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SHOWBIZ TONIGHT

It's a Wrap: `Everybody Loves Raymond' Holds End-of-Series Party

Aired April 19, 2005 - 19:00:00   ET

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


A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: Tom and Katie's Roman holiday.
KARYN BRYANT, CO-HOST: And Dean Cain in the "SHOWBIZ Sitdown." I'm Karyn Bryant.

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

BRYANT: Tom and Katie in Rome. Is it for real or just a Hollywood story? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT cruising for some answers. Ay, (INAUDIBLE) SHOWBIZ TONIGHT takes you inside the pages to reveal "People en Espanol's" "50 Most Beautiful People."

HAMMER: He was Superman, now he has "Hope and Faith." Dean Cain live in the "SHOWBIZ Sitdown.

BRYANT: It's the "Raymond" wrap party. Can you feel the love?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PATRICIA HEATON, "EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND": I don't think Ray will ever work again.

BRAD GARRETT, "EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND": It's about friggin' time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That sounds horrible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRYANT: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is behind the scenes as "Everybody Loves Raymond" says good-bye.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PATRICIA HEATON, "EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND": Hi. I'm Patricia Heaton. If it happened today, it's on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Hello. I'm A.J. Hammer, and you are at the top of the show.

BRYANT: I'm Karyn Bryant. We are live with you from Headline Prime studios in New York City for the next hour.

HAMMER: Well, Hollywood's hottest romance heated up tonight in Italy.

BRYANT: That's where Tom Cruise got a special award, with his new girlfriend, Katie Holmes, by his side. And the twosome made no secret of their affection as the cameras rolled.

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT's David Haffenreffer is here with the latest -- David.

DAVID HAFFENREFFER, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT: A.J. and Karyn, they've been inseparable during their stay in Rome and were inseparable again tonight. I can't believe I'm about to say this, but let's go to the videotape.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice-over): This was the scene today in Rome as Tom Cruise arrived with new girlfriend, Katie Holmes, jumping on a car to give Italian fans a better view. He was there to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Italian equivalent of the Oscars. Since the story broke earlier this week, we've been seeing the images, Tom and Katie in Rome. It's the perfect Roman setting for the perfect romance. Or is it?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REGIS PHILBIN, "LOVE WITH REGIS AND KATIE": What is it with Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes? Some people think, well, maybe this is something that's got to, you know, end as soon as their movies are released this summer.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAFFENREFFER: And so with the buzz comes the skepticism about the true nature of Tom and Katie's romance. Are they together in the name of love or publicity?

DAVID PLOTZ, "SLATE" MAGAZINE: Well, my first thought is that no one but Tom and Katie can know whether this is real. Actors are very calculating. They understand what the value -- what romance does for their career. For each of them, you can see the career benefit. For Katie, it's being associated with a much more famous, much more successful Hollywood star. For Tom Cruise, it makes people forget that he's, you know, 42, older. It makes him seem like a virile young star.

HAFFENREFFER: It wouldn't be the first time Hollywood saw a romance tailor-made for the limelight. Plotz says Rock Hudson briefly married his agent's secretary to disguise his homosexuality. And he says Sammy Davis, Jr., married a woman for a year to cover up the fact that he was involved in an interracial relationship.

PLOTZ: If you go back -- you know, fake romance is as old as Hollywood is. If you go back to the original days of the Hollywood studios, you know, studio heads who controlled their actors careers were absolutely calculating and specific about putting a young starlet with an older, more successful star.

HAFFENREFFER: But is that the case when it comes to Tom and Katie? Just because the two have a lot to gain doesn't mean this is a romance born purely for the limelight. Even celebrities can be starstruck, too.

PLOTZ: It's entirely possible, in fact, I think that it's probably likely that it's real, in the sense that nobody loves a celebrity like another celebrity. Celebrities are obsessed with each other. I don't think we can underestimate the thrill that somebody like Katie Holmes probably got in meeting Tom Cruise and getting to spend time with Tom Cruise. It must have been incredibly exciting for her.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAFFENREFFER: Both Cruise and Holmes do have films coming out this summer. Katie Holmes is in the newest chapter of the Batman series, called "Batman Begins," and Cruise is starring in "War of the Worlds," a film adaptation of the classic H.G. Wells book -- Karyn.

HAMMER: All right. Thanks very much, David Haffenreffer.

It is time for "SHOWBIZ Shorts," a look at more stories making news tonight. Reality TV apparently trumps the president. Three of the major networks cut away from President Bush's news conference last night to go back to their regular programming. For NBC, that meant "The Apprentice."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, "THE APPRENTICE": Alex, you're fired.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRYANT: Alex got the boot last night, and the teams Networth and Magna were dissolved. From now on, the three remaining candidates are competing against each other. CBS broke into the president's speech to cut to "Survivor Pulau." Steph was voted off last night. She had been the only competitor left from the Ulong tribe, so she figured her days were numbered.

HAMMER: Well, after nine years of laughs, television's hit comedy "Everybody Loves Raymond" is coming to an end. We're going to talk live with series creator Phil Rosenthal in just a moment, but first, we're bringing you all the details of last night's series wrap party. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT's Brooke Anderson live in Hollywood with those details -- Brooke.

