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SHOWBIZ TONIGHT

Showbiz Tonight for August 10, 2005, CNNHN

Aired August 10, 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: 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, is Mick Jagger casting stones at the president of the United States?

MICK JAGGER, MUSICIAN: It certainly criticizes policies he espouses.

HAMMER: The controversy over the new Rolling Stones album and a song that seems to blast Bush. Mick Jagger sits down with SHOWBIZ TONIGHT and sets the record straight.

BRYANT (voice-over): Also, Harry Potter and al Qaeda. Tonight, the U.S. has suspected terrorists locked up and is offering them Harry Potter and more. But are we getting too soft with possible "friends of Osama?" Get ready for a fired up "SHOWBIZ Showdown."

HAMMER: And, it`s a sunrise showdown: Charlie versus Matt, Diane versus Katie. And the battle has never been fiercer. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT sorts out the morning news wars in our special series, "The New News."

WILL.I.AM, MUSICIAN: Yo, what`s up? It`s Will.I.Am.

FERGIE, MUSICIAN: Fergie.

APL DE AP, MUSICIAN: Apl De Ap.

TABOO, MUSICIAN: Taboo.

WILL.I.AM: And we`re the Black Eyed Peas.

FERGIE: And we`re the Black Eyed Peas.

APL DE AP: And we`re the Black Eyed Peas.

TABOO: And we`re the Black Eyed Peas.

WILL.I.AM: If it happened today, it`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BRYANT: Hello, I`m Karyn Bryant.

HAMMER: I`m A.J. Hammer.

We`re going to have Mick Jagger`s jagged words in an exclusive one-on- one interview a bit later on, but first tonight, was the star of "Legally Blonde" legally wronged?

BRYANT: Reese Witherspoon loses a battle to maintain her privacy, and she`s just one of the celebrities fed up with fighting the frenzy of the photographers.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Brooke Anderson is live in Hollywood with the very latest.

Hey, there, Brooke.

BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, there, Karyn, A.J.

Well, from Britney Spears` baby shower to Reese Witherspoon`s gym, we`ve been closely following the continuing battles between the stars and the people and publications they say are getting just a little too up close and personal.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT just spoke with Witherspoon and Matt Damon about the power of the paparazzi, and here`s the very latest.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON (voice-over): Score one for the paparazzi, zero for Reese Witherspoon. Paparazzi photographers who allegedly chased the "Legally Blonde" star from her gym to her home will not face criminal charges. Authorities say they couldn`t prove anything illegal took place.

But Witherspoon told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT a message needs to be sent.

REESE WITHERSPOON, ACTRESS: I think there`s criminal behavior going on, and I think that`s important to make sure that people know that that`s not acceptable and that there`s culpability for bad behavior.

ANDERSON: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has extensively covered the friction between celebrities and the paparazzi. And here`s the latest: just this weekend a photographer was shot in the leg by a B.B. gun while staking out Britney Spears` baby shower in Malibu.

Star publicist Marvet Britto tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT things are getting out of control.

MARVET BRITTO, CELEBRITY PUBLICIST: For years they`ve been prayed upon. They`ve been exploited. With the increase in the magazine wars and with the increase in news publications hitting the news stands, you know, the stakes are higher. And I think that, you know, you don`t want your life, your private life to be exploited.

ANDERSON: Reese Witherspoon told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT it`s reached a boiling point.

WITHERSPOON: I think a lot of stuff is changing, from the incident that happened to myself to what happened with Lindsay Lohan, where both of our vehicles were hit. I think that law enforcement is paying attention to these people who are doing these things, and illegal behavior is just not acceptable.

ANDERSON: Reese and her young kids are constantly snapped by the paparazzi, but this is the first loss in a string of victories by stars fighting to protect their privacy.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT giving you the latest.

Kate Moss recently won a libel suit against "The Sunday Mirror" in Britain over their report that she did so much cocaine, she fell into a coma.

Soccer star David Beckham just won a libel suit against a tabloid that said he made hate calls to a former nanny.

And Oscar winning director Roman Polanski won a libel suit weeks ago against "Vanity Fair" magazine for an article claiming he tried to seduce another woman on the day of his wife`s funeral.

Cameron Diaz has claimed victory in fights for her reputation twice. First in a lawsuit against a photographer who tried to sell topless photos of her taken in 1992. Next, in a libel lawsuit against "The Sun." They had claimed she was cheating on her boyfriend.

Lawyer Harland Braun told us it`s all part of being a celebrity.

HARLAND BRAUN, LAWYER: Because celebrities make millions of dollars becoming famous and being of interest to the public. And for them to go out into the public, they should expect that people are interested in them.

ANDERSON: Earlier this week I asked Matt Damon and Heath Ledger what they thought about all this aggressive reporting:

(on camera) How difficult is that for you and do you try to avoid it?

MATT DAMON, ACTOR: I seek it out wherever I can. I just like pictures, you know?

HEATH LEDGER, ACTOR: Of yourself?

DAMON: Of myself. No, it`s been pretty easy for me, actually. I haven`t done anything really but work, so there isn`t -- there isn`t a lot to report on, so as a result there isn`t any scandal to sell.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: No scandals to sell. Good for Matt.

Now SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has spoken with many members of the paparazzi, and some of them have told us that celebrities rely on the paparazzi, that they need them for publicity. They say most of them get their pictures legally, and that those stories we hear are often just a few bad apples spoiling the bunch -- A.J.

