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SHOWBIZ TONIGHT

Star Jones Reynolds is Shown the Door at `The View`; Kate Moss is Back with Calvin Klein; Interview with James Marsden; `Superman Returns` Opens Nationwide on Wednesday

Aired June 28, 2006 - 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: Britney spears takes it al off for a magazine shoot. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: And flying, x-ray vision, could Superman be real? I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood, TV`s most provocative entertainment News show starts right now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER (voice-over): On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, falling Star. Barbara Walters remarkable response to Star Jones Reynolds shocking announcement that she got fired from "The View."

BARBARA WALTERS, "THE VIEW": So it is becoming uncomfortable for us to pretend that everything is still the same at this table.

HAMMER: Tonight, the ugly war of words, the inside story, the details you haven`t heard before. Did Star get a raw deal? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates.

Tonight, Falwell on fire. TV preacher Jerry Falwell goes off on gay Hollywood and calls stars moral perverts.

JERRY FALWELL, PREACHER: You know, you`ve almost got to be a homosexual to be recognized in the entertainment industry anymore.

HAMMER: You`re not going to believe what else he said about Ellen DeGeneres and what he calls immoral move restars. Tonight, here for yourself what happened when Falwell got furious.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: Hello, I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: Hi there. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. A.J., it`s an all out war of words tonight between Barbara Walters and Star Jones Reynolds. What in the world is going on at "The View?"

HAMMER: Well Brooke, if there was every any doubt at all that Star got fired from "The View," have no doubt now. There was a remarkable series of she said she said today. Barbara versus Star, Star versus Barbara, it`s unlike anything that we have seen in a long time. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas is in Hollywood tonight with the latest on this remarkable story.

SIBILA VARGAS, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: What a remarkable story. Star Jones Reynolds out of "The View." Sure, we learned yesterday that her contract hadn`t been renewed. She was supposed to stay until July, but one day, numerous interviews, and countless angry words later, she`s now gone for good.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WALTERS: It is becoming uncomfortable for us to pretend that everything is the same at this table. And, therefore, regrettably Star will no longer be on this program.

VARGAS (voice-over): An icy announcement from Barbra Walters as Star Jones Reynolds is shown the door at "The View."

WALTERS: And then there were three.

VARGAS: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has all the dirt on the back stage backstabbing network intrigue and genuine hurt feelings behind the star wars at "The View." On Tuesday, Star Jones Reynolds shocked viewers and her co-hosts.

STAR JONES REYNOLDS, FORMER "THE VIEW" CO-HOST: I apologize for interrupting you. Something has been on my heart for a little bit and after much prayer and counsel, I feel like this is the right time to tell you that the show is moving in another direction for its 10th season and I will not be returning as co-host next year.

MARK DAGOSTINO, "PEOPLE": It really is a drama.

VARGAS: Mark Dagostino of "People" magazine reveals to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that Star and everyone else at "The View" have known since last April that Star`s contract wasn`t being renewed. He says, "The View" intended for Star to stay with the show until July 13, but that plan began to unravel in a shocking way when Star made her surprise on air announcement.

DAGOSTINO: Barbara Walters and the rest of the crew were so taken aback by that because they had actually planned to make that announcement later in the week.

VARGAS: The next day, with Star Jones Reynolds noticeably absent, a blind sided Barbara Walters, an executive producer of "The View," struck back.

WALTER: The truth is, that Star has known for months that ABC did not want to renew her contract and that she would not be asked he back in the fall. The network made this decision based on a variety of reasons, which I won`t go into now.

VARGAS: But SHOWBIZ TONIGHT will. ABC executive reportedly decided last fall to dump Star.

DAGOSTINO: Her personal ratings had gone down over the last year and a half. There was a lot of criticism to her over the top wedding Al Reynolds, a year and a half ago. There was a lot of criticism, just little things she was doing publicly, especially when it came to her weight loss.

VARGAS: Barbara Walters insists she tried to fight for Star`s job with no luck. Adding insult to injury, when Meredith Vieira recently left "The View" to co-host the "Today" show, ABC announced it was replacing her with Rosie O`Donnell, someone who repeatedly slammed Star Jones Reynolds. Still, Barbara Walters says, the goal was to give Star a proper send soff.

WALTERS: We told her she could say whatever she wanted about why she was leaving and that we would back her up. And we hoped then that she would announce it here on the program and leave with dignity, but Star made another choice. And, since her announcement yesterday, she has made further announcements that have surprised us.

VARGAS: Just hours after her surprise announcement on "The View," Star told "People" magazine, "I feel like I was fired." That was the final straw for Barbara Walters.

DAGOSTINO: She and the other producers were so unhappy that a few hours later they called Star and said, don`t come back in the morning.om you`re done.

VARGAS: The rest, as they say, is history.

WALTERS: And, therefore, regrettably, Star will no longer be on this program, except on some shows that have been prerecorded.

VARGAS: So first, Meredith Vieira goes, now Star Jones Reynolds is gone. And a lonely threesome remains and no one seems happy.