BROOKE ANDERSON, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT: Hi, there, A.J. Last night, I spoke with all the "Raymond" stars at the series wrap party in Santa Monica. We talked about the show's legacy, what's next and what set souvenirs they are planning to take home.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice-over): After nine years and 210 episodes, the cast of "Everybody Loves Raymond" got together for a final farewell, and SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was there for the last cheer and the last laugh.

RAY ROMANO, "EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND": I'm still happy that we ended it when we did because we left on a good high note. Phil Rosenthal and I both, this is our little creation. You know, if we never do anything again, we still have this legacy and -- and -- we're happy.

ANDERSON (on camera): Syndication and...

ROMANO: Syndication, and our wives have some money. They have a bit of money, our wives.

ANDERSON: And you got to keep the wives happy, right?

ROMANO: Yes, I'm learning that. Otherwise, I can't golf or have sex. In that order.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Oh, Ray! No need to worry about the money. The show is already one of the top shows in repeats across the country. Brad Garrett told me enough is enough.

BRAD GARRETT, "EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND": It's about friggin' time! I don't know (INAUDIBLE) nobody has closure here. They got to bring the set to the party. Ray's walking around, Hey, did you see me at Carnegie Hall? It's enough! Doris thinks we're doing the pilot, she's so out of it. She's walking in here, going, You got my skillet? (INAUDIBLE) You know, Peter thinks he's in New York. It's -- there's a time to go away!

ANDERSON: Most of the cast members told me they're snatching some set souvenirs.

(on camera): Ray said he's taking the sofa with him. What are you taking from the set?

DORIS ROBERTS, "EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND": I took the statue, a statue that I made on the show. Remember what it was?

ANDERSON (voice-over): Let's just say monologues have been written about it.

(on camera): And where are you going to put that?

ROBERTS: In my living room. It's a great conversation piece.

PETER BOYLE, "EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND": I was thinking of lugging home my lounging chair. I can rent space on it, raise money for charity.

ANDERSON: You definitely can. You can rent it.

BOYLE: Sit on this chair and say "Holy crap."

ANDERSON (voice-over): After 12 Emmy Awards and 65 nominations, all of the cast is sitting pretty, like Patricia Heaton.

(on camera): This has really opened a lot of doors for all of you career-wise.

PATRICIA HEATON, "EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND": Yes. I don't think Ray will ever work again, but...

(CROSSTALK)

HEATON: Really. Listen, this is like lightning in a bottle, you know? You hope you get on something that goes for a while, but to have it go for nine years and have it be so good -- I mean, there's people that get stuck on shows for many years, and they're, you know, horrible shows. So this had everything in it.

ANDERSON (voice-over): And still lots of joking around.

(on camera): Patricia said you'd probably never work again and you didn't need to, but...

ROMANO: And coming from her, who -- you know, she's busy with her Albertson's commercials, so that's a jab -- a dig.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: A.J., let me tell you, I can understand their on-screen chemistry because with this group, it was just one wisecrack after another. You can see they were just a lot of laughs. The series finale airs May 16. Back to you.

HAMMER: They're certainly a lot of fun. Thanks very much, Brooke Anderson.

Well, while it's a wrap for the cast and crew of "Everybody Loves Raymond," it certainly isn't the end. Much like the iconic "I Love Lucy" and "Seinfeld," Raymond will live on in syndication and on DVD. But is there anything left in primetime to laugh about? Well, that's the focus tonight in "The Show's Biz," TV sitcoms past and future. And joining us live from Hollywood, one man who certainly knows a heck of a lot about success in the sitcom world, Phil Rosenthal, the creator and executive producer of "Everybody Loves Raymond."

Phil, welcome to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. And first of all, congratulations on an impressive run. That's amazing.

PHIL ROSENTHAL, CREATOR, "EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND": Thank you. Thank you. It's nice to be here.

HAMMER: Now, Patricia Heaton just characterized "Everybody Loves Raymond" as lightning in a bottle. Do you see it the same way?

ROSENTHAL: Yes, actually, all the planets have to line up for any of these things to even get on the air, let alone survive that first year, let alone make it to nine years. We're pretty lucky.

HAMMER: Well, when you boil it all down, what do you peg as the success, why "Everybody Loves Raymond" was such a huge hit?

ROSENTHAL: The biggest compliment we ever get -- and we get this from people who write to us in over 150 countries around the world -- is, That's my mom, or, That's my brother, or, You were listening outside our house last night. And in Ray's case, that's sometimes true. He likes to go around to people's houses.

HAMMER: Yes.

ROSENTHAL: But we think that relatability is what makes the show work.

HAMMER: Well, now, with "Raymond" leaving primetime, "Friends," of course, gone, "Seinfeld," of course, is gone, and there's no real hit on the radar, at least in the sitcom world right now. A lot of people are saying that's signaling the end of the sitcom, the death of the sitcom. Would you agree with that?

ROSENTHAL: Yes, it's not just the death of the sitcom, I believe it's the end of laughing everywhere.

(LAUGHTER)

HAMMER: May as well just stop now!

ROSENTHAL: Yes. I think soon we'll be -- after that, the end of smiling, and then one day people will just kind of vaguely remember "Everybody Loves Raymond" as being the last time they laughed. And then they'll go back to crying.

HAMMER: Yes, but that's a good legacy to have for you guys anyway. Do you...

ROSENTHAL: Well, it's fine.

