Return to Transcripts main page
Should Morning News Shows Aid Hurricane Relief?; Celeb Homes Threatened by Wildfires; Critics Grade New Class of TV Shows
Aired September 29, 2005 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: I`m A.J. Hammer.
KARYN BRYANT, CO-HOST: And I`m Karyn Bryant. TV`s only live entertainment news show starts right now.
BRYANT (voice-over): On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Hollywood in the line of fire. Tonight, dangerous, out of control wildfires rage in California. And celebrities and their million dollar homes are right in the path. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is on the scene with the latest.
HAMMER (voice-over): Also, the morning shows lend a hand and a hammer. "Good Morning America" and "The Today Show" helping hurricane victims. The cause is good, but should news shows get personally involved in stories they`re covering?
BRYANT: And, penguin passion with a twist. Tonight, gay penguins. These cold-weather cuddlers are heating things up. And stealing the spotlight from "March of the Penguins" with a same-sex love story of their own.
HEIDI KLUM, SUPER MODEL: Hi, I`m Heidi Klum. If it happened today, it`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
HAMMER: Hello, I`m A.J. Hammer.
BRYANT: And I`m Karyn Bryant.
Tonight the battle between the top network morning shows to help the victims of Katrina.
HAMMER: Both "The Today Show" and "Good Morning America" are going all out to help. But as news shows, is it OK for them to get personally involved? David Haffenreffer live right now from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom.
DAVID HAFFENREFFER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A.J., Karyn, this is a debate as old as the profession itself. When is it OK for a journalist to get involved in a story that they`re covering? The ABC and NBC news organizations are directly helping the hurricane relief effort via their morning shows. Media watchers are asking, is it much needed help or a step over the line?
AL ROKER, CO-HOST, NBC`s "THE TODAY SHOW": Ready, set, hammer!
HAFFENREFFER (voice-over): They`re building homes on "The Today Show."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got my hands dirty.
HAFFENREFFER: And on "Good Morning America," they`re cleaning up homes, doing good as they`re doing battle. As the top two morning network shows continue their bitter fight for reigning supremacy, they`re both getting their hand dirty amid the aftermath of the biggest story they`ll cover this year, Hurricane Katrina.
KATIE COURIC, CO-HOST, NBC`S "THE TODAY SHOW": Changing lives one house at a time.
HAFFENREFFER: NBC`s "Today Show" has changed its front yard at Rockefeller Plaza into Humanity Plaza. All this week the network, along with Habitat for Humanity and Warner Music, has been building homes that will be trucked to the Gulf Coast for residents who lost their homes in Hurricane Katrina.
(on camera) The building continues here rain or shine, day and night at Humanity Plaza as volunteers, including celebs and VIP`s, work around the clock to build homes for a group of people who have been lost so much.
(voice-over) NBC execs tell SHOWBIZ TONIGHT why they decided to get involved.
MARK LUKASIEWICZ, HEAD OF NBC NEWS SPECIALS: It really arose out of people on "The Today Show" and other parts of NBC News seeing the incredible need down in the gulf. And in addition to making the country aware of it through our reporting, everybody felt like they wanted to do something more.
ROBIN ROBERTS, ANCHOR, ABC`s "GOOD MORNING AMERICA": What a difference 24 hours can make.
HAFFENREFFER: Not to be outdone, "Good Morning America`s" "GMA Gets it Done" campaign is meant to clean up and rebuild anchor Robin Roberts` hometown, the devastated community of Pass Christian, Mississippi.
There, Roberts joined efforts to clear away debris.
ROBERTS: Absolutely. That banner. One more time!
HAFFENREFFER: For NBC and ABC, these humanitarian efforts are win-win situations.
BRIAN STELTER, BLOGGER, TVNEWSER.COM: Both NBC and ABC staffers have said to me, "We realize this is great TV, a great promotional effort for us, but it`s also a great service. So it`s fulfilling both goals."
HAFFENREFFER: It`s clear that Katrina has changed the rules of the journalism game. Reporters from all networks have gotten physically and emotionally involved in this tragic story. Still, this new breed of hands- on journalism is raising eyebrows.
CAROLYN MARVIN, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA: News organizations really aren`t in the house building business.
HAFFENREFFER: Despite their occasionally touchy feely nature, "Today" and "Good Morning America" technically are news programs run by the news divisions of their respective networks. And some critics are asking if journalists should get so close to a story they`re covering.
MARVIN: We see what`s happening in that frame and it seems like such a terrible misfortune. And we think that we would help if we were there, so why aren`t those journalists helping instead of standing aside from the story as spectator? But the nature of the news business is to be spectators, and it`s important to do that well.
HAFFENREFFER: Still, journalism ethicists aren`t exactly who "The Today Show" and "Good Morning America" are out to please. Even the harshest TV critics admit that viewers generally like to see people helping victims even when those helping happen to be the ones doing the reporting. And for their part, news organizations do not see a conflict.
LUKASIEWICZ: We don`t confuse our role as journalists, which we understand and we think we do well and are proud of, with this other responsibility we have to try to work in other ways, as well. We`re journalists, but we`re also human beings.
HAFFENREFFER: ABC tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that "Good Morning America`s" effort to rebuild Pass Christian, Mississippi, will be a yearlong campaign. The network says more than 4,000 boxes of supplies have been trucked in and more than 300 tons of debris trucked out of the devastated town so far.
Meanwhile, NBC says more than 20 of those pre-made homes have been completed at that Rockefeller Plaza site known as Humanity Plaza this week -- A.J.
