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Showbiz Tonight

Showbiz Tonight for August 22, 2005, CNNHN

Aired August 22, 2005 - 19:00   ET


KARYN BRYANT, CO-HOST: I`m Karyn Bryant.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: And I`m Brooke Anderson. TV`s only live entertainment news show starts right now.


ANDERSON (voice-over): On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, lost at sea? Tonight, a puzzling Olivia Newton-John mystery. Missing: her boyfriend. What happened? What`s being done to find him? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates and has the latest reaction from the singer.

BRYANT (voice-over): Also, a reality star`s shocking secret struggle. Tonight, Victoria Gotti goes public and tells the world. The "Growing up Gotti" star joins us live and shares her story of survival.

ANDERSON: And movie theater madness. High prices, screaming kids, and that inconsiderate cell phone guy. People are fed up with going to the movies. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT asks you what can be done? It`s our special series.

KATEY SAGAL, ACTRESS: I`m Katey Sagal. If it happened today it`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


BRYANT: Hello. I`m Karyn Bryant here in New York.

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson live in Hollywood. A.J. Hammer is off this week, a week that`s beginning with two big stories that`s all the talk of showbiz.

BRYANT: And both coming to light today. Tonight, it is officially over. Jennifer Aniston Pitt is now Jennifer Aniston. We will get to the surprising legal outcome in just a moment.

ANDERSON: But first tonight, a puzzling mystery that`s left Olivia Newton-John heartbroken. Her longtime boyfriend has been missing for almost two months, and authorities are asking for help.

BRYANT: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has been working the story all day, hoping for leads and looking for clues in a case that to many, just don`t make sense. We`re going to go straight to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas. She`s live in Hollywood with the latest.

Hey, Sibila.


Well, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has been on the scene all day. We`ve been talking to authorities, to people close to incident and to Olivia Newton- John`s folks, trying to make sense out of the disappearance of Newton- John`s boyfriend, a mystery that`s left authorities little to go on.


VARGAS (voice-over): Olivia Newton-John became a household name in the late `70s after her appearance as Sandy opposite John Travolta in the hit movie "Grease."

Now there`s hope her name will help bring her boyfriend back safely. The singer`s boyfriend of nine years, 48-year-old Patrick Kim McDermott, has been missing since July 1.

McDermott told friends that he was going on an overnight fishing this 80-foot boat called Freedom in San Pedro, California, on June 30. He has not been seen or heard from since the boat returned the next day.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT went straight to Scott Epperson of the U.S. Coast Guard for the very latest.

SCOTT EPPERSON, U.S. COAST GUARD: On the 6th of July, the family came to authorities, reporting Mr. McDermott as missing. He had failed to show up for a family event. I`m not sure exactly what that family event was, but he didn`t show up for it, which means it`s suspicious. So at that point, he was determined -- you know, brought to our attention that he was missing and the investigation was started.

VARGAS: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has learned that McDermott was accounted for during the boat`s overnight roll call. It was a 22-hour excursion that left at 10 p.m. and returned at 8 the next night. There were only 24 people aboard the boat.

And according to one insider, some passengers interviewed by authorities say they saw McDermott leave the vessel when it returned to the marina July 1. But his backpack and personal belongings were left aboard the Freedom, and his car, a white Chevy Chevette, was found by his family members in this parking lot at the marina. The car has now been impounded.

Just moments ago, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT spoke with Frank Liversedge. For 45 years, he`s managed the marine where McDermott went missing.

FRANK LIVERSEDGE, MANAGER, 22ND STREET SPORTFISHING: He gave no one on the boat any reason to recognize him. He did nothing wrong. He didn`t get drunk. He didn`t yell, scream or give anybody a bad time. And just didn`t surface until about 10 days after the incident or supposed incident or whatever it was. No one had any reason on the crew to remember it.

VARGAS: McDermott, a Van Nuys cameraman, and Newton-John met on a commercial set in 1996. His disappearance is just another heartache in a long history of struggle for Olivia Newton-John.

In 1983 the singer was stalked by a killer and had to return to Australia until his arrest. In the early 90s, the business that she held true to her heart failed, going bankrupt. And in 1992 her father passed away from cancer. At the same time, another agony: she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Olivia Newton-John told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, in a statement, quote, "For those of us who know and love him, it has truly been a heart breaking experience, and we have chosen to deal with it privately. I have offered my full cooperation to the authorities, who are continuing to investigate the circumstances of his disappearance and we are hopeful that eventually we will find some answers."

We asked the U.S. Coast Guard if there was any reason to believe foul play took place.