HAMMER: One thing for sure; they`re not going away any time soon. Thanks a lot, Brooke. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Brooke Anderson, live in Hollywood.

Well, for the third time this week, we have some sad news to tell you about a celebrity. And once again, according to the Associated Press, the reason is lung cancer.

We learned today that the matriarch of TV`s Ewing family has died. Barbara Bel Geddes, Miss Ellie Ewing in the long-running CBS primetime soap, "Dallas," passed away Monday. She died at her home in Maine.

A star of stage and screen, we most remember Bel Geddes for her role as J.R., Bobby and Gary Ewing`s mom in the series about a Texas oil family. She won a best actress Emmy for "Dallas" back in 1980. Barbara Bel Geddes was 82.

BRYANT: Tonight, stars are reacting to the stunning news that Dana Reeve has lung cancer. On last night`s "LARRY KING LIVE," actor Stephen Baldwin sent along his well wishes and expressed his condolences on the passing of Peter Jennings, who died on Sunday, also from lung cancer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHEN BALDWIN, ACTOR: I just want to share in the sentiment to the Jennings` family and let Dana Reeves (sic) know everybody out there should be praying for her, praying for her and her son. And she`s going to get through it. You can beat this thing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRYANT: Dana Reeve, a non-smoker and widow of "Superman" star Christopher Reeve, says she`s optimistic about her prognosis.

Well, tonight, as the news of Dana Reeve`s lung cancer spreads, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT takes a look at the story behind the story.

When Dana Reeves released her statement publicly yesterday, she said, quote, "Based on the imminent release of a tabloid article regarding my personal health, my family and I have decided to release my own statement. I have recently been diagnosed with lung cancer and am currently undergoing treatment."

Dana Reeve`s public statement about her illness came after she learned that the "National Enquirer" was going to break the news. And this is not the first time that the "Enquirer" has broken this type of story.

Joining us live in New York to talk about it is Nicki Gostin of "Newsweek" magazine.

Can you give us some more examples of how the "Enquirer" has gotten ahead of some of these stories?

NICKI GOSTIN, "NEWSWEEK": Right. They`ve done this at least twice before. Paul Michael Glazer and his wife, Elizabeth Glaser, who eventually died of AIDS, where forced to come forward with their story.

BRYANT: Paul Michael Glaser of "Starsky and Hutch"?

GOSTIN: Right. Of "Starsky and Hutch" fame, sorry. They were forced to release the story of Elizabeth having AIDS, and their daughter eventually dying of it. Because the tabloids were about to release a story about it.

And Michael J. Fox from "Family Ties" was forced to also come forward with his Parkinson`s, because there were reports in tabloids that he was shaking and ill and no one really knew what it was. So he had to come out and say publicly what it was.

BRYANT: Right. What about the idea, though, that a celebrity can get in front of the story, and turn it -- maybe not make a good thing out of it. But become a champion for the cause.

GOSTIN: Totally. I mean, it`s a horrible thing to have their privacy compromised like that. But I don`t think if you could say it`s a plus side, but certainly Michael J. Fox has put a public face to Parkinson`s and raised millions of dollars and testified before Congress.

And Elizabeth Glaser was an amazing spokeswoman for pediatric AIDS. She raised $30 million in five years, which is incredible, and barnstormed the country and spoke at the Democratic convention and was just an inspiration, I think, to a lot of people.

BRYANT: And speaking of stem cell research, Dana Reeves -- Dana Reeve has obviously been a champion of that with Christopher. And now what are the possibilities of her speaking out for lung cancer awareness?

GOSTIN: I mean, she -- as we`ve seen, when she spoke out for her husband`s paralysis, that she`s an incredible spokeswoman. She`s passionate. She`s articulate. She`s attractive. And people responded to her. And I`m sure that she`s going to be an incredible spokeswoman for lung cancer.

BRYANT: OK. This is a little bit of a tricky situation here, though, Nicki. You`re with "Newsweek." We here at SHOWBIZ TONIGHT actually heard about this story of Dana Reeve. And we knew a day in advance before the "National Enquirer" was going to let this out. We chose not to report it, kind of because of who the source was, being the "Enquirer."

GOSTIN: Right.

BRYANT: Turns out they`re often right. And had this come from you, we may have gone forward with it.

GOSTIN: Right.

BRYANT: How do you feel about that whole tabloid breaking...

GOSTIN: You know, everyone makes fun of the tabloids. But they`re right on a lot of stuff, I mean, they really are, like they`ve proven here. And just a lot of stories, they`re -- they get the news first. So, you know, we can make fun of them but they certainly seem to get the story right a lot of times. Not all the time, though.

BRYANT: Not all the time. All right, well, Nicki Gostin from "Newsweek" magazine, thank you very much.

GOSTIN: Thank you.

BRYANT: And I should tell you that we invited the "National Enquirer" to be a part of this discussion or to give a statement. But they declined.

HAMMER: Well, this leads us to the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. And you might have been thinking about this while they were speaking. Tabloid magazines: should they reveal celebrities` health problems? A lot of people feel very strongly one way or the other about this. You can get online to vote at CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. And you can write us at ShowbizTonight@CNN.com if you`ve got more to say. We`ll run down the vote and some of your e-mails at 54 past the hour.

