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SHOWBIZ TONIGHT

Fashion Faux Pas?; JonBenet Ramsey Obsession; Wild Card Emmys

Aired August 25, 2006 - 23:00:00   ET

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


A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: A shocking marriage controversy. Why one writer says women with a career can`t have a successful marriage.
I`m A.J. Hammer New York.

BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: And a huge star lets Lindsay Lohan know he`s fed up with her late-night partying.

I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood.

TV`s most provocative TV entertainment news show starts right now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER (voice over): On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, "Project Runway" rage. Tonight, why one big Hollywood star is calling Heidi Klum`s words about weight dangerous and irresponsible.

HEIDI KLUM, MODEL: To me she looks huge.

HAMMER: Why this celeb thinks what Heidi said could have dangerous consequences.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the shocking star-studded body image battle.

And an amazing Oprah exclusive. Only SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is right there for Oprah Winfrey`s stunning surprise, one that brought her to tears. A dream come true for her and for these girls.

OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST: It is a complete full circle moment in my life.

HAMMER: It`s a inspirational story you won`t want to miss.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Hi there. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood.

HAMMER: I`m A.J. Hammer New York.

Here we go for a Friday night. And tonight you`re not going to believe the uproar over a supermodel`s controversial comments about weight.

Heidi Klum, the host of "Project Runway," is causing quite a stir after she called a model an her reality show "a fat Minnie Mouse."

ANDERSON: It`s unbelievable. And you heard that right. And it did not stop there.

In just a moment, we`re going to speak with a TV and film star who is not happy with what Heidi had to say. But before we do that, though, let`s have a look at Heidi`s comments.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KLUM: To me she looks huge. You know? I don`t think that it`s very flattering for -- for her body. And she kind of looks like Minnie Mouse in a way with those -- that funny hair on her head.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wanted to kind of make it fun.

KLUM: She look like a plus model. And it just is not flattering at all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: We`ve got actress Kathy Najimy with us. She wrote a blistering letter to Bravo`s senior vice president of production, Andy Cohen, about the comments, and Andy is here with me in Hollywood, too.

Thanks for being here, both of you.

KATHY NAJIMY, ACTRESS: Thank you, Brooke.

ANDREW COHEN, SR. VP PRODUCTION, BRAVO: Thanks.

ANDERSON: All right, Kathy. Let`s get right to it.

NAJIMY: OK.

ANDERSON: The clip we just saw...

NAJIMY: Yes.

ANDERSON: ... is from an episode that made you so angry you fired off this letter to Andy. Tell us what about it made you so upset.

NAJIMY: I was just upset that I wanted Heidi to remember how much impact television has, especially on women and girls and how much they look up to her. You know, we have no control over that people are so intense about TV stars. But they are.

And so those comments she made about, "Oh, you look like a plus-sized model," like that was something bad, and that they were calling this model who actually is 5`10" and a size 4 zaftig and huge and a fat Minnie Mouse. It just sends a crazy message to girls and women that they`re not how they`re supposed to be, that somehow they`re wrong. And even if they`re average now, they`re too fat. And it`s just really killing our girls and women.

So I sent...

ANDERSON: And the poor model in the episode. I felt so incredibly sorry for her.

Now, Andy, the "Project Runway" is your show. It`s your baby. You`ve received hundreds of e-mails about this.

COHEN: We have.

ANDERSON: People are outraged. What are they saying?

COHEN: Yes, they are. And we`ve started quite a debate at bravotv.com thanks to the show and Kathy.

And, you know, first of all, this is a design competition. And I think it`s important -- I can`t speak for Heidi, actually, but I can say that my impression of watching that -- and it is important to know your impression and everyone`s, and this is a great debate -- but my impression was that Heidi was saying that in this design competition, she did not think that the dress was flattering on the model. And she felt that it made her look...

NAJIMY: Yes.

COHEN: Nobody wants to put on a dress no matter what size you are and look unflattering.

NAJIMY: And look unflattering. No -- yes.

COHEN: And so my impression every time I watch that episode and when I watched it on that premiere night was that she felt that the model didn`t look her best, it made her look bigger. So that`s why I appreciated your letter, because I felt that, wow, you know, I wouldn`t want anyone to watch this show and feel that way.

And last week we did an episode where the designers designed for people of all shapes and sizes.

ANDERSON: Right. Right.

COHEN: And I think that that raised some issues where...

NAJIMY: Which is great.

COHEN: ... you know, people got to see the intricacies of that and -- yes.

ANDERSON: Right.

Well, Kathy, you`ve been in the industry for a long, long time.

NAJIMY: Not that long.

ANDERSON: Well, for years. But -- for "Veronica`s Closet" on TV...

NAJIMY: Yes. Yes.

ANDERSON: "Wedding Planner."

NAJIMY: Yes.

ANDERSON: I mean, you know the pressures that are out there to look a certain way.

NAJIMY: Yes. Right.

ANDERSON: In modeling, it seems like they`re even more extreme.

NAJIMY: Yes.

Should we be surprised? I mean, it`s disheartening, it`s maddening to hear her called a "fat Minnie Mouse,"...

NAJIMY: Yes.

ANDERSON: But should we be surprised? Unfortunately...

NAJIMY: Well, I think Andy brings up a good point. I wish she would have said, "That`s an unflattering outfit, it makes her look bigger." Or whatever.