HAMMER: David, good work is getting done there. Thanks very much. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s David Haffenreffer.
BRYANT: Well, tonight we take you to Hollywood`s instant inferno. Southern California is looking up into the sky, and all they`re seeing right now is smoke as thousands of acres are engulfed in fire. That wall of fire is headed straight for the homes of Hollywood`s rich and famous, and SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is there to see it.
Brooke Anderson is live on the scene in Chatsworth, California.
Brooke, what`s going on?
BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Karyn, I`m located about 40 miles northwest of the Los Angeles. And Dave -- I want to ask my photographer, if you can pan over my left shoulder, you can see the plumes of smoke rising behind those hills. A number of helicopters are on the other side of those hills dropping water, dropping fire retardant. A lot of media choppers, as well, monitoring the area.
And you can`t see it, but a lot of ash floating around, so the air quality not too good right now.
Now this fire started yesterday, of course, in Chatsworth, as you said, Chatsworth located on the northern border of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles County.
Overnight last night the fire doubled in size, impacting residential areas very popular with Angelinos and also many celebrities.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We looked out the window, and there was just smoke everywhere.
ANDERSON (voice-over): It`s the hottest story in Hollywood today. Quite literally.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The danger is apparent.
ANDERSON: Wall to wall coverage on local stations across Los Angeles.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All the crews are in there concentrating right now to save homes.
ANDERSON: As the fires continue to blaze, big names in Hollywood continue to worry as the fires threaten their homes.
Just moments ago I spoke on the phone with Richie Sambora, whose home with Heather Locklear and their daughter was in the thick of it all.
RICHIE SAMBORA, MUSICIAN: This morning when I woke up, it looked like Armageddon. There was just ashes coming down like snow and no sun. And it seemed just...
ANDERSON: You seem very relaxed about this and very calm. How is your wife, Heather, doing?
SAMBORA: We`re doing OK. Obviously, the air quality is extremely poor.
ANDERSON: Are you keeping your daughter inside?
SAMBORA: Yes. Actually, we moved her to another place. So everybody is safe and sound.
ANDERSON: If they haven`t put the fires out by this evening, will you be able to sleep or are you guys going to monitor...
SAMBORA: I`m not -- you know, I`m not going to be able to sleep. You know, no matter what I am or what I do for a living, I`m still, you know, the husband and the dad and the protector of the house, and I have to be conscientious about that. So I think, you know, I am just drinking a lot of Red Bull and coffee at the moment.
ANDERSON: Wildfires ravaging the hills northwest of Los Angeles, burning an incredible 17,000 acres.
Lisa Marie Presley, Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards, Brad Garrett, Alyssa Milano, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, Jessica Simpson and husband Nick Lachey all are said to have homes in the impacted hillside areas. All could be in potential danger.
SHOWBIZ TONIGHT blanketed Hollywood to get the latest information. We spoke with representatives for Nick and Jessica. They told us, "Jessica and Nick and their home are not in immediate danger and they have not been evacuated."
Another Hollywood home threatened but Jada`s rep tells us, "At this time the fires have not hit where Jada lives."
But more calls to evacuate could be on the way, authorities telling everyone, including celebrities, to cooperate with officials and prepare to leave their homes if necessary.
LINDA PARKS, VENTURA COUNTY SUPERVISOR: Make sure your windows are closed. Gather your animals together and get yourself ready. When they come and they ask you to evacuate, please evacuate.
ANDERSON: Even the local weatherman tells us these are the worst conditions for controlling a local fire.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re looking for forecast highs to be in the triple digits all along this fire ridge where the fire is moving in this area so firefighters will be dealing with immense heat, obviously. We`re looking for possibly 15- to 20 mile-per-hour winds later on this afternoon.
ANDERSON: Life in L.A. today means rampant power outages, school closings and mandatory evacuations. Thousands are working to control the fire. They don`t know how it started. And only five percent of the fire has been contained.
ZEV YAROSLAVSKY, LOS ANGELES COUNTY SUPERVISOR: This may end well for all of us, but weather is unpredictable in these parts, and everybody needs to be on guard. This is far from over at this time.
ANDERSON: Here`s why Hollywood is worried. In the past, local blazes in this area have spread to Malibu, the celebrity-packed area about 10 miles away, home to the likes of Britney Spears, Jennifer Anniston, Courteney Cox and Charlize Theron to name just a few. But at this time no evacuations have been ordered in Malibu.
ANDERSON: Now, residents in this particular neighborhood have not yet been evacuated. If you look over my right shoulder, residents out here looking a little anxious, a little bit worried.
But I just spoke with a firefighter from the L.A. City Fire Department. He`s been working since yesterday through the night, working all through today. He said if the flames crest over the hills behind us, they will evacuate this neighborhood. He said it al depends on the direction and the speed of the wind.
Now, fortunately, the wind has died down a bit. The temperature, though, still unusually hot, the humidity pretty low. So those are breeding grounds, fuel for flames like this.
But many locals have been through this before and are as prepared as they can be. Many have fire retardant roofs. And some have already evacuated to shelters that have been opened in nearby safer areas.
But again, the cause of the fire still unknown but the officials are investigating.
Karyn, back to you.
BRYANT: All right. Thanks very much for that report. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Brooke Anderson live in Chatsworth, California. Brooke will be back with us, live, later. A little bit more with more celebrity reaction to those fires.