BRYANT: Coming up, you rise and they try to outshine each other. It`s all smiles on the air, but is it nasty when the cameras are off? We`re talking about the morning news battle. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT gets the real story, live in our special series, "The New News."

HAMMER: Also, why are we giving al Qaeda prisoners their favorite books, including Harry Potter? It`s a "SHOWBIZ Showdown." It`s going to be fired up, and it`s coming up next.

BRYANT: And, the Rolling Stones get fired up on world politics. Does their new album bash President Bush? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT sits down with Mick Jagger to set the record straight. That is still to come.

Now, time for tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz." What musical act finally knocked "Music from the Motion Picture Titanic" from its 16-week No. 1 spot on the top of the pop charts? Dave Matthews Band, Natalie Imbruglia, Madonna or Alan Jackson? We`ll be right back with the answer.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BRYANT: Once again, tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz." What musical act finally knocked "Music from the Motion Picture Titanic" from its 16-week No. 1 spot on the pop album charts?

HAMMER: Easy.

BRYANT: Was it Dave Matthews Band, Natalie Imbruglia, Madonna or Alan Jackson? Well, what would you say if it were the Dave Matthews Band? The answer is A.

HAMMER: And welcome back to "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT." I`m A.J. Hammer.

The world`s frenzied fascination with Harry Potter has spread to a rather unlikely place: Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. That`s right, Harry Potter books are reportedly at the top of the request list for Islamic terror suspects being detained at Guantanamo Bay.

There are more than 800 books at the prison but certain genres, including stories on political ideology, have been banned. So that brings us to tonight`s "SHOWBIZ Showdown": Harry Potter books in Guantanamo. How much entertainment should Gitmo detainees being able to get?

Well, joining us to debate and discuss this live from Washington D.C., Blanquita Cullum. She`s a talk show host for Radio America. And live in Sacramento, California, Mark Williams, talk radio host for KFBK in Sacramento.

All right. B.Q., let me start with you. Is it possibly OK for them to be getting these Harry Potter books while being detained in Guantanamo?

BLANQUITA CULLUM, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Absolutely. Sure, it`s OK. It`s great. I think it`s wonderful.

Could you imagine? They`re reading about a little British boy, a kid who was a victim of violence, who doesn`t seek revenge? He`s a guy that when he has an opportunity to get revenge, doesn`t. He`s heroic. He has friends. He has loyalty and love and all those positive attributes.

You know, it`s an interesting way for them to read about western society, read about British school children, and perhaps maybe crack a tough facade.

HAMMER: Blanquita, you realize there are a lot of people shouting "are you kidding me?" at their TV right now. And in fact, I think Mark was mouthing those very words.

MARK WILLIAMS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I`m one of those. Yes. I mean, the idea that these -- first of all, they`re not little school children who need to be presented a phony version of European and U.S. history, western history. These are terrorists. They shouldn`t be -- and one of these guys even asked for a DVD of a Harry Potter movie.

Why do they have books? Give me a good book, a Caribbean beach, I`m a happy camper. Why not land them a liquor card?

CULLUM: I`ll tell you why.

WILLIAMS: The only think that these guys deserve is this: a piece of moldy, hard bread, a glass of water and a beating twice a day until they deliver to us Osama bin Laden`s head on a pike, physically separated from his body. Then I`ll give them five minutes with J.K. Rowlings.

HAMMER: And Mark, we love a guest who brings props along. Blanquita, I don`t see any props on your side. But go ahead.

CULLUM: I don`t need props, you know? What you need is a new way of thinking. Frankly, you`ve got guys who are going to be there, who are going to sit around all day, all night. All they`re going to think about are ways that they can mess with the system.

Why not, if they`re going to start reading, give them a little opportunity to crack the idea of understanding about western culture?

WILLIAMS: Because they`re not there to be rehabilitated.

CULLUM: Wait a minute. Let them reed about Mark Twain. Let them read Gandhi.

(CROSSTALK)

HAMMER: Go ahead, Mark. Hold on, Blanquita, hold on a second. Mark.

CULLUM: Let them read about Gandhi.

HAMMER: Go ahead, Mark.

WILLIAMS: Gandhi? Gandhi? These guys aren`t there to be rehabilitated. They didn`t jack a car. They`re terrorists.

HAMMER: And we`re talking about entertainment right now, so Blanquita, what do you suggest? We should be hanging plasma TVs on their walls and giving them a collection of DVD`s?

CULLUM: No, listen, I think they should read. I think, you know, believe me, they`re right next door to Cuba. And you know, in Cuba it`s against the law to read "Huckleberry Finn" and "Tom Sawyer" and even the life of Groucho Marx.

Why not try a new approach and at least cracking a little bit into their tough facade of understanding a little bit more about western culture? Maybe it will be tougher to hate someone that you`ve known to love through a book.

WILLIAMS: Oh, my God.

HAMMER: Mark, does entertainment have any place for detainees who are being held, particularly Islamic terror suspects?

WILLIAMS: No. Flat out no. This is a terrorist version of HBO for Death Row inmates in this country. This is insanity.

CULLUM: I don`t think it`s insanity.

WILLIAMS: We don`t need a new way of thinking. We need to do away with the political correctness virus. Political correctness is a full- blown AIDS on our culture and society.

CULLUM: You know, you use a lot of rhetoric...

