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Abdul Spoofs Clark`s Allegations on `SNL`; Interview With Brooke Shields
Aired May 9, 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: Late-breaking developments in the "American Idol" scandal.
A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: And "Star Trek" stars past and present, live. I`m A.J. Hammer.
BRYANT: I`m Karyn Bryant. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
HAMMER: Tonight, "Idol" aftermath. Paula pushes back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAULA ABDUL, "AMERICAN IDOL" JUDGE: I hope you enjoy it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: But the show pushes on. Can`t anything stop the "American Idol" machine?
BRYANT: Cut above the rest. Hot stars in super shape, an exclusive look at the fittest guys. We`ve got the look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BROOKE SHIELDS, "DOWN CAME THE RAIN": I looked at this child and could not find any type of a bond.
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HAMMER: Brooke`s baby battle. Brooke Shields reveals her private struggle with being a mother, including thoughts of suicide, an eye-opening "SHOWBIZ Sitdown" one on one.
BRYANT: The final "Trek." As "Star Trek" gets set to make its final journey on air, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT brings together stars from the original series and the final "Enterprise," and you`ll see it right here live.
HAMMER: And box office blues. Big budgets but small audiences. How come so many people are staying away from the movies?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICK NOLTE, ACTOR: Hi. I`m Nick Nolte. And if it happened today, it`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
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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: Tonight: Is America`s number one TV show too hot to handle?
HAMMER: Well, former "American Idol" contestant Corey Clark was right here in this studio to support his claims he had an intimate relationship with "Idol" judge Paula Abdul.
BRYANT: Today the question became, Will advertisers give the hot show the cold shoulder? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Brooke Anderson has been following the story, and she joins us now with a late-breaking development from Hollywood. Hey, there, Brooke.
BROOKE ANDERSON, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT: Hi, Karyn. Hi, A.J. The scandal that sent the media and pundits spinning last week has a new bombshell tonight. You`ll recall Corey told us right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT he wouldn`t cooperate with Fox in their investigation. But just minutes ago, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT learned he would, quoting his attorney now, "cooperate with any governmental agency that launches an investigation." Now, no word yet if the FCC or state authorities could turn the "American Idol" scandal into a federal case.
This all comes as "Saturday Night Live" parodied the "Fallen Idol" expose. "Idol" judge Paula Abdul joined in on the laughs. And it looks like the show`s top advertisers are laughing all the way to the bank.
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PAULA ABDUL, "AMERICAN IDOL" JUDGE: What you`re about to see is a reenactment of some events of this week`s biggest news story.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON (voice-over): Paula Abdul showed up at "Saturday Night Live" this past weekend to introduce a parody of the news story that has gotten everyone talking.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Me and her were, like, sexually active.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Former contestant Corey Clark`s allegations to "Primetime Live" that he and Paula Abdul had an affair and that she privately coached him were ripped from the headlines, fodder just too good to pass up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Corey, that was beautiful. You really blew me away. It`s just like I rolled over and said to you this morning...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Paula was happy to give "SNL" actors some coaching.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ABDUL: Amy, you need to perfect the clap a little more.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Just 24 hours earlier, Corey Clark came to the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT studios and said live on our air he thinks "American Idol" doesn`t mind being in the spotlight one bit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COREY CLARK, FORMER "AMERICAN IDOL" CONTESTANT: That show lives on controversy. I`m sure they`re over there at Fox and "American Idol" right now just loving it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: And the added attention does not seem to be fazing the show`s advertisers. Remember, "American Idol" is a multi-million-dollar industry. And moments ago, top sponsor Ford told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, quote, "This is definitely a very entertaining show, and its ratings show that. We have a fabulous relationship with them. We`re perfectly happy with content and where things are going." Another top sponsor, Coke -- you can`t miss them on the judges` table -- is also still on board.
"TV Week`s" John Lafayette told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT he`s not surprised.
JOHN LAFAYETTE, SENIOR EDITOR, "TV WEEK": Well, right now, the advertisers are still way behind the show because it`s been delivering such -- the kinds of big audiences that they paid for. So long as the integrity of the show maintains itself, so long as people believe that the winners are the winners and that the losers are the losers, then everything -- any other publicity is good publicity.
ANDERSON: Corey Clark seems to be riding the publicity, but check out what happened on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT when he was confronted face to face by former contestant Carmen Rasmusen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARMEN RASMUSEN, FORMER "IDOL" CONTESTANT: You`re doing this in order -- because your record`s coming out and because your book is coming out, and that now you have an opportunity to say something bad about Paula. You know, who cares about whatever else went on behind the scenes?
CLARK: I`m not going after Paula Abdul. I`m going after the fact that she`s the key to get this $900 million monkey off my back because the show that you`re speaking of has been blackballing me in the industry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Fox is looking into the allegations, and it`s up to them to decide if Paula will stay on the show or not. We`ll wait to hear whether any federal or state authorities will get involved. And more accusations may be on the way. You`ll recall former contestant Trenyce -- you saw her on the screen with Corey and Carmen -- told us live on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on Friday there`s a bigger truth out there and that she believes it will come out -- A.J.
