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SHOWBIZ TONIGHT

Showbiz Tonight for July 27, 2005, CNNHN

Aired July 27, 2005 - 19:00:00   ET

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


KARYN BRYAN, CO-HOST: I`m Karyn Bryant.
A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: I`m A.J. Hammer. TV`s only live entertainment news show starts right now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER (voice-over): On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV history in the making and the controversy over new drama series that`s about the war in Iraq.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stay alive, Jim, OK?

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT takes you behind the scenes of "Over There." And we`re asking, is it appropriate to turn war into entertainment?

Bryant (voice-over): Changing channels, it`s the end of an era for TV Guide. Tonight, a nostalgic look back at the little magazine that guided viewers for generations, the changes it`s making and why.

HAMMER: "iPod Nation." Tonight, iPod alternatives. This isn`t your daddy`s Walkman. We`ll tell you about all the other options for music on the go. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with our special series on the portable music revolution.

GARY COLE, ACTOR: I`m Gary Cole from TNT`s "Wanted." And if it happened today, it`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

Bryant: Hello, I`m Karyn Bryant.

HAMMER: I`m A.J. Hammer.

Tonight, television history will be made, and it`s all about the war in Iraq.

Bryant: When the controversial show "Over There" debuts, it will be the first time a TV series has dramatized a war as the war is still being fought. Here is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Brooke Anderson in Hollywood.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These images of war may seem real, but they`re not. This is a scene from the new television series, "Over There."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re into it now.

ANDERSON: Locations in the California desert double for Iraq. The drama, which Wednesday on FX, also depicts life on the home front. We screened the first three episodes with Lisa Stehle, whose husband served in Iraq.

(on camera) Is it hard for you to watch this?

LISA STEHLE, MILITARY WIFE: No. I mean, it`s not hard to watch, because I put it into a mode of, it`s just another show.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shut up and stay alive, Tim, OK?

STEHLE: I was afraid that the show would sensationalize war. I thought that it would put this war in my living room. The war did not come into my living room. It`s a TV show.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Co-creator and executive producer Steven Bochco was initially reluctant to make this potentially controversial program.

STEVEN BOCHCO, CO-CREATOR/EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, "OVER THERE": I think whatever political perceptions one might have about the show speak more to, you know, the mindset of the viewer watching.

ANDERSON: On the day I stopped by the set north of Los Angeles, the action involved a dangerous search mission.

(on camera) Why do people need to se this? Why do you think they do?

MARK-PAUL GOSSELAAR, GUEST STAR, "OVER THERE": Why not show it? I think it`s -- the way that they`re filming this, and the way that it`s being shown, I think it`s going to be eye opening. You`re either going to hate it or love it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s go!

ANDERSON (voice-over): Lisa Stehle, whose husband expects to return to Iraq, isn`t sure she`ll keep watching.

STEHLE: I just don`t think that it`s -- it`s the most appropriate thing for some of our families to see.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ve made it through our first week, anyways, which not everybody thought was going to happen, let me tell you. Just that right there is a victory.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

Bryant: That was SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Brooke Anderson reporting. "Over There" premiers tonight on FX. The first episode focuses on a fictional Army unit as soldiers arrive in Iraq for their first tour of duty.

HAMMER: Well, tonight, in our "SHOWBIZ In-Depth," TV war shows through the decade and how America has embraced them.

"Combat!" was one of the very first wartime shows to hit television. It debuted back in 1962, and it was the longest running World War II drama, lasting five years.

In 1973 the hit we all know, the hit show "M*A*S*H" began. That`s a sit- com, of course, about a staff in a Korean War field hospital. The show lasted a decade.

And then in 1988, "China Beach" gave fresh perspectives to the Vietnam War. For three years, it showed the every day lives of doctors, nurses and soldiers on the American base in the thick of war.

Well, joining us live here in New York to talk about it, Ron Simon. He`s the TV curator for the Museum of Television and Radio. And live in Hollywood, Andy Wallerstein, TV features editor from "The Hollywood Reporter."

Ron, "Combat," a show relatively unknown, if not entirely unknown, to this generation. But it was truly ground breaking. As I mentioned, it was on the year for five years.

RON SIMON, MUSEUM OF TELEVISION AND RADIO: It`s interesting. "Combat!" looked back to World War II. It began right after D-Day and looked as the soldiers moved across Europe.

In many ways, it reflected the idealism of the Kennedy administration. Here was a past triumph and I think there was a national consensus that America was on the move, so we looked back to one of our greatest triumphs.

HAMMER: And America loved this show at the time?

SIMON: It embraced it. Certainly, there were quite a few dramas dealing with World War II. This was by far the most popular. It was in black and white. It looks, you know, like an older television now, but certainly it had an appeal. It had Vic Morrow and Rick Jason, real good, study stars.

HAMMER: Andy, let me go to you about what probably can be considered the most popular war television show ever, certainly one of them, "M*A*S*H" on the air for ten years. But it remains in syndication. Everybody knows the show.