DAGOSTINO: Barbara Walter, I mean, one of the most respected figures in television news, felt betrayed by someone who she considered a friend. Star Jones Reynolds is hurt. She`s been crying a lot since she finally found out on April 21 that she wouldn`t be back in the fall. She was clearly surprised that Barbara Walters was so hurt by the way she handled it. And she finds it disheartening that Barbara is saying she feels betrayed. You know, in the end, you wonder, does everyone kind of look bad here. I mean, nobody wanted to see any bad blood between these women on "The View." They have been together for nine years.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VARGAS: And A.J. as you might imagine, the search is on for a replacement for Star Jones Reynolds, but I`m sure we have not heard the last of this cat fight.

HAMMER: Oh, no, we haven`t. And it was interesting seeing only the three ladies sitting there today. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas thanks very much.

Now, if you think that you`ve heard it all, as Sibila said, you definitely haven`t. A lot more on the inside story of the Star wars fight tonight. Joining me, Peter Castro, executive editor of "People" magazine which broke the story of Star Jones saying, essentially, she was fired. And Lloyd Grove of the "New York Daily News," who spoke with Barbara Walters also joining us here in New York.

Thank you both for being here. All right, Peter, basically, the new "People" magazine reports that Star was told, on April 21 that she was not being renewed, that was five days before Rosie O`Donnell was announced as the replacement for Meredith Vieira. Naturally there has been rampant speculation that one of the conditions of Rosie coming on board was Star going. Now, how does Star address that with "People?"

PETER CASTRO, "PEOPLE": Star thinks that -- well, she didn`t directly say this, but I got from what she told us during her interview yesterday with us that she thinks she was forced out, that she was fired to make room for Rosie. Now, she didn`t say that, but it is my opinion that that`s certainly what she meant.

HAMMER: Pretty much what was coming through. Now, Lloyd you had the chance to speak directly with Barbara Walters hours, basically, after she was essentially sandbagged by Star Jones, the woman she was trying to protect and give her the opportunity to leave the show with dignity. What was the tone of that conversation like?

LLOYD GROVE, "NEW YORK DAILY NEWS": It was the temperature of liquid nitrogen. It was really icy. Barbara was obviously seething and I have to say, the reason -- one of the reasons she`s so mad is that, you know, basically, Star told the truth, and now Barbara has to defend why she lied all these months saying Star was welcome back on the show. It`s very awkward, very embarrassing for Barbara.

CASTRO: Lloyd is absolutely right. I think this was Star`s opportunity to make control of the situation, get the upper hand, and manipulate this the way she wanted to. I think she had a great laugh about this. I don`t know that -- she might think now that it might have back fired. I don`t know. But certainly this was about control.

GROVE: It definitely seems that way. Because, again, Barbara Walters and "The View" gave her the chance to leave by saying, I`m leaving to take on this next opportunity, kind of like Meredith Vieira leaving -- you know, she announced that she was leaving to go to the "Today" show. We don`t think Meredith was fired, of course.

CASTRO: Right. And this happens in corporate America all the time. I mean, you know, people get fired but, what you say in the memo is, so and so is resigning and he`s -- or she had such a wonderful run here. And you just go with that flow, you know, that`s just the way it is. And Star broke the rules.

HAMMER: Yeah, she did break the rules. And Lloyd, let`s talk about that for a second because in any business, particularly in the entertainment industry, you learn very early on, you do not burn bridges. She has burned the bridge with potentially one of the most powerful women in the news business, in television. Is she messing with the wrong woman here?

GROVE: It`s not nice to fool with Mother Barbara. I mean, she is the last person I would want to mess with, and -- if I`m in the television industry. Basically, Barbara and Star had an agreement, Barbara told me. This was all support supposed to happen on Thursday, and Barbara was happy to give her a wonderful send off, she told me. But Star just blindsided her, planned this Pearl Harbor attack on the show. And, after that, you know, that`s the end. Star, I think, is now toast.

HAMMER: And there`s been a lot of speculation, of course, as to why exactly ABC chose not to renew her contract, talk of perhaps she was not as popular with the viewers. One of the great mysteries always surrounding Star Jones was her massive sudden weigh loss, which she wasn`t willing to share with people exactly why it happened. What did she tell "People" magazine about that aspect?

CASTRO: Well, you know, Star copped to that exact point A.J., about the weight loss and not coming clean and she says, you know, I think that was a tactical error. Mind you, when we then asked her immediately afterward, well, tell us about it now, she said, I`m still not ready to tell the world.

HAMMER: Yeah, yeah, all right.

GROVE: Watch "Larry King" tomorrow night maybe. I think maybe she`ll show a little more ankle on that.

HAMMER: Yeah, you think so? We`re about to get All right. Peter Castro, Lloyd Grove, thank you both for joining us. You can grab a copy of "People" magazine on Newsstands Friday with this unbelievable story. And as Lloyd mentioned, Star Jones Reynolds is going to give CNN`s own Larry King the first primetime her first primetime interview, tomorrow night at 9:00 Eastern on CNN.

ANDERSON: And we want to hear what you think about the whole thing. It`s our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." Star Jones Reynolds, are you a fan? Go to cnn.com/showbiztonight. There`s the address to e-mail us, showbiztonight@cnn.com.