HAMMER: Well, it may be the No. 1 movie in the country but tonight some real life flight attendants aren`t all that impressed with Jodie Foster`s new thriller, "Flightplan."
Three flight attendant groups are calling for a boycott of the movie. They say flight attendants are depicted treating passengers rudely, and audiences might take it too seriously. The groups say they`re worried that if there was another 9/11 type attack, for instance, passengers who see the movie might be less willing to trust and support the cabin crew.
In a statement, the studio behind "Flightplan," which is Disney, says, quote, "There was absolutely no intention by the studio or filmmakers to create anything other than a great action thriller. We are confident that the public will be able to discern the difference between fiction and the incredible job that real-life flight attendants perform on a daily basis."
BRYANT: Well, the new TV season is up and running. What`s making the grade, what`s flunking, and what`s surprising everyone? It`s the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT TV report card, next.
HAMMER: Plus, this guy`s been in outer space. He`s been at sea, and now he`s on the green. Bill Paxton is getting behind the camera, and it`s the interview you`ll only see on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, live, coming up next.
BRYANT: And, animal attraction that`s become a main attraction. Tonight, the story of two penguins who are gay. That`s coming up in just a bit.
HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer.
Tonight the new fall TV season is under way. And even though it`s just a couple of weeks old at this point, it already looks like there are some clear winners, some clear losers, and a couple of big surprises. So right now it is time for the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT new TV report card.
Joining us to give out grades, live from Hollywood, Mary Murphy, television critic for "TV Guide." Live in New York, Mark Peyser, who`s television critic for "Newsweek" magazine.
Mark, I want to start with you and some of the winners. I`ve got your list right in front of me. You`re loving a show that a lot of people have been loving, "Everybody Hates Chris." Why is this a winner?
MARK PEYSER, "NEWSWEEK" MAGAZINE": You know, it`s a sweet show. It`s a family show. There`s really no new family show on the air this year other than "Everybody Hates Chris." On top of that, it`s got a little Chris Rock attitude, which is a great combination. I think people are really flocking to something that everybody can watch together and enjoy.
HAMMER: And it did well in the ratings last week in its first week out. "My Name is Earl" another one on your winners list?
PEYSER: Yes. I mean, it was the No. 1 comedy last week in its first week, more than any other even established comedy. It`s quirky. It tells stories in ways that people don`t tell them. It`s got kind of an anti-hero at the center of it, this guy named earl. It`s really unlike any other comedy.
HAMMER: All right. Well, Mary, I want to turn it over to you. And a pretty easy pick, as far as I`m concerned, for the winners list. "Lost" made its season premier last week with great success. Last night, another great show. Talk to me about your pick of "Lost."
MARK MURPHY, "TV GUIDE": Well, "Lost" is not only one of the great shows from last year, but it is the perfect show for this time in television, because it combines mystery with great writing and drama and has also added new viewers. And that`s what you want in the second season. It`s a phenomenon.
HAMMER: And it seems to have rediscovered itself even though it`s a brand new show, relatively speaking, with some new conventions this time around. I also want to move on to your second pick on your list, "Desperate Housewives," one of the most highly anticipated shows of the new season.
MURPHY: "Desperate Housewives," although it didn`t win the Emmy, it absolutely won the hearts of the viewers. Every woman I know watches this show. It`s appointment television for women and lots of men, too. It`s kept up its great story-telling, added a wonderful new cast member. And you just can`t wait to se what the women of Wisteria Lane are up to next week. That`s why it`s going to be a big season winner the whole season.
HAMMER: Everybody`s hanging in to see what goes on on that program. All right. Well, if we`re doing a new TV report card, we`ve got to move on to the losers. Mark, top of your list, "Apprentice: Martha Stewart." A lot of hype behind this show. What this -- why this show?
PEYSER: Too much hype, maybe; too much Martha, frankly. I mean, clearly nobody wants to watch Martha every day of the week and once a week on NBC. Only about six million people tuned in last night, which is dismal for somebody who had that much attention and pre-, you know, pre-hoopla. Got to be terrible for NBC. It`s got to swallow this show now twice a week. Trump`s version isn`t doing so great either.
HAMMER: And I think that`s surprising quite a few people. Mary, at the top of your list you have "Head Cases."
MURPHY: Well, "Head Cases" is already off the air. And a show that just -- people didn`t respond to.
You know, it`s very interesting. I think this is one of the best television seasons that we have had in maybe four or five years. And I`m not sure, as you said -- I`m not sure the score cards are really in yet. I mean, as for Monday night, which was an area that hasn`t done as well as we thought it would do, I think people are just going to have to take the fact that "Raymond" is gone. (AUDIO GAP)
HAMMER: OK. We`re having a little trouble...
MURPHY: I`m just not sure yet that the score (AUDIO GAP).
HAMMER: Mary, we`re having a little trouble with your signal right there. So, Mark, I`m going to head it back to you. And maybe you can mention one of the surprises, a show that you`re surprised is doing so well or that`s still around for this season.
PEYSER: Oh, I`m frankly surprised that "Joey" is still around. I mean, it did dismally last year on NBC. It really became a joke. Not only did NBC keep it on the air, but kept it on the air in the same time slot and opened with an hour premier which, frankly, no one watched. I will be surprised to see "Joey" last the season, although that will be eating a lot of crow as far as NBC`s concerned. They had a lot invested in that "Friends" franchise.
HAMMER: We will, indeed, have to stay tuned to see what happens.
Well, Mark Peyser, we appreciate your joining us, TV critic for "Newsweek" magazine. Also, Mary Murphy, sorry we had a little trouble with your signal there. "TV Guide" critic out in Hollywood.
