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SHOWBIZ TONIGHT

Britney Spears Opens Up; O`Donnell Tanks Yet Again; Madonna and A- Rod Vacation Together

Aired December 1, 2008 - 23:00:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
A.J. HAMMER, HOST (voice over): Now on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Britney Spears` brand-new unbelievable revelations about her private pain, in her own words.

JO PIAZZA, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: The tragic part is that Britney Spears looks great and she seems like she`s poised for a comeback but she doesn`t seem happy.

HAMMER: Her breakdown. Her breakups. Her push to find another husband. Plus Britney`s never-before-heard thoughts about being a mom.

Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with Britney Spears` incredible new confessions caught on tape.

Tonight, Rosie`s big flop. Rosie O`Donnell`s new variety show tanked, big- time. So what happened?

Tonight, Rosie revealed why "Rosie Live" turned out to be "Rosie Dead on Arrival."

And Madonna`s Mexican getaway with A-Rod? Have Madonna and Alex Rodriguez finally come out as a couple? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates what could be one of the most bizarre Hollywood hook-ups ever.

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

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Hello. I`m A.J. Hammer broadcasting tonight and every night from New York City.

BROOKE ANDERSON, HOST: Hi there, everyone. I`m Brooke Anderson coming to you from Hollywood.

And tonight, I can tell you this, forget everything you thought you knew about Britney Spears.

HAMMER: That`s right, Brooke. Tonight, Britney Spears exposed. For the very first time we can now tell you what has really been going on in Britney`s life, or perhaps we should say, Britney is now telling you.

A long awaited and I have to say absolutely remarkable documentary about Britney on MTV had just aired and Britney leaves nothing to the imagination. All this, of course, is happening on the eve of both her 27th birthday and the debut of her new album. And it`s all making big news right now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER (voice over): We saw Britney happy. We saw her upset.

BRITNEY SPEARS, SINGER: I`m sad.

HAMMER: And we saw her doing what she does best.

SPEARS: Dancing is a huge part of me.

HAMMER: The many and sometimes disturbing sides of Britney Spears were on full display in the brand-new documentary "For the Record" which debuted on MTV Sunday night.

PIAZZA: They followed her for 60 days after the MTV Video Music Awards in this documentary and essentially got a no-holds-barred look at Britney Spears` life.

SPEARS: I`ve been through a lot this year. Actually the past two or three years and my trust has really been battered. I`ve definitely grown up, big-time.

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you in "For the Record," Britney left nothing to the imagination. She opened up about everything from her infamous her head-shaving...

SPEARS: I was going through a lot but I wish it`s kind of like me just feeling a form of a little bit of rebellion.

HAMMER: To her break-up with ex-husband Kevin Federline.

SPEARS: He started doing an album for himself and he sort of wanted to do things for himself. And I just never saw him anymore. And when it ended, it was just like, I felt so alone.

HAMMER: And even the constant partying and string of bad decisions that led a judge to take away custody of her two boys.

SPEARS: I just remember I did not want to be at home because, like, my babies represented home. That was my home with them. And every time I went home, it was like, oh, god, I can`t be here.

HAMMER: She also talked about the break-up with her then teen boyfriend, Justin Timberlake.

SPEARS: When he was gone, I was like, what am I supposed to do with myself? You know what I mean? And I was so young, I would go out just to keep my mind busy.

HAMMER: Britney, who recently made a guest appearance performing with Madonna during Madonna`s tour, got some very personal advice from the material girl.

MADONNA, SINGER: There`s a certain fragility about her and vulnerability about her that makes me feel maternal towards her. I was very privileged in my own life to be able to go to New York, make mistakes without the whole world, you know, putting a magnifying glass on you. And she`s never had that opportunity.

And first and foremost, it should be about her own spiritual growth.

SPEARS: I`m sad.

HAMMER: We see Britney get the most emotional when she talks about her life now, living under a court-ordered conservatorship headed by her father, Jamie, who controls her life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you feel out of control in your life?

SPEARS: No, I feel like I got to control, I think it`s too in control. There`s no excitement, there`s no passion, there`s no -- it`s like Groundhog Day every day. You know? Really boring.

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you the documentary comes as Britney is on a full-out media blitz to promote her new album "Circus" which releases on her 27th birthday. She`s on the covers of "Rolling Stone" and "Glamour."

Britney`s just back from a weekend swing through Europe to promote "Circus" including Germany, Paris and a highly rated appearance Britain`s "X Factor".

PIAZZA: She is every where. Pretty much you can`t blink without seeing Britney Spears.

HAMMER: But even as her career heats up again, the documentary makes one thing clear about Britney -- she`s still affected by the wild ride that once got her locked up for psychiatric evaluation and has robbed her of the right to make her own decisions.

SPEARS: I had let certain people into my life that were -- that were just bad people because I was lonely and whatever the fact, and I really paid the consequences for that big-time. But I just feel like, you know, you do something wrong and you learn from it, you move on. But it`s like I`m having to pay for it for a really long time.

