only R in the top 10 and the top 25 included just three more restricted movies. So obviously a big year for PG. What was the formula for their success?

JULIA BOORSTIN, FORTUNE MAGAZINE: Well, you really have to look at what made these PG movies different from old PG movies. And I think the secret here is that these are movies that appealed to parents as well as children. These appealed to adults and these are movies that adults would go to on their own without necessarily bringing a kid along. Now if you look back at a movie like "The Little Mermaid," that might only be a movie that parents would take their kids to. But this is the kind of movie that everyone would go to and that just expanded the number of people who are potential viewers.

BRYANT: Certainly "The Incredibles" had a lot of just older folks going there. They liked the animation. It is sort of a burgeoning industry for them that adults can really grasp.

BOORSTIN: And they also used a lot of well known actors, whether for the voices in an animated film or look at Nicolas Cage, using him in "American Treasure" -- in "National Treasure" I`m sorry. People went to go see him and they were adults wanting to see an adult movie.

BRYANT: But yet the movie industry hasn`t stopped making R movies and will continue to make more R movies. Why is that?

BOORSTIN: Hollywood loves making R movies. If you look back at 2003, there were 940 movies made but only 29 of them were rated G. That means that most of the movies are rated PG-13, PG and R. And Hollywood loves to make R movies because sex and violence are very cheap to produce. They`re also pretty much a sure bet. You`re not necessarily going to get a blockbuster with an R movie, but you are very likely to get a good return on your investment.

BRYANT: Plus R movies are more marketable overseas as well.

BOORSTIN: Exactly. You`re more likely to be able to market the sex and the violence, things that don`t necessarily need to be translated when you are selling a movie overseas.

BRYANT: OK, well, there we have it. Julia Boorsin of "Fortune" magazine and of course of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Thank you for that report. A.J.

HAMMER: Well, Ashton Kutcher tells the media, you`ve been punk`d and Rosie O`Donnell knocks Starr Jones and Kirstie Alley down to size. We`re taking all of that to the buzz bench.

BRYANT: On the runway, it is all glam. But what goes on behind the scenes? What it`s really like to be a fashion producer. We`re going to tell you all about it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JASON PRIESTLEY: I`m Jason Priestley. Tonight I`m wearing Hugo by Hugo Boss. The suit, the shirt, the shoes, the belt, everything. It`s -- the reason I`m wearing it is just because I like the way it looked on the hanger and I thought it would be kind of fun to make a change it up a little bit.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: It is time now for tonight`s buzz bench where we`re talking about the things that people are buzzing about. Tonight "American Idol." the saga continues. Ashton Kutcher, is he really punking the media? And Rosie O`Donnell lets loose.

BRYANT: Joining us now on the buzz bench, "New York" magazine`s Sarah Bernard, comedian and TV personality Sherrod Small. Welcome. And the "New York Times" Lola Ogunnaike. Now Lola, hey.

LOLA OGUNNAIKE, NEW YORK TIMES: Hey.

BRYANT: I love that.

HAMMER: Have her do it again.

BRYANT: I would say hey all over you. Now, here`s the thing. I want to talk about "American Idol." Nikko`s back. He performed so-so last night. What`s your whole take on the whole situation?

OGUNNAIKE: Well, the whole thing is sort of blown out of proportion, I think. But I think America loves a secret and everyone is trying to figure out what is the secret? Why would you walk away from this hit show? Everyone was predicting that he would go all the way. And I think in a world where there are no secrets anymore, everyone is like what is behind it? And the speculation, does it run rampant? It`s everything from there are Paris Hilton-esque sex tapes out there, or did he sign a deal with P. Diddy? For the record, he did not sign a record with P. Diddy.

SHERROD SMALL, COMEDIAN: But he came that close, I heard, that close.

OGUNNAIKE: I spoke to P. Diddy`s people today. They said absolutely not.

HAMMER: They said he`s not even interested. He`s working on his own (INAUDIBLE)

SARAH BERNARD, NEW YORK MAGAZINE: This is the best thing that he could have done for himself. I mean what are the chances honestly, that he would have won? No one remembers you unless you`re one or two. An now he was reading the top 10 list on David Letterman. He`s everywhere.

(CROSSTALK)

OGUNNAIKE: A very smart career move.