And this was a little bit different, in that it was about the Korean War. But it was first on the air when there was high tension over the Vietnam War. But America still embraced it when it came on.

ANDY WALLERSTEIN, "HOLLYWOOD REPORTER": Absolutely. I mean, it is a bona fide TV classic. I think the thing is that they used the Korean War as a sort of a disguise for discussing issues that were affecting the country relating to the Vietnam War. And just as, say, "Combat!" reflected the optimism during the Kennedy administration, this show really captured sort of the cynicism and maybe even darkness of the post-Watergate era.

HAMMER: Ron, anything you would add to that as far as the appeal of "M*A*S*H"?

SIMON: You know, it`s funny. In "Combat!" there was comedy. You had Chucky Green playing one of the soldiers. But this was a much darker satire in "M*A*S*H," and it certainly not only reflected the Vietnam War but the whole Watergate era, as well. And it actually ran twice as long as the Korean War was supposed to.

HAMMER: Sure, and as we mentioned, there is controversy brewing over the new Steven Bochco show "Over There," the series that starts tonight. Was there controversy about "M*A*S*H"? Because after all, a very serious subject like war was getting treated with comedy, as a sit-com, after all.

SIMON: "M*A*S*H" was based on a very popular movie. So it was an adaptation. So people were used to it. It was not a shock to the system. Obviously, Bochco`s "Over There" is something very different.

HAMMER: Andy, let`s move on to "China Beach," because this certainly gave different perspective than any war television series had done before.

WALLERSTEIN: Yes. "China Beach," really, at its essence, was a soap opera. And the truth is, I don`t think in the way that "Combat!" or "M*A*S*H" did that it was really that much or as strong a reflection of issues going on in the country. I think this was more just strong drama that happened to be based at a historical time.

HAMMER: And this show did well.

SIMON: It did extremely well. It was very different, obviously looked at war through a woman`s point of view. But it also went forward and backward in time and played with different perspectives on American history. The song they used was "Reflections," and it certainly was different reflections of war over time.

HAMMER: Anything you`d like to add to that, Andy?

WALLERSTEIN: Just that I think "Over There" differs from all of these predecessors, in the sense that it is the first to document, not really document but dramatize a war that is still in progress. And that makes it a really bold experiment.

HAMMER: And it shows it from several different perspectives. In addition to the actual combat that we`re seeing, we`re seeing women in combat, really for the first time, and we`re also seeing the perspective of the families that are left back at home.

SIMON: And the one thing that we don`t have with Iraq are the hour documentaries that we had with Korea and Vietnam War. In many ways, this will help humanize the war. That`s a perspective that we don`t have from the very short news bites.

HAMMER: Well, it will be interesting to see how it does. And we appreciate your historical perspective tonight on the past TV series on war, Ron Simon and Andy Wallerstein. Thanks for joining us.

Now we would like to hear from you about all this. Our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Turning war into entertainment: is it appropriate? If you want to chime in, you can by going to CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. Got more to say, we`ve got the e-mail address, ShowbizTonight@CNN.com. We`re going to share some of your thoughts later on in the show.

Bryant: Tonight a big victory for supermodel Kate Moss against a newspaper that reported she did so much cocaine that she fell into a coma. Moss` lawyer revealed today that the publisher of Britain`s "Sunday Mirror" has admitted that the story wasn`t true. They`ve apologized and also paid her an undisclosed amount of money as settlement.

The paper had reported Moss went on a cocaine binge in Barcelona, Spain, in 2001 and had to be revived after going into a coma. Moss was not in court when the libel case was settled.

Well, "TV Guide" is getting a big makeover. We`ve got the inside scoop on what you can expect. That`s coming up.

HAMMER: Plus all this week we`ve been telling you about iPods. But what about those of you who say, "I don`t"? Tonight we`re going to take a look at iPod alternatives in our special series, "iPod Nation."

Bryant: And he is the D.J. who put the shock in shock jock. Now Howard Stern is shaking up the airwaves again. We`ve got a special report, coming up.

HAMMER: Here comes tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz." In "Aladdin," which of these distinguished gents are not impersonated by Robin Williams` magic genie? William F. Buckley Jr., Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Wayne or Ed Sullivan? Think about it. We`re coming right back with the answer.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Once again, tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz." In the movie "Aladdin," which of these distinguished gents are not impersonated by Robin Williams` magic genie? William F. Buckley Jr., Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Wayne or Ed Sullivan? The answer is C, John Wayne.

BRYANT: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Karyn Bryant.

Tonight a big makeover and a lot of nostalgia for "TV Guide." Once upon a time, it seemed as though everyone had a "TV Guide" on top of the set, but times have changed. Sales are down dramatically. And the magazine is changing the format so many generations knew and loved.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas is in Hollywood with the story -- Sibila.