HAMMER: Do you think the sitcom world has a future? I mean, certainly, the landscape of television has changed quite a bit in the nine years that you guys were on the air, mostly with the proliferation of unscripted shows, reality shows. Could you put a show like "Friends," like "Raymond," like "Seinfeld" on the air today with the same formula and expect the same kind of success?

ROSENTHAL: No, everybody says the sitcom is dead until a something comes along that's a hit, and then they say, No, it's back. So I'm not that worried.

HAMMER: So you do believe that it is cyclical? Because of course, you know...

ROSENTHAL: Absolutely.

HAMMER: ... back in the day, when "All in the Family" went away and the other shows at that same era, then suddenly, you know, "Cosby" came back and was able to do it again.

ROSENTHAL: Absolutely right.

HAMMER: OK.

ROSENTHAL: There'll be another hit.

HAMMER: Well, then, what about for you? Are we going to see one from you? You know, there's been a lot of rumblings about the possibility of a spin-off from the show. You certainly have a lot of lively characters to work from.

ROSENTHAL: Yes. Yes. I'm not thinking about it now. My next project is lying down.

HAMMER: Taking a couple of naps.

ROSENTHAL: I have to. You know, I was with the show for nine years, from beginning to end. And that's more than a full-time job. So I'm going to take a little break.

HAMMER: Is there one character, though, that you would like to see spin off?

ROSENTHAL: I would like to see them all spun off and all live and be well. I'd be very happy.

HAMMER: And let you collect the checks for it. That would just be a nice by-product. Real quickly -- you gave us a hint a little earlier. We asked you what the finale was going to be about.

ROSENTHAL: Yes.

HAMMER: You said about a half hour.

ROSENTHAL: That's right.

HAMMER: Can you give us a little more than that?

ROSENTHAL: Yes. It will follow a one-hour special entitled "The Last Laugh," which'll be about the filming of the last episode...

HAMMER: Excellent.

ROSENTHAL: ... and the backstage drama that happened and bloopers and things that people like to see behind the scenes.

HAMMER: Love seeing the behind the scenes. Congratulations again, Phil Rosenthal, and thanks a lot for joining us live from California tonight.

And as we mentioned, the final episode of "Everybody Loves Raymond" will air on May 16 -- Karyn.

BRYANT: Are TV ratings just a bowl of alphabet soup? Well, NBC has just announced it will ad descriptions of the content ratings to their shows by this fall. If you're not familiar with the TV ratings, take a look at this. All the major networks, except NBC, have not only used the TV content ratings on your favorite shows, but have also added descriptors. "S" is for sexual content, "V" is for violence.

Now, the ratings may have more detail, but does any of that even matter to you, the viewer? That is the subject of our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. TV content ratings: Do they influence what you watch? You can vote at cnn.com/showbiztonight, or if you want to tell us more, e- mail us at showbiztonight@cnn.com. We'll share some of what you had to say later in the show.

HAMMER: Well, Dean Cain has entered the sitcom world. We're going to hear about his reoccurring role on "Hope and Faith." That's coming up in the "SHOWBIZ Sitdown."

BRYANT: Plus "People en Espanol" names its "50 Most Beautiful People." Some famous faces on the list, and we're going to take a look, coming up.

HAMMER: Now it's time for tonight's "Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz." On the famous poster for the 1967 film "The Graduate." whose shapely leg was used for the foreground? Was it Anne Bancroft, Jane Fonda, Katherine Ross or Linda Gray? We're coming straight back with the answer.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Welcome back. So again, tonight's "Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz." On the famous poster for the 1967 film "The Graduate," whose shapely leg was used for the foreground, Anne Bancroft, Jane Fonda, Katherine Ross or Linda Gray? The leg belongs to D, Linda Gray.

BRYANT: "People en Espanol" is unveiling its "50 Most Beautiful People." The issue hits newsstands on Monday, but SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has one of the first looks. Joining us live in New York is "People en Espanol" editor Richard Perez-Feria, and live in LA is one of the ladies featured on the cover this year, television host and model Daisy Fuentes. So thank you both for joining us.

I want to start with you. You have nine ladies on the cover. How difficult was it to get this together?

RICHARD PEREZ-FERIA, "PEOPLE EN ESPANOL": It was incredible, actually. It was a historic cover. We asked Gloria Estefan to come on, and everyone loves Gloria, so that was my idea, to get someone who's really popular with everybody. And we got Daisy Fuentes and Paulina Rubio and Dayanara Torres, Sonia Braga -- I mean, incredible, the biggest divas entirely in the Latin world. It was amazing. In one room, one roof. And it was great.

BRYANT: But Daisy, you guys weren't divas at all. I know this. You've been in the magazine before. This is your first cover. You were not a diva.

DAISY FUENTES, TV HOST, MODEL: We were all divas. Who are we kidding?

(LAUGHTER)

FUENTES: Come on, now! No, it was -- you know what? It was a lot of fun. And you know, I was certain that somebody wasn't going to show. I was, like, This is so ambitious of Richard. How does he think he's going to pull this off? I mean, sure, it's a fantastic idea, but there's no way that this is going to work, to get all these girls. And you know, they are all huge stars in their own right, so -- but it turned out being wonderful. It was really a great experience, a lot of fun.

BRYANT: And how does it feel to you being on the cover this time? You've been in the magazine twice before.