HAMMER: Are you ready? Britney bares all. The new and very revealing photos of Britney Spears that shows her new dark hairdo, and, shall I say, a lot more. We`ll also have this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FALWELL: You know you almost got to be a homosexual to be recognized in the entertainment industry anymore.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Jerry Falwell`s shocking attack on gays, sex and stars having babies when they`re not married. His stunning words coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: I can`t wait. Plus, James Marsden is in two of the biggest movies of the summer. We`re going to ask him about "Superman," "X-Men" and more. That`s coming up in the interview you will see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

ANDERSON: But, first, "Entertainment Weekly" "Great American Pop Culture Quiz." Which of these top songs was not reinterpreted in "Moulin Rouge?" "Like a Virgin," "Your Song," "Roxanne," or "Candle in the Wind?" Think about it. We`re coming right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Here I am, so again, tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly" "Great American Pop Culture Quiz." Which of these top songs was not reinterpreted in "Moulin Rouge?" "Like a Virgin," "Your Song," "Roxanne," or "Candle in the Wind?" One of my favorites from Elton John, the answer is D. "Candle in the Wind."

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. We are TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York and it`s time now for a story that made us say "That`s Ridiculous." It`s the push to get rid of the penny and the push to save it. It`s a story that has everything. It`s got money, it`s got passion, it`s got Kevin Federline?

Here`s CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A penny for your thoughts about pennies? Keep the change.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pain in the neck.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They get caught in the vacuum cleaner.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I say off with its his head.

MOOS: And, with it`s tale, there`s a new move to get rid of the penny.

JIM KOLBE (R), ARIZONA: It`s easy to think of abolishing it, it doesn`t have any value.

MOOS: Republican congressman Jim Kolbe of Arizona is pushing legislation that would kill the penny. Sure, they`ve tried to kill it before, but, now, the price of zinc so hight that the penny costs more to make than it`s actually worth. It costs around 1.3 cents to make a penny. They weigh down our wallets, they collect in bottles. This guy has a habit of.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Throwing them in the trash.

MOOS (on camera): Literally throwing them out?

(voice-over): If you abolish the penny, bills paid by check or credit card would still be paid in cents, but stores would have to round to the nearest nickel.

(on camera): It`s something`s either a dollar six or a dollar seven, you round down to a dollar five. Something`s a dollar eight or a dollar nine, you round up to a dollar 10.

(voice-over): But the committee for common sense says, no way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Americans overwhelmingly support the penny for about two-thirds.

MOOS: That`s what polls say.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m for the penny.

MOOS (on camera): Do you bother to stoop down and pick up a penny?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely. If I can find a penny, pick it up, all day long you`ll have good luck.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`ve got age showing here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are we going to do with our penny loafers?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What would you call them? Dime loafers?

MOOS (voice-over): Just try using the 25 pennies to buy a Newspaper.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Give me pennies?

MOOS: This guy reluctantly agreed.

(on camera): Can I buy a "New York Post" for 25 pennies? Is that cool?

(voice-over): This guy said take the paper for free, but keep the pennies.

KEVIN FEDERLINE, BRITNEY SPEAR`S HUSBAND: We`re bringing power back to the penny. Yee! MOOS: That`s Britney Spears husband, Kevin Federline, in a promotion for Virgin Mobil`s one cent text messaging. Virgin is glomming on to the save the penny movement, with a penny encrusted truck gathering charitable contributions. Charities love pennies. As for Congressman Kolbe`s penny killing legislation.

KOLBE: (INAUDIBLE) this year, but I`ll tell you it`s going to happen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: After they take the penny, then it`ll be the nickels and the dime.

MOOS: But when we approached this fruit seller, the penny provoked sour grapes.

(on camera): Now how many grapes could I get for 25 pennies?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have a nice day. Bye bye.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: That was CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. And "That`s Ridiculous."

ANDERSON: The biggest movie of the summer is opening in theaters today. "Superman Returns," finally out, everybody. Last night on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, we had on Superman himself, Brandon Routh. Tonight we have on Lois Lane`s New love interest, he plays Richard White, an assistant editor at the "Daily Planet," who is set to marry Superman`s one true love. He is James Marsden, and he joins me now.

James, good to see you.

JAMES MARSDEN, ACTOR: Good to see you, too, Brooke.

ANDERSON: All right, talk about a summer for you. Not only are you in "X-Men III: The Last Stand," but here you are in "Superman." You could have two big blockbusters on your hand. What is it with you and the superheroes, James? Are you the guy who wore the costumes growing up for Halloween?

MARSDEN: Yeah, that`s why I was cast in these movies. No, I`m supremely cognizant of not overstaying my welcome in the superhero arena. But not, to be honest with you, I just feel very fortunate to be a part of both of them. The "X-Men" films have been great for the last six years and now I`m moving on with Brian Singer again to "Superman Returns," so it`s thrilling. It`s very exciting.

ANDERSON: He`s a terrific director to work with.

MARSDEN: He`s fantastic. I mean, you know, to me the best careers in Hollywood are -- they`re about working with the best directors in town, and if you have that option, so, you know, if he will have me, I`ll work with him on every movie he does hopefully.

ANDERSON: On whatever it is.

MARSDEN: Whatever it is.

ANDERSON: Well, this is a New character in the Superman franchise and it`s Lois Lane`s love interest, engaged to Lois Lane. Now, everybody is rooting for Superman here. Superman and Lois Lane.

MARSDEN: They are?

ANDERSON: Of course. To fly of into the sunset.

MARSDEN: But, of course.

ANDERSON: Are you worried people are going to hate you, hate your character for trying to take Superman`s girl?