SIBILA VARGAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That`s right, Karyn. Big changes are definitely on the way for the little magazine. The guide is relaunching itself as a full-sized glossy magazine with about 100 color pages and fewer program listings. The majority of its pages will now be devoted to feature stories. It`s a new "TV Guide" and the end of an era.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VARGAS (voice-over): Lucille Ball, Mary Tyler Moore, Elvis Presley. They graced more "TV Guide" covers than anyone else and helped sell millions of copies, making "TV Guide" the central fixture in the American living room.

Lucille Ball`s son, baby Desi Arnez Jr., made the first cover in 1953, a time when television was at its golden age, growing rapidly and reaching about half of all American households.

Professor Robert Thompson of Syracuse University told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT it was the start of television history.

ROBERT THOMPSON, SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY: That week when Lucy had her baby, both on the show and in real life, really kind of marked the arrival of television. It was a huge covered event. In some newspapers it got a bigger headline than the inauguration of the new president, Eisenhower, which happened on the same day.

This was going to be the representation of a whole new generation, a whole new era.

VARGAS: The "Guide`s" covers chronicle television history. Looking at them is like taking a walk down TV`s own Memory Lane. TV figures like Jody and Johnny Carson. Here they are in 1955.

And here`s the cast of "Family Affair" in 1968.

The seventies brought "Laverne and Shirley." They had a cover 1976.

And "Wonder Woman" was on top in 1977.

Here`s covergirl Valerie Bertinelli in 1984, followed by "A.L.F." Remember him? In 1987.

Seinfeld`s Jason Alexander made the front page in 1994. And here`s George Clooney in `95.

And who could forget the excitement when the "Guide`s" fall TV preview arrived each year? Days of reading pleasure!

Enter the new millennium. Here`s the it girl Sarah Jessica Parker in 2003, and here are Josh Holloway and Clay Aiken just this year. Wonder where they`ll end up?

But the magazine is losing money, struggling to remain relevant in the era of onscreen guides provided by DVR`s and cable companies, a landscape with hundreds of TV channels, even the "TV Guide`s" own channel. It`s time to mix things up.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT went straight to "TV Guide" editor in chief Ian Birch for the rundown.

IAN BIRCH, EDITOR IN CHIEF, "TV GUIDE": What people want from television magazines has changed, and its changed fundamentally, and particularly so over the past 10 years. People want a different kind of information. What they want nowadays is less listings driven and more information driven. They want a magazine about television more than a straightforward listings guide.

VARGAS: They say they want to guide viewers with more than just grids.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VARGAS: And the new magazine launches October 17 it comes with a smaller price tag. The "Guide" is lowering the price from $2.49 to $1.99 in an effort to attract more readers. Fifty cents less? Fair enough. I`ll take it.

BRYANT: Sibila Vargas, thanks very much, reporting live from Hollywood -- A.J.

HAMMER: Well, Karyn, welcome back to the "iPod Nation." Tonight in our special series: what if you want something other than an iPod?

It may seem like everyone has one of those portable music players made by Apple, but you know they`re not the only game in town. In fact you might be better off defecting from the "iPod Nation" and getting another digital music player. Or maybe not.

Well, to help you decide if you should be one ever those defectors, we have Leo Laporte from "Leo Laporte`s Gadget Guide" joining us live from San Francisco.

So Leo, I hold in my hand my old school MP3 player, and it`s hard they`ve been around long enough...

LEO LAPORTE, "LEO LAPORTE`S GADGET GUIDE": Wow.

HAMMER: ... to have an old school. This is my Nomad 2 from Creative, because my Nomad 1 busted. I was so excited that I was able to squeeze maybe about 25 songs onto this thing with its 96MB of memory. But as soon as the iPod came out to connect to my Mac computer, I immediately put this thing in a drawer and this is the first time it`s come out.

However, iPods account for about 80 percent of the MP3 player market. Why would anybody defect?

LAPORTE: Well, to save money, for one thing. I bet you probably don`t remember how much you paid for that, A.J., but it was probably an awful lot of money.

HAMMER: It was a couple of hundred bucks.

LAPORTE: Yes. For $162 now, you can get this Dell DJ. This will hold 5,000 songs, probably your whole library, on one 20 GB hard drive. So that`s about half the price of the comparable iPod.

It doesn`t have a color screen, you know, it`s a little utilitarian in its look, but that`s going to save you a lot of money. The Dell Pocket D.J. is even less expensive. That`s about 6GB for $129 now after rebates. So that`s why people would go; it`s cheaper.

HAMMER: And the other reasons might include not being confined to the iTunes music store, because that is basically the only way that you`re going to get music onto your iPod.

LAPORTE: One of the decisions a customer has to make before they buy is which music store they`re going to buy from. If you buy from the iTunes music store you have to buy an iPod. That`s the only thing that will work with it.

If you`re going to buy from every other store -- Napster, Rhapsody, Yahoo!, MSN Music -- you`re going to want to buy another device, a Windows compatible device, anything but the iPod, basically.

HAMMER: It`s hard to imagine Apple users going to anything else. I think a lot of PC users rejoiced when Apple finally went forward and made the iPod compatible with PCs. People who are Mac users know they have the fast fire wire connection, which is how you connect up to the iPod. And it`s much quicker.