FUENTES: Oh, well, you know, well, it's always so flattering and it's always an honor. And you know, there's a little -- something a little extra special because it is "People En Espanol," and that's where I started my career. I'm a huge fan of the magazine anyway. So you know, the bad thing is that now I'm getting used to it, so now next year, if they don't choose me, I'm going to be, like, Well, what was it, something I said? Was it my hair? Did they not like, like, my lip gloss?

BRYANT: Right.

FUENTES: What was it?

BRYANT: What was it, Richard? Well, you know what's interesting in here -- we -- you mentioned Marc Anthony's wife, Jennifer Lopez, is in there. Dayanara Torres is in there, his ex-wife. Yet no Marc Anthony. So what happened there?

PEREZ-FERIA: Well, Jennifer, she's been with us for five straight years.

BRYANT: Sure.

PEREZ-FERIA: I mean, she is...

BRYANT: Lovely girl. Come on!

PEREZ-FERIA: You know, she is our Liz Taylor...

BRYANT: Come on!

PEREZ-FERIA: ... in some ways. She's amazing. And Dayanara I think handled a very tough situation this year with grace. And she's beautiful. And -- but Marc was on the list before.

BRYANT: Sure.

PEREZ-FERIA: In 1999, he was on the list. And you know, like, people like Ricky Martin, who is a very good-looking guy, also, is not on the list, either. So people have to take turns. And I think maybe next year, Marc may be back.

BRYANT: He may be back. Now, Daisy, what is it that makes Latin women so hot? Give us, you know, your two cents on that.

FUENTES: You know, I don't know. But being a Latin woman, I can say that, you know, what I can see just from my mom, from my sister, my Latin friends, you know, we tend to care a little bit less about the little things. We really like to enjoy life. There's something to be said for really being true to who you are and continuing family traditions. It really makes for a beautiful essence in a woman and just the core of who we are, I think. I don't know. The best I could describe it is a certain salsa, you know what I mean?

BRYANT: Right.

FUENTES: I don't know!

BRYANT: Yes. You know, I'm getting in my ear they want me to ask how you have such lovely skin. So perhaps -- is it -- is it the lycopene in the tomato salsa that gives the ladies the great skin?

(LAUGHTER)

FUENTES: Oh, it's the black beans and rice. I don't know!

(LAUGHTER)

BRYANT: So...

PEREZ-FERIA: Exactly.

BRYANT: Yes, OK. OK, now, Richard, two of the cast members of "Desperate Housewives" are in the magazine, as well.

PEREZ-FERIA: Yes, it's Eva Longoria and her play husband, Ricardo Chavira. And it's funny because they're both from Texas. But Eva Longoria was on our list in 2003, when she was a soap star on "Young and Restless." So we've been following her career a long time, and now we're glad that everyone's catching up with us because "People en Espanol" is always on the forefront of all that stuff.

BRYANT: Right.

PEREZ-FERIA: So Ricardo and Eva are both from San Antonio, Texas, so they kind of reunited on the show, and we thought it would be appropriate to have them both on the list this year.

BRYANT: Right. It's great. Well, the great thing about the magazine is, too, you see some familiar faces, and you see some people to look out for. So it's kind of nice.

PEREZ-FERIA: Absolutely.

BRYANT: Well, Daisy, thanks for joining us here on the program. And Richard, thank you, as well.

PEREZ-FERIA: Thank you.

FUENTES: Thank you.

BRYANT: And of course, you know, CNN Espanol's correspondent, Ana Maria Montero, has also made the list this year. So we had a special shoutout to our own girl, Anna Maria. Now, you can pick up "People en Espanol's" "50 Most Beautiful People" on Monday at newsstands everywhere.

HAMMER: I just liked it when Daisy said salsa. Would you say that again, Daisy?

FUENTES: Salsa!

HAMMER: Thank you.

Does "XXX" mark the spot? We're going to take a look at that and other new movies opening today, coming up in "People" magazine's "Picks and Pans." Plus, Tom and Katie's Roman holiday. We're going to take it to the "Buzz Bench," on the way.

BRYANT: Now tonight's birthday shoutout. "Be Cool" star Uma Thurman turns 35 today. The shoutout comes from a big fan of hers, "What I Like About You's" Amanda Bynes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AMANDA BYNES, "WHAT I LIKE ABOUT YOU": Hi. Happy birthday, Uma Thurman. You are one of my favorite actresses, so I hope you have a wonderful birthday.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BRYANT: "Hitchhiker's" has hit the big screen, and we'll give you a sneak peek at it's "Guide to the Galaxy" coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: It is time now for "People" magazine's movie "Picks and Pans." Two very different films to talk about tonight, as we fire up the weekend. "XXX: State of the Union" and "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" are in theaters today. And joining us from "People" magazine, movie critic Leah Rozen. Nice to see you, Leah.

LEAH ROZEN, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE MOVIE CRITIC: Thank you.

HAMMER: Let's talk about this "XXX." It's now Vin Diesel's turn to step aside, and we have Ice Cube stepping into that role that Diesel made famous.

ROZEN: Yes. We find out Vin Diesel -- we find out his character died. Ice Cub is the new XXX. In the movie, he gets to say sounds-like-a- porn-star-name. But he -- he certainly fills the bill. He glowers well. And there are good action scenes in this. This is the kind of movie that is eye and ear candy for guys.

HAMMER: OK.

ROZEN: They blow stuff up, a lot of firepower, a lot of cars that go fast, and that's pretty much it. Characters, plot -- not a whole lot on that.