MARSDEN: Well, it is a bit of an unfortunate task real, really. But I`m not concerned about it, obviously, it`s a great film, and Brandon`s terrific as Superman. Those were big boots to fill. But, my character, he`s a very good guy. In many ways he`s very similar to Superman. He`s a more human version of Superman, so he`s been gone and Lois has moved on with somebody who is very Superman-esque. I`m a pilot, I fly a plane, and he`s very all American, good guy, and actually a fan of Superman`s, aside from their history they have together. So it`s an interesting situation for Lois and for the man of steel himself. To take this guy who physically can accomplish anything and expose his vulnerabilities, emotionally.

ANDERSON: Makes for an interesting storyline.

MARSDEN: Yeah.

ANDERSON: I want to talk about the production budget for this film because it`s been reported that it has been upwards of $350 million, including the marketing costs.

MARSDEN: Right.

ANDERSON: So there had to be some excess on the set.

MARSDEN: Oh, yeah. I mean, there is no doubt it is a very big, expensive movie. I think there`s a lot of people out there inflating because obviously it adds more drama to all of it. But I don`t think it ever got above that $300 million. I think around $200 million range, but it`s still...

ANDERSON: Well 200, 300, you know.

MARSDEN: You have Warren Buffett giving away $30 billion.

ANDERSON: That`s right. So what did you see on the set that just really shocked you.

MARSDEN: The cameras that we were shooting with were these all digital cameras, call the Genesis Camera, and I think when we started shooting, there were about five of them in the world, and they had the resolution of like old 70 millimeter film cameras, so we had very extensive water sequences in the giant a tank. I remember one instance where the camera was mounted on this crane over the water. And you know the things in your pool that, you know, that filter the pool that swim around.

ANDERSON: Right.

MARSDEN: And the hose will occasionally flip out and spray someone standing by. Well, the hose flipped out and sprayed one of these cameras and I think they`re about $750 thousand million a pop or something.

ANDERSON: Oh, I`d hate to be the guy who was in charge of the camera.

MARSDEN: Yeah, terrible, terrible. But, when you see the movie, every penny is up there on screen. It`s a really -- the scope of it is.

ANDERSON: Beautiful shots. And a lot banking on this one. I really enjoyed it. Thanks for joining us.

MARSDEN: Thank you.

ANDERSON: Best of luck with everything you do.

MARSDEN: Thanks Brook, good to see you.

ANDERSON: James Marsden, good to see you as well. And "Superman returns" is in theaters everywhere.

HAMMER: It is such a good movie, but is Superman real? I mean, think about it. The ability to fly, the x-ray vision? Could it possibly ever happen? We will look into that coming up. We`ll also have this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FALWELL: You know, you`ve almost got to be a homosexual to be recognized in the entertainment industry anymore.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Jerry Falwell`s shocking attack on gays, sex, and stars having babies when they`re not married. His stunning words coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: Plus, Kate Moss is back in action and turning back the clock. After some trouble, she is back modeling for the very ad campaign that made her a star 14 years ago. We`re going to show you the exclusive pictures coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Tomorrow the man behind the man of steel, the director of "Superman Returns," Brian singer is here. He is no stranger to these comic movies. He also worked on the "X-Men" series. "Superman Returns" director Brian Singer joining us tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

ANDERSON: Kate Moss is getting back to her modeling roots with the company that made her famous. In a "People" magazine exclusive, we can show you the pictures of Moss, once again in an ad campaign for Calvin Klein. Moss`s work with Calvin Klein made her an international superstar when she was just 18 years old. Her partnership with Calvin Klein jeans lasted from 1992 to `99 and Calvin Klein`s creative director says she is even more gorgeous now.

As you may know, she lost some modeling contracts recently when a tabloid published photos of her allegedly doing cocaine. But, by the look of these pictures, she is back in action. For more about Kate Moss`s Calvin Klein reunion, pick up a copy of "People" on Newsstands Friday

HAMMER: Britney Spears bares all. Coming up the New and very revealing photos of Britney Spears that shows her new dark hairdo and a whole lot more. We`ll also have this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FALWELL: You know, you`ve almost got to be a homosexual to be recognized in the entertainment industry anymore.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Jerry Falwell`s shocking attack on gays, sex and stars having babies when they`re not married. His stunning words coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: Plus, is Superman real? The ability to fly, the x-ray vision, could it actually happen? We will look into it coming up. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT for a Wednesday night is coming right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It is 30 minutes past the hour. I am A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: I am Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. This is TV`s most provocative entertainment news show.

Well, A.J., we all remember Demi Moore shocking everybody when she posed pregnant and nude for the cover of "Vanity Fair".

HAMMER: That`s right.

ANDERSON.back in 1991.

HAMMER: Yes.

ANDERSON: Well now, guess who`s following in her footsteps?

HAMMER: I`m imagining you`re about to say Britney Spears.

ANDERSON: Britney Spears, of course. You`re right. She`s on the cover of "Harper`s Bazaar" baring all. And whether you want to see it or not, we`re going to show it to you.

HAMMER: Actually, they`re pretty nice pictures. I look forward to seeing that in just a few moments.

Also, of course, everybody very excited because "Superman Returns," the most highly anticipated movie of the summer perhaps, finally in theaters today. Look at all the things that guy can do: he can fly, he can bounce bullets off his chests, he can.