LAPORTE: Most of these devices are USB 2, which is as fast as fire wire. Some offer fire wire. But a lot of the reason people, let`s face is, go with an iPod is styling. Because it looks cool. It`s the hip thing to have. So competitors are trying to come along to compete with iPod`s styling.

This is the H10 from iRiver. It is a 20GB, $329 MP3 player. See, it`s nice navy blue. They have many colors. This is their 800, which is a solid state player. It`s a little bit smaller, but it holds a lot of music. And this is good maybe for supports. I don`t know if you jog or anything.

HAMMER: That`s a good point, because the hard drive based players do have the potential to skip. There are systems in place so they don`t. But the solid state player which you`re holding, the smaller one, that won`t skip because that`s what`s called flash memory.

LAPORTE: Yes. Holds less, but it`s lighter and it`s more robust. And so this is perfect for exercising or people who hike or mountain climb.

But you know, people nowadays don`t stop with just one. They often have one with their entire collection on it and one with just a few CDs on it for exercising.

HAMMER: I won`t tell you how many I have. Do you have any of the hybrid units that will also show video?

LAPORTE: You want to see something cool? Yes. This is where everything is going. Not just music but video. This is from a company called Arcos. This is the G Mini 402. Just came out.

Now, it`s only a little bit more than the H10. It`s about $30 or $40 more than the H10, $329. Twenty gig hard drive. That`s about 80 hours of movies, thousands of songs. Little color screen. I mean, it`s not huge but it`s not much bigger than the Dell. In fact, it`s about the same size as a Dell or an iPod, to compare the two.

So I think these are really kind of compelling. I think a lot more devices are going to have video players. In fact, some say Apple will be doing that very soon.

HAMMER: And in fact, we`re going to be talking about that tomorrow. It`s nice to see what the alternatives are. Leo Laporte, appreciate you joining us here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

For the "iPod Nation," where tomorrow night, as I mentioned, we`re going to get out our little crystal ball and we`re going to tell you what`s on the horizon for iPods, including video and other features. And of course the other portable entertainment gadgets, some of which Leo mentioned tonight. So tune in for that on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "iPod Nation" series, tomorrow.

BRYANT: Jessica Simpson and her "Dukes of Hazzard" co-stars host a movie screening in an unlikely place. That`s coming up next.

HAMMER: Plus karaoke, or karaoke, as I like to say it, with the stars of "The OC." We`re going to find out which song Mischa Barton likes to belt out.

BRYANT: And R. Kelly in an X-rated controversy, but it doesn`t seem to be affecting his record sales. We`ll look into how he stays on top of his game. That`s still to come.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BRYANT: The cast of the new movie, "The Dukes of Hazzard," stop by Robins Air Force Base in Georgia to give service members and their families a sneak peak at the film. One airman got a hug from Luke Duke himself, Johnny Knoxville, and a kiss from Jessica Simpson, who plays Daisy Duke.

While on the base, the cast was given a tour of an F-16 and an air refueling simulator. Simpson spoke about how she got a Daisy Duke shake and Knoxville talked about how fans of the TV show would react to the movie.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHNNY KNOXVILLE, ACTOR: Yes, I think all the fans of "The Dukes of Hazzard" will like, will love the movie. I mean, sure we made it a little bit more racy, but the show is racy. You know, the shorts were up to here. And we just expanded it for the big screen. So I don`t think we`re going to disappoint any of the fans. They`re going to be very happy.

JESSICA SIMPSON, SINGER/ACTRESS: I was in the one in the bikini, so I was probably working out more than I`ve ever worked out in my life. But I had a blast doing it, and I`m proud of it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRYANT: The "Dukes of Hazzard" opens August 5.

HAMMER: It`s time now for "InStyle." Tonight, Mischa Barton. You know her as Marisa Cooper from the hit TV series, "The OC." Tonight an inside look at her guiltiest pleasures.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

POLLY BLITZER, "INSTYLE" MAGAZINE: Mischa Barton, star of "The OC," is white hot right now. One of our favorite features in "InStyle" is Guilty Pleasures, where we truly get to see behind the scenes, what turns the stars on and what their favorite things are.

Mischa told us some of her favorite things. And when she`s abroad, everyone is dying to know who she misses most. Well, it`s actually a guy named Angelo. And no, it`s not her boyfriend. It`s her cat, who she says reminds her of a big roving cotton ball.

Mischa`s known for her sexy bohemian style. So it should come as no surprise that her favorite touristy spot is Saint-German in Paris, where she gets to sit by the Art Deco cafes like Le Gimenco (ph), where Hemingway made out and just sit and people watch all day.

For those of us whose ears aren`t pierced, we can actually take a tip from Mischa. She doesn`t have pierced ears and loves Chanel, because they have an extensive collection of earrings for people who don`t have pierced ears.

Like most of us, Mischa loves a big burger, but she has to convince herself that it`s not junk food in order to go for it. She loves the In-N- Out burger in Los Angeles.