But to say words like, "ooh, plus-size model," like there`s something wrong with that, or "fat Minnie Mouse," or it makes her look "huge," there is pressure on women in Hollywood. There`s pressure on women in the United States to be one size, one unattainable goal.

What I`m concerned with is how these girls and women try to get to that goal. And in the midst of trying to get there, they`re really killing themselves. And so what I think we should do is lift up and celebrate women of all different sizes, all different sizes, instead of really sort of squashing and suffocating them to feel like you`re not right. In fact, you`re so not right that even a skinny model is not right.

ANDERSON: The 5`10" and size 4.

NAJIMY: The 5`10" and size 4 isn`t right.

ANDERSON: Which is unattainable, really.

COHEN: That`s a really good point.

ANDERSON: Why didn`t you edit it out?

COHEN: Well, I mean, you know, that`s a really good point. And again, I think it`s different people perceive things a different way. And I really did. When I saw that cut, I said, "You know what? She`s talking about that she felt this dress looked unflattering."

NAJIMY: Fine. She should have said, "That dress looks unflattering."

COHEN: Right, exactly. You know, and the other thing is that "Project Runway" is really about, three seasons in, acceptance, accepting all different types of people. And I think we have always been really good at showing that. And I think, again, last week showing people design for people of all shapes and sizes...

ANDERSON: Which was just a coincidence it actually...

COHEN: Which was -- right, it just -- it just happened.

ANDERSON: OK.

COHEN: And I think that, you know, point well taken. And I`m glad that we`re having this conversation here and on the Web and everywhere.

NAJIMY: Yes.

ANDERSON: And people...

(CROSSTALK)

NAJIMY: I am not -- I love "Project Runway."

ANDERSON: OK.

NAJIMY: I`m addicted to it. That`s why I cared so much that she said that. And she`s probably a fine person.

COHEN: She`s a great person.

ANDERSON: Right.

NAJIMY: She`s a great person. And she has a daughter. So I want to make sure that the landscape for her daughter is open and free...

ANDERSON: Is positive. I got it.

Kathy Najimy...

NAJIMY: Yes.

ANDERSON: ... Andy Cohen, thank you both for being here.

COHEN: Thank you.

ANDERSON: And for this dialogue on this subject. We appreciate it.

NAJIMY: Thank you so much. Thank you. Thanks.

COHEN: Thanks.

HAMMER: Well, the JonBenet Ramsey case is something we just can`t seem to turn away from. We`re glued to the TV for any new scrap of information about suspect John Mark Karr these days.

For some, though, the tragic death of the 6-year-old beauty has become a scary obsession, an addiction that they`ve had for 10 years.

Here`s CNN`s Jason Carroll for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It`s a crime that spawned a media obsession a decade ago, movies, countless articles, and hundreds of books theorizing who killed JonBenet Ramsey.

Now, with the arrest John Mark Karr, the coverage is again in overdrive. So, too, are some of those who have been following the case.

DAN ABRAMS, MSNBC GENERAL MANAGER: ... coming out of the woodwork.

"JAMESON," OBSESSED WITH JONBENET RAMSEY CASE: ... talked about...

CARROLL: This stay-at-home mom from North Carolina calls it her addiction.

JAMESON: Somebody says, you know, but you`re addicted. You`re addicted. Well, everybody has got an addiction, whether it`s to their job, or golf, or going to bars, or -- everybody has got something in their life.

CARROLL: She will only allow us to identify her by her Internet screen name, "Jameson." Since the murder, she has been obsessed with the Ramsey case.

JAMESON: It started out just being an interested housewife, home schooled her kid, made my bread every day. Went online to see what they were saying about this news story, and got caught up in it.

CARROLL: So caught up, Jameson logged countless hours online, so dedicated to finding the truth...

(on camera): This is a timeline that you have put together?

(voice-over): ... Jameson created her own 10-year timeline of the case, documenting every development.

JAMESON: I`m WebbSleuth, W-E-B-B, for Jack Webb, "Just the facts, ma`am," from "Dragnet." WebbSleuth.

CARROLL: Jameson`s Internet is so thorough, she has become somewhat of an Internet encyclopedia on the case. She says, reporters sometimes call her to confirm facts.

She has collected so much information, and has written with such authority, it caught the attention of Boulder police and the Ramseys themselves, who ended up meeting with her. The couple thanked her in their book, saying: "She was one of the few supporters of our innocence. We expected to meet just briefly, but it ended up that we talked for over three hours."

Authors have mentioned Jameson in several books. Her reputation is such that Jameson was asked to consult on four documentaries about the murder, and now has fans following in her footsteps.

DAWN PANOSH, OBSESSED WITH JONBENET RAMSEY CASE: We`re online detectives. And we just follow the case. We -- we`re so involved with the case, that we -- like to have it solved.

CARROLL: Dawn Panosh is a 19-year-old from a Chicago suburb. She became interested in the case when she was just 9. That was when she saw a news report on JonBenet. Since then, she has visited the Ramseys` home in Boulder six times, and has created three Web sites devoted to the case.

PANOSH: I think about the case every day. I read about it every day. And there`s something about her case. Like, I -- I try reading about other cases, but I read about it, but I`m not as interested as -- as I am in JonBenet`s case.