ANDERSON: Leap tall in buildings in a single bound?

(CROSSTALK)

HAMMER: But could a real person actually do it? There`s a guy who says yes. I`m going to speak that guy and find out exactly why he`s saying that, coming up in just a few minutes.

But first tonight.

ANDERSON: OK.

HAMMER.televangelist Jerry Falwell. Well, he likes to speak out, and when he does, he often causes a bit of controversy. Well this time around, he`s rocking Hollywood with some stunning comments that he made about gays, sex and about stars having babies out of wedlock. Falwell`s war of words came during a televised sermon earlier this week, and here is some of what he said.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

THE REV. JERRY FALWELL: Illicit sex today. Today the world has gone sex crazy. Illicit sex has become the downfall of many in the Bible. Movie stars, not married to each other, having babies and making headlines all over the world as though they were doing some great thing. Big deal. Just another moral pervert. And for them to become heroes for our kids. My wife and I will be married 49 years the next anniversary. And don`t - don`t ever be proud of sin. You know, you almost got to be a homosexual to be recognized in the entertainment industry anymore. Ellen and all the rest - I love them, pray for their souls. But they`re immoral. And the Hollywood scene, five and eight and 10 marriages. Not something to be emulated.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

HAMMER: I hear that. My head feels like it`s going to explode.

Joining me now from Washington, D.C., our friend, syndicated radio talk show host Ben Ferguson.

Hello there, Ben.

BEN FERGUSON, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Hey, man. How are you?

HAMMER: Oh, let`s get into this, shall we?

(LAUGHTER)

HAMMER: Here we are in 2006 and Jerry Falwell is spinning stuff like that.

What do you make of it?

FERGUSON: Well, I think he sees that there`s a lot of people that probably are coming to church right now trying to find help because they`ve hit rock bottom. And I think he realizes there`s a big difference between a 30-minute script for a TV show that you can write the ending yourself, and well, having your own kids out of - out of wedlock.

I mean, you remember Rachel and Ross, when they had a baby out of wedlock on "Friends"? It ended great because you got to write the script. But a lot of young people have kids out of wedlock and they hit rock bottom because they didn`t think about the financial part of it; they didn`t think about the commitment; they didn`t think about the time. And they hit rock bottom and don`t know what to do. And that`s where a lot of go back to church.

HAMMER: Ben, Ben.

(CROSSTALK)

HAMMER: Ben, they didn`t hit rock bottom and have all of that happen to them because they saw it on an episode of "Friends."

FERGUSON: No, but I think what he`s done.

HAMMER: This is 2006. We can make our own choices. It`s very clear in this society that Hollywood is not the only thing out there influencing us.

FERGUSON: No, but you look at Hollywood, and they do have a stranglehold on pop culture, and on culture in general. They push the envelope every time you go to the movies, whether it`s better effects or whether it`s a - a farther-stretched story than it used to be. And you see this happening, and young people look at it and they think, I want to be like Britney Spears. I want to be like Angelina Jolie. I want to be like others.

I mean, you look at it - I mean, how many moms and dads in America right now would want Britney Spears -- their daughter to be Britney Spears? With a guy that she`s married to, having these kids. All the marriage problems that we hear about, would you want your daughter to be Britney Spears right now? Probably not.

HAMMER: Maybe it`s up to them, to the parents, then, to help the kids with those choices, and decide that maybe Britney Spears isn`t the person you want to emulate. But enjoy her music and enjoy the pictures of her.

Let`s move on to something that he - he addressed specifically. He targets gays in Hollywood. Gee, what an easy target.

Now, I don`t know if it was just the first name that came to mind, but he happened to summon the name of Ellen DeGeneres, who of course is a wildly popular talk show host.

FERGUSON: Sure.

HAMMER: I`m viewing that as - as a pretty stupid move.

FERGUSON: Well, I mean, it - it probably helped her popularity just a little bit more. And I don`t think that Ellen minds being known as someone that has come out of the closet and been one to lead the way for gay and lesbian people in show business. I think the same way, Rosie Donnell (sic). But you got to admit that it`s a pretty good career decision if you do come out, because it gets you so much free press. And anyone that talks bad about you.

HAMMER: But - but - but.

FERGUSON: ..is automatically a horrible person.

HAMMER: Yes, see, I don`t think that`s his point. I think, you know, he`s saying, Well, you know she is a moral pervert. But the fact is, clearly America disagrees or doesn`t feel that that`s going to keep me from liking her as a person.

FERGUSON: I disagree.

(CROSSTALK)

HAMMER: Charles (ph) - hold on a second, Ben. Charles, can you - can you play that lovely soundbyte one more time? I just - I got to hear him say this one last time.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

FALWELL: You know, you almost got to be a homosexual to be recognized in the entertainment industry anymore.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

(CROSSTALK)

HAMMER: .I hear him say, but it almost sounds like he`s, you know, promoting homosexuality.

FERGUSON: A.J., look - you got to look at the - when the people went to the polls in 2004. Overwhelming, every single state in America that had gay marriage on the - on the ballot was beat by 70 percent. So I don`t think the American people agree with Hollywood or you. I think they agree more with Jerry Falwell saying that they believe that it`s not right, that it`s not marriage. And that`s the reason why - you know, 70 percent of people voted against it in `04.