PIAZZA: The tragic part is that Britney Spears looks great and she seems like she`s poised for a comeback. But she doesn`t seem happy. I think professional recovery is coming kind of easier to her right now. But she has a long way to go personally.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: All right. So now we`ve heard Britney`s dramatic side of the stories. So why does it seem like there are now more questions than answers?

Joining me tonight in New York, Cooper Lawrence. Cooper is a psychology researcher, expert in celebrity fame, and the host of the syndicated radio show, "The Cooper Lawrence Show." And joining me tonight in Hollywood, Carlos Diaz, a correspondent for "Extra."

All right, guys, you`ve watched the documentary. You`ve heard what Britney Spears has to say.

Carlos, out of everything that you learned about Britney in this documentary, what surprised you the most?

CARLOS DIAZ, CORRESPONDENT, "EXTRA": I mean I`m surprised by how talented she is, first and foremost, because when you see her in this footage, she just is -- I mean she has talent and it`s just natural for her.

But the thing I was most surprised with is the fact that she still refers to herself in prison and she`s contradicting herself, because she says when she broke up with K-Fed and when she broke up with Justin, she didn`t know what to do with herself.

But yet she`s still feels that she`s now in prison. So it`s kind of contradictory there. You didn`t know what to do with yourself but you know that you don`t like where you`re at now even though you`re enjoying immense success. I don`t get it.

HAMMER: Yes, I think there were a few contradictions that we saw throughout the documentary. At one point we hear Britney saying that she has grown up big-time. And then you hear her say things that may contradict that.

Cooper Lawrence, after watching the documentary, what do you think? Has Britney grown up big-time?

COOPER LAWRENCE, CELEBRITY AND FAME EXPERT, PSYCHOLOGY RESEARCHER: No. No.

HAMMER: No.

LAWRENCE: Not even a little, A.J. No, because, you know, her father is still in charge of everything in her life. Look at the markers of what a grown-up is. A grown-up is somebody that makes all their own decision, she doesn`t. A grown-up is somebody who can go wherever they want to freely, she doesn`t.

And I just know from years of being in this industry that they -- you know, the paparazzi are following her, but I know that it`s her people sending e- mails and faxes to the paparazzi saying, here`s where Britney`s going to be today. She has no control over that.

So to have no control of your life in any way, shape or form is not grown- up. If anything, these people make her more and more like an infant every day.

HAMMER: Yes, and you always hear how child stars, and she certainly started very young, often have a stunted childhood and they don`t really get the chance to grow up. And that -- you feel is still at play here?

LAWRENCE: Absolutely. And also, you know, you have to remember, when people watch Britney and they go, oh, poor thing, remember, she doesn`t have everything she wants. She may have everything you want but she doesn`t have everything she wants.

HAMMER: Yes.

LAWRENCE: And that is also a marker of a grown-up.

HAMMER: Well, to that -- there`s a particularly powerful and honest moment of the many that were in the show from Britney that I really want to play for you. In this one, Britney talks about being fearful of losing her happiness. Watch what he said here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SPEARS: It was just like you can`t really go there in a complete state of happiness because you`re scared that it`s going to be taken away. When I tell them the way I feel, it`s like they hear me but they`re really not listening. They`re hearing what they want to hear. They`re not really listening to what I`m telling them. It`s bad. I`m sad.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Yes, I mean that really is one of the real moments that we got to see. She`s afraid of her happiness being taken away.

Carlos, if you`re like me, you can`t help but feel sorry for her.

DIAZ: Because of the fact that Britney Spears is seen by a lot of people around her as a commodity, and that`s the thing. It`s like, OK, we need to protect Britney from herself but we also have to remember that she is a person and that you need to care for her as a person before you -- you know protect her as this entity that can make a lot of money for you.

HAMMER: I want to get back to something Cooper was talking about a moment ago and play another clip, Britney talking about the public`s perception that her life is out of control. Watch what Britney says about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you feel out of control in your life?

SPEARS: No, I don`t think it`s out of control. I think it`s too in control. There`s no excitement, there`s no passion. There`s no -- like, it`s just like Groundhog Day every day. You know? Really boring.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: All right. With everything that is going on, it`s hard to believe that somebody like Britney Spears could say her life is actually boring.

Cooper, you listen to that sort of monotone through the tears there, almost sounds like she`s emotionally dead, doesn`t it?

LAWRENCE: Yes, I mean, nobody takes her seriously, just what Carlos was saying earlier. She`s a commodity to a lot of people. So when she has an emotion, nobody takes it seriously. Her day is very structured but it also explains why when she does have some free moments, she behaves highly impulsive because she`s looking for that passion.

It explains why she gets married so quickly. It explains why she does the crazy things she does. It`s the only passion and the only autonomy she has over her own life.

HAMMER: I want to very quickly play the clip of Madonna, because if anybody can relate to Britney`s life, it`s Madonna who made a surprise appearance in the documentary. Watch what Madonna says is the key for Britney surviving.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MADONNA: A lot of it has to do with the people that she surrounds herself with, because you are your environment. And first and foremost, it should be about her own spiritual growth, her own self-examination, her own growth as a human being and her relationship with her children. That should be first and foremost. And then everything else will radiate off of that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Very quickly, Carlos, does Madonna have that right?