CARROLL: Dawn, like Jameson, believes the Ramseys are innocent. But neither are ready to admit John Mark Karr is the killer, because, although they want to see the mystery solved, they can`t say goodbye just yet to their addictions.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: That was CNN`s Jason Carroll for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

ANDERSON: We want to remind you that SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is now on seven nights a week. That`s right, we are bringing TV`s most provocative entertainment news show to your weekends. Be sure to check us out, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Saturday and Sunday, and each and every night, 11:00 p.m. Eastern. That`s 8:00 Pacific.

HAMMER: A big Hollywood star is sick and tired of Lindsay Lohan`s behavior. His very strong words for her coming up.

We`ve also got this...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WINFREY: The idea for the school came about by -- based on what I felt would be an honor for the African girls.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: An amazing Oprah exclusive. Only SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is right there for Oprah Winfrey`s stunning surprise, one that brought her to tears. A dream come true for her and for these girls.

HAMMER: And TV`s big night is this Sunday, the 58th annual Emmy Awards. So who`s got the best shot at those statues?

And the Uncle Sam controversy over those celebrity gift bags that are packed with thousands of bucks worth of stuff, that`s coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. TV`s most provocative entertainment news show is on.

As we get into the weekend, I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. And it`s time now for a little story that just made us say, "That`s ridiculous!"

Now, we all know that people who have pets often love them like family. Count me in that category. And there are all kinds of thing that you can buy for your dog. But this particular Puppy Purse that we want to show you has got us barking up a storm.

The creators of the Puppy Purse say they came up with the idea because they didn`t really like to see the pooches stuffed into dark, smelly and hot pocketbooks.

And I say, Brooke, what happened to the good old-fashioned leash? My dog, of course, weighs 90 pounds. Not going in the Puppy Purse.

ANDERSON: No. And you would think they would want to walk around. They say that the puppy is comfortable like this, but it doesn`t look that way. And they cost, by the way, anywhere from $150 each.

HAMMER: No surprise.

ANDERSON: Amazing. Doggy bags bark up the wrong tree, we say, "That`s ridiculous!"

All right. William H. Macy is laying into Lindsay Lohan for her work ethic. He shares a scene with her in the upcoming movie "Bobby" and agrees with the studio executive who blasted Lohan for showing up late on the set of another flick, "Georgia Rules."

Macy`s wife, "Desperate Housewives" star Felicity Huffman, co-stars in that one. That exec actually threatened to sue Lohan if she didn`t get her act together and cut out her late-night partying.

Here is what Macy had to say.

"It`s very, very disrespectful... and Lindsay Lohan is not the only one. A lot of actors show up late as if they`re God`s gift to the film. It`s inexcusable, and they should have their asses kicked."

His words, not mine. Macy added that, yes, Lindsay was pretty late showing up on the movie they were working on, too.

HAMMER: Well, William H. Macy`s wife, Felicity Huffman, and her co- stars on "Desperate Housewives" might be just as fired up about this year`s Emmys, which will be given out on Sunday night.

People really can`t stop talking about the big shutouts and the scandalous shakeups that has so much of Hollywood up in arms this weekend. So let`s get to it.

Tom O`Neil is joining us from theenvelope.com in Hollywood. With me here in New York, "People" magazine`s Jamie Bufalino.

Nice to see you both.

JAMIE BUFALINO, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: Good to be here.

HAMMER: All right. So everybody is all fired up because a lot of the shows that we expected to be nominated, the shows we saw last year as big nominees, completely shut out.

Now, the Emmy people, Jamie, were hoping to sort of shake thing up with the new voting process. This basically has backfired on them, hasn`t it?

BUFALINO: Well, it has a little bit. You know, "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives" were two of the biggest shows last year at the Emmys and this year they`re really nowhere to be found. And those are a lot of the stars that people want to see going up on stage collecting the Emmys.

So they tried branch out and get more people on the list of Emmy winners. You know, people that don`t usually get there. And they did manage to do that a little bit. But people are always going to be upset with whichever nominations come down the pike.

HAMMER: Well, Tom, you`re out there in Hollywood. People are basically outraged, aren`t they? And, in fact, the networks are even fighting back on Emmy night.

TOM O`NEIL, THEENVELOPE.COM: Yes. I think one of the most shameful, petty things I`ve seen in a while is that this Sunday night, when TV`s Oscars ceremony will be broadcast, ABC counter-programming with "Pirates of the Caribbean," one of most successful movies of modern time. Why? Because they`re angry that "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives" weren`t nominated.

But you know what? It`s their own fault. The Emmy is very different from all other showbiz awards. It is a jury (ph) prize. And if you are a participant, you must participate.

You must pick a good sample episode of the past season that represents your best. And "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives" blew it. And so did Lauren Graham and a lot of people.

It`s the Susan Lucci syndrome. And we saw an outbreak of it this year. And unfortunately, the Emmys are taking the hit.

I say it is ABC`s fault.

HAMMER: All right. So it`s not just the fault of the Emmy people. The network`s fault as well.

I mean, is that pretty much how you see it, Jamie?

BUFALINO: Well, partly. But there is also plenty of examples of the fact that people get impressed by certain names.

You know, Ellen Burstyn this year got nominated for a 15-second role, essentially. And it`s because, you know, she`s a big name.

HAMMER: Right.

BUFALINO: And Stockard Channing was nominated. She`s a great actress, obviously, but her show has been off the air for months now. It was a very short-lived show.

People -- the nominees -- the people who nominate do get -- seem to get impressed by certain names. And other times they -- it`s not just the episodes they see sometimes.