SMALL: The best move you can make on "American Idol," vote yourself off, vote yourself off.

BRYANT: There is the theory that he didn`t want to maybe turn into the Justin Guarini. If he made it to number two and kind of petered out along the way.

OGUNNAIKE: And this way he doesn`t have to adhere to this whole boy next-door charm thing. His music can be a little more suggestive. I think he`s going to have a little fun.

BRYANT: He master minded this whole thing, that he knew right from the beginning this was always his plan.

HAMMER: Eventually we`re going to know. Just who knows when that`s going to happen.

BRYANT: I am curious though, Mario, what`s the deal?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to know the secret. I`m anxious to know the secret.

SMALL: Maybe he found out that he was really Puerto Rican.

HAMMER: All right. How much media spin around all of this and they`re spinning it this way and that way. A lot of media spin around Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, of course. And there are rumors now about her being pregnant. Are they getting married? Can we believe anything that Ashton does because he`s the master of punk. Sherrod, welcome to the buzz bench again. You have one chance to make a first impression. Take it.

SMALL: I don`t know if we can trust him. He might be trying to punk a gynecologist. I don`t know if we can trust Ashton. Ashton`s (INAUDIBLE) First of all, he`s in movies, on TV, fashion. Is he ready to be a baby`s daddy? I don`t think so.

BERNARD: Don`t you find it interesting when these supposedly false statements hit the press, they happen to have a movie coming out in three weeks? I wonder what he`s trying to get himself out there for.

OGUNNAIKE: They came out with her relationship when they were promoting "Charlie`s Angels 2" and that was a great thing for her to do.

(CROSSTALK)

SMALL: So maybe further down the line somebody going to adopt a kid just because they got some movie coming out.

BRYANT: So you really don`t believe she`s pregnant?

SMALL: I don`t believe she`s pregnant.

OGUNNAIKE: I don`t think Demi would do that right now. She`s got this perfect body. I don`t think she.

SMALL: Ashton at 27? You don`t want no kid at 27. That`s not old enough for a young man, famous. 27, you`re just getting into your years.

BRYANT: So basically, you don`t believe it. You think he`s punking us.

SMALL: I don`t believe it.

HAMMER: But can we ever believe him?

SMALL: No.

BRYANT: No.

(CROSSTALK)

BRYANT: Speaking of not believing, Rosie O`Donnell recently she was doing a comedic performance at a benefit. She didn`t believe when Kirstie Alley said that her top weight was 201. She didn`t believe that Star Jones lost weight, you know, by working out and doing push-ups and stuff. So she`s kind of coming out and calling out her fat friends. What do you think of that?

BERNARD: She`s outing them. Is what she`s doing. (INAUDIBLE) Part of her new routine. She`s not outing star in the way that we maybe would have expected her to do it. But she`s doing it in a different way. She`s basically saying, I thought everyone already agreed that the way that she lost her weight was the same way Al Roker and all these other people did, gastric bypass surgery. So I`m kind of surprised that this is actually a secret. Now, Kirstie Alley.

OGUNNAIKE: She never talks about it. She always says, I`ve had a little help.

(CROSSTALK)

SMALL: Maybe Star Jones is running? She`s jumping rope?

BERNARD: You never see her in central park.

SMALL I went to see the gates. I didn`t so (INAUDIBLE) I didn`t see Star.

BRYANT: You know that you would notice.

SMALL: (INAUDIBLE) one of those gates. I would notice that.

BRYANT: But there`s something else about Kirstie Alley, I mean aside from the fact that Rosie saying that she`s closer to 300 than 201 or whatever. I think the real thing that we need to out about Kirstie Alley is that she wanted to say that her career was really over. This is kind of this desperate move that she had. She had a show for CBS last year that almost got picked up. She`s been working this whole time. She`s been trying to show herself as rising from the ashes.

HAMMER: We have to point out of course all of Rosie`s comments were made while she was practicing some of her routines. We got to end the buzz bench there. "New York" magazine`s Sarah Bernard, we appreciate you stopping by, Sherrod Small, nice job first time out.

SMALL: This is nice.

HAMMER: "New York Times" Lola Ogunnaike, thanks for dropping by SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

BRYANT: All right. Well, you try seating 1,000 celebs at a time at a runway show. It can be quite scary. That`s what it`s like to be a fashion producer, coming up.