HAMMER: And we`ll all be waiting to see what happens. Brooke Anderson, thanks very much, joining us live from Hollywood.
Well, tonight, a Web site devoted to get the worst "Idol" contestant to win on the show has a new target, Anthony Fedorov this time around. The "Idol" fan site, Votefortheworst.com, encourages viewers to cast their ballots for what it says are the bad contestants because it thinks the "AI" judges and the producers try to push their favorites. Fedorov survived last week, but just barely. He was in the bottom two. But it was Votefortheworst`s previous favorite to lose, Scott Savol, who got the boot.
BRYANT: She grew up in a very public way, starring in films like "Pretty Baby" and "Blue Lagoon." And now for the first time, Brooke Shields is sharing a very private part of her life in a new book about post-partum depression. Shields told her gripping story to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s David Haffenreffer, who joins us here live -- Dave.
DAVID HAFFENREFFER, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT: Hi, Karyn. Yes, Brooke Shields is hoping that by writing "Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Post- Partum Depression," and taking part in a recent "Good Housekeeping" magazine panel on the affliction, other women may be diagnosed and treated faster. The 38-year-old actress told me her struggle with depression after pregnancy began the day that her daughter, Rowan, was born.
BROOKE SHIELDS, "DOWN CAME THE RAIN": I remember looking at my child and not being able to feel anything resembling a connection to her and feeling a distance from motherhood, from maternal instinct, from -- feeling as if somehow, a part of my entire self and soul had just been -- had just evaporated. And I looked at this child and could not find any type of a bond.
HAFFENREFFER: What do you tell people, other women, about how to differentiate between what people refer to as "baby blues" and something that`s more serious, something that might warrant a visit to a doctor or even a hospital?
SHIELDS: I think that what happens is what we don`t realize is that we`ve got post-partum -- we`ve got the baby blues -- excuse me -- on one end of the spectrum. We have post-partum psychosis on the other end of the spectrum, which is maybe 1 to 2 percent of women. But those are the only stories that we hear about. Within those two extremes, there exists a post-partum depression, a post-partum anxiety disorder, many forms of PPD that really sort of represent 20 to 30 percent of all women. And that is what we have just shied away from.
HAFFENREFFER: Big numbers.
SHIELDS: They`re big numbers, and what we`ve done is we`ve either said, Get over it, you`ll be fine, all mothers go through this, or, I`m not like that because I won`t drown my kids or I won`t cut my kid`s limbs off or I won`t do whatever the extremes that we hear. The minute you hear the word post-partum depression, you think, Well, I`m not crazy. I`m not that person, so I therefore must just soldier through this.
HAFFENREFFER: So today, as you look at that picture, as you look at that face, what do you see?
SHIELDS: My daughter. She`s the same perfection that she was when she was born. This had nothing to do with her, ironically. And I`m just so thankful that from what I know now, she`s unscathed. She`ll tell me otherwise, I`m sure, when she`s 14 or 15 and she hates me and I`m the reason for all her problems, which I`m ready for. But I`m so -- I look into her eyes and I get it. I get the connection that everybody is talking about. But she`s almost 2. I mean, I don`t know how you can feel that connection in the best of circumstances immediately with someone you`ve never met.
HAFFENREFFER: I want to shift gears a little bit and ask you about the stage. Are we going to see you back on the stage anytime soon?
SHIELDS: If you come to London, you will. I`m currently doing "Chicago" in London. I`ve never done "Chicago" before. And so I went from "Wonderful Town," which was an amazing experience, and figured I`m still in decent enough shape to do eight shows a week.
HAFFENREFFER: And you`ve got a big birthday this year, as well.
SHIELDS: Yes, a big one. I`ll be on stage. It`s going to be...
HAFFENREFFER: How will you celebrate, or won`t you celebrate?
SHIELDS: Oh, no, please. I`m going to -- I`m going to ring -- I`m going to keep ringing it in just because I want to make sure that I`m admitting to it. A friend of mine and I, we might have an 80th birthday together.
HAFFENREFFER: Almost 40, never looked so good. Brooke told me that despite everything that she`s been through, she would still like to have another child -- Karyn.
BRYANT: "Kingdom of Heaven" was king at the box office in this weekend`s box office numbers just out this afternoon. The Crusades epic starring Orlando Bloom and directed by Ridley Scott took in just under $20 million in its opening weekend. Paris Hilton`s "House of Wax" premiered at number two with $12 million. "The Hitchhiker`s Guide to the Galaxy" took a hike to the third spot, earning just under $10 million. "Crash" came in at number four. The Sandra Bullock/Don Cheadle vehicle opened with $9 million. And Nicole Kidman`s "The Interpreter" slipped to five, with just shy of an $8 million take.