HAMMER: Ice Cube told us he's always wanted to work with Sam Jackson, and he got the chance in this film. Was Sam great, as always?

ROZEN: They have a lot of fun together. I mean, they're sort of -- their personalities contrast, and they have fun in the film. I mean, this is one of those films you go Saturday night, they blow stuff up, it's fun to watch, you sure aren't going to remember it the next day.

HAMMER: All right. Well, then, let's move on to "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." This is a wildly popular book. I'm hoping the adaptation has held up.

ROZEN: This is a cult book by Douglas Adams. It's a British thing. There was a British TV series, British radio series. You know, it's one of those films I wanted to like more. It's as if Monty Python had gone into outer space. This is the film they would have made, but it would have been funnier. This just keeps sort of falling flat. You keep going, Why aren't I laughing louder? Why aren't I laughing more. So wanted to like it, kind of mixed.

HAMMER: All right. So you're not encouraging us to rush out and see it, if we don't feel compelled.

ROZEN: Unless you're a member of the cult, I doubt you'll be joining it.

HAMMER: All right, Leah. Thanks very much for joining us, as always.

ROZEN: You're welcome.

HAMMER: And of course, for more "Picks and Pans," check out "People" magazine. It's on newsstands everywhere.

BRYANT: They have been talking all day, and we've been listening. We do it every night on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It's the best from today's talk shows. Paris Hilton stopped by "Live with Regis and Kelly" this morning. It's hot!

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REGIS PHILBIN, CO-HOST: I don't know if you ever saw our Halloween show, but take a look at this. I think that's pretty good.

PARIS HILTON, "THE SIMPLE LIFE": Wow!

PHILBIN: That's pretty darn good.

(CROSSTALK)

KELLY RIPA, CO-HOST: What's the problem?

HILTON: That's hot.

(CROSSTALK)

PHILBIN: There you go.

HILTON: Oh, my God, that's hot.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRYANT: That's hot. Monday on "Live With Regis and Kelly," actress Goldie Hawn.

HAMMER: Well, Kelly Ripa also has a show on in primetime, as you may know, and Dean Cain is a regular guest star. Dean Cain talks "Hope and Faith" coming up, in another "SHOWBIZ Sitdown."

BRYANT: Plus, Cher's farewell. It's billed as her last concert ever, unless she does, indeed, figure out how to turn back time. We'll take that to the "Buzz Bench" coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

KARYN BRYANT, CNN ANCHOR, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT: A former superman taking a leap...

AJ HAMMER, CNN ANCHOR, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT: ...of faith. A showbiz sit- down with Dean Cain.

BRYANT: And thumbs the word. We're hitting the intergalactic highway. An out of this world look at "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."

DORIS ROBERTS: Hi, I'm Doris Roberts. And if it happened today, it's on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, so watch it.

BRYANT: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It's 31 minutes past the hour. I'm Karyn Bryant.

HAMMER: I'm AJ Hammer. Here are tonight's hot headlines.

BRYANT: Romance in Rome. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes side by side in Italy today. Cruise was there to receive a lifetime achievement award and the newly announced couple were certainly not shying away from the cameras.

It's a rap. The cast of EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND partied it up last night in California. It was a bittersweet bash after nine years. The show is going off the air. The series finale will air on May 16th.

BRYANT: We've been asking you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. TV content ratings: do they influence what you watch? You can keep voting at cnn.com/SHOWBIZ TONIGHT and you can send your e-mails to showbiztonight@cnn.com and we'll share some of your thoughts on the air at 55 past the hour.

HAMMER: An update on Peter Jennings and his battle with lung cancer. Just a short time ago on tonight's ABC's WORLD NEWS TONIGHT broadcast, ABC news anchor Elizabeth Vargas read a new letter from Jennings thanking letter viewers for their support.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELIZABETH VARGAS, ABC: And now a note from Peter Jennings. As many of you know, he's received thousands of well-wishes and is deeply gratified. He wanted to respond and in a letter posted at abcnews.com, he says in part, you have spoiled me rotten with your attention in the last couple of weeks. Your anecdotes, mementos, home recipes and general all-purpose guidance and concern have been so deeply appreciated. I hope you know. So many experiences have meant something special. A woman in my building who was a cancer survivor showed up at my front door so that I could see that bald really is beautiful. And she is right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Vargas has been filling in for the 66-year-old Jennings as he undergoes chemotherapy. He went public with the announcement that he's fighting the disease earlier this month.

BRYANT: Time for a showbiz sit-down with Dean Cain. He's probably best known for his work on TV where he played Superman in LOIS AND CLARK and hosted the updated RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT. But tonight, Dean Cain makes his sitcom debut alongside Kelly Ripa in ABC's HOPE & FAITH. Dean, thanks for joining us. Welcome to the big show here. (INAUDIBLE) I want to take a look at a clip. This is from HOPE & FAITH and in this, you are playing a newscaster and you kind of fall for faith who is played by Kelly Ripa when she takes a job as the weather girl at the station, right?

DEAN CAIN: Very well done.

BRYANT: Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAIN: -- contain the cure for cancer. Our own Doctor Israel Hershowitz seems to think so. The doctor is in right after the weather. Faith?

KELLY RIPA: Fine. There's a cold front moving in. Wear your coats because it's going to get awfully chilly. Back to you, bad in bed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRYANT: AJ, look out. He looks pretty good in his suit and tie over there too, better look out, gunning for your job. So this was your first time in front of a live audience, right?