DIAZ: She has that right and it`s a very scary fact that she`s pointing out because Britney does not have her kids. She does not have Sean Preston or Jayden James. And every day she spends away from them is another day that they`re growing up without her.

HAMMER: Well, now everybody will be watching her progress and we`ll see how well this album does, and what it does for Britney`s own spirit.

Cooper Lawrence, Carlos Diaz, I thank you both.

LAWRENCE: Thanks, man.

HAMMER: And now let me turn it over to you for our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." Britney Spears -- has she gotten her act together? What do you think? CNN.com/showbiztonight is where you vote or e-mail showbiztonight@CNN.com.

All right. Brooke, moving on, a question for you. What do you think, are Madonna and Alex Rodriguez together like as a couple?

ANDERSON: I don`t know, A.J. They are not confirming anything. But they have been popping up in the same place a lot recently.

HAMMER: Well, tonight, I can tell you, Madonna and A-Rod were seen in Mexico City at the same time. So is this the big coming out for Mad-Rod? Are they a couple and if they are, come on, what on earth could they have in common?

That`s on the way.

ANDERSON: Also, tonight, Rosie O`Donnell`s big flop. Rosie O`Donnell`s new variety show tanked big-time. What happened? Is her TV career over? Why "Rosie Live" turned out to be dead on arrival. Coming up.

HAMMER: And I can tell you that the hunt for Oprah Winfrey`s replacement has officially begun, that is, if she takes her talk show off the air. Who could replace her? That`s on the way.

ANDERSON: And now, the SHOWBIZ news ticker, more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news right now.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "HEAD OF STATE")

DYLAN BAKER, ACTOR: We`d like you to run for president?

CHRIS ROCK, ACTOR: Of what?

BAKER: The United States.

ROCK: Of what?

BAKER: Of America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: In Chris Rock`s movie "Head of State," there were plenty of jokes about America getting its first black president. But is anything off limits now that America really is getting its first black president?

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood.

In just under two months, Barack Obama will be sworn in as the first black president of the United States. But when it comes to comedy, will the jokes be on Obama? What is fair game and what is not? And will black comedians back off?

With us tonight in New York, Lola Ogunnaike, entertainment correspondent for CNN`s "American Morning."

Hi, Lola.

LOLA OGUNNAIKE, CNN`S "AMERICAN MORNING": Hi, Brook. Well, I spoke with some of Hollywood`s best-known black comics and ask them if Barack Obama`s historic election is changing their comedy routines and what, if any thing, is now off limits.

And here`s what they had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL MOONEY, COMEDIAN: Obama is a politician. We make fun of politicians. He looks like Malcolm X. He talks like Martin Luther King. Oprah loves him. What more do you want, America?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Barack, what are you doing? When you said hope and change, we thought you were talking about the country, not about your wardrobe.

D.L. HUGHLEY, COMEDIAN: I think he`s funny. It`s got to be funny that there are going to be products in the White House they`ve never seen before.

OGUNNAIKE (on camera): Like what, for example?

HUGHLEY: There`s got to be a fresh comb in there.

OGUNNAIKE: Yes.

HUGHLEY: It`s got to be that. It`s got to be a wave cap, got to be at least a tube of sulfur 8. Got to be something.

OGUNNAIKE: If you had to guess, do you think black comedians will be devoting a majority of their sketches to Barack Obama being presidents or do you think it`s something that you`ll shy away from because it`s just too tricky?

SALAMISHAH TILLET, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA: American political comedy has been very racially segregated. And now comedians, black, white, of color, are going to have to sort of step up their games and now reflect and match the views of the American voting public.

And now you have what we would consider sort of a buffy president, right? Black urban professional president, and so the jokes about barbecues in the lawns are only going to go so far.

OGUNNAIKE: You don`t necessarily want to traffic any stereotypes, though, do you? I mean do you want to talk about chicken and watermelon in the White House?

MOONEY: It`s not about chickens and watermelons. Why do you like chicken? If chickens could talk, they would say, I hate black people. We make jokes about everything. Nobody`s safe about it. If it`s funny, it`s funny.

White people, get in the back where you belong. Obama is president.

OGUNNAIKE: But where do you draw the line when it comes to the Obama jokes because some people...

MOONEY: There is no line. He`s the president. This is America. We can talk about the president. I`m not in the type of country where they would put me in a dungeon.

HUGHLEY: Barack and Michelle were able to go on their first date since the election. I got to say, they must be really in love, because when I take my wife out to dinner, it ain`t a date, it`s an apology. That`s...

(LAUGHTER)

OGUNNAIKE: Can a comedian go too far?

HUGHLEY: Of course. A comedian can go too far. You got to be willing to take the risk. But it`s not up to you to define what line is.

OGUNNAIKE: Do you feel a responsibility as a black comedian to either skewer him or not skewer him because you all share the same...

MOONEY: I`m a comedian. I`m going to make fun of everybody.

OGUNNAIKE: OK.