HAMMER: Well, "Kingdom of Heaven" was on top, but this is the unofficial start to the summer movie season. So far, it has been hell at the box office for Hollywood. In "The Show`s Biz" tonight, the box office blues. This was the 11th straight weekend now that the box office didn`t match up to last year`s ticket sales, down 6 percent. Even though "Kingdom of Heaven" did come in first over the weekend, it was the weakest movie to start the summer box office in eight years, which is not very good, considering that Hollywood makes an estimated 40 to 50 percent of its revenue from the summer movie season.
So what`s wrong, and can Hollywood fix it? Joining us live here in New York, Dade Hayes. He`s the senior editor from "Entertainment Weekly." Dade writes about the box office slump in the new issue of "EW." And joining us live from Hollywood, our friend, Paul Dergarabedian, president of Exhibitor Relations, a box office tracking company. Thank you both for being here, Gentlemen.
And I`m going to start with you, Dade. Why the slump? What`s going on.
DADE HAYES, "ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY": Well, people just feel there`s not product out there that excites them. I mean, we`ve been hearing that anecdotally. We conducted a poll on ew.com, and that was the answer that we found. Clearly, this is not a year where we have a "Spiderman" or a "Gladiator" opening in the first weekend of May. I mean, this past weekend was the worst weekend of the year, which is really quite a statement. I mean, for years and years and years, the beginning of May was when summer really kicked off in high style.
So people just aren`t that excited by what they`re seeing out there. But what we explored in the piece this week was about the theatrical experience -- too many hassles, too many crowds, too much to put up, commercials with before the feature.
HAMMER: Right. Let me ask you about that, Paul. Is that a big problem that you`re seeing, as well, that the customers, basically -- you know, they don`t want to pay the high price for the ticket. They don`t want to sit through the commercials and the trailers. And that`s keeping them away, as well as the fact that the product`s not right?
PAUL DERGARABEDIAN, EXHIBITOR RELATIONS CO.: Well, I think that keeps them away up until the point where there`s a movie that really excites them, and then they will come out to see it. And this 11-week slump is really quite something because, like Dade said, you know, the first weekend in May, the kickoff of summer, this is so slow of a weekend. It hopefully doesn`t indicate a long-term problem at the movies.
We`re hoping that this is just an anomaly, that when "Star Wars" opens, we expect some huge box office there, and that that will somehow get the momentum going, get people back in the theaters. But it`s definitely a reason for concern in the industry, with DVD sales going up, and like Dade was saying, the commercials before the features, all these elements are kind of conspiring to keep people out of the theaters. We don`t want to see that. We want to get people back in the movie theaters. Hopefully, "Star Wars" will do that.
HAMMER: Well, let`s talk about those DVD sales for just a moment here. Listen to these numbers. DVD sales and rentals were responsible for $241 billion coming in last year. That`s compared with $9.2 billion from the box office, so -- $24 billion at the box office -- I`m sorry -- $24 billion for DVD sales -- $25.1 billion -- OK...
HAYES: The point is -- yes...
HAMMER: But the point being, you know, do the studios now really have to rely on that to survive? And is the fact that people really just want to be at home on the couch watching a movie instead?
HAYES: Yes. It`s changing into a bit of a retail business. I mean, studio executives have told me that they feel like they`re just a delivery system for DVD. All these premiers, all the red carpet, all the excitement about the theatrical experience is really just a way to remind people that, Hey, by the way, in three or four months, you`re going to see it on DVD, so check it out.
HAMMER: Paul, you want to chime in on that?
DERGARABEDIAN: Yes, well, I think that is part of it. But remember, too, I mean, if you go into a theater and you see a movie like the new "Star Wars," which I saw digitally projected with a big audience, that communal experience, there really is nothing like it. Not many people could afford -- or I don`t think anyone can afford to have a 75-foot-wide screen in their home. But...
HAMMER: George Lucas.
DERGARABEDIAN: Yes, except for George Lucas. And you know, there`s still nothing like it, and I think that`s why going to the movies has transcended every type of technological advance that has come its way.
DERGARABEDIAN: Video, television, all these things that were a threat to moviegoing, and we`re still going to the movies. So hopefully, that`ll never change.
HAMMER: OK. Well, hopefully, you know, "Star Wars" will provide that much needed catalyst for people to get out there and get back in theaters. Thank you very much, Dade and Paul, for joining us tonight.
And now, of course, we would like to know what your thoughts are on this. It`s our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Going to the movies: Would you just rather stay at home and watch a DVD? We`d like you to vote by going to cnn.com/showbiztonight, or if you want to tell us more, you can e-mail us, firstname.lastname@example.org is our address. We`re going to share some of what you had to say later on in the show.
BRYANT: Movies, Dads, TV -- you could find "Star Trek" everywhere -- until now. It is "Star Trek`s" final trek, and we`ve got two stars, one from the original series and one from "Enterprise," live.
HAMMER: Plus, bodies of work, big names who are buff. An exclusive look at the fittest guys.
BRYANT: And what would we say about Dave Matthews`s new CD? Find out in this week`s "SHOWBIZ Guide" to new music, coming up.