Now, we want to know if you`ve been keeping tabs, keeping your own report card. It`s our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. The new TV season, do you like what you`ve seen so far? You can vote at CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. If you`ve got more to say, our e-mail address is ShowbizTonight@CNN.com. And we`re going to read some of your thoughts later on in the show.
BRYANT: Well, there`s usually a great story behind how every actor got his or her start. Bill Paxton is no exception, and he`s going to tell us about it live next.
HAMMER: And the Fonz becomes the Doc. "Happy Days" star Henry Winkler, we`re going to ask him how strapping on a pair of water skis changed the TV world forever. It`s the interview you`ll see only live on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
BRYANT: Plus, the match of the penguins, the story of two birds who bonded and then came out of the closet or the cave, in this case. Gay penguins, still to come on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
BRYANT: Time now for a "SHOWBIZ Sit-down" with Bill Paxton. It`s an interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
Now who could forget him in "Titanic," "Apollo 13," "True Lies" -- probably one of my favorites -- and "Twister"? His acting resume is impressive, but he`s also been adding to his director credits. His directorial debut came in 2002 with the critically acclaimed "Frailty."
Well, Paxton is calling the shots behind the camera once again with his new film, "The Greatest Game Ever Played." He`s joining us live.
And I have to say, I thought the movie was terrific.
BILL PAXTON, ACTOR/DIRECTOR: Thank you.
BRYANT: But I want to get to this. We were talking about how people started in the industry. You didn`t start out as an actor?
PAXTON: No I started out working for Roger Corman back in 1974. I was a set dresser in the art department. I carried coffee. I just wanted to be around, you know, the motion picture industry.
BRYANT: I mean, those are the great classic B-movies.
BRYANT: That must have been quite an experience.
PAXTON: I met Jim Cameron there about six years later in 1980. In the interim I came to New York and studied for a couple of years, then went back out to California.
BRYANT: What do you think of our set? Not too bad, huh?
PAXTON: This is great. Fun to see how this all works. Absolutely.
BRYANT: Very nice. Well, I want to talk about "The Greatest Game Ever Played." It is essentially a movie about a young golfer, but it`s more than that; it`s about class struggle and overcoming adversity. Sell me this movie, Bill.
PAXTON: OK, OK. Gosh. This is one of the greatest human interest stories I`ve ever read, one of the most underdog stories I`ve ever read and one of the most incredible down to the wire showdown sequences I ever read.
This kid, Francis Ouimet, was from Brookline, Massachusetts. He was a first generation American. His father was French Canadian from Montreal. His mother was Irish.
When he was 8 years old, he moved next door to the country club, a prestigious old blueblood club there in Boston. He was a caddy from the time he was 8 years old, but he became fascinated with this new game that was really played by the wealthy and the privileged.
So he started building -- he built a hole in his backyard. He would sneak on the course. He learned how to play this game.
At age 20, as a young amateur, he qualifies to play in the 18th U.S. Open in 1913. He ends up in a three-way tie against the two greatest golfers of his day and arguably probably one of the greatest golfers that England ever produced, Harry Vardon, six-time British Open winner.
On the day of the open his caddie doesn`t show up, a 16-year-old guy named Jack Lowery. Eddie Lowery, Jack`s 10-year-old brother, shows up to say Jack got caught by a truant officer; he`s back in school.
BRYANT: And this young guy is terrific in the movie.
PAXTON: And this really happened. And we cast a 10-year-old named Josh Flitter in the role, and him and Shia LaBeouf from "Holes," who plays Francis Ouimet have the greatest chemistry. So the movie becomes kind of this great buddy movie.
BRYANT: And what I loved about it, I do golf and I think it`s terrific. But I love that it was more than just a sports movie.
PAXTON: So much more.
BRYANT: Yes. But are you yourself a golfer? I mean, was that part of the attraction?
PAXTON: You know, I grew up around the game as a boy, but for me, this was such an exciting story and a subject that`s really never gotten the real royal cinematic treatment.
You know, I wanted to do a Martin Scorsese version of this sport. You know, I was so inspired by "The Color of Money" and "Raging Bull." And I thought, why not you -- why don`t you apply the same kind of techniques with the camera?
And I also know that this is an inherently dramatic thing when these guys like Tiger Woods are playing on a championship level and TV golf can`t capture it. But it really becomes a contest between gunfighters. And so I said, there`s an electric movie to be made in this sport.
So the photography in this movie, the editing, the music, the acting, it`s got it all.
BRYANT: It`s got it all. And real quickly, I want to know, you`ve played a storm chaser in "Twister." What do you think when you see the coverage that`s been going on lately?
PAXTON: Oh, my gosh. Well, I mean, my character in that movie, Bill Harding, 10 years ago in "Twister," his whole thing was he was trying to get people behind the idea of creating a better warning system.
BRYANT: They`re giving me a wrap here. Go ahead.
PAXTON: That`s what we`re finding, that there`s not enough warning systems in place to protect people when these storms hit.
PAXTON: So it`s kind of odd to see art imitate life there.
BRYANT: Definitely, definitely. Well, once again, the movie I thought was terrific. It`s "The Greatest Game Ever Played." You`re a fantastic director. Thanks very much for joining us.
PAXTON: Thanks, Karyn.
BRYANT: Bill Paxton. The movie opens tomorrow in theaters.