MOONEY: I`ll be making fun of you when I leave here.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

OGUNNAIKE: Well, Brooke, it appears everyone is fair game in the eyes of a comedian, even me.

ANDERSON: No doubt, yes, even you, according to Paul Mooney.

"American Morning`s" entertainment correspondent, Lola Ogunnaike, thanks. It`s good to see you.

OGUNNAIKE: Good to see you, too.

ANDERSON: All right. Barack Obama`s January inauguration is really shaping up to be jam-packed with stars. Lots of report that`s some of Hollywood`s biggest names are not only trying to get tickets to the show, but are also battling it out to actually perform.

I`m talking about Jay-Z, Leona Lewis. We`re also hearing that Jay-Z`s wife Beyonce has also tossed her hat into the ring to sing. So when Beyonce and I spoke about her new movie, "Cadillac Records," I also had to ask, will she be taking the stage in front of the White House on January 20th?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON (on camera): You`ve said publicly that you want to perform at President-elect Obama`s inauguration. Have you made any progress there? Have you been asked to perform?

BEYONCE KNOWLES, SINGER/ACTRESS: No, not yet. But I`m really -- would be excited to go and to see it on television. That`s what I`m going to do.

ANDERSON: Now, if you do take the stage, what would you sing?

KNOWLES: I would probably sing "At Last."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Very appropriate. All right. So Beyonce is not revealing if she`s a go yet. But I bet she`s got a good shot.

By the way, her new film "Cadillac Records" hits theaters December 5th.

HAMMER: All right, Brooke. So Rosie O`Donnell`s brand-new variety show, far from being a Cadillac.

ANDERSON: Yes, unfortunately, A.J., it was arrested down, broken down, clunker, a Hugo, remember that car?

HAMMER: I remember the Hugo Turbo.

"Rosie Live," which just aired, was a total flop. So what really happened here and is this the end of the line of Rosie`s TV career?

Tonight, Rosie speaking out about why "Rosie Live" was more like "Rosie Dead on Arrival." That is coming up.

ANDERSON: OK. So we`ve got Brangelina, Tomkat. Now we may have Mad-Rod.

Madonna and New York Yankee star Alex Rodriguez seen in the same Mexican city. Is this their official big coming out and if they really are dating, what could they possibly have in common? Straight ahead.

HAMMER: Also, Randy Jackson speaks out about how his fellow "American Idol" judge, Paula Abdul, is doing after that fan killed herself in front of Paula`s house. That is coming up next on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer.

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson with some more stories making news right now.

Tonight, Heidi Klum is speaking out to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT about whether her hit show "Project Runway" will ever come back to TV. There`s a nasty battle going on right now between NBC which airs the show on its Bravo Channel and Lifetime which is where the show was supposed to jump to.

Everybody is suing one another which has left "Runway" in limbo. So when I spoke with Heidi, I asked her will her show come back?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Heidi, are you concerned that "Project Runway" won`t come back? How serious is this? We all want to know. We can`t wait to see it.

HEIDI KLUM, HOST, "PROJECT RUNWAY": I`m not concerned at all. I mean I know that, you know, people are fighting over the show right now. It is a great show but it really is a matter of who is going to air it now, I think is the problem right now.

But we definitely will air so all the fans out there, I don`t think you have to worry. I`m going to put my foot down.

No, it definitely, it definitely will air. We`ve actually filmed already the sixth season. And it`s a fantastic show with amazing designers. We had great judges on and it definitely with air. I think it will be in the beginning of the year it will start.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Great news for all the fans out there. And multi-tasker Heidi always keeps busy. You can catch her in the "Victoria Secret Fashion Show" airing Wednesday night on CBS.

HAMMER: Randy Jackson is speaking out about how his fellow "American Idol" judge Paula Abdul is doing after an obsessed fan apparently committed suicide just outside of Paula`s Los Angeles home.

The 30-year-old woman actually tried out for "Idol" and was solidly rejected by all of the judges. She was found dead inside her car last month of an apparent drug overdose.

On "The View" Monday, Randy opened up about what Abdul is going through.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RANDY JACKSON, JUDGE, "AMERICAN IDOL": She`s doing pretty well considering, you know, everything. I mean we were all pretty shaken up about it, because you know you never want this to happen to anyone, let alone a fan of the show, somebody that`s tried out and loved it.

And, you know, I guess she`d been having some problems a while ago with this. And you know, we thought it had all gone away. But she`s going to be on the show, I think, in a week or so. So she`ll probably tell you guys in.

SHERRI SHEPHERD, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": Can you tell her -- give her our love, please.

JACKSON: Oh, definitely, 100 percent. 100 percent, 100 percent.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: By the way, the eighth season of "American Idol" premiers on January 13th.

ANDERSON: OK. Moving on, A.J., boy, in terms of ratings, Rosie O`Donnell`s new show was a big disappointment.

HAMMER: Yes, you know, Brooke, I wanted to like it. I hoped it would do well but it just didn`t cut it. And the ratings were just miserable.

ANDERSON: So what happened? Why was "Rosie Live" such a flop? Will this be the last time we see Rosie on TV?

Tonight, Rosie is speaking out, coming up.