CAIN: Actually, I've done a couple smaller roles on two or three other sitcoms. But this was the first one where it was, you know, pretty much me out there.

BRYANT: How did you feel about that?

CAIN: I felt great out there. Working with Kelly is fantastic. And Faith Ford and Ted McGinley. These guys are really great pros and they made me very comfortable, so I really had a great time. I really enjoyed it so much that I just shot a pilot for a new one.

BRYANT: That's what I heard on Regis this morning. So what is that one all about?

CAIN: It's called GROWN MEN and it's about five fraternity brothers in college who after college sort of grew apart and then the death of another fraternity brings them back together. So they reunite at this different stage in their life and then become friends again and then hijinks ensue from there.

BRYANT: Hilarity ensues. Well, good luck with that. I know it's tough doing a pilot and you never know if it's going to get picked up.

CANIN: I feel pretty good about it. I feel pretty good about it. So I'd bet on it, if I were you.

BRYANT: All right. Here's the thing. There's been a lot of talk about Superman lately, obviously. You were in LOIS & CLARK and you know, Brandon Ralph, there were pictures of him out in the new outfit. I don't know if you've seen them. What -- you know, on the one hand I feel bad asking you about it, because I know it was awhile ago and you might be sick of talking about it, but yet you were Superman.

CAIN: Sure. Yeah.

BRYANT: Any advice for this guy? What's it like when you first put the tights on. How does it feel?

CAIN: Well, he's clearly had them on a little bit. I think he knows how they feel.

BRYANT: I mean, you are a dude put on tights.

CAIN: That's just it. It's just tights. That's all I'm got. I'm sure that's all he's getting. It's interesting. I wish him well. I wish him good luck. And prepare yourself for ridicule because it comes.

BRYANT: Really?

CAIN: Sure. You are a grown man in tights.

BRYANT: But you look good.

CAIN: Well, thank you, thank you very much and he looks just fine and wonderful and -- but it's still you are a grown man wearing tights.

BRYANT: With underwear on the outside.

CAIN: Underwear on the outside and big red boots, OK? So I'm really happy somebody else has put it on, and I really want to see what they do with it.

BRYANT: Speaking of kind of weird costumes, this one isn't weird so much as kind of creepy. You really nailed the part of Scott Peterson. I mean nailed it.

CAIN: Thank you, well, that was creepy. I watched a lot of tape on him, and I saw a lot of interviews that he did. I tried to copy his mannerisms and it was kind of eerie.

BRYANT: We just had a shot of it up there. You had the hair. You had the look. How long did you keep that? I would imagine maybe you wanted to get rid of it as soon as you were done filming.

CAIN: Immediately after filming, done, finished, changed, different. I didn't -- that was not a role that I would like to inhabit for any length of time to put it mildly. I was happy to finish it, and move on.

BRYANT: Yeah. Just bad.

CAIN: And now, you know and now with all the verdict and things that have come down, it's -- I am happy to distance myself even further. So that was fun. That was great.

BRYANT: Moving on.

CAIN: Done with that one now.

BRYANT: There's a great television show called LOST. You are in a movie coming out "Lost," not the same at all. What's that going to be about?

CAIN: That is a very cool independent movie we shot. We started shooting about a year ago and it's about a guy who makes some very, very bad choices. He's a married guy with a young kid and he makes some very bad choices and the show, the film takes you from point A all the way through the basically the ramifications of doing something very bad. And it's sort of like phone booth but in a car. I'm pretty much the only actor who's on screen for 98 percent of the entire movie. So it was very challenging. It was a lot of fun. It's premiering May 13th, Friday the 13th, for no particular reason.

BRYANT: Just a day.

CAIN: In Los Angeles in a few theaters. I'm actually going to be in Baghdad, Iraq and I'm going to have it with me to premiere on the exact same day for the troops. I'm taking it there myself. I'll be there. And I'll premiere it for the troops as well.

BRYANT: All right. Be safe over there.

CAIN: Thank you. I'll do my very best.

BRYANT: Thanks for joining us here Dean Cain and you can catch Dean tonight on HOPE & FAITH on ABC.

HAMMER: After 25 years, 15 million books sold, a TV show, a radio show, even a video game. "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" has finally made it to the big screen. A movie version of the cult classic opens up today and the question is, will Hitchhiker's fans give it the thumbs up?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're on a spaceship, Arthur.

HAMMER (voice-over): Hitchhiker's has finally hitchhiked its way on to the big screen. The story follows a regular guy named Arthur Dent, who hitches a ride on a spaceship just before aliens blow up the earth.

MARTIN FREEMAN, "ARTHUR DENT": (INAUDIBLE) the last human being.

HAMMER: His new alien friends are played by Sam Rockwell and actor/rapper Mos Def (ph). What does Mos bring to the role?

MOS DEF: My enthusiasm and willingness to take a journey.

HAMMER: And take a journey is what they do. Along with Arthur's human (INAUDIBLE) played by (INAUDIBLE), the crew sets out to find the secrets of the universe, armed only with their handy hitchhiker's guide, which offers the advice, don't panic.

Hitchhikers is based on the Douglas Adams book series which spawned a British TV series and a rabid cult following. And when Disney announced plans to turn it into a movie, some fans had an unhitchhiker's like response.