HAMMER: OK. Well, I`m certain there is going to be some action and some drama that comes out of the show Sunday night.

Tom, why don`t you give me the "I can`t believe that happened" headline we`ll all be reading Monday morning in the papers.

O`NEIL: Yes, you can always count on the Emmys for jaw-droppers. Among them we could see Christopher Meloni, for example, win best drama actor. He`s the star of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit."

It all comes down to these episodes that they have to submit. He submitted a jaw-dropper, a brilliant, brilliant performance.

I think Denis Leary`s going to win that race, but watch out for potential upsets across the board. I mean, we could -- I don`t know. We`ll need to see.

HAMMER: Well, we know we`re not going to see "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives."

O`NEIL: Yes, we won`t see them. That`s for sure.

HAMMER: But let`s talk about, you know, the names are we going to hear rattled off and the shows. I imagine "Grey`s Anatomy" is on that list. That`s a fan favorite.

BUFALINO: I think that`s probably going to be the big winner of the night, if there is a big winner.

I mean, it was definitely the most talked about show of the past season, the most watched, and the most -- has the most ardent fans. So I would be very surprised if it didn`t come out a big winner.

HAMMER: "Grey`s Anatomy," Tom?

O`NEIL: Yes.

HAMMER: All right.

O`NEIL: I think that wins best drama series. But watch out for "The West Wing" and watch out for "All Night Long". It`s a departing series that`s beloved by the Emmys. It`s one Emmy short of tying the record held by "Hill Street Blues" as the most Emmied (ph) show ever on the drama side. It has 25, "West Wing" does. "Hill Street" had 26.

HAMMER: I hope "West Wing" does well.

Real quickly, I know they`re doing a big tribute to Aaron Spelling, which is very fitting. Tori Spelling apparently not going to be a part of it. Not even "90210" clips in thing.

That`s going to be a bit of drama, isn`t it?

BUFALINO: Well, Yes. I mean, the Tori-Candy feud has spilled over into the Emmys this year. And it will be interesting to se what the tribute to Aaron comes out to be, because it`s hard to imagine one without a "90210" clip and also without Tori, because he was such a big part of her life. So it will be a very interesting thing.

HAMMER: My good ness. It`s going to be like -- I don`t know. There`s going to be a lot of tension in the room when that`s going on.

Jamie Bufalino, from "People" magazine, I appreciate you being with us.

Tom O`Neil of theenvelope.com, thank you as well.

And you can find out how this all shakes out on the 58th annual primetime Emmys when they go down Sunday night on NBC.

ANDERSON: As if the Emmys didn`t already have enough controversy, this year`s Emmy gift bag, like so many award shows before it, offers up stars a lot of what`s called swag. Some are saying as much as $40,000 worth of stuff. But they`re not going to get away with all that money, not if Uncle Sam has his way. The IRS says these bags are taxable income, so they want their cut in the form of a tax bill.

HAMMER: A reminder. Now that we`re upon the weekend, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is on seven nights a week. TV`s most provocative entertainment news show can be seen on your weekends.

So join us Saturday and Sunday, and each and every night, 1:00 p.m. Eastern, 8:00 Pacific.

The stars come out for a Hurricane Katrina anniversary concert, and one thinks we are still not prepared for the worst.

We also have this...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WINFREY: Because of a sense of education and learning I was able to become who I am. And I want to do the same for these girls.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: An amazing Oprah exclusive. Only SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is right there for Oprah Winfrey`s stunning surprise, one that brought her to tears. A dream come true for her and for these girls.

HAMMER: Plus, a shocking marriage controversy. Why one writer says women with a career can`t have a successful marriage. A lot of heat in that one, and we`ve got that coming up.

But first, we have our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day" about that controversial new "Forbes" magazine article out that suggests women with careers are not cut out for marriage.

So, we`re asking you: Writer ignites firestorm: Can Career women have a successful marriage?

I have a feeling we`ll be hearing from a lot of you at CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. You can also e-mail us at ShowbizTonight@CNN.com.

We`ll have more on this a bit later in the show.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: On Monday, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is all over the Emmys. We`ll have your complete wrap-up of the winners, the losers, the surprises. And Joan and Melissa Rivers with the fashion fabulous and the flops.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is Emmy central on Monday.

HAMMER: Well, the stars came out in New York last night for moveon.org`s Hurricane Katrina anniversary benefit. Rosie Perez, Julia Stiles and The Roots were there to do some pretty good jamming and a reading or two from a new book called "It Takes a Nation," which is all about how evacuees and strangers were brought together by the terrible tragedy. Some stars, like alternative music musician Moby, still think we`re not prepared for another disaster.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MOBY, ALTERNATIVE MUSIC MUSICIAN: What disturbed me the most was that, you know, we were -- we have an organization like FEMA, who is supposed to be prepared for almost any disaster that could be involved in the United States, and here you have, you know, a hurricane disaster that basically scientists and climatologists had been predicting for the last 30 years, and they weren`t prepared. And I don`t know. It just make me question how prepared they would be for any other sort of disasters that might happen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Proceeds from the event went to ACORN, which is a charity for low and middle income families.

ANDERSON: Conan O`Brien is back hosting the Emmys, and he`s got a lot of funny stuff planned, including a visit from... Tom Cruise? Hear what he tells me, coming up.

HAMMER: Also, a shocking marriage controversy. Why one writer says women with a career can`t have a successful marriage. A lot of heat in that one.