HAMMER: Now tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz." Back in 2003, 40 million people tuned into the season finale of which reality show, giving Fox its highest ratings for an entertainment program up until that point, "Joe Millionaire," "The Bachelorette," "Average Joe" or "The Simple Life"? We`re coming back with the answer.
HAMMER: Welcome back. Once again, tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz." In 2003, 40 million people tuned into the season finale of which reality show, giving Fox its highest ratings for an entertainment program up until that point. "Joe Millionaire," "The Bachelorette," "Average Joe" and "The Simple Life" your choices. How can you forget the humble construction worker, Evan Marriott? The answer is A, "Joe Millionaire."
BRYANT: Well, Evan Marriott seemed to enjoy showing off his buff bod. It seems like every time you turned around, he was shirtless on a bulldozer. Well, we`ve got some very hot celebs who don`t look too bad shirtless themselves. Here with an exclusive look at the 25 fittest guys, ripped right from the pages of "Men`s Fitness" magazine, is editor-in-chief Neal Boulton.
Thanks for joining us. And Neal -- there you go! Nice! Nice guns (ph)! First and foremost, what were the criteria for making the list?
NEAL BOULTON, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "MEN`S FITNESS": Oh, it was awesome criteria. You know, we took a look at a lot of different things with this list. We took a look at mental fitness, physical fitness, even spiritual and charitable fitness. And we took a look at everything.
BRYANT: OK. Great. Well, I want to start with your cover boy, Ja Rule. What was up with him?
BOULTON: Ja Rule. OK, look,, hey, it takes a lot to get into this business, and it takes even more to keep your position. And this is a guy who`s done, you know, four or five multi-platinum albums, and he`s maintaining his spot. And he`s going to maintain his spot for a lot longer. He`s got some really amazing things coming up.
BRYANT: Bruce Springsteen has been hot for years.
BOULTON: Bruce! I`ll tell you, Bruce runs, you know, a marathon every week that the guy`s on stage. He brings a stage to its knees. He knows how to keep on moving. And you know, he`s got a clean story. You know, you don`t hear the rehab story...
BOULTON: ... the crazy this -- I mean, the guy really is clean. And my God, with a pen, what he can do?
BRYANT: Absolutely. Now, I want to do another musician, Lenny Kravitz. He`s been looking good for years, as well.
BOULTON: Lenny Kravitz has always kept it super-clean, and he -- again, the guy rocks the house. He brings the house down. And the other thing is that he`s always had lots of vintage, you know, like, musical instruments that are very, very heavy, and he swings them around and propels himself into midair. It`s epic. It`s epic.
BRYANT: Now, Orlando Bloom just opened in the number one spot. Tell me about him.
BOULTON: Yes, you know, this is a great -- he likes to bungee jump and surf. And you know, the thing about him is he packed on 15 pounds of muscle for this role, and that`s a very difficult thing to do. He really - - hats off to that guy because, you know, he`s a thin guy, so he`s what we call a slow gainer, but he did it.
BRYANT: And of course, I have to touch on our very own Anderson Cooper.
BOULTON: Anderson Cooper -- I mean, one of the fittest guys in journalism. I`d like to leave a spot for myself (INAUDIBLE) No, this guy, he is -- he is my generation`s Walter Cronkite. He`s believable. You know, when he`s not getting pelted by hail in a hailstorm or dodging bullets in Afghanistan, he`s right there in front of us, giving us the trustworthy, you know, objective view. He really is today`s Walter Cronkite.
BRYANT: All right, well, Neal Boulton, thank you for joining us here. And of course, the June/July "Men`s Fitness" issue featuring the 25 fittest guys hits stands tomorrow.
HAMMER: Well, should you dig your nails into Nine Inch Nails` new CD? It`s week`s "SHOWBIZ Guide" to new music, coming up.
BRYANT: And get psyched. Wanda Sykes is here live. She is working with a monster in her new movie, and she`ll stop by to explain.
HAMMER: It`s time now for the "SHOWBIZ Guide," where throughout the week, we steer you in the right direction for movies, DVDs, music and more. And tonight, "People" magazine`s new music "Picks and Pans." Joining us here from "People" magazine, correspondent Mark Dagostino.
I want to get right into it because I`m very excited, Dave Matthews Band finally releasing their first studio CD since "Busted Stuff" three years ago. I`m going to see him in concert tonight. "Stand Up" is in stores tomorrow.
MARK DAGOSTINO, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: Oh, yes. Absolutely. It`s -- whatever you`re looking for from Dave Matthews Band, you`re getting it on this album. I mean, it`s really a phenomenal piece of work. Dave Matthews Band fans are going to be happy with what they hear. We weren`t -- didn`t give it our highest rating simply because we were hoping they`d push into a new direction a little bit.
HAMMER: Well, it is a little less of a jam band album than they`ve done in recent...
DAGOSTINO: A little less. And yet they were working with a producer who`s worked with 50 Cent and Eminem.
DAGOSTINO: Kind of raised our expectations, Wow, maybe they`re going to go in a whole new direction, give us something completely fresh.