HAMMER: Well, Brooke, it looks like Mad-Rod will never get the chance to be on the Rosie variety show. Yes, I`m getting used to saying Mad-Rod. A- Rod and Madonna. Have Alex Rodriguez and Madonna finally come out as a couple? And if they`re dating, why on earth are they? What could they have in common? That`s on the way.

ANDERSON: Not sure if you`ve noticed, but "30 Rock" and Sarah Palin impersonator Tina Fey has a scar on her face. And for the first time she`s revealing the scary story of how she got it. Coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER (voice over): Now on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Rosie bombs. Her variety show tanks in the ratings but is this the end of Rosie on TV?

Plus searching for Oprah`s replacement. Tonight, why the search is on to replace the queen of daytime talk shows.

Madonna and A-Rod everywhere. Madonna and Alex Rodriguez spotted out and about. But are they really a couple and if so, what on earth could they possibly have in common?

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

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It`s 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer broadcasting tonight and every night from New York City.

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson coming to you tonight from Hollywood.

HAMMER: Well, tonight, from Oprah to Rosie, there is huge news about their futures. And I got to tell you, not all of it`s good. To say Rosie O`Donnell`s new show was a flop -- well, yes, that would be a massive understatement. Her variety show totally bombed and even she says there won`t be another one.

But is this the end of the line for her TV career?

Also new right now, for the very first time, the company that distributes Oprah Winfrey`s daytime talk show is openly talking about the search for a possible replacement for Oprah.

With me tonight in New York, Ashleigh Banfield, an "In Session" anchor, and in Hollywood tonight, it`s Carlos Diaz, who`s a correspondent for "Extra."

All right, guys, let`s start off with Rosie O`Donnell. Now Rosie admirably set out on a one-woman mission to revive a 1970s style variety show that was once a TV stable. A noble mission indeed. "Rosie Live" made its big debut the night before Thanksgiving. You got to take a look at Rosie`s opening number with Liza Minnelli.

Roll this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROSIE O`DONNELL, HOST, "ROSIE LIVE": Liza, what are you doing here?

LIZA MINNELLI, SINGER: What do you mean what am I doing here? I`m here to do a big splashy opening number with you because you`re the best. And I love you.

O`DONNELL: Liza Minnelli, this is too good to be true.

(MUSIC)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: You know, I wanted the thing to do well for her. But I`m thinking maybe the show was just a little too `70s for, you know, a 2008 audience.

Carlos, a big part of why this thing tanked?

DIAZ: Tanked? Come on, dude, you`re being so mean to Rosie. This -- I was so rooting for this thing to do well because I love Rosie in this kind of format where she`s fun and she`s having a good time and it`s the nice Rosie that we grew to love on "The Rosie O`Donnell Show."

I just think that maybe the audiences were kind of like shocked to see that Rosie again after so many years or so many months of being on "The View" and being so controversial.

HAMMER: Yes, but Carlos, it did tank. I mean let`s be honest about it. The ratings were terrible.

DIAZ: According to you.

HAMMER: Relative speaking. And I have.

DIAZ: You and your negativity.

HAMMER: It`s not negative. It`s the facts, man. Hey, look, "Night Rider" did better, OK? That`s what I`m talking about.

DIAZ: That`s true.

HAMMER: All right.

DIAZ: That`s true. That`s true.

HAMMER: All right. Well, whatever the deal here, "Rosie Live," you know, got the bad numbers, got critics almost universally slamming this thing, despite everybody from, you know, big stars, Alec Baldwin, Clay Aiken, singer, Neil, all appearing. There were even gifts for the audience like the "Rosie Show" of old.

And we even got a little strip tease by Jane Krakowski of "30 Rock." I want to play you a little clip right now and I want you to watch the backdrop carefully. Roll that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: All right, so the whole skit, a big commercial for the White Castle.

Ashleigh, another stellar example of why this thing didn`t work?

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, ANCHOR, IN SESSION: No, I don`t think so. Look, everything`s a commercial these days. Look at Oprah`s "Favorite Things," it`s one of the most popular Oprah episodes and they give away stuff and they talk all about the products.

I don`t think that`s why. I actually think the reason it tanked is because it was an unusual combination. If it was supposed to be a throwback to the `70s, it should have gone more that way. If it was supposed to move the variety show forward, it should have gone more towards Ja Rule and maybe combine a little appearance of (INAUDIBLE) Burnett.

There may have just been a combination problem. But honestly, I`m a huge Rosie O`Donnell fan. I don`t think -- I`m going to be the opposite of Carlos. I don`t think this is her venue. I think she`s good when she can swear and be nasty on cable.

HAMMER: You know, if the show had done well, there were plans for more of these shows. Now Rosie even acknowledged herself on her blog, all bets are off for doing this kind of variety show.

And Carlos, let me be clear. I wanted to see this thing work so what did happen here?

DIAZ: Sure.

HAMMER: Can we blame it on the show, or back to what you were saying earlier, do you think a lot of it has to do with the fact that, you know, Rosie now is really known as being so controversial off cam?