WILLIAMS: I don`t want to entertain these guys. I want to find out every morsel of information they have and then kill them.

CULLUM: You know what?

HAMMER: All right. All right. Go ahead.

CULLUM: You know what? He uses a lot of rhetoric, and he uses a lot of, you know, angry words. But let me tell you something. I`m a person that supports the death penalty, but if there is a way to get to some guy that`s maybe going to be cracked, or will at least find a little bit more humanity in western society...

WILLIAMS: Pull his fingernails out.

CULLUM: ... I say let`s do it.

HAMMER: And you think Harry Potter is a way to get there?

CULLUM: I think Harry Potter is the door. If you can turn someone on to read, yes. Maybe the next time they`ll read something great. Maybe they`ll read about Thomas Jefferson. Maybe they`ll read about Benjamin Franklin. Maybe they`ll read about the Constitution.

HAMMER: All right. We`ve got about 30 seconds left. Mark, I want to hear what your listeners on your radio show are saying about this. Real quick.

WILLIAMS: I spent three hours on the radio in San Francisco this afternoon, and even in the hot bed of bizarro nipple clip America, people in San Francisco are going, "Are you nuts?"

CULLUM: I don`t believe it. I don`t believe it.

WILLIAMS: "What are you talking about a book and a beach? Why not just pour them a Mai Tai and put on a little Polynesian dancing show for them?"

CULLUM: I`m telling you that there might we a way to crack a tough facade by getting someone to read about western society and understand it. You`re not going to get everybody. But one person could be on our side.

WILLIAMS: If you want to crack something, crack their skulls.

HAMMER: We`re going to wrap it up right there. Two clearly opposing views on whether Harry Potter should be at the prison.

Blanquita Cullum, I want to thank you for joining us from Washington.

CULLUM: Thank you, A.J. Nice to see you, Mark.

WILLIAMS: Thanks.

HAMMER: Mark Williams from Sacramento. They get along in the end. Thanks for joining us for the "SHOWBIZ Showdown."

BRYANT: I`d love to hear Mark`s take on the whole renaming the football teams issue.

Well, I`ll tell you what. It`s time now for the "Legal Lowdown."

Courtney Love could spend a year behind bars. In Los Angeles, a judge said today that the singer better clean up her act or he`ll throw her in jail. This comes after prosecutors claim the singer failed a drug test and violated her probation after pleading no contest to assaulting a woman.

HAMMER: Did Simon steal? In a lawsuit filed today, the creators of "Million Dollar Idea," a show they say has been on the air since 2003, claimed that "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell, Fremantle Media and ABC stole their idea for the TV show about new inventions. We contacted Cowell, but as of show time, we have not yet heard back.

BRYANT: And a makeup artist is dropping her lawsuit against Snoop Dogg. The woman claims she was drugged and raped by Snoop and his entourage after the rapper appeared on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" two years ago. He then sued her, claiming she was trying to extort money from him. Both suits are being dropped. The makeup artist says it`s been resolved amicably. And a spokeswoman for Snoop Dogg says no money has changed hands.

It is Julia Roberts` first acting gig since she had twins. She stars in the new Dave Matthews band video. And tonight, we have exclusive photos from "People" magazine. The video is for the song "Dreamgirl," and Roberts` scenes were shot over two days in May, in Harlem and at the botanical garden in Brooklyn.

Roberts and Dave Matthews are longtime friends. "People" magazine says Julia worked for free, with one small request: breaks to nurse her twins, Hazel and Phinneaus, who are now eight months old.

For more on Julia Roberts` video shoot, pick up the new issue of "People" magazine, on newsstands Friday.

HAMMER: Katie and Diane. They may be the angels of morning TV, but they are super-fierce competitors. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is going to take you behind the scenes of the morning news battles when our special series, "The New News," continues just a little later.

BRYANT: All right. And it`s also, been a very tough week: the loss of Peter Jennings to lung cancer, Dana Reeve saying she`s sick with the same illness. Tonight, though, we`ll hear from "Will and Grace" star Shelly Morrisson, a lung cancer survivor. She`s going to tell her uplifting story, live.

HAMMER: And, does Mick Jagger call President Bush a hypocrite? The Rolling Stones star tells us what he thinks of the president`s policies, when he sits down with SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: That`s Faith Hill`s "Mississippi Girl" off her "Fireflies" album. And that album is really lighting up the charts. It is this week`s No. 1. The top sellers on the Billboard 200 chart just out today include the 19th CD in the "Now That`s What I Call Music" series, which drops to No. 2. Mariah Carey`s "The Emancipation of Mimi" hangs in at No. 3. Young Jeezy`s "Let`s Get It: Thug Motivation 101" in at No. 4 and Roc-a-Fella`s new artist, Teairra Mari, is at No. 5.

BRYANT: Regis was on vacation, so it was up to Howie Mandel to serve as Kelly`s TV husband today on "Live with Regis and Kelly."

And in case you didn`t know it, today, A.J., unofficially, National Underwear Day. Booyah! And the topic of the ubiquitous thong quickly came up in this clip in our "Talk of the Day."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HOWIE MANDEL, COMEDIAN: Look, I`ve talked about this before. I don`t understand the whole thong deal. I understand it, like, as a guy. I think it looks -- I`m sure it looks wonderful, but then I asked my wife, why would you do that?