DAGOSTINO: And it`s really just the great Dave Matthews that we all know and love.
HAMMER: Well, let`s move on to Trent and Nine Inch Nails. They`re also back with their first CD in three years. These guys have been around, believe it or not, for around 16 years, more or less, now.
DAGOSTINO: Pretty amazing. And Trent Reznor comes out swinging. We gave this album four stars. It`s our critics` pick. It really is the hard rock album to beat this year. Dave Grohl, drummer, Fu Fighters...
DAGOSTINO: ... you know, the great Dave Grohl, guesting on six of these tracks, really brings a new energy here. It`s just -- it`s a great album.
HAMMER: Very good. Well, Kristin Chenoweth, who`s going to be in two movies, "Bewitched" and "Pink Panther" this summer, Most people know her from "The West Wing," but she`s got this CD out for about a month now. What do you think?
DAGOSTINO: Yes, you know, you put this thing on, you expect the big Broadway pipes -- she`s a Tony Award winner from "Wicked" -- and it`s not what you get. You get this real subtle, soft sound. She`s almost like a great new country artist, in some ways, when you listen to some of these tracks.
HAMMER: But it`s a real inspirational type of an album all the way through.
DAGOSTINO: Very inspirational. Very inspirational. And there`s -- the kind of the more sort of religious messages in some of those songs just fits her voice beautifully, almost like an Amy Grant sound in some of these songs.
HAMMER: All right, Mark. Thank you very much for your insight on these. And for more "Picks and Pans," you can check out the new issue of "People" magazine, which is on newsstands everywhere.
Well, tomorrow night on the "SHOWBIZ Guide," we`re going to take a look at what`s new on DVD with Mr. Moviefone, Russ Leatherman.
BRYANT: The "Star Trek" crew reaches the end of the TV universe, so what`s next for the franchise? We begin our special series, "The Final Trek," and we`re joined live by "Star Trek" stars covering the first and last generations.
And a Wanda-ful interview with Wanda Sykes. The Emmy Award winner`s got her hands full with Jane Fonda, and she joins us live.
BRYANT: The final trek. Tonight, an enterprising beginning to our five-part series. We have actors from the first and the last "Star Trek" series, live.
HAMMER: For goodness Sykes! She`s one of the funniest people on the planet. Wanda Sykes joins us live in the showbiz sit down.
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WANDA SYKES, COMEDIAN: Hey, I`m Wanda Sykes. And if it happened today, it`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, all of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It`s 31 minutes past the hour. I`m AJ Hammer.
BRYANT: And I`m Karyn Bryant. Here are tonight`s hot headlines.
HAMMER: A new statement from Corey Clark through his attorney. Clark says he will quote, cooperate with any governmental agency that launches an investigation into his claim that he and "America Idol" judge Paula Abdul had a sexual relationship. We haven`t received any word suggesting that any kind of investigation is in the works. Friday Corey told us right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, he wouldn`t cooperate with Fox in its investigation.
BRYANT: Box office blahs. In final numbers out today, "Kingdom of Heaven" was number one at the box office this weekend, but its $20 million debut didn`t do much to help movie revenues. Ticket sales were down for the 11th straight weekend compared with the same weekend last year.
HAMMER: That`s also our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Going to the movies. Would you just rather stay at home and watch a DVD? You can keep voting at cnn.com/showbiz tonight and send us your e-mail to email@example.com. We`re going to share some of what you had to say at 54 past the hour.
BRYANT: Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT launches the final trek. When the UPN series "Star Trek: Enterprise" airs its last episode on Friday, it will be the end of an era. The first time in nearly two decades there will be no new "Star Treks," not on TV, not at the movies. All this week we will be bringing you live the cast members who made "STAR TREK" what it was. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s David Haffenreffer is here live now to launch the final trek.
HAFFENREFFER: You got your Kleenex out there. "Enterprise" is more than just another canceled show going of the air. The final trek ends a remarkable 40-year TV and movie journey that boldly went where no science fiction franchise had ever gone before.
HAFFENREFFER (voice-over): Now the run for "Star Trek: Enterprise" is ending, and so is an era. After "Enterprise" docks for the last time this week, TV will be without an original "Star Trek" series for the first time in 18 years.
When the original "Star Trek" show debuted in 1966, no one could have imagined that a show about a studly captain, his pointy-eared Vulcan science officer and perhaps the most gender and racially mixed crew on TV at the time would become a hit. And it didn`t. The show was canceled after three less than stellar seasons. But "Star Trek" didn`t stay down for long. It became a major phenomenon in syndication and then the "Star Trek" revival went ahead warp factor 10. "Star Trek" the motion picture in 1979 led to 10 "Star Trek" movies.
The TV spin-off "Star Trek: The Next Generation" debuted in 1987. It was a huge hit and it was followed by three more trek series: "Deep Space Nine," "Star Trek: Voyager," and finally "Enterprise," which debuted in 2001. There are no immediate plans for another "Star Trek" series or movie, yet the show, like the others, will still boldly go on in syndication and on DVDs, ensuring that, like the others, it will live long and prosper.