DIAZ: Yes. And Ashleigh makes a good point. I mean, she is known for controversy, and maybe that is her strong suit. But we forget that she did have a string of years on "The Rosie O`Donnell Show" where she was the queen of nice.

And so now she comes back and she`s really nice, you know, the day before Thanksgiving, a time when, you know, families are getting work, it should work. It didn`t work. And maybe it`s because we`re used to her going up against Trump and going up against Hasselbeck, and we wanted more of that.

HAMMER: Yes, because all of her -- her reputation, as far I`m concerned, changed after the daily "Rosie O`Donnell Show" went off the air. So moving it forward, Ashleigh Banfield, what do you think? You know, with this behind her now, is this the end of the line for Rosie`s TV career.

BANFIELD: No.

HAMMER: . or do you think she can do something else?

BANFIELD: Oh, yes. Look, that woman is absolutely filled with talent, no matter what. I think maybe the next step is HBO. I think she could do an incredible comedy tour, a comedy show. And I honestly do think she does belong on cable where she can be herself, open up, and like I said, get a little dirty because she is really very, very funny.

HAMMER: Carlos, what do you think? I mean the show -- you know, they certainly had high hopes for it doing well and it wasn`t wanting for a promotion.

DIAZ: Yes, they promoted it and I was, you know, rooting for it to do well. But maybe you made the best point of all. It`s 2008, and maybe the 1970s variety show is just out of style.

HAMMER: So if she does have a career, probably not with this kind of a thing and she said she`s not even going to do this anymore. So let`s move on to another story that is new right now -- the search for Oprah`s replacement.

In a rather official way here, for the first time, CBS which distributes "The Oprah Winfrey Show," says it is not taking any chances should Oprah end up leaving broadcast TV for her own cable network in about three years from now and they are looking for a replacement right now. In fact, as we speak.

Carlos, back to you. Are you surprised that CBS is now openly admitting that it is searching for the new Oprah or somebody to replace her even though.

DIAZ: Well.

HAMMER: . Oprah hasn`t confirmed anything about the future?

DIAZ: I`d like to put in for the new Oprah -- Ashleigh Banfield, for the new Oprah.

(CROSSTALK)

BANFIELD: I`m busy.

DIAZ: Thank you. OK, well, fine, be that way. You`re difficult. But listen, here`s the thing. You know, when you have -- in a sports analogy, when you have a veteran on a sports team and they`re talking about becoming a free agent, then you got to start talking about drafting some new young talent before that person leaves.

And that`s what`s -- what`s going on right now. All they`re saying is, listen, if you`re going to leave, we got to find somebody new, and I applaud them for having the onions to do so.

HAMMER: Yes, and they`re being very candid about it now. I want to show you exactly what the president of CBS television distribution said in a brand-new interview about the possibility of Oprah leaving.

Quote, "If that day comes, it will be a very sad day for women across America and a sad day for us as a syndicator. Whether Oprah stayed or doesn`t, it`s our obligation to identify people who identify with the viewer."

Makes sense to me. So what do you think, Ashleigh? Does CBS have something big up its sleeves here? Are they playing some kind of game of chicken or is it business as usual?

BANFIELD: I think they`re trying to put something big up their sleeves. Listen, look back at 1998 when "Seinfeld" went off the year, it was about a 14 or 15 percent revenue loss until the next year. That little vacuum, 9 o`clock, "Seinfeld," it killed NBC on Thursday night.

When you have a powerhouse show like Oprah is, you do not want to be left with a vacuum so you work on things three years in advance.

HAMMER: Yes.

BANFIELD: And you try to get something good to sneak up on viewers rather than slam it in their face and say, like this now, please.

HAMMER: Yes, it seems to make a lot of sense. I mean we can think back now, it`s been a couple of years since they`ve talked about replacing Jay Leno, who`s going to be going off the air.

All right. Good points. Ashleigh Banfield, Carlos Diaz, I always appreciate the two of you being here.

BANFIELD: Thanks, A.J.

DIAZ: Thanks, A.J.

HAMMER: Well, you can give us a buzz at "Showbiz on Call" so you can let us know what you think about Rosie, Oprah, Brooke Anderson or anything else that`s on your mind.

ANDERSON: That`s right. The "Showbiz on Call" phone lines are open 24/7. Give us a ring, 1-888-SBT-BUZZ, 1-888-728-2899. Leave a message. We will play some of your calls right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT and your calls to "Showbiz on Call" are also now online on our home page. Check them out at CNN.com/showbiztonight.

HAMMER: Well, Brooke, looked like quite a Thanksgiving weekend for Madonna.

ANDERSON: That`s right. And apparently, A.J., she may have spent a lot of it with A-Rod. Those two were reportedly spotted everywhere. But are they really a couple? And if so, I`ve got to ask, what could they possibly have in common? That`s coming up.

HAMMER: Also, Britney Spears` search for a new husband. Yes, it`s true. Britney says she`s actually in the market for husband number three. But what kind of guy should she go for this time around? And which guys should she definitely steer clear of? That is still to come.