We`ve also got this...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WINFREY: The idea for the school came about by -- based on what I felt would be an honor for the African girls.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: An amazing Oprah exclusive. Only SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is right there for Oprah Winfrey`s stunning surprise, one that brought her to tears. A dream come true for her and for these girls.

That`s coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT for Friday night. It is 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

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

HAMMER: All right, Brooke. You want to ruffle some feathers and cause a little bit of outrage? Well, here`s an idea for you: write an article for a reputable Web site, where you`re suggesting basically that men looking to marry should stay away from career women because it`s not likely to work out.

Well, that`s exactly what one writer did. People are pretty fired up about it, as you might imagine.

ANDERSON: Including myself, A.J. Outraged -- disagree with this guy.

HAMMER: But here`s the question we got to ask: does he have a point, and does what we see happening in Hollywood just reinforce what he`s saying? We`ll work through all of that coming up in a bit.

ANDERSON: Yes, we will.

A.J., are you a fan of Conan O`Brien?

HAMMER: Big fan of Conan.

ANDERSON: As am I.

He`s hosting the Emmys this weekend. It`ll be the second time he`s done that. I caught up with him for a very funny chat. This guy`s hilarious. And he talked to me about what he`s got planned. Well, we`ve got that coming up.

HAMMER: He didn`t sing, did he?

ANDERSON: No, he didn`t. Not this time.

HAMMER: Good. That`s good. OK.

First tonight, a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT exclusive: Oprah Winfrey says it`s a full-circle moment in her life. She has opened a $40 million school for girls in South Africa. Winfrey was very hands-on with this project every step of the way. She saw it through, brought it to life, and she guided every last detail of it.

Here`s CNN`s Jeff Koinange for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEFF KOINANGE, CNN AFRICA CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Twelve-year-old Palesa and her 13-year-old cousin Lebohang (ph) live in this three-roomed house along with four other family members in Soweto, one of Johannesburg`s sprawling townships.

They`ve heard U.S. talk show host Oprah Winfrey`s in town and she`s looking for a few good girls to be part of her new project. What they don`t know is that Oprah`s about to pay them a visit. Word spreads fast about Oprah`s presence in Soweto, and the visit is no longer top secret. After all, this is Oprah.

Oprah`s been coming to South Africa for the past several years, determined to fulfill a promise she made to former President Nelson Mandela, or Madiba to most here.

OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST: So I said to Madiba, I would like to build a school and I would like to commit $10 million. This was five years ago. And he said, yes.

KOINANGE: And just like that, the two broke ground for a girl`s school just outside Johannesburg in what began as a $10 million project. It`s since grown to $40 million and counting.

(on camera): Less than four years later, this is the result: the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. Set on more than 50 acres of land, it houses more than two dozen buildings and Oprah says she was personally involved in the design and layout of most of them.

WINFREY: The dream for me was to create a school that I would most want to attend. So from the very beginning, I sat down with architects and I said, We have to have a library in the fireplace so that the girls can -- it can be a place of learning as well as living for them.

We have to have a theater because this is a school for leaders, and in order to be a leader you have to have a voice. In order to have a voice, you need oration. So the idea for the school came about based on what I felt would be an honor for the African girls.

KOINANGE (voice-over): And all this for free: free uniforms, free books, free meals. Everything is free at Oprah`s school, which brings us back to Soweto and Palesa and Lebohang`s house.

Lebohang`s mother died of AIDS nearly two years ago. Palesa`s mother and grandmother now help feed five hungry mouths. But Oprah sees potential here, the right ingredients for leadership in her leadership academy.

PALESA, 12-YEAR-OLD STUDENT: The future awaits you.

WINFREY: The future awaits you, I agree. I think your future awaits you.

PALESA: Yes?

WINFREY: Yes, your future is so bright it burns my eyes. Yes, that`s how bright your future is.

KOINANGE: Palesa`s mother is overwhelmed by Oprah`s philanthropy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was thinking that angels are white and they have wings and you only see angels in heaven. So now I can see that we are living in this world with angels. Oprah, you are an angel. Angel from God, I believe in that.

KOINANGE: And outside, the word had spread like wildfire. The Oprah fan club had instantly multiplied.

GROUP: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

WINFREY: Hello?

KOINANGE: Oprah insisted on personally interviewing all the prospective students from schools around the country. Her requirements were simple: the girls had to have better-than-average grades, and they had to come from underprivileged homes, much like she did.

WINFREY: I look in their faces, I see my own -- the girls who came from a background just like my own. I was raised by a grandmother, no running water, no electricity. But yet because of a sense of education and learning, I was able to become who I am.

And I want to do the same for these girls. And so I think there`s no better place than Africa because the sense of need, the sense of value for education and appreciation for it could not be greater.

KOINANGE: And in true Oprah fashion, she invited all the finalists to what was supposed to be an informal get-together, and dropped this bombshell:

WINFREY: I brought you all here today to tell you that you will be a part of the very first class of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy.

(APPLAUSE)

KOINANGE: And just like that, 150 young lives were transformed in an instant.

(on camera): What does this mean, this moment right now, what does it mean?

WINFREY: Oh, it is a -- it is a complete, full-circle moment in my life. It is -- I feel like it`s what I was really born to do, and that`s what all of that fame and attention and money was for. It feels like the complete circle of my life.