HARRY KNOWLES, "AIN'T IT COOL NEWS": My first reaction to Disney getting the rights to Douglas Adams was panic!

HAMMER: Some fans are now happy the movie is finally in theaters, but there are mixed emotions. Hitchhiker's author Douglas Adams died suddenly in 2001, soon after writing a draft of the script.

ROBBIE STAMP, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: It's very bittersweet. I'm so sad that he isn't here to enjoy seeing his dream become real. Person to person (ph), he wasn't necessarily a fan coming in saying, I just loved it. And that would make Douglas very happy.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: There are four more books in the Hitchhiker's series and executive producer Robbie Stamp tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that if this one is a hit, more Hitchhiker movies may also be on the way.

BRYANT: Rosie O'Donnell is a major AMERICAN IDOL fan and she's blogging mad about the recent turn of events on the show. We'll tell you what she had to say coming up.

HAMMER: Plus, well, Cher says that's all, folks. Again? And a high schooler who is desperate at her prom and she's thrilled. We'll have a date with the buzz bench coming up next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELISHA CUTHBERT: Hi. I am Elisha Cuthbert and I'm wearing Zach Posen (ph) and I chose it because it just feels good. Fit like a glove. So I was happy about that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Now in show blog tonight, Rosie and Constantine. On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT last night, Rosie O'Donnell didn't hold back when she told me about her feelings for just booted AMERICAN IDOL fan favorite Constantine.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROSIE O'DONNELL: He was my favorite. I love him. I think he's fabulous and he's got a lot of charisma and I think he'll go places. And I just reminded him that, you know, Elvis Presley was in a talent contest once and he lost, too. So he shouldn't give up and I'm going to put him on my blog as soon as I get back to my hotel.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: And that's exactly what she did. Right after our interview, she went back to the hotel and blogged about Constantine right on her website rosie.com and Rosie wrote quote, I just met him. I was doing interviews at the same place he was, but I forgot my phone camera so I used Cindy's, my publicist and I can't figure out how to flicker it from her phone. Crap! He is tall and sexy and he smelled good. Rosie says she plans to send Paula Abdul the picture of Constantine, the one that she snapped with the camera phone.

BRYANT: It is time for the buzz bench, where water cooler chat takes center stage. Tonight, is it true love or tom-foolery? Desperately seeking a prom dress and will Cher turn back time again?

HAMMER: Joining us on the buzz bench tonight, her very first time with us. We're thrilled. Wendy Williams is here, the host of the radio's Wendy Williams experience. VH1's Wendy Williams is on fire. Celebrity stylist Phil Block also here and comedian and TV personality Leigh Kessler. Nice to see you as well.

Let's get right to topic number one. Now there's some people who were thinking this whole thing is an act with Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes hooking up saying that they are dating. Cruise and Holmes both have the big films coming out this summer. Neither has been in the spotlight lately. Now they are getting tons of attention in Italy. Tom's getting an award there tonight. What do you think? Is this all a publicity stunt Leigh?

LEIGH KESSLER, COMEDIAN AND TV PERSONALITY: Well, they say that it's a classic move. You pair the leading older actor with the young hot actress and I find it interesting that it's against the backdrop of Rome because it really adds that very 1940s classic Hollywood thing. It's almost like the picture should be in black and white.

BRYANT: Right.

KESSLER: It's so classic. The person who's going to get hurt the most is her father if this is not true, who has been going around saying how excited he is about this entire thing. If they break up, he's going to be devastated.

BRYANT: Devastated, devasted.

PHILLIP BLOCH, CELEBRITY STYLIST: She was one year old when he started acting. He's been in the business 25 years and she's 26.

WENDY WILLIAMS, VH1: I find it interesting that people compare it to like Rock Hudson when he hooked up with the younger actress - I forgot what her name was -- back in the day. I -- I'm uncomfortable when I watch them together.

BRYANT: You think it's fake?

WILLIAMS: Yeah. I do. And she stands -- she has the most to gain because she's got this movie "Batman" coming out. This is going to be her first, to my knowledge. I'm not a Katie Holmes-nista so to me it's rarely...

BRYANT: Her big coming out party.

BRYANT: She's now on your radar.

BLOCH: She did "Pieces of April" though. She proved herself in "Pieces of April."

(CROSSTALK)

HAMMER: Do you think the publicist actually got on the phone, had a little conversation, well, this looks like it will work. Is it really as calculating as people suggest that it is in Hollywood?

KESSLER: I think Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's publicists are making this happen.

BLOCH: The question is, is she really a virgin because that's the rumor that's going around. Yes. Her ex-fiance was a good Christian boy as well.

KESSLER: "Mission Impossible."

BRYANT: That was a rumor so we don't know about that. We just don't know. We're going to move on to a story that we heard is fact. So you're going to take the lead on this one. It's prom time again as you know AJ.

HAMMER: Yes. Still waiting for a date.

BRYANT: I never went to my prom. No one would take me but that's a whole other story. One teenage girl took a desperate measure to find the perfect dress. Her name is Melissa Sanders. She fell in love with this dress that Eva Longoria was wearing in DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES. She wanted to find one just like it so she got in touch with the producers and asked them for photos of the dress so she could have a little reference point. Turns out they were so generous that they gave her the dress to use for the prom and then she puts an age appropriate modifications in there. Isn't this a terrific prom story?