EPPERSON: Right now, we`re still treating it as a missing person`s case. From the start, investigation has been for a missing person, along those lines. Through interviews and stuff, all the interviews up to this point, it remains a missing persons case. And until interviews lead us in another direction, we`re still treating it as that.


VARGAS: Now, Karyn, just moments ago, the Coast Guard had a press conference asking anyone with any information about the case to contact them immediately, but many are asking why now. McDermott disappeared almost two months ago, and it`s only now that it`s getting attention. Olivia Newton-John has told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that she waited to make any public statements until now out of respect for his family. Experts tell us that with missing persons cases, the more that time elapses, the colder the case becomes. Still, a lot of unanswered questions out there, and we`ll be sure to keep you updated from here.

Back to you Karyn.

BRYANT: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas live in Hollywood.

Well, tonight, new developments in the Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston breakup. Their divorce is final, sort of. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT obtained these papers today.

A retired private California judge signed the couple`s divorce papers this past Friday, although according to state law, the divorce won`t be final until October, the second, that is.

Now, Brad and Jen separated in January after four and a half years of marriage. Aniston filed for divorce in March, citing irreconcilable differences. In these new court papers, she takes back her formal maiden name, Jennifer Joanna Aniston.

ANDERSON: So why did Brad and Jen pick out a private judge to handle their divorce, and can anyone do that? Well, that`s the question in tonight`s "Legal Lowdown," and joining us live from Burbank, California, is "Celebrity Justice`s" Harvey Levin, attorney as well.

Harvey, thank you so much for being here. We appreciate it.


ANDERSON: Now first, explain the divorce proceedings. Not a quick and easy process, is it? This was signed Friday, but it`s not final until October 2. Why the time lapse? What can happen?

LEVIN: Nothing can happen. This is a done deal. It was filed on Friday, signed by the judge. The only reason there is a delay is because, by California law, you have to wait six months from the time that you serve divorce papers on your spouse. And that would be the October 2 date. So this is just a matter of waiting out that six months.

ANDERSON: So the divorce is final. They hired a private judge, strictly to ensure more privacy, to keep the details confidential in a way, or are their other incentives, as well?

LEVIN: There are lots of incentives. The justice system in California and many states is really cumbersome and expensive. And what happens is when you hire a private judge, they follow the same rules, basically, but you can short circuit the process. You don`t have to wait for all of the other cases on the docket. You don`t have to go through all of the formalities of motions. If both parties agree, they can make it a lot faster, a lot less contentious.

And a lot of people, frankly, not just celebrities but a lot of people are starting to do this.

ANDERSON: So not just the state of California but other states, for that matter?

LEVIN: It`s happening all over the place. In fact, Brooke, if you watch court shows, of which I know a little bit about, a lot of the court shows are basically the same kind of thing. They`re binding arbitration, where parties basically file in small claims court. But then they give up their right to go before a real judge to appear on television and have their cases handled, essentially, by the same kind of arbitrator that handled the divorce in the Brad and Jen case.

So the -- even though it`s television, it`s the same kind of template.

ANDERSON: And you say more and more people are doing this, more and more celebrities, in fact?

LEVIN: Yes. In fact, Michael Jackson did that, if you remember, in the dispute that he had with Debbie Rowe. That was being handled by a private judge, as well.

You know, part of it, too, is that they don`t want to deal with having to go into a public courthouse, where the cameras are trained on them and people are stampeding down the hallways. You can do a lot of this in private offices where nobody has access. So it`s just a quicker, neater way of doing it, especially when you`re a celebrity.

ANDERSON: Absolutely. Very understandable. OK, Harvey, thank you so much for being here and sharing your insight. We appreciate it.

LEVIN: See you.

ANDERSON: "Celebrity Justice`s" Harvey Levin.

BRYANT: And tonight, Matthew Fox says he doesn`t like the way his show "Lost" is being treated by ABC. Fox, who plays Jack on the hit show, tells "Details" magazine about why his show, "Lost," is desperate for attention.

He says quote, "The difference between how ABC has treated `Lost` and how they treated `Desperate Housewives` has been night and day. They" -- the cast of "Lost" -- "feel like we`re the bastard stepchild of two huge hits on ABC this year," end quote.

And he says that he told his cast members to keep their heads down, that it will all work out in the end. And Fox also said that he took a massive pay cut too join "Lost." And the ladies from "Desperate Housewives," seem to get, quote, "crazy gifts and bonuses." Now to that, Fox says, quote, "the squeaky wheel gets the grease." And I think he kind of has a point here.

The new issue of "Details" magazine, featuring Matthew Fox -- is on the cover, and it`s on newsstands tomorrow.

ANDERSON: All right. Coming up, Victoria Gotti kept a startling secret from the media and even her family. Now she`s going public. Hear her story when the star of "Growing up Gotti" joins us live.