When Mischa does karaoke, she really loves, "Wannabe" by Spice Girls. She said it`s a really cheesy song, but it`s super catchy and just a lot of fun.

Mischa`s favorite movie is "Wet Hot American Summer" from 2001 that stars Janeane Garafolo and David Hyde Pierce. And what better comic duo can you get than those two? She just thinks it`s a slapstick summer camp movie.

For someone who we`re used to see playing a star on "The OC" and on the red carpet, there is so much more to Mischa Barton than meets the eye.

(END VIDEOTAP)

HAMMER: For more about Mischa Barton`s guilty pleasures, just grab a copy of August`s "InStyle" magazine. It is on newsstands now.

BRYANT: Models trade in the runway for the side of a building. A fashion show that would make Spider-Man proud. That`s coming up.

HAMMER: Plus reality TV has found a new home, the courthouse. "The Law Firm" has real cases and real verdicts and a real big winner. We`re going to tell you more coming up.

BRYANT: And get serious, it is time for Howard Stern. We`ve got your special look at radio`s original renegade. That`s on the way.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)

Hammer: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, R. Kelly, sticky scandal on his hands but nothing sticks. He`s still No. 1 on the charts. So what`s he made of, Teflon?

BRYANT: And Howard Stern: is his show so indecent that it`s made the King of All Media the government`s No. 1 target?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, my name is Emmy Ralston (ph), and if it happened today, it`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s only live entertainment news show. It is 31 minutes past the hour. I`m AJ Hammer.

BRYANT: I`m Karyn Bryant. Here are tonight`s hot headlines.

HAMMER: For the second time in as many weeks, a celebrity has won damages in a libel case. This time, it`s supermodel Kate Moss. Four years ago, Britain`s "Sunday Mirror" reported she collapsed into a drug-induced coma and had to be revived after taking large amounts of cocaine.

She filed suit. The paper admitted they were wrong. They settled. No word on how much Moss will be getting.

A former "Average Joe" contestant is suing NBC for $40 million. Alfred Laponza -- you may remember him as Fredo -- says he gave the network the idea to do the show, "Average Joe: The Joes Strike Back." No comment from NBC. By the way, the finale of "Average Joe: The Joes Strike Back" airs tonight.

HAMMER: Backlash over the FX show "Over There". It`s the first TV show to depict the Iraq war. Some critics say it`s too soon to see a drama about the war. Creator Steven Bochco counters that crime shows depict an urban war without any backlash.

And it is that controversy that leads us to our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT tonight question of the day. Turning war into entertainment: is it appropriate? Keep voting by going to CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. And also write to us at ShowbizTonight@CNN.com. We`re going to read some of your e- mails at 54 past the hour.

BRYANT: Tonight the woman at the center of the Colin Farrell sex scandal says all she wants is for her name to be cleared. Nicole Narain, Farrell`s former girlfriend and the woman who appears in a sex tape with him, is saying she, too, doesn`t want the tape out there in the open. She says this in the new issue of "People" magazine.

Last week, Farrell sued Narain to prevent the sale of the X-rated videotape. Narain, who is a former "Playboy" playmate, says she`s lost work and sleep over the whole ordeal. As soon as she heard that a copy of the tape was circulating, she tells "People" magazine, quote, "I was crying. I told him, `I don`t understand how this happened.` He said, `Calm down. Without my consent or yours, nothing is going to happen.`"

Well, you can read more about this story in the new issue of "People" magazine, which hits newsstands this Friday.

HAMMER: Another sex scandal still making headlines, this time involving singer R. Kelly. Tonight, he sits at the top of the "Billboard" charts, but he`s got a No. 1 legal headache on his hands. In fact, it`s one that could land him in prison.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas joins us now live from Hollywood, and Sibila, you`ve been digging deeper into this whole R. Kelly phenomenon.

VARGAS: I sure have, A.J. And R. Kelly`s legal troubles are definitely not over. He was in court today facing 14 counts of child pornography.

But with more than 19 million albums sold since starting out, many industry experts believe that as long as he continues creating hit records, his legal woes won`t slow him down.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(MUSIC)

VARGAS: R. Kelly, his album is at the top of the charts, selling 400,000 copies in the first week.

TOM CALOCUCCI, KKBT PROGRAM DIRECTOR: The guy is a musical genius.

VARGAS: But Robert Kelly looking at some different numbers in a Chicago courtroom. That`s where he`s facing 14 counts of child pornography, charges filed in 2002 after a home videotape surfaced that allegedly shows Kelly having sex with a then 14-year-old girl. Kelly says that`s not him on the tape and the charges don`t seem to reflect this Teflon phenomenon.

GEOFF MAYFIELD, "BILLBOARD": This is his third No. 1 album since this happened. He`s had two albums that have sold -- three albums that have sold in excess of 400,000 units in the first week since this happened.

CALOCUCCI: People have just been caught up in the music, and they`ve tried to -- I think tried to forget about his legal problems and want to give him the benefit of the doubt.