KOINANGE: As for cousins Lebohang and Palesa ...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m overwhelmed. I don`t know what to say. I`m that happy. I`m just waiting for next year.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The 12th of January, I`m just waiting for that date

KOINANGE: It seems that date can`t come soon enough for South Africa`s best and the brightest here: an all-expenses-paid, top-class education. And all because one woman wanted to help out an old man.

GROUP: We love you, Oprah.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: Amazing what she has done. That was CNN`s Jeff Koinange for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

ANDERSON: A friendly reminder now: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is on seven nights a week. We are bringing TV`s most provocative entertainment news show to your weekend. Be sure to check us out: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Saturday and Sunday and each and every night, 11 p.m. Eastern. That`s 8 Pacific.

Well, do Southern cows say "ya`ll"? It`s an interesting story we heard about cows and their accents. That`s next.

We`ll also have this:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONAN O`BRIEN, HOST, EMMY AWARDS: ...now is really just...

ANDERSON: Just bomb.

O`BRIEN: Just screw it up big time. And then you have a two....

ANDERSON: Yes.

O`BRIEN: You know, you can compare.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Conan O`Brien gets very candid with our own Brooke Anderson in a very funny chat about how he`s feeling leading up to his second time hosting the Emmys. That`s coming up in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

ANDERSON: Plus, a writer sets off a firestorm of controversy, telling men they shouldn`t marry career women. What was he thinking? That`s coming up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dissolve. Music full, stand by to that wonderful break, Master. Roll your break. Effect to black, George (ph).

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Make your move. Hey Katie (ph), stand -- and by, in 3, 2 -- go, A.J. Dissolve.

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show.

It`s time now for another story that made us say...

(SHOUTING)

HAMMER: It sure did. This is something to keep in mind the next time you hear a cow "moo."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(COWS MOOING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Hmm. Now some farmers in England are saying cows have accents. A group of farmers actually noticed that they heard something in their herds that was distinct -- distinct drawls that were different than the moos of other cows from other regions.

Now, experts say it may not actually be so far fetched, because birds chirp in distinct ways in different parts of the country. And the same can be true for -- for moos, Brooke.

You know, I would say, as ridiculous as it may seem, not so far- fetched.

ANDERSON: I was a bit caught off guard. I thought we could do the "udder" "That`s Ridiculous!" story here, A.J.

HAMMER: I`m not responding to that.

(LAUGHTER)

ANDERSON: You don`t have to. It was terrible. I`m sorry. I apologize.

We say that cows with different dialects, "That`s Ridiculous!"

Speaking of "That`s Ridiculous!," a controversial article on Forbes.com definitely borders on the ridiculous. It argues that men should stay away from women with careers. Guess how well that article is going over?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: (voice-over): So who would make the better wife: Murphy Brown....

CANDICE BERGAN, ACTRESS: Dan is a child.

ANDERSON: ...or Mrs. Cleaver from "Leave it to Beaver."

BARBARA BILLINGSLEY, ACTRESS: They sound so cute.

ANDERSON: A controversial article on Forbes.com argues men are better off with a desperate housewife than working girl.

MELANIE GRIFFITH, ACTRESS: We`re in a -- a business deal together now, and I just don`t think that we should get involved that way.

ANDERSON: The title of the article, written by Forbes.com editor Michael Nor says it all: "Don`t Marry Career Women." It says men should avoid professional women because, it argues, they`re more likely to get divorced, less likely to be happy mothers and -- here`s the kicker -- more likely to cheat with someone they work with.

The response? Oh boy. It was explosive, and SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has it for you.

The "Today" show ran with the controversy.

MATT LAURA, "TODAY" SHOW CO-HOST: And boy did this guy open up a can of worms...

ANDERSON: Forbes.com was flooded with responses, including this gem that read -- quote -- "Women can`t handle work and family because we are not getting any support from men like you, you tool."

Ouch.

DR. JOY BROWNE, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I`m Dr. Joy Browne. Hi.

ANDERSON: And it was the talk of talk radio.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we`ve been having these disagreements and arguments off and on for...

BROWNE: About her going back to work?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The more successful I became, the more angry he became.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are marriages out there that really do work with equal partnerships.

ANDERSON: New York City radio talk show Dr. Joy Browne tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT the issue struck a chord with her listeners.

BROWNE: My listeners thought that the "Forbes" article was, I think, maybe a little irrelevant.

My listeners basically believed that yes, having two careers can complicate things. But most of them, with one exception, really were very much in favor of it.

ANDERSON: The heated response forced Forbes.com to temporarily pull the article. They soon repotted the article along with a counterpoint from a female "Forbes" writer title, "Don`t Marry a Lazy Man." Take that.

BROWNE: It brings up the old war between women and men.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: Well, you can imagine what outrage we`ve been seeing everywhere. It`s all over the Internet. As we mentioned, it`s all over talk radio.

So were here at SHOWBIZ TONIGHT decided to get an expert opinion. And who knows better about divorce than the judge of the new season of "Divorce Court" -- there she is, Lynn Toler, joining me now from Hollywood.

All right, Your Honor. You ready?

LYNN TOLER, "DIVORCE COURT" JUDGE: I`m ready.

HAMMER: Let`s have it this. Because we know half of all marriages end in divorce.

TOLER: True.

HAMMER: Now Hollywood stars, as we also know, get divorced like it`s nothing. This particular guy is saying, Marriage with a career woman is not a good idea, and he says he has the states to prove it.