BRYANT: Also, celebrities on the anti-warpath. But some say they should just butt out. It`s the battle about going to battle, a heated "SHOWBIZ Showdown": should celebrities get involved? That`s next.

ANDERSON: And loud people, high ticket prices, and less than stellar movies. It`s movie theater madness. Our special series on why you are so furious and what can be done about it, still to come.

BRYANT: Put on your thinking cap. It is time for tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz." The movie "Starship Troopers" was based on the novel by which highly regarded sci-fi author? Was it Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, or Arthur C. Clarke? We`ll be right back with the answer.


BRYANT: Once again tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz." The movie "Starship Troopers" was based on the novel by which highly regarded sci-fi author? Was it Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, or Arthur C. Clarke? And the answer is A, Robert Heinlein.

ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson, live in Hollywood.

The stars came out Saturday for a final good-bye to Hunter S. Thompson. The ashes of the late journalist, often credited with starting gonzo journalism, where the writer is an important part of the story, were blasted out of a tower over his home in Colorado. Bill Murray, Lyle Lovett, and Johnny Depp were among the stars who showed up to say good-bye.

Thompson shot himself to death in February at the age of 67. He was reportedly upset over his declining health.

BRYANT: Tonight, the list of stars supporting Cindy Sheehan`s anti- war effort is growing.




BRYANT: Folk-music legend Joan Baez, who opposed the Vietnam War, played a free concert for about 500 people outside of President Bush`s ranch in Crawford, Texas, last night. Baez says she is fully behind Sheehan`s message.


JOAN BAEZ, MUSICIAN: Things that Cindy and the women who are -- have impeccable credentials. No matter how hard people try to slander and assassinate their personalities, it`s impeccable credentials. I think that they simply can`t be not listened to.


BRYANT: Cindy Sheehan had been outside the ranch since August 6, protesting the war in Iraq. Her son, an Army specialist, was killed there last year. She left last week to be with her mother, who suffered a stroke, but Sheehan expects to return this week.

Well, as more celebrities join Cindy Sheehan`s antiwar movement, some say stars have no place in this and other antiwar causes and they should just butt out. And that is the topic of tonight`s "SHOWBIZ Showdown."

Sounding off on this from Chicago is Nancy Skinner. She is a radio host for 1310 A.M. WDTW, Detroit. And live from Washington -- there she is -- Washington, D.C., nationally syndicated radio talk show host for "Cullum and Silk," Blanquita Cullum.

Good to see you ladies. Now here`s the thing. We just showed a clip, Joan Baez out there. She`s singing. It`s all of a sudden 1969 again. She`s out there, getting folksy, protesting the war.

Blanquita, what did your callers say to this today? Are they over it? Are they sick of it? Do they want her to just pack it up and just go home?

BLANQUITA CULLUM, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, they`re saying why aren`t showing the other side of it? Why aren`t they showing he even went out there to try to meet with Cindy Sheehan? Why don`t show the prayer vigil that went with all the families who still have sons and daughters in Iraq? And veterans who went to support the president, support the position?

And frankly, you`re right. It`s been since 1969 that we`ve seen Joan Baez. Maybe someone more contemporary would have had a little bit more effect. But frankly, the other side was there, and their side`s not being shown at all.

BRYANT: Nancy, what do you make of that? Because you do see people who are very antiwar. How come we don`t see any people gung ho, let`s go. Bomb them, get out there? You don`t ever see celebrities really coming forward for the war.

NANCY SKINNER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I think that there`s not a lot of celebrities that are going to say, "Let`s bomb them. Let`s do it."

But you know, in terms of the other side of the debate, we see constantly in news reports the pro-war folks coming down by the ranch, and they`re on their motorcycles with their flags. And they run over the crosses with the names of the dead soldiers on them. That was a nice touch by people who claim to be so patriotic.

But listen, Joan Baez, anyone, celebrities are people, too. Right? And they`re Americans, more importantly. And they have the right and the obligation to get out there and voice their concerns. Only 36 percent of Americans agree with what`s going on and how the president is handling this war in Iraq right now. So it`s not surprising that lots of people, celebrities and regular people are out there, the Cindy Sheehans of the world, the Joan Baez. God bless them for being American and speaking out.

BRYANT: Now Blanquita, you think celebrities should just basically stay out of it? Yes?

CULLUM: I think celebrities need to be very careful when they`re taking positions as if they really understand what`s going on in the war. You have a lot of celebrities who have been extremely careless. You`ve had the Alec Baldwins. You`ve had the Susan Sarandons. You`ve had the Maggie Gyllenhaals. You`ve had a lot of celebrities who have been outrageous about the war. The fact of the matter is, no one likes war.