HAMMER: Coming up, George Clooney, no holds barred. Does he want kids? In a revealing interview that`s still to come.
BRYANT: Plus, the story of a gay couple unlike any other. How two cold weather birds are really heating things up. Gay penguins, only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
HAMMER: And more on the fierce fires in California when SHOWBIZ TONIGHT returns.
THOMAS ROBERTS, HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT continues in one minute. Hi, everybody. I`m Thomas Roberts with your HEADLINE PRIME NEWS BREAK. The Supreme Court`s new chief justice says it will be a privilege to join his colleagues Monday as they begin a new term. Judge John Roberts was sworn in today as the 17th chief justice of the U.S. Roberts easily won Senate approval overwhelmingly, a vote here of 78-22.
Dry conditions out west still fueling a fast-spreading wildfire near L.A. Seventeen thousand acres in L.A. and Ventura Counties have been scorched and dozens of homes are in danger. Several structures have been destroyed, leading to a evacuation of hundreds of residents there.
Now, three simultaneous car bombs meanwhile have killed 62 people in the Iraqi city of Balad. Seventy more were injured. Elsewhere five U.S. soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb. Twenty-one troops have now been killed in Iraq in the past week.
Then the FDA says Strattera, a very popular drug for kids with attention deficit disorder, could be linked to suicidal thoughts. Drug maker Eli Lilly will add a warning to its label. That is the news for now. I`m Thomas Roberts. Back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
BRYANT: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It`s 31 minutes past the hour. I`m Karyn Bryant.
HAMMER: I`m A.J. Hammer and you are watching TV`s only live entertainment news show.
BRYANT: Well, you know, A.J., this summer the "March of the Penguins" very popular movie in theaters. Well, right here in New York City in Central Park there`s this whole other march going on. There`s two gay penguins. There`s been some home wrecking involved in certain ways.
BRYANT: Offspring doing things with other -- yes. Anyway, all I`m trying to say is it`s a fun story, it`s a Jeanne Moos story and you got to stay tuned. It`s penguins. Come on.
HAMMER: Also, joining us live, Henry Winkler. Go on, I know you had a shirt that said ...
BRYANT: Hey, hey. I love the Fonz.
HAMMER: OK. Of course, you knew him as Arthur Fonzarelli. He has a fantastic new sitcom out now. He is spending time back in front of the camera. We`re going to talk to Henry Winkler live coming up in just a few moments.
BRYANT: All of that and more coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, but first, we brought you news of the wildfires in northern Los Angeles earlier this evening, stubborn blazes that are threatening homes of locals and celebrities alike. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`S Brooke Anderson is in the thick of it all and she joins us once again, live from Chatsworth, California. Hi, Brooke.
BROOKE ANDERSON, HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Karyn. Well, the wildfires have ravaged the hills northwest of L.A., burning an incredible 17,000 acres of land. Only five percent of these fires have been contained. There`s smoke everywhere. There`s ash everywhere.
The fire truck is right here. The crew is monitoring the situation, making sure the fire doesn`t crest that hill. Now, a lot of celebrities do live in this area, including Bon Jovi. Guitarist Richie Sambora who is at home with wife Heather Locklear and their daughter is in the middle of it all, and I spoke with Richie about this earlier this evening.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHIE SAMBORA, GUITARIST, BON JOVI: This morning when I woke up it looked like Armageddon. There was just ashes coming down like snow and no sun. And it was -- looked like a nuclear bomb just went off.
ANDERSON: If they haven`t put the fires out by this evening, will you be able to sleep or are you guys going to monitor?
SAMBORA: I am not going to -- you know, I am not going to be able to sleep. You know, no matter what I am or what I do for a living, I`m still, you know, the husband and the dad and the protector of the house. And I have to be conscientious about that, so I think, you know, I am just drinking a lot of Red Bull and coffee at the moment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Now, a lot of celebrities will probably be joining Richie with that coffee. Other celebrities said to have homes in the region, in the area, include Lisa Marie Presley, Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards, Brad Garrett, Alyssa Milano, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, Jessica Simpson and husband Nick Lachey.
We spoke with reps for Jessica and Jada earlier today and they`ve told us they have not been evacuated and their homes are not in danger right now, fortunately. Now, of course, one big concern is that Malibu -- the fire could spread to Malibu. The fire doubled in size overnight. And, as you know, many residents, many people live in Malibu including a number of celebrities, many of whom I just named. So we`ll keep you updated on all aspects of this story. Karyn, back to you.
BRYANT: Well, thanks very much, Brooke Anderson. It happens every year and doesn`t make it any easier to deal with. Brooke Anderson live in Chatsworth.
HAMMER: Now for the interview you`ll see only here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Henry Winkler. He`s a favorite, he`s a pop culture icon, he`s the guy, of course, who played Arthur Fonzarelli on "Happy Days." That`s where many people first got to now him.
Well now, Winkler is back in a prime time sitcom -- brand new -- called "Out of Practice," all about a family of doctors who share the same profession but have little else in common. Henry Winkler live with us now from Hollywood, California. It`s nice to see you.
HENRY WINKLER, ACTOR: It`s a pleasure to meet you through the wire.
HAMMER: I`m sorry we can`t be, you know, side by side but this -- well, here we`re side by side now. So you`re back in the sitcom business, Henry. How does that feel?
WINKLER: It`s unbelievable, I must say. I was asked to look at this script by the writers, Joe Keenan (ph) and Chris Lloyd. They were the guys who produced "Frazier." And then they said that Stockard Channing was on board. And there was nothing to do but say yes.