HAFFENREFFER: It most certainly will and joining us now live from Los Angeles in another showbiz sit down, one of the stars of "Enterprise," Connor Trinneer, who plays chief engineer, Charles "Trip" Tucker III on "Star Trek: Enterprise" and Nichelle Nichols, who is best known for her groundbreaking role as Lieutenant Uhura, on the original "Star Trek" series. Welcome. Nichelle, let`s start with you. This is a big year for "Star Trek" fans, of course. Tell me your thoughts when you first heard that the show would be going off the air?
NICHELLE NICHOLS, UHURA, "STAR TREK": Are you speaking to me?
HAFFENREFFER: Yes, I am.
NICHOLS: Are you talking about the original show? My show?
HAFFENREFFER: No, the current show that`s on the air. This is such an important year for all "Star Trek" fans because as we said, this is the first time in 16 years that they`re not going to have some "Star Trek" to turn to. When you first heard that this most recent version of the show was going off the air, did it make you sad a little bit?
NICHOLS: I think so because it continued the legacy of Gene Roddenberry. And for the most part, it lived up to all the expectations and everything that he wanted to bring to the attention of people to consider that we are really better than we think we are. And I think that its message continued to be beautifully expressed and so, yes, it`s a sad day.
HAFFENREFFER: Hey, Connor, when the first series was going off the air, that was the year you happened to be born. Tell us a little bit -- share with your audience your first memories of "Star Trek" as a TV program.
CONNOR TRINNEER, TRIP, "STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE": As a TV program, I remember it was, obviously, on reruns when I`d come home from school. You`d come home, watch "Star Trek", Perry Mason would be on, then the folks would come home and feed you. But I`m sure that over the course of that time I probably saw every single episode. And my older brother, actually, was a giant "Star Trek" fan. They walked around the perimeter at recess and talk about the previous night`s episode and all that.
HAFFENREFFER: Was it pretty heady stuff for you when you first got the job on "Enterprise" to put on that uniform?
TRINNEER: It was. You kind of got warned when you got the job that you were in for something bigger than you ever expected and it turned out to be absolutely true. The more we got into it, the more seasons we shot, you bore a certain amount of responsibility by putting on that uniform.
HAFFENREFFER: Nichelle, we talked about the racial and ethnic stereotypes that the very first "Star Trek" series helped to break down. You were involved in what many still consider to be a television groundbreaking moment and that was a kiss with William Shatner.
NICHOLS: That was the first interracial kiss on television. So it was pretty groundbreaking. But it was so -- it was kind of remarkable because we were so involved in doing the show and delighted with the fact that every episode seemed to get better and better, that it never occurred to us that this was anything groundbreaking or beyond the norm for television because we were such a family and we were so accustomed to each other. It was just one more great show.
HAFFENREFFER: Yeah, certainly. And Connor, you taking your place in "Star Trek" lore. I understand that you were first man to be pregnant. Was that right?
TRINNEER: Is that true? I was the first? Well, yeah, I guess so, though. Look at me, ma, look how I`ve done.
HAFFENREFFER: Taking your place in the history. Nichelle, I quickly got to get your thoughts about Whoopi Goldberg because she has said that before, you were a role model of hers and she wanted to be in "Next Generation" because of you. Have you met Whoopi Goldberg?
NICHOLS: I certainly have. She is a delight. And I was a fan of hers. And I couldn`t believe it when Gene called me and told me that -- he said, I just have one question for you. Why do you want to be in "Star Trek" on the little screen? And she said, it`s all Nichelle Nichols fault. She said when she was 9 years old, she first saw me on "Star Trek". And she looked and her eye just got so wide. And she ran through the house screaming, come quick, everybody come look, there`s a black woman on television and she ain`t no maid. She said she knew that from that moment on that she could be anything she wanted to be.
HAFFENREFFER: Both of you, with the time that we have remaining, we`re having people on all week from "Star Trek" talking about this very important series that we`re doing here. And I got to ask you each the same questions here. Connor, we`ll start with you, your favorite "Star Trek" character besides yourself?
TRINNEER: That would be Nichelle Nichols` character.
NICHOLS: That`s a good answer, Connor.
HAFFENREFFER: Nichelle, your thoughts.
NICHOLS: Absolutely, Connor.
HAFFENREFFER: You guys are too nice to each other. Next question and Connor, you take this first. Do you believe there`s intelligent life elsewhere in the universe?
TRINNEER: I think it`s hubris to think that there isn`t.
HAFFENREFFER: You guys are on the same page.
NICHOLS: I remember being a kid and asking my father, are we the only people in the whole wide universe? And he said, do you think God is that small?
HAFFENREFFER: OK, final question here. Connor, you`re first, the next stop for the space program, the moon or Mars?
NICHOLS: You mean where we`re going?
HAFFENREFFER: Should we go back to the moon or go to Mars?