KELLY RIPA, CO-HOST, "LIVE WITH REGIS AND KELLY": So much more comfortable.

MANDEL: It`s not comfort. She said it was more for fashion so you don`t see the panty line. You don`t see the panty line.

RIPA: Oh, fashion. You don`t want your underpants bunching up up there, and then you`ve got to dig them out. That`s not attractive.

MANDEL: I don`t like the term digging. But the thing that I`m saying is I don`t understand the concept of not having panty lines.

RIPA: Well, what are you wearing?

MANDEL: A thong. But the thing is -- for totally different...

RIPA: For medical reasons.

MANDEL: What are you hiding -- who are you hiding it from? The people behind? Like it`s for us, us? Us?

RIPA: No, not from you. Women don`t care about men. We only care about each other.

MANDEL: So other women.

RIPA: Let me make this perfectly clear. When women figure out, and we will, how to spontaneously procreate, you will be gone.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BRYANT: Tomorrow, Howie is back as co-host with Kelly as they welcome Natasha Richardson.

HAMMER: The ferocious grab for viewers while you grab your morning coffee. The biggest battle in TV, "Today" versus "GMA." We`re going to go behind the scenes as our "The New News" series continues.

BRYANT: And is a battle brewing between the Rolling Stones and President Bush? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT sits down with Mick Jagger and gets the real story, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

THOMAS ROBERTS, CNN HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT continues in one minute. Hi, everybody, I`m Thomas Roberts with your "Headline Prime Newsbreak."

And we start with breaking news on the search for a Tennessee prison escapee and his wife. Police have located the van they used after yesterday`s Bonnie and Clyde-style shootout in Kingston, Tennessee.

It was found just outside of Cincinnati, Ohio. The couple reportedly may have been there as recently as two hours ago. We`re following this story very closely. We`re going to bring you any updates as we get word on them.

Iran has moved a step closer to putting its nuclear program back in motion. The U.N.`s atomic watchdog confirms Iranian officials have removed the seals international inspectors had placed on equipment at an uranium processing plant.

Insurgent violence continues in parts of Iraq, as the nation`s leaders work to put together a draft constitution. A suicide car bomb targeted a patrol in northern Baghdad today, killing six people and wounding 14 others. The U.S. military also announced six American troops were killed yesterday around Iraq.

That is the news for now. I`m Thomas Roberts. We take you back for more of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

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

HAMMER: I`m A.J. Hammer. You`re watching TV`s only live entertainment news show.

And still to come in this half hour, Charles and Diane, Matt and Katie, the most closely watched battle on TV right now. "GMA" poised to take over in first place from the "Today" show. We`re going to talk about it in our series, "The New News."

BRYANT: That`s right. And also coming up, we`re going to -- David Haffenreffer, I`ve got to tell you, had the best job the other day, hanging out with the Rolling Stones. There`s a lot of controversy talking about whether or not Mick Jagger has taken some swipes at President Bush, so we`re going to get to the bottom of that, as well.

But first, let`s get tonight`s "Hot Headlines." We`re going to go back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Brooke Anderson joining us live in Hollywood -- Brooke?

BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thank you, Karyn and A.J.

Well, the man accused of shooting singer Marc Cohn was in court in Denver today. The suspect is being held on suspicion of charges, including attempted murder. Bond has been set at $1 million. Cohn was shot in the temple during an attempted carjacking Sunday night in Denver. He was treated at a hospital and released.

A victory for paparazzi. Today, prosecutors in Los Angeles said they will not file charges against photographers who chased Reese Witherspoon from her gym to her home back in April. Witherspoon says they swarmed her car, tried to force her off the road, and surrounded her when she reached her home. Prosecutors say they couldn`t prove any criminal behavior by the paparazzi.

And "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell and ABC Television are being sued by the creators of a show, the TV show "Million Dollar Idea," who say they tried to steal the idea. The lawsuit claims Cowell and ABC conspired to copy the premise of the show and market it as their owns.

We tried to contact Cowell, but didn`t hear back from him. And in a statement to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, ABC says it hasn`t been served with a complaint yet and has no comment.

Well, those are your "Hot Headlines" from Hollywood. Back to you guys in New York.

HAMMER: All right, Brooke Anderson, live in Hollywood, thanks very much.

Well, the Rolling Stones are gathering no moss as they ramp up for a world tour and the release of a new album. But that new album is already stirring up some controversy. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s David Haffenreffer joins us live now with more about a song called "Sweet Neocon" -- David?

DAVID HAFFENREFFER, CNN HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: And little controversy, indeed, A.J. It`s the first new album from the Rolling Stones in eight years, and it`s already making some headlines as being fiercely anti-President Bush.

But Stones front man Mick Jagger was hoping to clear all that up when I caught up with him and the rest of the band in Toronto.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HAFFENREFFER (voice-over): Are the Rolling Stones starting something up with President Bush? Don`t get Mick started.

MICK JAGGER, LEAD SINGER, THE ROLLING STONES: It`s not an attack on President Bush.

HAFFENREFFER: Some are saying otherwise. A song on the Stones` upcoming new album includes lyrics that some think might be aimed at the commander-in-chief. The song, called "Sweet Neo-Con," includes the lyrics, "You call yourself a Christian. I think that you`re a hypocrite. You say you are a patriot. I think that you`re a crock of" -- well, use your imagination.