HAMMER: Also in the great cast, as we just saw, Jennifer Tilly, who your character dates. Now, Jennifer has spent some time with us here at SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. She, of course, is a championship poker player. Does she take you guys on the set there with the poker games?
WINKLER: No, but she teaches us tips. You know, she is so funny. All she has to do is say hello and the audience falls out of the stands.
HAMMER: Great. Great. And pay attention to those tips because it`s won her quite a bit of money.
WINKLER: You know what, she came when -- her first episode she came directly from winning in London.
HAMMER: So she had a lot of great winning energy and hopefully she treated everybody to lunch that day.
WINKLER: She did.
HAMMER: She was paying for craft (ph) services. OK, I have got to flash you back for a second, Henry. I`ve got to do this. Let me take you back to September of 1977.
HAMMER: You`re a character on "HAPPY DAYS," Arthur Fonzarelli, slapped on a pair of water skis, jumped over a shark. Inadvertently, you, your character in the show began what has become a craze and coined the phrase jump the shark which refers to a time when television shows have reached their peak according to some people. I`ve always wondered, do you take exception to that?
WINKLER: I don`t, A.J., because I`ll tell you why. There are two -- a couple of things. One is I just e-mailed the Fonz this morning and he has, "Out of Practice" on TiVo. So we have got a season pass.
HAMMER: You`ve got your season pass.
WINKLER: Now, isn`t that loyal?
HAMMER: That`s -- absolutely.
WINKLER: Number two, after I jumped the shark, we were number one for the next six years. So it`s very lovely for the guy who thought it up. But certainly America didn`t think we jumped any kind of shark in terms of going downhill. And number three, every time they mention it, they show me on water skis. And at that time, I had good legs.
HAMMER: So you`re happy that the legs are getting shown. So you didn`t feel when you jumped the shark you actually jumped the shark?
WINKLER: No, we never did. No, and, you know, we ended the show when it was time. And now I`m beginning this brand new life with this new family, Ty Burrell, Paula Marshall, Chris Gorham, who play our children. We have the most wonderful time.
HAMMER: And somebody who has been a part of your Hollywood family for some time, Ron Howard, of course, who you starred with in "Happy Days," Richie Cunningham. I was always wondering, because you guys have had incredible success in your careers both on camera and behind the scenes as producer. Ron, of course, you know, one of the most successful and sought after Hollywood producers and directors. When you were working on "Happy Days," were you sort of plotting to take over Hollywood?
WINKLER: No. But I will tell you that Ron knew at 18 that he wanted to be a director. And we were standing, waiting to do a scene. And he said, what do you think? I said, Ron, knowing you, anything you decide to do, you will be phenomenal at.
HAMMER: So you`re not at all surprised he turned out to be the big shot that he is?
WINKLER: No. I`m telling you he`s one of the most personally powerful people I`ve ever met.
HAMMER: And we certainly know he`s one of the nicest guys in Hollywood. But what`s something about him that might surprise us?
WINKLER: What is something that might surprise you? You know what? I think that he -- he keeps everything close to the vest. There are secrets about Ron even his wife Cheryl (ph) doesn`t know.
HAMMER: Well, I promise not to ask him the same question about you when he comes on because ...
WINKLER: Thank you.
HAMMER: And we`re glad we still get to see your legs when they show the clip from jump the shark. Best of luck with "Out of Practice" on CBS. We look forward to it this season.
WINKLER: You know what? I`ll go this far, A.J. If you watch Monday nights at 9:30, 8:30 Central on CBS -- if you watch on Monday nights, we will make you laugh out loud.
HAMMER: We will look forward to that. Henry Winkler, thank you for joining us on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
WINKLER: Thank you so much.
HAMMER: Well, we`ve been asking you tonight to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day about the new TV season. And the question is, do you like what you see so far? You can continue to vote at cnn.com/showbiztonight. You can write to us. Showbiztonight@CNN.com is our address. Your e-mails are on the way at 55 past the hour.
BRYANT: Tonight, a very candid Clooney. Actor George Clooney opens up to ABC`s Diane Sawyer about his personal life, how a severe spinal cord injury has affected his day-to-day routine and whether we`ll see handsome little George Clooneys running around any time soon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE CLOONEY, ACTOR: There isn`t anything in me that wants to replicate. I believe in all of those things in a way, but don`t think necessarily it has to be from my loins. And I always find that it`s such a great responsibility that I thought it was something I couldn`t do just half-assed.
DIANE SAWYER, ABC ANCHOR: Is it true because of the spinal thing, because of its consequences, that you had to put stickers to remember things for a while?
CLOONEY: I still do every once in a while. I have to count when I walk up the stairs now. I`m having short term memory issues, which has been a very interesting thing as an actor. It`s always fun because it always shakes your confidence.
BRYANT: You can watch the rest of the interview with George Clooney on ABC`s "Primetime Tonight."
HAMMER: Well, if you haven`t heard Donald Trump, it`s going to be a daddy, again. The Donald speaks out about the baby. It`s his first interview since we learned he`s becoming a father again.
BRYANT: Plus, what`s black and white and red all over? A penguin blushing, because it`s sex life is in "The New York Times."
HAMMER: You`re funny.
BRYANT: You have heard it right. Stay where you are, because we have got a gay penguin story coming up.
HAMMER: And if you`ve seen "Breaking Bonaduce," you know Danny Bonaduce has some, oh, shall we say, issues. He now has some legal issues to contend with. That`s ahead in "the Legal Lowdown."