We are still in the war. We still have young men and women who are daily putting their lives on the line. And frankly, that message is getting across to the Middle East, where our young men and women have their lives on the line.

I think frankly, no we`re not really showing a lot of the families who have had their loved ones pay the ultimate price. I think that there are a lot of members of the military who were there, who served in Iraq, who went to Crawford, Texas. They weren`t just running over crosses. They were out there with a very good reason and a really good right to speak, because they have been there, and their families have suffered a lot of cost but believe in the war.

BRYANT: OK. Now, we`re talking about celebrities here and getting involved in the cause. And Nancy, I do agree to a certain extent, you know, celebrities have a right. They are people, too. I want to play a little sound bite that we got from Josh Lucas the other day. CNN`s cameras were out at a Cindy Sheehan vigil, and if we could just take a look at this for a second here.


JOSH LUCAS, ACTOR: And this woman, Cindy Sheehan, has become basically the Rosa Parks of the antiwar movement in a sense. She has reignited and put it out there in a way that I think, hopefully, there will be a profound build in terms of how many people no longer support this war.


BRYANT: Now Nancy, I`ve got to say that gets me a little bit rankled there, to hear him compare her with Rosa Parks. Now this is -- he`s got a right, but Nancy, speak to this. What about Josh`s statement here, a little bit over the top?

SKINNER: Well, a lot of people have compared her to Rosa Parks. She`s denied it. She`s said, "It`s not about me. It`s about this war." But in fact, she has become a pivotal figure here. And what she`s done is the whole world is following Cindy Sheehan.

The president expected five weeks of glorious vacation. And all of a sudden now, this antiwar movement is changing the entire dynamic...

CULLUM: Oh, please.

SKINNER: ... of foreign policy. So she`s significant.

But you know what? What gets me about celebrities...

BRYANT: Quick.

SKINNER: ... and their targets, when it`s Mel Gibson or Arnold Schwarzenegger or Ronald Reagan, they`re great. We elect them to high office, and we say they can say whatever they want. When it`s a liberal celebrity they should butt out. It`s a double standard.


BRYANT: Ladies, we`re going have to end it. We are going to have to end it, Blanquita. Sorry to say. Thank you, Nancy Skinner and Blanquita Cullum.

Well, obviously, these are two feisty women, and we should tune into their radio stations. And you should also dial in and let us know what you think. It`s our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Antiwar protests: should celebrities get involved? You can vote at You can also send us e-mail. Our address is, and we will read some of your thoughts later in the show.

ANDERSON: Well, it`s time to get your laugh on. In "Laughter Dark," as we do every night, we bring you the late-night laughs you might have missed. On "The Late, Late Show" with Craig Ferguson, Craig presented us with the Donald Rumsfeld Week in Review, a look at our secretary of defense`s work week. And, as Craig noted, Rumsfeld seems to be cracking under all the stress.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take you back to your opening statement.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Secretary Rumsfeld a story yesterday had an article about asking for more troops...



BRYANT: A little special origami. There was a little bird and then some special origami.

ANDERSON: Absolutely.

BRYANT: Well, we had a Rolling Stones scare. We`ll tell you what happened at the kickoff concert of the Stones` Bigger Bang tour.

ANDERSON: And they`re not exactly the Emmys, but we`ve got the most outrageous, funniest moments in television. And you picked them. That`s coming up.

BRYANT: Also, what`s got you miffed about the movies. Why people are so fed up about with going to the movies. And what`s being done to make you want to go to the theater again. It`s a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT special series: "Movie Theater Madness."


BRYANT: Time now for the "SHOWBIZ Guide," where throughout the week we help you decide where to spend your dollars on movies, music, DVDs and more. Tonight, "People`s Picks and Pans," new music. And joining us live is "People" magazine`s senior editor, Julie Dam.

Now Julie, I`m a big Tom Fetty -- not easy to say. Big Tom Petty fan. Try saying that. And when I heard this new Rodney Crowel (ph) record, it sort of reminded me of Petty.

JULIE DAM, SENIOR EDITOR, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: Yes, you know, he`s really big in both pop and country circles. He`s just really highly esteemed as a song writer as well as a singer, and you can tell by, you know, the people he has on his record. Emmylou Harris...

BRYANT: That`s right.

DAM: ... has a duet with him. And a Bob Dylan song. And he`s sort of the thinking man`s country singer. So it`s our critic`s choice this week.

BRYANT: Yes, I think that might be why I like it. A little bit more thought.

Let`s move on to the Click Five. Boston boy band?

DAM: They are a boy band, but they kind of up it a notch, because they play their own music. They were trained at the Berkeley School of Music. So they`ve got their, you know...