But when I sat down one-on-one with Stones` lead singer Mick Jagger, he said the song, off the Stones` upcoming album, "A Bigger Bang," wasn`t aimed at any one Republican, including the main one.

JAGGER: I mean, it certainly criticizes policies he espouses, I`m sure. But, you know, it was really a spot of by some rouse I had with some Republican friends of mine. We disagreed, and we argued about Iraq, and we argued about this and that.

HAFFENREFFER: Be that as it may, Mick did have a mini-argument about the song with Stones` guitarist Keith Richards.

KEITH RICHARDS, GUITARIST, THE ROLLING STONES: I said to Mick, "Hey, that`s pointy, pointy."

HAFFENREFFER: Keith certainly knows what happened to one musical act that got "pointy, pointy" with President Bush. Country music band the Dixie Chicks touched off protests and boycotts with their on-stage Bush- bashing two years ago.

I asked Keith if he`s worried about the Rolling Stones getting Dixie Chick-ed because of "Sweet Neocon."

RICHARDS: My only thing about this song was (INAUDIBLE) the album is cool and it`s good by itself. I don`t even want to be side-tracked by some little political storm in a tea cup.

HAFFENREFFER: Keith might talked about being sidetracked with a movie role. Rumor is, actor Johnny Depp is trying to recruit Keith Richards to play his father in the sequel to "Pirates of the Caribbean."

JOHNNY DEPP, ACTOR: Do you have the courage and fortitude to follow all those mistakes (INAUDIBLE)

HAFFENREFFER: You have to admit the resemblance is striking. And while Keith told me...

RICHARDS: Neither confirm nor deny.

HAFFENREFFER: ... he did suggest to me that, if the scheduling works out, he might be walking the plank with Depp pretty soon.

RICHARDS: And I`ve loved to do it. I don`t mind giving up a couple of weeks of spare time for a laugh like that, you know? And so I told Johnny, "Yes." I mean, as long as they can sort out all the business.

HAFFENREFFER: Mick Jagger`s courting political controversy. Keith Richards is possibly doing movie blockbusters. And the Stones are about to drop a new CD and begin a world tour. Not bad for a band that`s a combined 245 years old.

And as Keith and Mick near retirement age, I had to ask them: Will the Stones ever stop rolling?

(on-screen): Any thoughts on when you might want to hang it up or if you`ll hang it up?

JAGGER: I don`t really think about that. I`ve got a whole year-and- a-half (INAUDIBLE)

HAFFENREFFER: Got a long road.

JAGGER: At the end of it, I might think differently. Now, I`m all like, "Yes," but a year-and-a-half from now, I might tell you, "God, I`m exhausted."

RICHARDS: The wheels haven`t fallen off. I mean, you retire when your backside hits the ground and there`s a cloud of dust on the horizon, you realize you`re retired. But otherwise, no, no, no way.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAFFENREFFER: A couple of big characters there. It`s a busy time for the Stones these days. They`re also teaming up with ABC and the NFL for a season-long marketing tie-in with "Monday Night Football." Footage from the Stones` concert tour performance will be included in NFL "Opening Kickoff 2005," a one-hour pre-game special September 8th. And I believe the Patriots are playing on that day.

BRYANT: Yes, they are. And they will win. Thank you very much, David Haffenreffer. Great job.

Well, tonight, another famous face, unfortunately, has fallen victim to lung cancer. As we reported earlier, Barbara Bel Geddes, who played Miss Ellie on the classic TV show "Dallas," tied Monday from lung cancer. This is according to the Associated Press. She was 82.

On Sunday, the disease claimed the life of ABC News anchor Peter Jennings. And yesterday, Dana Reeve announced that she has lung cancer, as well.

But there are survival stories. And one of them comes from the woman who plays Rosario on TV`s "Will and Grace." Shelley Morrison is that woman. And she joins us live from Hollywood.

Welcome, Shelley. Thank you for joining us. And I want to know, as a lung cancer survivor, what was your first thought when you heard about Dana Reeve?

SHELLEY MORRISON, ACTRESS, "WILL AND GRACE": Oh, I wanted to reach out to her right away and say that it doesn`t have to be a death sentence. And if it`s early detection. And just hang in there, honey. If you need any help, give me a call.

BRYANT: What was it like five years ago? Take us back to that, when you found out you had lung cancer. What did the doctors tell you? And how did you wrap yourself around the diagnosis?

MORRISON: Well, first, in `98, I had a mastectomy. I had a modified radical mastectomy. And then, the following year, they discovered early detection, in a routine examination, they found three tumors on my right lung.

And they removed the upper third of my right lung. It was early detection. That was 1998.

Eight days after surgery, I went back to work on "Will and Grace," because I`m crazy. But then I had several weeks off to recuperate. The cast, my family, the fans, everybody just so supportive.

And I didn`t need an illness to be who I am. So I said, "I`m going to get over this." And with the help of my doctors and everyone else -- and I have insurance. I have medical insurance from my job, so I`m very lucky. And it`s one thing to tell people, "Early detection," but what if they don`t have medical insurance?

BRYANT: Right.

MORRISON: So I get a little angry at this government that we don`t have a national health program. We`re the greatest country in the world, and so many people, especially children, do not have proper health care.