VARGAS: For gangster rappers, criminal charges can be a way of gaining credibility on the street, street cred. But Kelly sings rhythm `n` blues, which traditionally has a strong female following. After a small outcry in 2002, radio stations now play his music without many listener complaints.

TAWALA SHARP, KKBT MUSIC DIRECTOR: We`ve actually had people call and say, "You know what? I don`t buy R. Kelly`s music because of his personal life. I buy it because he has the best music out there."

VARGAS: Of course fans in the past haven`t abandoned performers like Elvis Presley, who started courting his wife-to-be when she was 14. Kelly can relate, since he was briefly married to late singer Aaliyah when she was just 15.

But not every celebrity can weather a sex scandal and emerge a success.

ERIK PARKER, "VIBE" MAGAZINE: There`s a difference between Michael Jackson and R. Kelly. Even though he won in the court of law the public opinion still has some disdain for Michael Jackson.

VARGAS: Jackson could learn one lesson from Kelly, and the key.

PARKER: As long as you make hits. A hit record can make people forget about some crazy things.

(MUSIC)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VARGAS: And in court today the prosecutors narrowed the time frame in which they say R. Kelly had sex with that underage girl to three -- to a three-year window, but Kelly`s defense attorney wants that window narrowed down to two days or he`ll ask the judge to dismiss the case.

Karyn, back to you.

BRYANT: All right. Thank you very much, Sibila Vargas, reporting live from Hollywood.

Well, it is the show that critics are calling "The Apprentice" of the legal world. In NBC`s "The Law Firm," 12 lawyers compete against each other while trying real cases. That means real juries, real judges and legally binding outcomes. The last lawyer standing wins $250,000.

Joining us now are two of those lawyers, contestants Anika Harvey and Mike Cavalluzzi.

Good to see you. Good to see you.

So, first and foremost, I have to ask. How did these cases get chosen? How did these people agree to have their cases tried on television? Because I would question, you know, the legality. Is it going to be done well? Is it going to be handled more as a TV show or a real case?

MIKE CAVALLUZZI, CONTESTANT, "THE LAW FIRM": Basically, the producers went all around the country looking for people who wanted their cases tried in this particular way.

Now, I understand that there are a lot of people that want their cases to remain private. There are also people who want their voices heard and their stories told on a national level. That`s seen every day on all kinds of TV shows. So this is no different in that way. These litigants wanted their stories to be told.

BRYANT: OK. This, as I mentioned, real cases, real injuries, and yet you -- and you are real lawyers. When you go in there, Anika, thought, and you say, "I`m arguing this case. I want to win. But I`m also -- I`m on a TV show. Millions of people could be watching."

How are you affected as a lawyer by the fact that you`re doing a television show?

ANIKA HARVEY, CONTESTANT, "THE LAW FIRM": I`m a practicing trial attorney; I try cases every day. And all of us are in that situation.

So I see trial very much like acting, like theater. There are the acts, the different stages of trial preparation, the actual on-stage portion. They are the characters. In this case we have attorneys who are characters. We also have victims. We have the defendants. We have people who are there who want to have their stories heard. We also then have drama, natural drama that`s built in.

So to me, that`s doing what I do every day. The fact that the cameras were there just opened up the platform for me to show my skill.

BRYANT: Certainly, arguing a case is a performance. But we wonder, did the guys get a full face of makeup before they go in there? Because it`s a TV show.

CAVALLUZZI: Not enough makeup.

BRYANT: Not enough?

CAVALLUZZI: It`s a pretty stressful situation out there, trying those cases. And it really is -- you know, the mark of a really great trial lawyer, I think, is the ability to adapt to the environment that they`re in. We`re in different courtrooms all the time. This was a very unique courtroom that we, as lawyers, had to adapt to.

But first and foremost, all of us were dedicated to the cases and to the clients.

BRYANT: And certainly, Roy Black, who is sort of the Donald Trump of this show, a very well known attorney and worked in the William Kennedy Smith case, certainly it had to be kind of interesting working next to him and with that example set.

But the winner of this show does not get a job with him. What are you playing for out there? Because your career is certainly on the line, as well as the $250,000.

HARVEY: I think for me the focus was on doing the best job, representing the client and the case, first and foremost. And then you have that added bonus of the money that you may win in the end. But you have to impress Mr. Black when to get there. And that`s kind of what you`re focusing on, doing the best job at trial, focusing on the strategy.

BRYANT: How did you even get off of work, though, to get on a reality show?

CAVALLUZZI: Well, I have my own practice in Los Angeles. So my partner graciously let me do the show. And my partner is my sister. She`s the one who dragged me into this in the first place. So she had to let me go.

BRYANT: Well, good luck to both of you, Anika and Mike. And of course, "The Law Firm" premieres tomorrow night on NBC.

BRYANT: Well, coming up, I have a burning question. And I would ask Jay Leno`s Fruitcake Lady, but you`ll find out why I`m afraid to ask. That`s on the way in "Laughter Dark."