BRYANT: But first, a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT birthday shout-out where we give fans a chance to wish their favorite stars a happy birthday. Tonight a birthday shout-out to Gwyneth Paltrow who is celebrating her 33rd birthday this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, my name is Elizabeth Kruger, and I want to wish Gwyneth Paltrow a happy birthday. I absolutely love you. And I love the movie "Proof." You did a fabulous job. Happy birthday.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Bryant; Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Karyn Bryant.
You can normally see him talking about building sky scrapers. But today, he was talking all about building a family. Donald Trump, in his first live sit down interview since the announcement that wife Melania is pregnant, opened up to Tony Danza today about becoming a dad again at 59.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TONY DANZA, TALK SHOW HOST: I think it just begs the question, whose idea was this?
DONALD TRUMP, ENTREPRENEUR: Well, I want to keep proving that I`m young, that I still have it. So, you know, I did this. But, you know, she`s a terrific person and a terrific woman.
DANZA: I worried about being an old, older father.
TRUMP: Well, you know, at this stage I don`t mind.s when I`m 85 and I have somebody going to high school, it`s a little bit interesting thing. You know, let`s go to high school, dad. but it really works out well for me and for Melania. We really love the idea of having a child. And maybe we won`t even stop at this one.
TRUMP: Maybe we won`t.
People are saying, are you going to do the diapers and things? It`s not my thing. but it`s a terrible thing to say. But she`s so good and she`s so wonderful with children and everything else, I know she`ll be a fantastic mother.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRYANT: When Danza asked if Trump is becoming a better father with experience, Donald, who already has four children, said he`s been a lousy husband but always a good father.
And speaking of husbands, A.J., we`ve got a penguin couple to talk about.
HAMMER: We have a relationship to speak of. Forget Ashton and Demi. Forget Tom and Katie. The media frenzy right now, right here all about the love of two penguins in the park. Thing is, it`s a love some used to say that dare not speak its name. Well, we will. CNN`s Jeanne Moos reports for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There`s nothing like sexual orientation to touch off a feeding frenzy of gossip.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They were really, like I guess, boyfriend and boyfriend.
MOOS: But at the Central Park Zoo?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ...they`re happy.
MOOS: Maybe you`ve heard of Silo and Roy, two males. They were together for sick years building nests, trying to copulate. But then...
REGIS PHILBIN, TALK SHOW HOST: Silo has left Roy!
MOOS: Not only did Silo and Roy split, Silo eventually went straight with a chick named Scrappy.
(on camera): Is Scrappy exceptionally attractive or anything?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, she`s a cute girl, like they all are.
KELLY RIPA, TALK SHOW CO-HOST: That little home wrecker.
MOOS (voice-over): If you think penguins can get snappy, you should see the press. Ever since the hit documentary "March of the Penguins" came out, French kissing penguin style, traditionalists have praised the birds for their devotion to monogamy and child rearing, to which gay blogger Andrew Sullivan wrote, "when they`re not gay, these birds have as many spouses as Larry King." Sorry Larry, "New York Post" came up with four reasons Silo could have gone straight.
Number one, the zoo doesn`t offer penguins domestic partner health benefits.
The conservative Web site Focus on the Family was gleeful, "Silo rains on the Penguin Pride Parade.
(on camera): So, we`re not going to see Roy and Silo in a gay pride parade or anything here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, they would have to be in a very climate controlled situation.
MOOS (voice-over): A 34 degree parade. We humans can`t tell male penguins from females. It takes a blood test. As for the penguins, you`re sure they know -- the boys from the girls?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Yeah.
MOOS: At this German zoo, there were so many same sex penguin pairs, that the zoo brought in females from Sweden to try to increase breeding, upsetting those worried that the zoo was trying to change the penguins` preferences.
But wait, the saga of Silo and Roy isn`t over.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In `99, we found them incubating a large rock.
MOOS: So keepers gave them a real egg to incubate, and Tango was born. She inspired a kids book for being a penguin with two daddy`s.
And who is Tango dancing with these days?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The last two years, she`s been paired up with another female.
MOOS (on camera): What`s going -- what do you guys have in the water here?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, we didn`t hear that part of the -- so the baby was a little confused maybe, because she had two daddies. We say it doesn`t matter. It`s OK.
MOOS (voice-over): As long as it`s not humans, he said.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, no, no. It`s OK for humans if that`s they`re preference. It`s no your preference, right?
MOOS: Don`t ask. Don`t tell.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
HAMMER: Not that there`s anything wrong with that. That was CNN`s Jeanne Moos reporting for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
BRYANT: Time now for the legal lowdown, a look at what`s going on in the world of entertainment legal news. On the docket tonight, new Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts was sworn in today, which may change what you see on the news from now on. And VH1`s "Breaking Bonaduce" star Danny Bonaduce is suing his former radio co-host for telling listeners that he had been high while he was working on his radio show.
Joining us live from Glendale, California with the lowdown, Harvey Levin, managing editor of the soon-to-be launched entertainment news site TMZ.com. Good to see you, Harvey.
HARVEY LEVIN, TMZ.COM: I can`t believe you made me follow a penguin. Go on.
BRYANT: I know, I`m sorry. It`s such a great story.
Well, let`s get to this good stuff. Chief Justice Roberts was sworn in today. When he was going through the confirmation hearings, he was somewhat evasive about how he would allow media access to different situations especially when we were talking about Katrina and should they shoot certain things. So what does it say about his ideas on media access in the cases that he may soon be hearing?