BRYANT: Well, what can we do, as a precautionary move, then, for people who, maybe even if you`re not a smoker -- because Dana Reeve was not a smoker, she was diagnosed -- what have learned about precautionary things that people can do to take care that they don`t get lung cancer?

MORRISON: There`s so many different variables to lung cancer. It`s not only cigarette smoking. But if you smoke, stop.

It`s the environment; it`s the air that we breathe. The air is garbage. We need to get our government to be aware of air quality.

There`s so many different variables. You may have a genetic marker. We need to put money into research. We need to find easy, affordable tests for people to find out if they`re prone to lung cancer, if they have it.

This all is so wonderful, because it`s calling attention to something that has been hidden for too long.

BRYANT: Right. And, well, with that, Shelley, I do thank you. And I`m happy that you`re surviving. We love you on "Will and Grace." And hopefully, your words will help people look out for themselves a little bit more.

Shelley Morrison, thank you for joining us, live from Hollywood -- A.J.?

MORRISON: Thank you.

HAMMER: All right, Karyn.

Would you rather have coffee with Matt or Charlie? Well, it may sound like an innocent question, but it`s the crux of a war in the morning. That`s coming up next in our series "The New News."

BRYANT: Plus, have you ever had a job that based $10 million a month? Well, that is what former Disney president gets for being fired. And a Disney shareholders meeting is now the angriest place on Earth. That and more, coming your way in the "Legal Lowdown."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BRYANT: Tonight in the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Legal Lowdown," a third juror in the Michael Jackson case is saying she believes Jackson is a child molester.

But first, the jaw-dropping Disney payout. A judge has just ruled that former Disney president Michael Ovitz can keep his $140 million severance package. Now, this is not bad since Ovitz worked just 14 months with Disney before getting fired in 1995.

Disney shareholders had sued to block the deal, charging the Disney board of directors mishandled the hiring and firing of Ovitz. Well, joining us now, "Celebrity Justice`s" Harvey Levin, who is also a lawyer. He`s joining us from Hollywood tonight.

Harvey, this one is unbelievable to me. The severance works out to over $900 a minute. Is there anything about this that`s justified? Because Ovitz didn`t really do an amazing job at Disney.

HARVEY LEVIN, "CELEBRITY JUSTICE": Well, he didn`t do an amazing job. In fact, the judge said there were questions about honesty, about his elaborate gift-gifting, all sorts of problems with the way he handled business.

But the judge said, "Look, you can`t say, after the fact, after a business decision doesn`t work out, that somehow it was wrong, because business means risk-taking." The judge is saying, "Look, it may not have been the greatest thing in the world, but you can`t fire him for incompetence just because it didn`t work out."

The bottom line is that the shareholders were saying to the board of directors, "Get that money back," and the judge said no. The judge said, "You know, this is just the way business works in Hollywood."

BRYANT: Well, I want to move on to the Michael Jackson case, because the last time I heard of so many people having second thoughts, I was like 10 minutes into the "Dukes of Hazzard" movie.

(LAUGHTER)

That`s another story. Tell me about this. Another woman is saying that she thinks he is guilty?

LEVIN: No, that`s not true. And that`s what a lot of people are saying. They`re misinterpreting it.

This woman is saying, "Look, I had a feeling that he might be a child molester, but I had a reasonable doubt because of the evidence that was presented and the family that was making the accusation." I mean, a lot of people -- I mean, it`s not like news flash, this just in.

I mean, Michael Jackson has paid out over $20 million in settlements because of accusations of child molestation. So plenty of people believe that. It`s just that this juror appropriately said, "You know, even though I kind of believed it, I didn`t necessarily believe it beyond a reasonable doubt in this case."

So, you know, it`s not like these two nimrods who are coming out with books saying, "Now we would have voted guilty, but they forced us to say not guilty." This woman is just saying, "Look, I kind of thought he did it, but thinking that he did it isn`t enough. I have to believe it beyond a reasonable doubt."

BRYANT: All right, well, there we have it. Harvey Levin of "Celebrity Justice," once again, thank you for joining us.

LEVIN: My pleasure.

HAMMER: Well, tonight, it`s the battle between the "Today" show and "Good Morning America" to be number one, as we continue our special series, "The New News."

Last month, NBC`s "Today" show celebrated its 500th consecutive week as the number-one morning show. And the streak continues. But ABC`s "Good Morning America" is gaining good ground.

At one point this past spring, they narrowed the gap to 45,000 viewers. Four years ago, that gap was an average of two million a day. So can "GMA" topple "Today"?

Joining us live to talk about tonight from Pittsburgh, Jeff Alan. He`s the author of "Anchoring America." In San Antonio, Texas, Brian Stelter, editor for TVnewser.com, a blog site about TV news. And in New York, Jonathan Darman, the general editor for "Newsweek" magazine.

So, Jeff, why are they gaining so much ground? As we heard, 45,000 viewers separating the "Today" show and "GMA" back in the spring. Is it something "GMA" is doing right? Is it something the "Today" show is doing wrong, or are there other factors involved here?

JEFF ALAN, AUTHOR, "ANCHORING AMERICA": Well, first of all, you`ve got have to understand, A.J., these two shows are fiercely competitive. When you look at it, nations have gone to war over less money than these two shows make in ad revenues, all right?

So there`s a lot at stake here, an awful lot at stake. And they have bookers at all the big news stories trying to get that exclusive interview.