NICHOLS: I think we should do both. I think we should do both. You know, I recruited the first women and minority astronauts for under contract to NASA. And it was an exciting time. And to a man and a woman, they want to go back to the moon and they want to go to Mars.
HAFFENREFFER: You guys are great. Thank you for coming on our program.
NICHOLS: Thank you. It was a real pleasure.
HAFFENREFFER: Nichelle Nichols and Connor Trinneer. And the two- hour series finale of "Star Trek: Enterprise" boldly goes into the sunset this coming Friday. And all this week, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT brings you the stars of "Star Trek", including Walter Konig, George Takai and Lavar Burton. It`s our salute to "Star Trek" the final trek, Karyn?
BRYANT: All right. Thanks very much, David Haffenreffer.
HAMMER: Big deal, big show, big delay. We`ve got the inside scoop on what`s going on at Chappelle`s show. We`re going to fill you in next.
BRYANT: Plus, oh, boy, magic Wanda. Yeah, uh-huh. We`re going to town with the Wanda Sykes puns tonight. It`s all for a good cause because she`s joining us live in the showbiz sit down that`s coming up.
BRYANT: Tonight new details about what`s going on at Chappelle`s show. Fans of the show were disappointed to learn that the third season has been postponed indefinitely. "Newsweek" entertainment columnist Devin Gordon was on the set of the show while they filmed in November and he spoke with SHOWBIZ TONIGHT about the latest developments and possible reasons behind the show`s delay.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEVIN GORDON, NEWSWEEK MAGAZINE: Just the sheer towering pressure of becoming so famous and so popular so fast really took its toll on Dave. But in addition to that, his partying habits just sort of slowed the process down and weren`t helping anything. Some of his friends even think maybe he went a little bit overboard. Even though both sides are denying it, a source very close to the show said that Dave wanted to carry the racial content of the show a little bit farther in the third season and comedy central was a little bit nervous about that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRYANT: Devin Gordon`s full article on Dave Chappelle is in May 16th issue of "Newsweek."
HAMMER: Well, it`s time now for another showbiz sit down, this time with Wanda Sykes. "Entertainment Weekly" called her one of the funniest people in America. She won an Emmy on "The Chris Rock Show" and one on "Inside the NFL." You can also see her on HBO`s "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and starting this weekend, you can check her out in "Monster-in-Law" with Jane Fonda and good old J. Lo. Welcome to the program, Wanda Sykes.
SYKES: Thank you, thank you, thanks for having me. My mother is just happy that I`m on CNN and not in a car chase.
HAMMER: Not in trouble.
SYKES: Yeah, not in trouble.
HAMMER: Lil John came on this program and said exactly the same thing.
SYKES: That`s all mothers hope.
HAMMER: You were watching Lieutenant Uhuru a few minutes ago, in the "Star Trek" interview. You were a "Star Trek" fan growing up?
SYKES: Definitely, definitely. Big "Star Trek" fan growing up. I pretty much had seen all the episodes. I loved the original, the "Star Trek" movies. But then when they started switching casts, it just got a little too crazy for me. It was like Warf with the meat on his head.
HAMMER: You weren`t happy about the meat on the head.
SYKES: What happened with that? And the guy in the bar, his teeth were all hard to look at. It was just visually just wasn`t pleasing for me. I was just not into it.
HAMMER: Nobody has the big meat on the head in your now movie. However there was some cake on the head.
SYKES: . cake flying around.
HAMMER: There was some cake flying around and actually, one of the funniest moments of the film. Let`s talk about "Monster-in-Law." Of course you play Ruby. You don`t play somebody named Wanda. Now I need to point out, people that don`t know. You often play people named Wanda. You`re Wanda on "Curb Your Enthusiasm." You`re Wanda on your Fox show, on a few other shows that you`ve done. Is that just to keep things simple on the set?
SYKES: It`s just lazy writing, that`s all. You should just be Wanda. Plus that I don`t have to worry about acting like somebody else. Just be yourself.
HAMMER: When they call your name, they know you`re going to be there.
SYKES: I show up, Wanda shows up, yeah. But this time I actually have a character name, yeah, Ruby. It is fun doing this role because this is the first time I`ve been in a situation where I`m not causing all the problems. Jane Fonda`s character Viola is the one that I`m trying to rein in and trying keep her out of jail, basically.
HAMMER: You are the voice of reason in her life as her assistant on the show.
HAMMER: In fact, we`re going to take a look at a clip right now. Basically J. Lo`s character has driven Jane Fonda`s character Viola to want to drink. And the only thing standing between her and that drink is you. Let`s take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JANE FONDA, ACTOR: May I have the key to the liquor cabinet please?
SYKES: What key?
FONDA: The key, Ruby.
SYKES: Key? There`s no key.
FONDA: Ruby, get me the key.
SYKES: You want to take this outside?
FONDA: Bring me the key.
SYKES: And fix your hair. You look like a damn cockatoo.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: In every movie you`re in, that seems to be very similar to your character. You just kind of call it like you see it. You don`t have much gate (ph), do you?