BRYANT: Good school.

DAM: Exactly. And you`ve probably heard this song, "Just the Girl," which was actually written by the guy from Fountains of Wayne. So that`s probably why it`s sort of familiar.

BRYANT: "Stacey`s Mom" sound to it.

DAM: Exactly.

BRYANT: So it`s pretty good. And lastly, Mary Mary. This is gospel. This was cool. I didn`t even realize I was listening to gospel.

DAM: Exactly. I mean, I think the gospel diehards might be a little, like, this isn`t straight gospel because there`s, like, hip-hop sounds. It`s very R&B influenced. And they even do a little jazzed up big band number. So it`s definitely a contemporary gospel album.

BRYANT: All right. Well, very nice. Julie, it was quick, but thanks for joining us. Very informative.

And for more picks and pans, pick up a copy of "People" magazine on news stands now.

ANDERSON: The real-life secret that Victoria Gotti didn`t reveal in her reality show. She didn`t even tell her family. Tonight, she tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT live, coming up.

BRYANT: Plus, long lines, $5 bottle of water and the screaming babies. Does it all just make you want to scream? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT hears you with our special series, Movie Theater Madness.

ANDERSON: And terrific TV. The funniest, sexiest and most outrageous moments on the tube, according to you. The results of the latest polls. Find out if your favorite shows made the cut, coming up.


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

The prime suspect in last week`s rocket attack on two U.S. warship docked at a Jordanian port is now in custody. The suspect, a Syrian man, is linked to an unnamed Iraq-based terror group.

The latest deadline on Iraq`s new constitution has come and gone without a vote. The new draft constitution was reportedly finished just before the deadline, but all parties must now resolve their sticking points within the next three days.

A long-awaited apology from the Olympic Park bomber. Eric Rudolph says he`s sorry for the 1996 Olympic Park bombing. He`s been sentenced to life without parole for the attack in Atlanta that killed one woman and wounded 100 people.

And Harvard researchers say they`ve come with a new way to create stem cells without destroying human embryos. They were able to fuse stem cells to adult skin cells and reprogram them back to an embryonic state. The discovery could sidestep much of the controversy over stem-cell research.

That is the news for now. Thanks for joining us. I`m Thomas Roberts. Back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

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

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. A.J. Hammer is off tonight. You`re watching TV`s only live entertainment news show -- Karyn?

BRYANT: That`s right. And we`ve still got a lot to come this half- hour. Victoria Gotti is going to be joining us live. She, of course, is star of "Growing up Gotti" and of some very famous lineage. She`s going to talk about some things that`s been going on in her life, health-scare wise, and how she`s overcoming that.

ANDERSON: Pretty serious stuff. Thanks, Karyn.

And also, attendance is down at the box office. Number of factors could be contributing to this, whether it be crying babies, ringing cellphones, high ticket prices, high prices of concessions, endless commercials. Bottom line: People are furious. We`re going to talk to a box-office expert and figure out what`s going on and what can be done about it. That`s coming up.

BRYANT: If anything, all of that, of course, and more coming up.

But first, let`s head to Hollywood to get tonight`s "Hot Headlines." SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas joins us live.

Hey, Sibila.


Tonight, the Coast Guard is searching for singer Olivia Newton-John`s longtime boyfriend. Today, we learned that Patrick McDermott has been missing since June 30th, but he didn`t return from an overnight fishing trip off the California coast. He and Newton-John have been dating for nine years. A Coast Guard officer said McDermott`s car was found in a marina parking lot and his personal items were found on the boat.

Tonight, it`s another step towards official ending the marriage of Hollywood`s golden couple. According to court papers, a judge has signed off on Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston`s divorce, which will be official October 2nd.

And then there are reports that the case of the mysterious "Piano Man" may have been a hoax. You may remember the story of the man who was found on a beach in England back in April. He didn`t talk, but he loved the piano. He loved the piano at a hospital`s chapel.

It turns out, he`s a 20-year-old from Germany and was flown home over the weekend. The hospital isn`t giving any other details, but a British tabloid says that he was released after he said he traveled to Britain after he lost his job in Paris.

And those are tonight`s "Hot Headlines" -- Brooke?

ANDERSON: Thank you, Sibila. Sibila Vargas right here in Hollywood.

Well, we`ve been asking you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." Antiwar protests: Should celebrities get involved? Keep voting at And write us at Your e-mails are coming up at 54 past the hour.

BRYANT: Well, we`ve all been there. I was there yesterday. You`re at movie theater enjoying a good flick when someone`s cellphone rings and then the moron answers the phone. This, of course, after you`ve sat through 20 minutes of commercials, paid a small fortune to get there in the first place.