BRYANT: And Howard Stern, the self-proclaimed King of All Media, is up next. We`ll look into why the government is calling him indecent and how he`s about to give you a peek into his controversial kingdom. That part isn`t private, but it will cost you.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JESSICA ALBA, ACTRESS: Hi, I`m Jessica Alba. And the music that I`m listening to these days are Coldplay`s new album. I highly recommend it. Amazing in concert. You must go see if you haven`t seen them yet.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BRYANT: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Karyn Bryant.

Now there is word tonight that Howard Stern, the King of All Media, is looking for a new fiefdom, turning a TV version of his radio show into video on demand.

"Television Week" reports Stern`s talking to Comcast Cable about doing an uncensored version of his E! show when his radio show moves to satellite radio in January. They`ll charge for it, though. His web site already charges people to watch the old show, but they`re heavily edited. And the show is done with presumably -- these new shows will be left uncut, so to speak.

And new numbers out tonight by Bridge Ratings show that Howard`s fans will flock with him over to satellite radio. Just five percent say they`ll stick with whomever replaces Stern on regular radio. Those numbers speak to just how powerful Howard Stern is in the radio industry.

But it doesn`t come without a cost. Two decades of controversy and turmoil as well as fines for indecency, all this as CNN`s Paula Zahn reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAULA ZAHN, HOST, "PAULA ZAHN NOW" (voice-over): Howard Stern`s morning radio show draws millions of listeners every day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Howard rules. He takes the cake of all media.

HOWARD STERN, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: The audience never gets tired of me. They love me, don`t you? Let me hear the audience.

ZAHN: It features a mix of topical humor, celebrities, and plenty of talk of bodily functions and sex.

STERN: Whoa, hey there.

ZAHN: Lots of sex.

STERN: That`s what 18 looks like.

Burping and farting, they still turn me on. I still think it`s funny. In fact, I have a porno movie waiting for me at the hotel I`m going to watch tonight. And I`m going to be by myself, and I`m going to have sex by myself. I am still a child and I am still excited about those things. And that is probably why I`m still successful.

PROFESSOR ROBERT THOMPSON, SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY: Let`s face it, morning radio people are hired to do things that will come this close to getting them fired. It`s the job description. They`re supposed to do things so outrageous that every day they are dancing the line between keeping their jobs.

ZAHN: However, the FCC has fined stations that carry Stern`s show multiple times for millions of dollars, saying he stepped the line of outrageousness into indecency.

STERN: Screw everybody.

MICHAEL HARRISON, EDITOR, "TALKERS" MAGAZINE: He`s the kind of person that means millions of dollars to the companies that have him. Whenever he gets in trouble, when they have to pay fines, it`s worth it, because he brings in so much more money than it costs to have him.

ZAHN: The FCC definition of indecency focuses on language deemed patently offensive by community broadcast standards. However, it leaves plenty of room for interpretation.

THOMPSON: What is patently offensive to contemporary community standards? Big city? No way are you going to get any consensus on what contemporary standards are. Small town, probably not. Under the same roof? Probably not.

STERN: I want to see if she wants to give me a proctological exam.

L. BRENT BOZELL III, PRESIDENT, PARENTS TELEVISION COUNCIL: You look at some of the raunch that`s on Howard Stern`s radio show, and I challenge you to find me a single community anywhere in America, including the 90210 ZIP code, that finds it acceptable to have that material.

ZAHN: But Stern has pointed to other show, most notably, Oprah Winfrey`s, saying the same content he deals with can be found there, too.

THOMPSON: Who gets to decide that radio parody, which is essentially what Howard Stern is doing, is somehow an illegitimate form, whereas sincere confessional self-help, which is what Oprah is doing, is an OK form? And that`s when this whole thing gets a lot, lot more complicated.

ZAHN: Right now those decisions are made by the FCC.

RICHARD ROEPER, COLUMNIST, "CHICAGO SUN-TIMES": My problem with that is, whether you like Howard Stern or not, it`s today they decide that Howard Stern crossed that line. Tomorrow maybe it`s Rush Limbaugh. Then the day after that, it`s another form of programming. And you`ve got all this power, this governing body.

KEN PAULSON, FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, FIRST AMENDMENT CENTER: You know, sometimes the First Amendment debate is not really about the content. It`s about holding government to the rules, making sure that government continues to maintain its promise of keeping hands off free expression. It`s not about Howard Stern; it`s about James Madison and Thomas Jefferson.

ZAHN: However, Stern won`t have to worry about the FCC much longer.

STERN: I am so thrilled about this.

ZAHN: He will move his show from broadcast to satellite radio in January of 2006 when his current contract runs out.

STERN: I have one of the largest radio shows in the world. Whenever I go on my radio show, if I have to sell a book, sell a movie, do anything like that, I can instantly go on and reach millions of people. I`m walking away from it. And the reason I`m walking away from that is I believe the future is with satellite radio.

ZAHN: There`s another reason for the switch. Satellite radio isn`t regulated by the FCC for indecency. So Stern will have the opportunity to say whatever he wants without fear of government punishment.