ANDERSON: And Tina Fey has been really secretive about one part of her life -- where she got the scar on the left side of her face. But tonight, we are learning the horrifying story behind that scar and how she got it when she was just 5 years old. Stay with us. That`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: And now the SHOWBIZ news ticker, more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news right now.

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ANDERSON: Move over, Brangelina. It`s Mad-Rod, the new super couple, Madonna and Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez b reportedly seen from Miami to Mexico City.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood.

Tonight, Mad-Rod sightings from Miami to Mexico City, just one of the stories that are new right now. Brand-new tonight, what were Madonna and A-Rod doing in Mexico City at the same time just days after being in Miami at the same time, including A-Rod being seen front and center at her concert?

Also new tonight, Britney Spears, fresh on the comeback trail, says she wants to get married again. And her mission is to find a man who can be a father figure for her two young boys.

And file this one under, oh, that was a close one? Whitney Houston is denying reports she is getting back together with ex-hubby Bobby Brown, after reports the two were seen canoodling in Georgia.

Joining me tonight in New York, Cooper Lawrence, who`s a celebrity and fame expert and syndicated radio host, and from Washington, Amy Argetsinger, who`s a reliable source columnist for the "Washington Post."

Amy, Cooper, great to see you both. And I want to begin with Mad-Rod. There has been rampant speculation about them ever since A-Rod`s divorce and now Madonna`s divorce. Let`s break out the SHOWBIZ news line for this one, shall we?

Madonna and Alex Rodriguez were in Miami for Thanksgiving, Alex at her concert. Then on Sunday, both were in Mexico City at the same time, Madonna there to perform as part of her "Sticky and Sweet" tour, while A- Rod was teaching kids how to play ball at a new sports center.

Amy, do you see this kind of as their unofficial coming out?

AMY ARGETSINGER, RELIABLE SOURCE COLUMNIST, WASHINGTON POST: Well, you know, I think Brad and Angelina taught us that there is a way for a controversial couple to slowly introduce themselves as a public couple once their separations from their former spouses are complete.

Yes, I mean the question is, you know, not just what were they doing in Mexico City at the same time but were we supposed to know that they were in Mexico City at the same time, or are they hoping to introduce us to the idea of them as a public couple slowly?

ANDERSON: Right. Was that their plan all along? And you know, while in Miami, A-Rod reportedly handed Madonna a bottle of water during her concert.

Cooper, obviously, all eyes have been on Madonna. Do you think this was her way of confirming that maybe, yes, the two are a couple?

LAWRENCE: Oh well, Brooke, you know as well I do Madonna does not do anything by accident. Everything she does is very specific and very calculated and there`s no mistakes with her.

So, yes, I think she has the competition now of Britney being out there and Brangelina and she`s not the only star out there. So she has to do stuff to get us to talk about her. And look, here we are.

ANDERSON: Well, if they are truly a couple, Amy, what do you think? Could they be the top contenders maybe for the most unexpected couple of the year?

ARGETSINGER: I don`t think so. I mean what`s unexpected about this? Madonna always is with the hot guy of the moment. She likes flawless physical specimens. We know that A-Rod, you know, and his -- from his previous relationship, he likes attractive blonds who are a little bit fiery.

I don`t see anything unusual about this relationship at all.

ANDERSON: They do have a lot in common also, fame and fortune, those are similarities as well.

I want to move now to Britney Spears. Her highly anticipated album "Circus" drops Tuesday. Her MTV documentary made its debut over the weekend and in a new interview with "Glamour" magazine, the very divorced Britney reveals her five-year marriage plans, saying, quote, "In five years, I would like to be marries and have a father figure for my kids, someone who is a provider and can be really stable. It`s hard doing it on your own."

We all know really what a disaster her marriage to Kevin Federline was.

Cooper, you`re the relationship expert here. You`ve heard the qualities Britney is looking for. Is she on the right track?

LAWRENCE: This is a big step for her because she says in the documentary that she has no passion in her life which explains why she dates and marries so impulsively. So the fact that she`s thinking five years in advance is a big step for her because usually she barely thinks five minutes in advance, right?

ANDERSON: That`s right.

Amy, does her five-year plan sound right to you, if she can stick to it?

ARGETSINGER: I don`t know. I mean it`s -- it`s actually not an unusual sentiment to hear from any woman in her mid-20s, whether that`s, you know, something that`s actually going to happen for her or not.

What may be unrealistic and maybe unwise is to be talking about this with - - so publicly right now. I mean it seems like her meltdown last year -- you had to wonder if her huge fame as such a young person maybe was a bit of a factor. And I remember thinking at the time, I hope she just hides for a while and.

ANDERSON: Right.

ARGETSINGER: Yes. Just has some private time

(CROSSTALK)

ANDERSON: Yes, we do have to remember she is very, very young.

OK. Also new right now, you two, reports that Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown are rekindling their romance. It all started when the two were reportedly spotted in Georgia looking a little bit romantic.

Well, Whitney`s publicist tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, quote, "Rumors suggesting Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown are a complete fabrication. "

Cooper, their train wreck marriage lasted 14 years. What do you think? Is that a good thing that it`s a fabrication?