Well, all this week, we`re going to blow the lid off this "Movie Theater Madness," how it`s hurting Hollywood and most importantly how to stop it.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s David Haffenreffer is here with more.

DAVID HAFFENREFFER, CNN HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Karyn, going to the movies used to be considered a glamorous night out. But with rising ticket prices, ad-filled previews, and a room filled with less-than- considerate moviegoers, it`s turned into "Movie Theater Madness," leaving many running for the exits.


HAFFENREFFER: Moviegoers are fed up with going to the movies. In between rising ticket prices...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The price of movie theaters is actually getting ridiculous.

HAFFENREFFER: ... too many movie ads...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The most annoying things is the ads.

HAFFENREFFER: ... all the noise...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Babies talking a lot or phones ringing.

HAFFENREFFER: And generally obnoxious behavior you`d expect to see from Homer Simpson on a good day...

HOMER SIMPSON, "THE SIMPSONS": If you don`t mind, we`re trying to watch the movie...


HAFFENREFFER: It`s all making real-life moviegoers go crazy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sometimes I feel like, if I was bigger, I would just turn around and pummel them.

HAFFENREFFER: And some of them aren`t going at all anymore. A recent CNN-"USA Today"-Gallup poll found that 48 percent of adults are going to the movies less often now than they did five years ago. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT took to the streets and gave P.O.`d moviegoers a chance to get on their cinema soapboxes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When people are still having their phones on, and it starts ringing during the movie. I hate that (beep)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sometimes people are yelling and screaming in the middle the movie. And you go tell the ushers, you go tell the people, and sometimes they don`t even cooperate with you sometimes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I find that most of them, they`re only worth seeing on video, and they`re out like two weeks after they`re in the movies anyway.

HAFFENREFFER: Actually, movies tend to be out on DVD about four months after they leave theaters. That`s still two months earlier than it was 10 years ago.

And with spiffy home theater systems that rival anything you`ll find at the multiplex, it seems moviegoers have a choice, to either watch movies from the jerk-free privacy of their own homes, or to let the movie madness drive them mad.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s kind of like that whole road rage thing. I think there`s people that have theater rage.


HAFFENREFFER: And moviegoers appear to be voting with their wallets. Hollywood receipts have sagged for most of the year, running about 7 percent behind 2004`s revenues -- Brooke?

ANDERSON: All right. David Haffenreffer, thank you so much.

Well, the audience has spoken with sagging box-office numbers. So SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is taking issue with the movies.

Joining us live from Hollywood to answer your burning questions, Paul Dergarabedian, president of the box office tracking company, Exhibitor Relations.

Paul, we`ve all been there. You`re in a theater, engrossed in a scene, a cell phone rings, someone answers it. Why not ban the cellphones, jumble the signal, something, hand out a pamphlet on movie-going etiquette to eliminate such horrible interruption? It`s maddening.

PAUL DERGARABEDIAN, HOLLYWOOD: Well, it`s crazy, because you have people supposedly paying their $10 to go see a movie. And a lot of people seem to be more interested in talking on the phone, talking to their friends, eating their food, or whatever it may be.

And for other moviegoers, it`s really tough, because, you know, if I`m there, I want to see a movie. I don`t want to listen to you on the phone. And I don`t know what can be done about this, because people are attached it seems permanently to their cellphones. And I don`t know how you stop this from happening in a movie theater.

ANDERSON: Take the cellphone away, is what I say, before you walk in. Ban the cellphones.

Moving on, endless commercials before the movie actually begins, sometimes tacking on five, 10 minutes more. Can we get rid of those ads?

DERGARABEDIAN: Wow. Well, the economics of running a movie theater sort of dictate that some of the in-theater things like the concessions, the cost of the food, have to be fairly high, because theaters do not take in all of that money that comes from the box office. It splits with the studio.

So one of ways that they have tried to increase their revenues is through running these commercials. But I think it`s created a lot of bad will with audiences.

People, you know, they leave their home to go to a movie theater to see a movie. I don`t think people mind watching the trailers. But watching a TV commercial on the big screen for a lot of people is not their idea of going to the movies.

ANDERSON: And I understand the profit margin is tough, so you`re saying they`re trying to help with that with these commercials. But you`re right. People can buy a DVD for just a bit more quickly after the movie releases, watching it from the comfort of their own home.

What can be done? We heard someone saying, you know, road rage, airplane rage, theater rage? Really, Paul, what can be done to alleviate these problems?

DERGARABEDIAN: Well, I think, first and foremost, if the movies are good, then people won`t fixate necessarily on all these negative things about going to the movies. And I think -- you know, the high-ticket prices that people complain about, the cost of concessions, people talking in the theater, would be overshadowed if people were talking more about the movies, how great they were, what a great in-theater experience they had.