They`re also trying to get the illusive younger viewers. And this is why you`re seeing all these concerts, where they block off Times Square and block off Rockefeller Center. And they`re stopping at nothing to try to get the ad revenues, the younger viewers.

And unlike the evening shows, the morning shows are a combination of both -- I mean, there`s Mariah Carey in Times Square for "GMA." But they`re so competitive that I don`t know that they`re not both winners at this point.

And 45,000 viewers could be as little as three or four national meter homes, because every meter is worth many thousands in the Nielsen Ratings. So it`s just a matter of getting a very few people to tune who have Nielsen meters in their homes to make up that difference. So they`re fighting for every single viewer right now.

HAMMER: Well, Brian, why don`t you chime in on some of the other factors that are involved here? Because some have been made over the better ABC primetime programming and the fact that NBC hasn`t had a good lineup, and the fact that, you know, if somebody likes what`s happening in primetime, they`re going to watch what`s going on in the morning. How much does that play into this?

BRIAN STELTER, EDITOR, TVNEWSER.COM: Well, they`re going to turn of their TV at 11:00 and then turn it back on at 7:00 a.m. And there`s Diane and Charlie. So I think that plays a big part of this.

ABC calls it the summer slump, where their ratings fall off a bit. They hope they come back in the fall.

Another big part of this is the personalities involved. You know, look at Katie and Matt versus Charlie and Diane. The most important thing about them is that they`re personable, not that they can read the news well. It`s that they feel like you`re there with them when you`re drinking your coffee.

HAMMER: Jonathan, a little earlier, Jeff mentioned, you know, that countries go to war over less money than this. Can you give us some sense of exactly what is at stake economically?

JONATHAN DARMAN, "NEWSWEEK" MAGAZINE: Well, it`s hundreds of millions of dollars. The "Today" show brings in about $250 million in revenue to NBC News annually. That`s by far the largest amount of any broadcast.

And really, there is a difference in terms of the performance of the first-place finisher as opposed to the second and third. And all of these morning shows have that in mind, because once these patterns get established, in terms of which one is the number-one ratings leader, people don`t like to change the channel too much. The "Today" show has been there for 500 weeks. "Good Morning America" was the leader for almost a decade before that.

HAMMER: Jeff, you were touching upon the competitive nature of the morning show wars a little earlier, with the combat over bookings and blocking off the streets. What about between the anchors themselves? Does Katie really get angry when she finds out that Diane gets an exclusive that she couldn`t nail?

ALAN: Boy, I know several people at the networks. And the answer`s simply yes, she has gotten mad. And I think Diane also gets mad when they see the "Today" show.

And a lot of times, it`s just being in the right place at the right time. They go through enormous lengths to make sure they`re at the big news stories, that they`re try to get the gets, the big interviews. I think each one of them had several bookers waiting for the jury to walk out of the Michael Jackson trial to see who can get the exclusive get that next morning.

I mean, it`s that fierce right now.

HAMMER: Right. OK, real quickly, I`m going to go around the horn. You each get just one second to answer me. Can they actually pull this off? Can "Good Morning America" beat the "Today" show by a year from now, Brian?

STELTER: I think only if, for some reason, Katie or Matt left. Then "Good Morning America" would probably get number one again.

HAMMER: Jonathan, your take?

DARMAN: Yes, Jeff Zucker, the president of ABC-Universal, says fixing the "Today" show is his number-one priority. That`s a tough challenger to come up against.

HAMMER: Jeff Alan, can "GMA" pull it off?

ALAN: I think they can, believe it or not. And I just think it`s a matter of the viewers and who the viewers are going to accept.

HAMMER: Brian Stelter, Jonathan Darman, Jeff Alan, I want to thank you all for joining us tonight in our series, "The New News." Tomorrow, we`re going to continue with our series with the in-depth look of news on the `net.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT coming right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BRYANT: Throughout the show, we`ve been asking you to vote on our online "Question of the Day." Tabloid magazines: Should they reveal celebrities` health problems?

Let`s take a look at how the vote is going so far. Fifteen percent of you say yes, they should; 85 percent of you say no, they should not. And we`ve gotten some e-mails -- A.J.?

HAMMER: We hear from Shonell in Louisiana who writes, "No form of media, whether it be TV or print, should release that type of information."

We also heard from Dorian in Michigan who writes, "When you`re a celebrity, your life is an open book, even things as private as your health problems."

You can keep voting by going to CNN.com/showbiztonight.

And it`s time now to see what`s playing on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT tomorrow.

BRYANT: Which means we`re taking a look at the "Showbiz Marquee."

Take it away, Marquee Guy.

MARQUEE GUY: Tomorrow, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is cracking the "Da Vinci Code." Da book caused a lot of controversy, but will da movie? It`s religion and politics, and all sorts of things you`re not supposed to talk about at cocktail parties, tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Also tomorrow, it`s a Pamela Anderson free-for-all. Run for your lives! Pam`s getting roasted. Ouch. I guess we`ll be asking, will Pam`s face turn as red as her "Baywatch" one-piece? Find out, when SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has your preview, tomorrow.

This is the Marquee Guy. And you can find me at marqueeguy@marqueeguy.com.

HAMMER: I don`t really think that`s true.

BRYANT: Does it exist? I`ll have to find out.

Well, 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.

END

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