(CROSSTALK)

HAMMER: We also all know, Ben - we also all know the real reason that was on the ballot as a - as a little distraction tactic.

But let`s move on to something else, where he targets the stars who are having babies out of wedlock. So immediately, you know, we think of people like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. Gee, they`re doing such awful things around the world and they shouldn`t be emulated, right, Ben?

FERGUSON: No, it`s not an issue of what they`re doing around the world. It`s the fact that it looks like it`s so easy and it`s normal. And it`s not. It`s not - most people that have a kid out of wedlock don`t have enough money to hire someone to take care of their baby 24/7.

(CROSSTALK)

HAMMER: I don`t think anybody is looking at Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, saying, Well, I can afford what they can afford, so it`s going to be easy for me. I think it`s flawed logic, Ben.

FERGUSON: Young people have the - young people right now have the highest rate of going to psychiatrists we`ve ever seen in America. It`s because so many of them think that life is so easy, and they don`t realize. And it may be parents` - parents` fault that they don`t mentor their kids and show them right and wrong better. But they`re looking to stars as their role models. And right now, role models are the stars that are - you know, that are the role models are - are portraying a life that is just not real. It`s bigger than life.

Being a star gives you a lot of advantages on things that you can do that may - that where your decisions don`t matter as much. When you`re young, you go have - you go have a kid out of wedlock. It`s hard. It`s tough. But when you look at Angelina, when you look at Britney, when you look at others, you think, it`s so easy. You know, I can do that. Look at their life. Maybe a baby would bring happiness.

HAMMER: I couldn`t disagree with you more, Ben, but we got to wrap it up there. We will continue to agree to disagree.

(CROSSTALK)

HAMMER: Radio talk show host Ben Ferguson, I appreciate you being with me.

You can hear "The Ben Ferguson Show" Sundays on Radio America.

ANDERSON: Britney Spears naked, pregnant. You don`t have to just picture it. We`re going to show it to you because it`s on the cover of "Harper`s Bazaar." Borrowing a page out of the Demi Moore playbook, here she is, Britney Spears, posing nude. Sporting a new do - Britney`s a brunette here - she`ll appear in a spread in the August issue out at the end of July. "People" magazine also says "Harper`s" editors had planned a blond Bridget Bardot thing for Britney, but they were surprised by the brown hair - which, by the way, veggie dye - safe for pregnant women.

You might remember Demi Moore, who stunned the world by posing pregnant on the cover of "Vanity Fair" back in 1991.

HAMMER: Well, as we told you earlier, Star Jones Reynolds is out at "The View." Star shocked everyone yesterday, including an angry Barbara Walters, by saying she was leaving the daytime talk show after nine years. Star also told "People" magazine she felt like she was - quote - "fired."

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT caught up with stars at the 2006 BET Awards in Los Angeles to find out what they thought about her startling announcement.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OMAROSA, REALITY TV STAR: Star Jones says, I am leaving "The View." I almost socked myself in the eye with eyeliner. I hope that they don`t lose the diverse viewpoint that they had which made it so unique, and which made it truly "The View."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ERIC BENET, SINGER: Barbara, let me replace Star Jones. How about that? Add a whole little male perspective in the mix, you know? That might be good. What`s up? Barbara Walters, let me replace Star.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KIM WHITLEY, "THAT`S SO RAVEN": You know, my reaction to Star Jones leaving is, it might be time. She`s the new Star Jones. What, she`s 105 pounds? Star is ready to make a move into something else. That`s why she should let another little fluffy (ph) girl come and sit down in her spot.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Well, lots of people have lots of things to say. But now you can hear firsthand what Star has to say about this whole thing in an exclusive interview with CNN`s Larry King. She`s going to be live with Larry tomorrow.

ANDERSON: And we want to hear what you think about it. It is tonight`s SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day": "Star Jones Reynolds: Are you a fan?" Keep voting: cnn.com/showbiztonight. Write to us: showbiztonight@cnn.com. We`ll read some of your e-mails tomorrow.

HAMMER: Coming up, we`ve got a dog that`s so ugly - how ugly is he? Sorry, I didn`t prep the crew.

Well, he`s so ugly that we`ve just got to say, "That`s Ridiculous!" And we will, next.

ANDERSON: And a guy who`s very easy on the eyes, Superman. Now get this: the leap tall buildings in a single bound, the X-ray vision, even his super strength - maybe, just maybe, could Superman be real? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates next.

Plus, we`ve also got this:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHARLES GIBSON, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: Well, you can`t do something for this long and not have it become very much a part of you. And - and know that you`re going to miss it desperately.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: This morning, musical chairs continues. Charlie Gibson says goodbye to "GMA" after 19 years. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is right there for the laughs and the tears. That`s next.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Camera 3, go Camera 3. Master, stand by to break. Roll it and effect black.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fade up, go Camera 3. Music under. Stand by, A.J. Pre-set 5. Open his mic. Dissolve 5, go.

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT for a Wednesday night. We are TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

It`s time now for yet another story that just made us say, "That`s Ridiculous!"

We found a really ugly dog. Guys.

CROWD: How ugly is he?

HAMMER: That was terrible.

Well, they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? Well, I guess we can let you be the judge on this one. Meet Archie, the newly crowned world`s ugliest dog. He won - or lost - the annual competition at the 18th Sonoma-Marin Fair in California. It`s a Chinese-crested canine, and he took $1000 in prize money, which is not quite enough for a facelift.