LEVIN: Well, you know, he said, in essence, I think he`s saying, look, if the public is allowed to see something, the media should be allowed to record it. I think maybe the more troublesome thing -- I suppose troublesome depending on your point of view -- is that he has said things in the past that really make it sound like he doesn`t really think the media is a particularly important part of democracy or at least a central part of democracy. The whole notion being that the press is there to spot wrongdoing. And he`s saying, you know, that`s bigger than it really is. And it makes it sound to me like he may really put the brakes on some of the -- some of the first amendment rights the press has enjoyed in the past.
BRYANT: Well, let`s talk about obscenity. Some people say that some of the things on television are simply are a first amendment right. The FCC has clamped down on television networks ever since Janet Jackson`s exposure on the Superbowl. So, what is his stance on obscenity and with the FCC?
LEVIN: Well, you know, we don`t have a clear view of this guy because he hasn`t really written a lot of opinions but he did make a comment once about a case that was decided. He didn`t decide it. But a court basically said that it was illegal for a city to say, you can`t show the Playboy Channel on your cable access while kids are watching.
And the court struck that down and said, you can`t limit what this cable station can run. And Roberts basically said, what are you guys smoking? He said, this is just a crazy opinion that the Playboy Channel should be restricted. It`s just a glimmer into what he believes. But he certainly is leaving open the possibility of either restricting or censoring certain types of programming.
BRYANT: Well, I don`t know if you`ve ever heard Danny Bonaduce`s radio show. I kind of censored the whole thing because I wasn`t a huge fan.
LEVIN: I was a big fan, by the way.
BRYANT: Were you?
LEVIN: I listened all the time.
BRYANT: Oh, his voice kind of grated on me a little bit, but I understand that he`s entertaining. Well anyway, he`s no longer on the radio and he`s suing his former co-host of that morning show for slander. Allegedly she claimed that Danny was high when he was on the air with her.
He had gone to rehab a month after he was fired from his job. So what`s the deal? is it sour grapes against Jamie or does he really have a defamation case here?
LEVIN: Well, you know, I`ve got to tell you. I listened -- in fact I did the show from time to time but I listened a lot. And, I mean, they were fun. And while they were together they were kind of -- they were kind of at each other. But when he left, you could really tell there was a nastiness going on there and that Jamie didn`t think too fondly of him.
He`s saying she crossed the line. He`s saying that by saying he was high at work, by saying he was arrested for DUI and, in particular, saying that he screamed something really obscene at his daughter in front of the staff members at the radio station, he`s saying those three things were not true and he was defamed.
For him to win this, he has to prove that not only she said it and that it was bad and wrong, but that it was malicious, because he`s a public person. And that`s a pretty high standard to meet.
BRYANT: So do you think, though, that he`s also trying to maybe position himself to look like a good upstanding guy who goes to work straight for his next job that he might be trying to get?
LEVIN: Yes, I mean, it`s a double-edged sword because on the one hand, yes, that`s what he wants to show. He wants to say, look, I`m not going to come to work at the next radio station high and I`m not going to do all this stuff.
On the other hand, when you file a lawsuit against a radio station, a lot of employers as a practical matter are going to say, this guy spells trouble. So, you know, he really needs to win this to ultimately win this war.
BRYANT: All right. Well, thanks for joining us. TMZ.com`s Harvey Levin, live from Glendale, California.
LEVIN: See you, Karyn.
HAMMER: There`s still time for you to sound off in our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. We`re looking at your TV report card. What do you think of the new TV season. Do you like it so far? Vote at CNN.com/showbiztonight. Write us at email@example.com. Some of your e-mails live, next.
BRYANT: Throughout the show we`ve been asking you to vote online on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. The new TV season -- do you like what you see so far? Let`s take a look at how the vote is going. Fifty- four percent of you say, yes, you do. Forty-six percent of you say, no, you don`t. Pretty close. Here are some of our e-mails.
Phil from Pennsylvania writes, "The fall season this year is amazing. The on show that will be a breakout is `The Amazing Race: Family Edition.`"
I`m having a little fun here. And Norma writes, "if ever there was a year for escapist TV, it is this year and so much of it is so very good!"
Well, you can keep voting at CNN.com/showbiztonight.
HAMMER: I like what I`m seeing, too.
BRYANT: Yes, I`ve seen some good shows.
HAMMER: Well, that is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer.
BRYANT: And I`m Karyn Bryant. Stay tuned for the latest from CNN Headline News.
ROBERTS: Hi, everybody. I`m Thomas Roberts, and it`s time for your HEADLINE PRIME NEWS BREAK.
Fast spreading flames are threatening multi-million dollar homes on the edge of Los Angeles. Several neighborhoods in Ventura and L.A. Counties being evacuated as the 17,000 acre wildfire rages in hot and dry conditions. Some 3,000 firefighters are battling that blaze.
Judge John Roberts has been sworn in as the chief justice of the Supreme Court. Justice John Paul Stevens administered the oath of office in a White House ceremony. The Senate approved Roberts` nomination 78-22.
Police in New Orleans investigating whether some of their own took part in the looting that followed Hurricane Katrina. About a dozen officers are being investigated.
And what started as a useful public services has turned into a legal snafu for a Web designer. The designer shrunk the maps of two dozen major city subway systems and put them online so people could download them to their iPods, but now officials from New York and San Francisco demanding that he take them off over security concerns. That is the news for now. Thanks for joining us. I`m Thomas Roberts.