LAWRENCE: Yes. I mean she`s trying to distance herself from that whole image and that whole relationship. They are like oil and water. They were terrible together. It was bad for her career. It was bad for her image.

So anything linking the two of them, any good publicist would immediately say, no, no, no, no, no. Whitney is doing just fine and it has nothing to do with that guy.

ANDERSON: Yes, nipping that in the bud very, very quickly.

We will leave it there for now. Cooper Lawrence, Amy Argetsinger, thank you both.

ARGETSINGER: Thanks, Brooke.

ANDERSON: Good to see you.

HAMMER: All right. Brooke, we`re all still recovering from the holiday weekend. I can tell you besides eating turkey and holiday shopping, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT viewers were also definitely thinking about Britney Spears over Thanksgiving.

ANDERSON: They were, A.J. Our "Showbiz on Call" phone lines, ringing off the hook. I think we even got more calls than that butterball turkey help line.

HAMMER: Yes.

ANDERSON: Britney from Alabama, can`t wait for Britney Spears` big comeback.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

BRITNEY, CALLER FROM ALABAMA: I`m glad she`s finally making a positive comeback. I know her last album did really, really well. I cannot wait for her -- for this album to come out and actually to see her actually do something. I`m really excited.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

HAMMER: Well, thank you, Britney.

Now Dillon from North Carolina doesn`t think Britney Spears will ever be as big as she was.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

DILLON, CALLER FROM NORTH CAROLINA: I don`t think Britney will ever be that big of a star again. She`s done too much to her reputation and I don`t think anybody can really go back to the way she used to be.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Thank you for your thoughts, Dillon.

And remember, you, too, can call us at "Showbiz on Call," let us know what you think about this or anything else that is on your mind. The "Showbiz on Call" phone lines, always open.

HAMMER: Here`s the number. 1-888-SBT-BUZZ, 1-888-728-2899. Leave us a voice mail. We`ll play your calls right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. And your calls to "Showbiz on Call," now also online right there on our home page, CNN.com/showbiztonight.

We`ve also been asking you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." It is this. Britney Spears -- has she gotten her act together? What do you think? Let us know at CNN.com/showbiztonight. You can also e- mail us at showbiztonight@CNN.com.

ANDERSON: OK. Switching gears now. Tina Fey has been really secretive about one part of her life, where she got that scar on the left side of her face. But tonight we are learning the horrifying story behind that scar and how she got it when she was just 5 years old. That is next on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

And hey, be sure to check out the free, ever-changing SHOWBIZ TONIGHT podcast. You can find it on our Web site, CNN.com/showbiztonight, or simply download it on iTunes. Type SHOWBIZ TONIGHT in the search box.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is coming back right after this. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Well, tonight, we are finally learning the horrifying story behind Tina Fey`s scar.

In an interview with "Vanity Fair," Fey`s husband, Jeff Richmond, reveals what happened. He says that when Tina was just 5 years old, a stranger cut her face when she was in the front yard of her house.

Now Fey says she doesn`t talk about the incident because it feels like she`s exploiting and glorifying it. But she says when something comes out of nowhere like that, it is horrifying.

And Fey says her therapist warns her that it may all come back when Fey`s daughter is the age she was when she got attacked. Fey says she sort of forgot about the scar while she was growing up until she was on camera.

For more of Tina Fey, pick up a copy of "Vanity Fair" on newsstands December 9th.

ANDERSON: Heidi Klum is speaking out to me about becoming a U.S. citizen. Heidi`s husband, Seal, told us right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that Heidi got her citizenship this year so that she could vote for Barack Obama.

And today I asked Heidi why that was important to her.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KLUM: Well, I`ve been living in America now since 1993, and I love this country. I think it`s a fantastic country. And you know, I`ve been, you know, paying the taxes and I`ve been working. And I don`t know. I thought it`s about time for me, you know, to become an American, and our three children are all born in this country.

And I really wanted to vote. I saw, you know, when people say every vote counts, and I always felt like, you know, I`ve been living here, you know, for such a long time. I want to vote, too. So I really made a point, and it was on the top of my list.

And I hurried up that I, you know, got my American citizenship just in time, so I got to vote.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Now be sure to catch Heidi Klum in this year`s "Victoria`s Secret Fashion Show." It airs Wednesday on CBS.

HAMMER: Well, last week we asked you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." It was this, Britney Spears` comeback. Will she be bigger than ever?

Look at this, not too optimistic. 34 percent of you say yes, 66 percent of you say no.

Let me read a few of the e-mails we got. One from Misha in Florida who writes, "Britney Spears needs something fresh. She definitely needs a new creative director and some new material."

I got to ream this one from James in Tennessee. He writes, "If Britney`s comeback fails, maybe she can slop-kiss Madonna on the mouth onstage again, and take off her undies and run around in public. That`ll help her for sure."

And we thank you very much for your e-mails. And we thank you for watching SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Don`t forget, you can always catch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on the 11s -- 11:00 p.m. Eastern, 11:00 p.m. Pacific and in the morning 11:00 a.m. Eastern.

The latest from "CNN HEADLINE NEWS" is coming up next.

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