SYKES: No, I`m short of gate (ph) I am. I`m pretty much always been outspoken, even as a kid. My parents, they had no idea what I was going to say. So whenever they had guests coming over, they would ship me off to my grandmother`s house. They didn`t want to keep losing friends.
HAMMER: But you weren`t a big troublemaker growing up?
SYKES: No, I wasn`t disruptive. I just always had this mouth on me basically.
HAMMER: We hear a lot of that on "Curb Your Enthusiasm." Of course Larry David, creator of "Seinfeld" and you play his wife best friend on the show and man, you got a mouth on you.
SYKES: Larry does a lot of things that require me to yell at him. He`s so inappropriate on the show. I will be back for the new season.
HAMMER: When is that starting?
SYKES: Who knows? When Larry gets tired of counting his money and wants to get back to work. Who knows.
HAMMER: So much of it as you said, though, improvisational. So I imagine there`s some things that happen that we never get to see. Can you share with me like one terribly funny moment that occurred while you were shooting that show?
SYKES: There was one scene -- I think it was in the -- I cannot remember which episode it`s in. But Larry just didn`t have time to put it in. It`s a scene where he`s walking me out to the car. I think it was a crazy ass killer episode where I`m all hurt and everything. So he`s walking me out to the car and we leave the bar. And some brothers walk up to him and they give him a hard time for being with a black woman. They give me a hard time. We just got into this whole big deal. And I can`t remember, but it was one of my favorite things that we didn`t get to do. It was like Larry had jungle fever. You know.
HAMMER: Let me ask you real quick because Michael Vartan, who`s coming on the show, Michael Vartan, plays Viola`s, Jane Fonda`s character`s son. Give us a little inside scoop on Michael, something that may have happened on the set that we can ask him about tomorrow night on the program.
SYKES: Just ask him about his poker days. Ask him if he actually got to take home any of the money that he made from "Monster-in Law."
HAMMER: Playing a little poker on the set there. Let me write that one down.
SYKES: Yeah, write that one down.
HAMMER: Thank you for coming on. We appreciate it. Of course, "Monster-in-Law" will be in theaters on Friday.
BRYANT: Tony Danza goes for a wild ride and it doesn`t quite turn out the way you expect it. We`ll show you what happened. Coming up, the talk of the day and there`s still time for you to sound off on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day, going to the movies. Would you rather stay home and watch a DVD? You can vote at cnn.com/showbiz tonight or e-mail us what`s on your mind, at firstname.lastname@example.org. We`ll read some of your thoughts live 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: On the Tony Danza show, it was all fun and games until Tony challenged NASCAR champion Rusty Wallace to a go-kart race.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After one lap, Tony`s in the lead with four laps to go. Holy cow. Tony flips his car. Let`s take another look in slow motion. Oh, but Tony`s fine. Tony Danza is fine, everybody.
TONY DANZA: Got it on film? That`s all that matters.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRYANT: And "House of Wax" star Elisha Cuthbert stops by as well.
HAMMER: Well, throughout the show, we`ve been asking you to vote on your SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Going to the movies. Would you just rather stay at home and watch a DVD? Let`s take a look at how the vote`s going so far, 77 percent of you say you would rather just stay home and watch a DVD, 23 percent say of you, no, you wouldn`t. We`ve also been getting some e-mail on the question.
We heard from Jim in Alabama who wrote, considering the cost of popcorn, candy and a movie these days, it just isn`t worth the hassle any more.
We also heard from Karen in Florida, who writes, I really enjoy the whole movie going experience. However, I definitely weigh the cost of a movie ticket when deciding whether to go to the theater. Remember, you can continue to vote. The Web site is cnn.com/showbiztonight.
BRYANT: Time to see what`s playing on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT tomorrow.
HAMMER: And to do that, we have to take a look at the showbiz marquee and to do that, we`ve got our marquee guy. Take it away.
ANNOUNCER: Why lookie there. It`s Jennifer Lopez`s fiance. Wait, isn`t J. Lo married? Of course. We`re talking about the new movie "Monster-in-Law." You may know him by his alias. Michael Vartan live in the showbiz sit down tomorrow.
Also, if you`ve like to get the latest news about all the new DVDs, press one. If you`d like to meet Mr. Moviefone, press two. If you`d like to do both, press three or watch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. What`s new on DVD with Mr. Moviefone tomorrow in the showbiz guide. This is the marquee guy. If you`d like to know what movie AJ wants to see, press one. For Karyn, press two, for the marquee guy, press three.
HAMMER: I`m about to dial 911.
HAMMER: Are you a little sad that "Star Trek" is coming to a close?
BRYANT: More than a little sad. I`m a big "Star Trek" fan. I`m more in line with the next gen. I`m all about Jean-Luc Picard but I love the old one as well. I mean I watch it. It`s good stuff.
HAMMER: We`ve got the stars past and present all week long. So it`s pretty cool and that is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I am AJ Hammer.
BRYANT: And I`m Karyn Bryant. Stay tuned for the latest on CNN headline news.