THOMPSON: The one challenge shock jocks would have in satellite radio is having no rules to butt up against. They may suddenly find themselves in the situation where the very thing that animated them in the first place has been taken away.

ZAHN: So listen again to Howard Stern.

STERN: I changed radio when I got into this 20 something years ago. I`m going to change radio again.

ZAHN: The man who has pushed the limits of indecency and what can and can`t be said on the radio is pushing boundaries yet again.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BRYANT: That was CNN`s Paula Zahn reporting for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. "PEOPLE IN THE NEWS" airs Saturday at 5 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m. Eastern on CNN. And of course, you can pick up a copy of "People" magazine on newsstands now -- A.J.

HAMMER: All right, Karyn. It is time now to get your laugh on. In "Laughter Dark," as we do every night, we bring you those late night laughs you just might have missed.

Well, Fruitcake Lady dispenses advice on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," and with her blunt honesty -- with her, blunt honesty seems to be the best policy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY LENO, HOST, NBC`S "THE TONIGHT SHOW": They ask her the most personal questions. Let`s find out in another addition of "Ask the Fruitcake."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I read somewhere that talking to your houseplant plants keeps them healthy. What should I say?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you crazy? In the first place, I wouldn`t talk to plants. So first of all, I wouldn`t tell you what to tell I plant. I wouldn`t talk to a plant. I wouldn`t to be able to be caught dead talking to a plant. "How are you today? How are you?" God almighty. You`ve got some crazies in this world, you know? And you`re one of them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My sister just turned 37, and she`s still single. She says she`s holding out for a rich guy. Do you think she`ll ever find one?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, hell, no. She`s not going to find a rich man. As a matter of fact, that woman will do damn good to find any man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many jellybeans can I fit in my mouth?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, for God`s sake, I mean, how many jelly beans can you stick -- who cares how many jelly beans you can get in your mouth? Isn`t that the silliest question? I hope you choke on them. You ought to choke.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: Love the Fruitcake Lady. Tonight, Jay`s guest is Oscar nominee Thomas Haden Church.

BRYANT: Check out this video. It had everyone talking and looking up. We`ll explain why.

And there`s still time for you to sound off on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Turning war into entertainment: is it appropriate? You can log on to CNN.com/ShowbizTonight or write to us at ShowbizTonight@CNN.com. We`ll read some of your e-mails live next.

HAMMER: Well, the 19th edition of the popular compilation CD series, "Now That`s What I Call Music," is the top album in this week`s Billboard 200 album chart, just out today. It`s the seventh time the series has snagged the top on the Billboard chart.

On the CD, pop hits like Gwen Stefani`s "Hollaback Girl." You`ve seen the video right now. As well as tracks from Coldplay and The Killers.

Mariah Carey`s "The Emancipation of Mimi" climbs a few spots this week to become the second best selling album in the nation. R. Kelly ends his two-week reign at the No. 1 spot. His album "TP3 Reloaded" is at No. 3.

Coldplay`s "X&Y" still hanging out in the top five, taking the number four position. And Bow Wow`s "Wanted" rounds out the top five.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. There`s been a lot of talk about this little piece of video. Check this out.

This was the scene this morning right above Rockefeller Plaza, as models were rappelling along a nine-story vertical runway. That`s never been done before. They were modeling Target`s fall collection. But falling, what was on everybody`s mind as they watched this happen.

While, these are professional athletes from Germany who do this acrobatic feat and probably do it for a living, it got a lot of people talking, and for Target, that was exactly the marketing bulls eye they`ve been looking for.

BRYANT: Throughout the show we have been asking you to vote online on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day, Turning war into entertainment: is it appropriate? Let`s take a look at how the vote is going so far. Twenty-one percent of you say yes, it is appropriate. That means 79 percent of you say it`s not.

We`ve also gotten some e-mails.

T. Luke from Arizona writes, "Turning the Iraq war into a TV show while our people are dying there right now is the most blatant form of war profiteering."

And Deanna from Virginia writes, "A show giving light to soldier`s lives makes the experiences more real to Americans who otherwise wouldn`t have any understanding."

You can keep voting at CNN.com/ShowbizTonight.

HAMMER: Time now to see what`s playing on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT tomorrow.

BRYANT: Let`s take a look at the "SHOWBIZ Marquee." Marquee Guy, take it away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, we`re putting on a full court press as Venus and Serena Williams serve up their sister act on a brand new reality show. Well, it`s kind of real. Anyway, they`re playing ball with SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Volley, anyone? Tomorrow.

Also tomorrow, we finish our tour of the "iPod Nation," from sharing video to pod casting. Those wacky kids. What`s next on the horizon, tomorrow.

This is the Marquee Guy. And the only casting I`m involved in right now is figuring out who will play the Marquee Guy in "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT: The Movie."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRYANT: That is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Karyn Bryant.

HAMMER: I`m A.J. Hammer. Stay tuned for the latest from CNN Headline News.

(NEWSBREAK)

END

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