BLOCH: This is a Hollywood story in the making. Cinderella. All that's missing is the prince charming, I and think she's even got a date. But they are just friends. She's got the Hollywood thing down. We're just friends. But she happened to be Eva's size. She's between a 0 and a 1.

BRYANT: Teeny tiny negative number.

BLOCH: Can you imagine?

WILLIAMS: Once again, the cheerleader wins again. She's a cheerleader too. She was smart to do that. That was a very special thing for the show to do and of course we all remember the lawnmower scene.

HAMMER: I think she should bring the lawn mower with her as well.

(CROSSTALK)

BRYANT: She could do the lawn mower. That's a new dance.

BLOCH: because she had high doctor bills because she has a back problem. Being a cheerleader causes problems like that.

KESSLER: To prove its authenticity, when it was shipped to her, it actually had grass clippings and they saved that. I'm thinking, I hope she dry cleans it first because you don't want to go to prom smelling like gasoline and grass clippings.

HAMMER: Let's share about Cher now, because she's been closing down her tour for decades now. It's the farewell tour that just won't end. Cher has been saying good-bye for three years now in real life. The global farewell tour finale is tomorrow, supposedly. It's taken a long time to say good-bye, 325 shows, Wendy.

WILLIAMS: Well, the Rolling Stones are still rocking on. I mean, you can't hate on Cher. She is fabulous. She is.

HAMMER: The rolling stones didn't say good-bye, but we're going to keep going. They didn't say we're wrapping it up. She's been saying, I'm done.

WILLIAMS: Well, she's waiting for a grandchild. Until she gets that, she's going to tour.

BLOCH: Chastity may keep her waiting awhile.

(CROSSTALK)

BRYANT: Well, that's it. We'll probably end up talking about Cher another time again.

WILLIAMS: The comeback tour.

BRYANT: Exactly. Leigh and Phillip and Wendy, your first time (INAUDIBLE).

WILLIAMS: Thank you.

BRYANT: Well, who are the people in Jimmy Kimmel's neighborhood? Find out in laughter dark coming up.

And there's still time to vote in the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day which is -- TV content ratings, do they influence what you watch? You can vote by going to cnn.com/showbiztonight. E-mail us what's on your mind too, showbiztonight@cnn.com. Some of your feedback is coming up next.

BRYANT: Now the very latest "Entertainment Weekly" must list. Five things "Entertainment Weekly" says you must do in the coming week. They say you must watch Rob and Amber in AMAZING RACE. This engaged duo are reality veterans after meeting on survivor all-stars. You must take a magical mystery tour. Tony Bramwell's book is all about the Beatles. He was actually a childhood friend of theirs.

Surf to negrospaceprogram.com. The website says it's quote, the shocking but false story of America's blackstronauts. And they say you should also click on dead celebrity soulmate search and check out biography.com to find some past passion.

And finally summer movie trailers. The previews for "War of the Worlds" and "Wedding Crashers" are far from trailer trash.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BRYANT: It's time to get your laugh on in laughter dark. We do it every night. We bring you the late-night laughs you may have missed. On Jimmy Kimmel live celebrating the honored tradition of "bring your kid to work day."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIMMY KIMMEL: This morning at the -- this is right down the street here at the tattoo parlor. The guy in there, he had his kid. That was nice. I guess they gave some people some really sloppy tattoos. At the liquor store, you can see there they are enjoying the special day. Right out on the street, I noticed today the meter maid giving a ticket with her daughter. And we also have a hooters restaurant next door to our theater. There you can see a lovely hooter waitress and her son who was not as enthusiastic.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRYANT: Monday on Jimmy Kimmel live, actor Jim Belushi and the Ravenettes perform.

HAMMER: We've been asking you to vote online on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day, TV content ratings. Do they influence what you watch? Well, here's the vote so far, apparently they don't influence things too much for you, 17 percent say yes, TV ratings do influence what I watch, while 83 percent of you say they don't. You've also been sending us some e-mails on the subject. Jack from Boston, Massachusetts, says he's not really influenced by TV ratings, but it probably depends on who is watching. A parent might but a 17-year-old may never take notice.

And Kevin from Dayton, Ohio, adds, I'm going to watch what I want to watch ratings or not. It's the content that matters. You can continue to vote simply by going to cnn.com/showbiztonight.

BRYANT: Time to see what's playing on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Monday.

HAMMER: Let's launch the weekend with the marquee guy. Take it away.

ANNOUNCER: J. Lo meets J. Faux. Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda go head-to-head in "Monster in Law" and we're at the premiere. And the fur might really fly if PETA shows up. Yikes. Find out Monday.

Jerry Seinfeld knows how to be animated. I can tell you, I mean come on, he's Jerry Seinfeld. And Mike Myers, he makes it easy to be green. It's animation time. Come on with Jerry and Mike Monday on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. This is the always animated marquee guy. Somebody, please get me some decalf.

HAMMER: I second that. By the way, I saw "Monster in Law." We're going to the premiere on Monday night. I saw the movie. I'm not going to reveal anything. Jane Fonda is fantastic, I'll tell you that much. I'm not going to tell you anything else.

BRYANT: OK.

HAMMER: Last night we told you that we were going to have an interview with Shar Jackson. She's Kevin Federline's ex. Tonight, we just wanted to let you know that at the very last minute, right before the show, she back out. That is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I'm AJ Hammer.

BRYANT: And I'm Karyn Bryant. Stay tuned for the latest from CNN HEADLINE NEWS.


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