You know, I don`t know. I think ultimately it comes down to the product. It`s the movies in the theaters, and then a great in-theater experience. But if people aren`t enjoying the movies, and they`re also kind of had it with, you know, their neighbor talking on the phone or commercials before the feature, that could hurt in the long run.

I think people just have to, you know, go to the movies, be respectable to their fellow patrons. Hopefully, the movie`s great, and they come out of their thinking, "This was worth my $10," not, "I`m not going back to the movie theater."

ANDERSON: All right, Paul. So it goes back to the quality of the movies, back to the movie studios. Well, hopefully something can be done about the high prices and everything. And that popcorn, it`s outrageous. I can pop it for much less at home.

But thanks for your time, Paul Dergarabedian of Exhibitor Relations. We appreciate it.


ANDERSON: All right. Now we want to hear what makes you mad at the movies. E-mail us at We`ll read your comments later on in the show.

Also, you don`t want to miss the rest of our "Movie Theater Madness" series. Tomorrow, we`ll show you five-star theaters, theaters that actually cater to your every whim.

BRYANT: Well, the madness of the movie theaters couldn`t keep people away from the "40-Year-Old Virgin" this weekend. I saw it. It`s very funny. Final numbers are out tonight, and Steve Carell`s comedy took in more than $21 million in its debut, easily winning the weekend. Wes Craven`s airplane thriller "Red Eye" came in second in its debut weekend. "Four Brothers" was third. "Wedding Crashers" hanging in there at fourth. And "The Skeleton Key," starring Kate Hudson, was fifth.

ANDERSON: Moving now from movies to music, the Rolling Stones kicked off their year-long tour "A Bigger Bang" tour in Boston last night. But tonight, a fan is recovering after suffering a serious fall at the show. The 20-year-old Connecticut woman plunged nearly 40 feet after hanging from the rafters at Fenway Park. Reports say she suffered two broken ankles and a broken wrist. The tour will run through summer of 2006.

And the band did not play the song "Sweet Neo-Con" last night. That`s the tune that some say criticizes President Bush`s Iraq war policies.

And coming up, it was a Gotti family secret. Victoria Gotti tells us her survival story and how she kept it a secret for so long, when she joins us live, next.

BRYANT: Plus, it`s another honor of sorts for "Desperate Housewives." We`ll show you the moment that scores of people was the raciest television moment last season. That`s coming up.


BRYANT: Time now for a "Showbiz Sitdown" with Victoria Gotti. Now, she`s got a familiar name, but she made a name for herself by being an author and columnist. But it was her family reality show, "Growing Up Gotti," that made her a star.

And now, just as the show`s third season premieres, comes word that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She lost 25 pounds, but was able somehow to keep her illness hush-hush from almost everyone, including her three sons.

Now she`s going to dish about it live, though. Victoria Gotti, thank you for joining us.


BRYANT: I`m well. I`m well. And how are you feeling? Because, through the course of filming this show, you found out you had cancer and didn`t speak of it at all?

GOTTI: Just one correction. You know, what I have and had at the time was what they considered a precancerous consider. It`s a moot point. Some people would say, "Well, yes, it can definitely lead to it." Others would say, "Well, this is a really big wake-up call," and yadda yadda yadda.

It`s common these days, I`m told. And I went from my regular mammogram on my birthday, which was about eight or nine months ago, and as I do every year -- and I try to be diligent about it -- never thought I`d get that call back that said, you know, "There`s a problem."

And, of course, the call came in on a Friday night. And I was like, "Oh, no, don`t do this to me." So I walked around all weekend thinking the absolute worst.

And I went in on Monday. They felt the need for more testing. And I did. And overall, it was diagnosed that I had a condition that kind of -- in the doctor`s words, he said, "Look, if any woman gets a diagnosis besides a regular normal or a negative, this is what they want to hear. So take that as a good thing. On the other hand, you must make decisions and, you know, what course of treatment."

BRYANT: It was a little more sort of preemptive then what you did?

GOTTI: Yes. I really thank God. It was really a miracle that I even found this as I did. And if I had waited -- the doctor said sometimes three months, sometimes three years, they don`t know. But it can be as quickly as three months. When they see a cell change, it more or less tells them that, "This is it. And it`s going to be really bad down the road," so...

BRYANT: Now, why didn`t you want to tell the kids? Because you`re obviously a close family. You`ve got three sons. They do the show with you. You all seem very close. Why didn`t you want to share that? They might have been able to support you, help you out there.

GOTTI: My kids -- I have heart disease, and I`ve had it since I was 16. I have a pacemaker and a defibrillator. I take a lot of medication a day.