People obviously outraged by this and what he said. But should they be?

TOLER: I in general think we as a society need to spend a little less time being outraged in general. But I think more -- I would more slough it off than be outraged by it.

You can pick statistics out of anywhere to support anything you want to say. It`s how you put it together. And a society has to evolve through the changes. And it`s not always pleasant, and it`s not always easy. But it doesn`t need to be abandoned.

HAMMER: Well, one of the statistics that Michael Miller cited in his article is the fact that 1 in 5 women outearn their husbands. Certainly this was the case for Hilary Swank and Chad Lowe towards the end of their marriage. A lot of people were very quick to point at career jealousy as contributing to their split.

You see these kinds of things all the time, I`m sure, in your courtroom. If there is a threat that this is going to happen, that there is going to be career jealously, sounds like a pretty good reason not to get married, doesn`t it?

TOLER: There`s a lot of good reasons not to get married. This is one among them.

But it`s not the reason that you see most often. It`s about people not communicating. It`s about cheating. It`s about money, but usually not who`s making more, but neither one of them has any.

HAMMER: Right.

TOLER: So there`s a lot of reasons not to get married. But that I wouldn`t hold up as a -- as a particularly poignant or good one.

HAMMER: Well, a lot of people ran out and saw "The Devil Wears Prada," the film this summer that was one of the -- the top films of the season. We saw that Meryl Streep`s character was this hard-charging career woman. Her marriage failed because the career came first for her. Lots of people say, You can` t have it all. This guy says you can`t.

Now you see couples splitting up everyday on "Divorce Court." Based on what you see, is it really possible, Judge, to strike the balance?

TOLER: I had to respond personally on this one.

What I see doesn`t indicate that you can`t have it all. And what I live tells me that you can have it all. I outearn my husband. I have a career. It`s been a dynamic career from law to a judgeship to a television show. Been married 17 years; 14 of them have been joyous. Three a little rocky.

But it can happen. It can be done, and it`s about the two people who are willing to fight it out.

HAMMER: What surprises you the most when you see the couples coming in front of you in your "Divorce Court."

TOLER: Their failure, their unwillingness to be unhappy for a little while. We seem to have a very throw-away society: I`m not happy with him now, things aren`t good right now, so let me get out of this marriage and do something else. We just don`t seem willing to be unhappy for a little while and fight things through to the end.

HAMMER: Judge Lynn Toler, thanks for joining us from Hollywood. Best of luck with the eighth season of "Divorce Court."

TOLER: Starting on September 11. Thank you so much for having me.

HAMMER: We appreciate it.

And this all leads us to our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day": "Writer Ignites Firestorm: Can career women have a successful marriage?" I think I know what you`re going to say. Please vote at CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. Or write to us at ShowbizTonight@CNN.com. We`ll get into some of those e-mails on Monday.

ANDERSON: Conan O`Brien is back as host of the 58th Annual Emmy Awards this Sunday. The critics actually liked him when he hosted first in 2002. He`s got a lot to live up to this time.

I caught up with Conan to find out the inside scoop on what he`s got planned for the Emmys, and his thoughts on his late-night show, which has been on the air for 13 years.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: You did this back in 2002. You knocked it out of the park.

O`BRIEN: Yes.

ANDERSON: Well received.

O`BRIEN: Yes.

ANDERSON: Are you feeling any pressure to live up to that this time?

O`BRIEN: No. My goal is to do a really bad one now, so that you have a -- you have one of each. You know what I mean?

ANDERSON: Yes. Yes.

O`BRIEN: I have a daughter and I have a son. I like having one of each.

So we had one in 2002 that people really loved. And my goal now is really just...

ANDERSON: Just bomb.

O`BRIEN: Just screw it up big time. And then you have two.

ANDERSON: Yes.

O`BRIEN: You know, you can compare.

ANDERSON: Yes.

O`BRIEN: You got the Conan -- you got the good one and you got the bad one.

ANDERSON: You -- you want a little bit of variety there.

O`BRIEN: Yes. Yes.

ANDERSON: And so what`s your strategy with this bombing? Have you been working on it for weeks? For months?

O`BRIEN: Seems I`ve been working on it for 13 years.

(LAUGHTER)

O`BRIEN: Every night at 12:30. No.

We have a lot of -- we actually have a bunch of ideas that I`m excited about. And I think it could be -- I think it could be a fun show. And now that there`s so much good programming on cable and there`s more networks, and I think TV has risen to the challenge. There`s a lot of great shows. I think with only five nominees, you`re always going to have disappointment.

ANDERSON: Yes. Well, Edie Falco...

O`BRIEN: So I say -- I say 15 nominees to be fair.

ANDERSON: In each category?

O`BRIEN: In each category -- 15 nominees, a nine-day show -- a show that lasts nine days. It`s like the Olympics: different countries participate. There are flags.

ANDERSON: You can make it your entire summer vacation, just watching the Emmys.

O`BRIEN: Yes. Yes. Exactly.

ANDERSON: Or something like that.

O`BRIEN: The Emmys would be held at, like -- they`re in Torino this year. This year, they`re in Moscow.

ANDERSON: Well, talk about some new material that is out there for you to mine.

O`BRIEN: Yes.

ANDERSON: Tom Cruise again in the news.

O`BRIEN: Yes.

ANDERSON: Paramount and Tom Cruise severing ties.