I actually think he`s kind of cute. But we still got to say, "That`s Ridiculous!"

Well, another big change on morning TV today. After 19 years, "Good Morning, America" said goodbye to co-host Charlie Gibson. I happened to be right there for the cheers and the tears, including when Diane Sawyer gave Charlie the last of his many parting gifts today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DIANE SAWYER, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: They`re telling me in my ear that I have to tell you.

GIBSON: Yes.

SAWYER: .that we were trying to trying to think what we could do for you and what we could do in your honor. And we have one last surprise for you, which is this morning ABC News is announcing the creation of the Charles Gibson "Good Morning America" scholarship.

(CHEERS AND CLAPPING)

SAWYER: It`s going to be awarded to an undergraduate or a graduate student who exemplifies Charlie`s commitment to the craft (INAUDIBLE). There will also be an internship and a stipend here at "Good Morning, America."

(CROSSTALK)

(CHEERING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: There were no stopping the tears. The show was full of moments from Gibson`s past two decades on the show.

After the sendoff, I asked Charlie about his "GMA" feelings and his move to "World News Tonight" permanently.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GIBSON: You can`t do something for this long and not have it become very much a part of you. And - and know that you`re going to miss it desperately.

HAMMER: What do you think the biggest challenge you face with "World News Tonight" is?

GIBSON: Well, the simple challenge is very easy, which is to do the best job you can and give them the best half-hour summation of what`s happened that day and put it in perspective, context and - you know, when I was a kid growing up, my dad and I always used to sit and watch the evening news together at 6:30. It was Huntley-Brinkley that we watched. And - and I always thought, Boy, that`s a - you know, I really feel like I`ve gotten a sense of what happened today. And that`s really what we want to do.

It`s not - it`s not a new challenge. It`s nothing that hasn`t been done for years. But it takes a lot of effort to do it, and there are hundreds of people around the world looking for ABC News. And I have a deep appreciation for all of them. I think they`re terrific. And to be able to - to front their broadcast or to be the person who puts them on the air is - that`s - that`s the challenge, to do the best newscast you can, and the best summation of the day`s events in a half an hour. And that`s a challenge everyday.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Charlie is a truly (INAUDIBLE) and thoughtful guy.

I also had the chance to speak with "GMA" co-host Diane Sawyer about the future of the morning show without Gibson by her side.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SAWYER: "Good Morning America," as Charlie said, is so much more than any of us. And Charlie is irreplaceable. But the team here is so spirited, so innovative that we - we`re so looking forward to the whole group moving forward and seeing what we - what we invent together in morning television.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: There were some great moments this morning, including one when both Brian Williams and Katie Couric congratulated Gibson. But once Katie Couric takes the anchor chair in September and they`re all players seated in their various anchor chairs, all bets are off. And that`s when the race begins.

Well, speaking of race - racing faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound - it`s a bird! It`s a plane! It`s impossible, right?

Maybe wrong. Superman might be a comic book character, but some of his superpowers not so far fetched. That`s what scientists are actually saying in a new National Geographic Channel special called "The Science of Superman."

Joining me here in New York, Michael Dennin. He`s a physics professor at the University of California at Irvine.

I love this whole premise here. Of course, the movie opens today. Everybody`s been waiting for it; the special effects, the best we`ve ever seen in a Superman film. More surreal than ever.

But you guys are saying there`s actual scientific proof that maybe it`s not so far fetched.

MICHAEL DENNIN, PHYSICIST, UC, IRVINE: Yes, for a lot of things Superman does, either there`s good physics behind it, or technology is catching up. And we`re starting to see technology that can do what Superman does.

HAMMER: Well, let - let`s talk about the strength issue, because.

DENNIN: OK.

HAMMER: .he is more powerful than a locomotive, after all. In fact, in "Superman Returns," one of the most remarkable scenes is when he actually flies up into the sky to save a jumbo jet that is spiraling out of control. And he catches it.

Is super strength like this really possible? I mean, we hear things about those moments when somebody lifts a car up. But what about this?

DENNIN: Well, I think with the super strength, what you get with Superman is he came from a planet with a higher gravity, so you propose that he`s super strong. And there`s some truth maybe behind that. The exciting thing about this scene is, what the director did with the movie is he took somebody you assume has super strength and realized that the stuff around him doesn`t necessarily have it.

So exciting things happen with the airplane wing that are very physical real. It didn`t necessarily happen with some past Supermans.

HAMMER: So you`re - so you`re saying watching the - the actual materials explode.

DENNIN: Exactly.

HAMMER: .explode and fall apart is sort of in contrast to what Superman can actually do.

DENNIN: Yes.

HAMMER: I think I got you there.

DENNIN: Yes.

HAMMER: Let`s talk about the flying thing, because this has to have been a big challenge to try to come up with a - a way to prove that people could actually do this.

DENNIN: Well, the flying thing is definitely in the - in the show, on the National Geographic Channel special, we all come down on the side, you just can`t fly. So it`s not going to happen; to hard to get up over gravity, too hard to imagine how you`d propel yourself forward.

One of the great things they did with the movie though is, assuming he could fly, let`s try and make it look as realistic as possible. And they did some really neat stuff, and we talked about that in the show.