HAMMER: And he`s scared us right out of our seats. Wes Craven, the guy behind "Scream" and "A Nightmare on Elm Street" sent us a trailer of his new movie. We`ve got your exclusive first look.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Gorgeous models, talented designers and out of control parties. Yes, the life of a fashion show producer may seem glamorous, but there`s a lot more to it.

BRYANT: "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" followed around a top fashion producer prepping his biggest show for fashion designer Carolina Herrera.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My name is Owen Davidson (ph) and I`m a runway show producer. Working with Carolina Herrera on her runway shows is probably the highlight of the season. She`s fantastically talented.

Welcome to the (INAUDIBLE) production war room. This is where it really gets serious. The seating chart is probably one of the most agonizing components of producing a show. We work on it longer than anything else. We work in an industry where everyone feels like they should be a front of the row or a second row. And unfortunately, you know, life doesn`t work out quite like that. The morning of the show, how am I feeling? I`m a little nervous.

Having Renee Zellweger at the Carolina Herrera show this season I have to say was actually much easier than I had thought. Getting her in is fine. It is just getting her out of here. We`re getting a big problem. Renee is a huge fan. She predominantly wears only Carolina Herrera. Having a celebrity in the front row is quite a major coup.

The tech booth is where I physically call the models out on the runway. It is a high stress job. There`s no doubt about it. You have no control over any of those girls the moment they leave backstage. Worst case scenario someone falls or loses a shoe. I`m making sure that all the girls are ready to go and on my sound cue.

Here we go. We`ll send her out. When that first model comes out on the runway and the music`s up and the lights are out, you know at that point, there`s no turning back. It is do or die. It`s one time only and you`ve got to get it right. I`m looking at the pacing just to see how fast the model is walking because I need to have at least two to three girls out on that runway.

The exciting part is what you see on the runway. All this work that`s gone into it. And you get to see the reward. Until that last model has exited the runway and Mrs. Herrera has come out and waved to the audience, I really cannot (INAUDIBLE) a big sigh of relief. I`m so happy. I mean, not one model fell. Everybody got a seat. I love my job because I get to work with some of the most incredibly talented people in the world. I can`t imagine myself doing anything else.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: Yes, not one model fell.

BRYANT: Gorgeous dress.

HAMMER: A lot of work. Wes Craven often fashions his movies with a lot of really scary stuff. We`ve got an exclusive first look at his new flick coming up.

BRYANT: And there`s still time for you to sound off in tonight`s showbiz showdown question of the day. Celebrity activists -- do they help the cause? Vote at cnn.com/showbiztonight or e-mail us what`s on you mind at showbiztonight@cnn.com.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Rachel McAdams chance encounter with a man in an airport is not as innocent as you might think. It is downright deadly.

BRYANT: We have your first look at the new Wes Craven thriller "Red Eye" in tonight`s showbiz showcase. "Red Eye" opens on August 5th.

HAMMER: We`ve been asking you to vote online on our showbiz showdown question of the day. Celebrity activists, do they help the cause. 36 percent of you said yes, celebrity activists do help the cause, 64 percent of you said no. Celebrity activists do not help the cause.

BRYANT: And marquee man (ph) is still on the beach somewhere. So as they say in showbiz speech, he`s phoning it in tonight.

HAMMER: Really?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But for us it`s stickler`s mom who`s got it going on. This time she`s playing an animated aunt and keeping Joey Tribbiani in line. Jennifer Coolidge, how are you doing? Tell us tomorrow live on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Yeah, he`s conquered that. Now Captain Kirk is embarking on a brand new mission. He`s going to Riverside, Iowa? Are you kidding me?

No, that`s Boston. We want to know about Iowa. Tell us. OK. Fine, William Shatner. You need to boldly go where lots have gone before, to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT tomorrow.

Hey, that guy sounds like me, the marquee guy. Or I sound like him. Well, anyway, that voice is John Melendez. To Howard Stern fans, he was stuttering John. But whatever you call him, he`ll tell us what it`s like to be an announcer. Just like me. Friday, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. This is the marquee guy phoning it in. Don`t ask, it`s a long story.

HAMMER: That is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

BRYANT: Nancy Grace is up next right after the very latest from headline news.

(NEWSBREAK)

END


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