(CROSSTALK)

O`BRIEN: ... parted company, yes.

ANDERSON: Yes. Do you think you`ll use any of that?

O`BRIEN: You never know. You never know. I don`t want to give anything away.

You know, I`ve been calling Tom Cruise to see if he wants to do a thing with me about it. Not picking up the phone.

ANDERSON: Surprise.

O`BRIEN: Yes. So -- and we`ve been very close in the past.

But I -- you know, I don`t know what we`re going to do. You know -- I mean, mostly our focus will be on TV and TV events. But -- but sure, that could creep into the show. You never know. He could make an appearance.

ANDERSON: He could.

O`BRIEN: You never know. You never know. You got to check it out.

ANDERSON: And speaking of including a lot of TV in the show...

O`BRIEN: Yes.

ANDERSON: ..."Survivor," the new season, we just confirmed, is going to be divided by race.

O`BRIEN: What?

ANDERSON: Yes: four different tribes, and each tribe...

(CROSSTALK)

O`BRIEN: You`re kidding, right?

ANDERSON: I`m not kidding. I am...

O`BRIEN: That`s great.

ANDERSON: I am being honest with you.

O`BRIEN: I think that`s appropriate, in this day and age, with all the tension and violence and conflict, is to have a reality show where people duke it out over race and religious belief. That`s great.

ANDERSON: It`s something that so many people...

(CROSSTALK)

O`BRIEN: So they just put them in, like, the Gaza Strip? Or...

(LAUGHTER)

O`BRIEN: How does this work? And who`s behind this decision?

ANDERSON: Mark Burnett is the man behind the "Survivor" ...

O`BRIEN: He`s very powerful, he has a lot of money. So I`m going to defer to his wisdom right now.

But yes, the -- the race -- the race riot "Survivor." I`m -- that`s going to be good TV.

ANDERSON: Yes, you`ve got an Asian American tribe, an African American tribe, a white tribe and a Hispanic tribe, the say.

O`BRIEN: Incredible.

ANDERSON: So there you have it.

O`BRIEN: They should have an Irish tribe, too, that really doesn`t do anything.

ANDERSON: Yes.

O`BRIEN: They`re just in the corner having Guinness.

ANDERSON: Good idea.

O`BRIEN: And, you know...

ANDERSON: You would have that tribe?

O`BRIEN: ...just bitterly hating themselves.

ANDERSON: What do you think the crackdown on the Emmy swag, the gift bags. People are going to have to pay taxes on every bobble (ph) and every thing that they get.

O`BRIEN: Well, I think, why not? I mean, you know, to hell with celebrities, I always say. Because technically I`m not one. I looked this up; I went on the Internet.

I`m a known person. But celebrity, that`s a whole other tier.

ANDERSON: But -- but would you accept that $50,000 -- $60,000 gift bag if...

(CROSSTALK)

O`BRIEN: Well, no. You know what? I don`t even -- one little-known fact about the -- the gift bags: in the past, because I have hosted and I have presented, they`ll -- they`ll give you a gift bag and you look at it, and they say it`s worth $100,000 or something. Most of the things you can`t redeem, because I`m in New York, and it says, if you go to Tarzana on this date, you can get a golden tiara if you meet the following conditions, or you can take a trip to Rome.

And -- and -- and I used to think, Well, I`ll just give it away to people. But you can`t...

ANDERSON: Yes.

O`BRIEN: ...because it`s nontransferable. So I think I got some Tic Tacs one year from the Emmy bag, and some Insoles...

ANDERSON: Yes.

O`BRIEN: ...that I could put in my sneakers.

ANDERSON: And I`m sure you reported those for your taxes.

O`BRIEN: I did. I paid $35,000 for my gellin like Magellan Insoles.

But anyway, you know, I think, Why not? You know? The irony about becoming a celebrity or working in television or the movies is that you -- you have this period of your life where you don`t have anything, you don`t have any money. And then you start to -- you -- you have some good fortune and some good luck, and you star making money, and people start giving you things that you could afford on your own.

So I say tax the hell out of those bags.

ANDERSON: All right.

O`BRIEN: You know? Celebrities have had a free ride long enough.

ANDERSON: Well said.

O`BRIEN: Yes.

ANDERSON: Congratulations on...

O`BRIEN: I think I just alienated everyone I need to come on my show. So...

ANDERSON: It was...

O`BRIEN: Kidding. You should have more. More good things should come your way, celebrities. I love you all.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: And "Late Night" is also nominated for another Emmy this year. Conan told me he`s gearing up for another loss. But it`s not a big deal.

You can catch Conan O`Brien hosting the 58th Annual Emmy Awards Sunday night on NBC. And coming up Monday, tune in for our complete Emmy wrap-up: the winners, the losers, the surprises, and of course the fashion hits and misses. That`s Monday on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Stay where you are; SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is coming right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer. It`s time now to see what`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Here now, your "SHOWBIZ Marquee."

On Monday, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT all over the Emmys with your complete wrap- up of all the winners, the losers, the surprises. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, your Emmy central on Monday.

And also on Monday, of course it wouldn`t an Emmy show without the fashion hits and misses from the red carpet. So of course, Joan and Melissa Rivers going to be here to dish on Emmy fashion. That will be Monday.

That is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Thanks for watching. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: I am Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Join us here this weekend for more SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

In the meantime, Glenn Beck is next, right after the latest headlines from CNN Headline News.

END

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