HAMMER: Specifically, for instance, when he begins to levitate, as opposed to just taking off? Because that`s one of the things I loved in this particular movie - when he would take off, it wasn`t sort of like it was in the original TV show, where he`d just jump up. He`d just start floating.

DENNIN: He`d start floating, that was good. And also just, flying through the air is going to involve certain movements that are much like swimming. And they take advantage of that when they filmed it. They filmed Superman - the actor, they filmed him in water swimming and used that to make the flying scenes in the air.

HAMMER: Let`s talk about the bullet deflecting, because - you know, I`m dying to know how you think this can actually be done. He deflects bullets in this movie - in fact, there`s one tremendous scene that we`re watching right now, where there`s this automatic machine gun firing at him, and one bullet actually gets deflected in slow motion - it`s remarkable - from his eye.

Now this is something you guys call his "invulnerability."

DENNIN: Exactly.

HAMMER: Do we have that in real life?

DENNIN: Well, what you have is things like Kevlar vests. So this is a great example of where science is developing materials that mimic a lot of the properties Superman has. And you might imagine somebody figuring out how you can make that the equivalent of a skin.

The eye being invulnerable, that was a great thing.

HAMMER: Yes.

DENNIN: Because that, you have a hard time imagining him.

HAMMER: Sure.

DENNIN: But it certainly is very impressive and makes for a great scene.

HAMMER: So you guys - to be clear, you`re not necessarily saying all these things can happen with our natural physicality or biology, but perhaps there are things that are manmade.

DENNIN: Exactly.

HAMMER: Like the Kevlar vest.

DENNIN: Exactly.

HAMMER: Let`s talk about the old X-Ray vision. He can see through walls; he can see through pretty much everything except for lead.

DENNIN: Yes.

HAMMER: How possible is that?

DENNIN: Well, we know we have X-Ray machines, so we know the basic principle can work. And we also know X-Rays are stopped by lead. That`s why they put the lead vest on you when you`re in the dentist, to help protect you.

Superman`s problem? He`s got to send the X-Rays out, they got to go through something, bounce off and come back to his eye. Very little out there that X-Rays will bounce off of.

HAMMER: And the super hearing, are you going to say hearing aids?

DENNIN: Exactly.

HAMMER: OK, thank you. I got to wrap it up there.

DENNIN: No, that`s perfect.

HAMMER: Michael Dennin, I appreciate you joining us.

DENNIN: OK. Thank you.

HAMMER: And you can catch "The Science of Superman" Thursday night on the National Geographic Channel.

ANDERSON: From Superman to a super-celebrity wedding, we have that in tonight`s "Hot Headlines." SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas joins us again from Hollywood.

Hi, Sibila.

VARGAS: Hi, Brooke.

That`s right, we`ve got your first look at Marcia Cross` wedding, courtesy of our friends at "People" magazine. The 44-year-old "Desperate Housewives" star got hitched to money manager Tom Mahoney this past Saturday in California. It`s the first marriage for both. Cross` co-stars Felicity Huffman and Eva Longoria were there. What`s funny is that people say Cross, who plays the details-obsessed Bree on the show, didn`t care too much about the details of her own wedding. And you can read more in this week`s "People," on newsstands on Friday.

Well, Luke and Laura are reuniting on "General Hospital." Their 1981 wedding was one of the biggest moments in daytime history; more than 30 million people watched. Now to celebrate the 25th anniversary of that wedding, ABC is bringing about Dean Frances, whose character Laura has been in a psychiatric hospital. And Anthony Geary, who plays Luke, is still on the show.

And Mary J. Blige, Kanye West and Jamie Foxx were the big winners at the BET Awards. Blige won for best female R&B artist. She tied with West and Foxx for video of the year, Blige for "Be Without You" and West and Fox for "Gold Digger." Chaka Khan got the lifetime achievement award.

And those are tonight`s "Hot Headlines." Back to you.

ANDERSON: Thank you, Sibila. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas in Hollywood.

Hang tight.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson.

OK, last night we told you about a controversial rape scene on the FX show "Rescue Me," where a husband rapes his wife. So we asked you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day": "Rape on TV: Do TV shows glorify violence against women?" Sixty-eight percent of you said yes they do; 32 percent of you said no they don`t.

Here`s some of the e-mails we received:

Simone from Georgia writes, "The disregard for women and particularly women of color has reached such an all-time low."

But Kristi from Indiana says, "Violence against women on TV is not that prevalent. Time should be better spent on real political issues, such as Katrina victims."

We do appreciate your e-mails. Thank you so much.

HAMMER: We do.

And it`s time now to see what`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Here is your "SHOWBIZ Marquee."

It`s been a super week, hasn`t it? We`ve had Superman himself, Brandon Routh. Today we had James Marsden, who also stars in "Superman Returns." And tomorrow we`ll chat with the man behind the Man of Steel, the director of "Superman Returns," Brian Singer. Certainly no stranger to these comic book movies. He`s also worked on the X-Men series as well. "Superman Returns" director Brian Singer joins us tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Brooke, you`ve seen it; I have seen it. I can say it: you`ll laugh, you`ll cry. It`s better than "Cats." One of the best movies of the year.

ANDERSON: Two thumbs up from me as well, A.J.

HAMMER: That is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Thank you for watching. I am A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: I am Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Have a great night, everybody. Stay tuned for more from CNN Headline News.

END

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