The kids have been, you know, along the whole ride with me. And it`s not been so easy medically, a lot of hospitalizations. And every time I go in to the hospital for something or another, whether it`s kidney problems caused by the heart disease or this, you know, they get very, very upset.

The baby can`t sleep. It`s like this anxiety. And they`re constantly thinking that I`m a lot sicker that I am, that I won`t tell them...

BRYANT: So you want to stay strong for them. You want to stay strong.

GOTTI: Yes, I felt like protect them. There really wasn`t that much to tell them this time, thank God. But I didn`t want them to sit up worrying anyway, and I knew that they would. So I just felt like, "You know what? Thank God there`s not much to tell. Let me take care of this." I had options. I went and had surgery, and I am 1,000 percent well, and I feel great, you know?

BRYANT: I want to lighten this up. You`re bumming me out here. I feel bad. I hope you`re well.

On your show, you guys went to Italy. And this I find fantastic, that the Gottis had never been to Italy. How did that go?

GOTTI: We`d never been. It was amazing, because I wasn`t really that in the mood to go when we left, and I...

BRYANT: You took your son as a graduation present?

GOTTI: Yes, but I just kind of like -- I don`t know. I figured they`d have a lot more fun than I would. I`m not a tourist. I just wanted to rest somewhere on beach.

But then I thought, "You know what? This is what they want to do. Let`s go."

We got there, and I couldn`t believe how beautiful this country was. When we pulled up to the Amalfi Coast, driving up the cliff on this bus that we had, I cried. I couldn`t believe that there was a land...

BRYANT: Well, the home country.

GOTTI: But it was just so magnificent. I`ve seen beautiful things. I`ve never seen anything that beautiful. And the people, the kids, the fun that we had, the family life that the kids learned about.

Everybody there is so into their families. Everybody is so close- knit. Everything revolves around dinners. And, you know, there were people, men, 30 years old, some married, some not, living home with mom and dad, putting...

BRYANT: Well, so there`s hope that John will stay with you. And you know, we`ll be able to see this on the third season of the show, of course, the trip to Italy.

And I want to thank you, Victoria. And get better, stay well.

GOTTI: Thank you. Thank you.

BRYANT: "Growing Up Gotti" debuts tonight on the A&E Network.

ANDERSON: Well, what`s your favorite television moment from last season? Could be from "Growing Up Gotti." Well, AOL Television asked visitors to pick theirs. And more than a half a million people responded.

Joining us now to reveal the AOL TV Viewer Award finalists is Patricia Karpas, VP and general manager of AOL Television.

Patricia, thanks so much for being here. AOL posted TV clips into five different categories. Nine million video streams were recorded. A lot of people voted. Let`s start with the most outrageous. Which clip was chosen?

PATRICIA KARPAS, VP, AOL TELEVISION: This clip was hilarious. This woman from "Wife Swap" got so upset when the wife that she swapped with let her dogs out of the house. She actually had a meltdown. Let`s take a look.

ANDERSON: Yes, let`s take look at that meltdown.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... and let my dogs in the house.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`re not inside? My dogs are not inside?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: During the day...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, no, they have to stay inside. They have to stay inside!


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why? They`re beings.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They stay inside. My dogs stay inside.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... the first couple nights.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re going to lose your head.


ANDERSON: Oh, that woman loves her dogs.

KARPAS: She sure does.

ANDERSON: Patricia, this next one also involves a dog, the most adorable moment, from outrageous to adorable.

KARPAS: Yes, this one`s from David Letterman. And this little pug actually learned how to say, "I love you."

ANDERSON: Aw, how cute.


DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, "LATE SHOW": It actually talks?


LETTERMAN: Oh, my god. Do you have a microphone or something?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I got one on my shirt.

LETTERMAN: OK, all right. All right. Here we go. And what will Odie say?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He says, "I love you."

LETTERMAN: All right. Odie will say, "I love you." Here we go.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Odie, I love you. I love you.

ODIE, THE DOG: I love you.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love you. I love you.

ODIE, THE DOG: I love you.


ANDERSON: How did she teach that dog to do that? Oh, that`s hilarious. So cute.

Now, let`s talk about the raciest moment from last season, from "Desperate Housewives," right?

KARPAS: Yes. This was a big favorite. This is when Susan got locked out of the house on "Desperate Housewives" naked.

ANDERSON: I remember that one.


TERI HATCHER, "DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES": ... walk down the street and hold my head high. Oh!


ANDERSON: Oh, how funny. And Teri actually told me that that was one of her favorite scenes to film, that she loves physical comedy. And someone else who loves physical comedy, "Everybody Loves Raymond," right?

KARPAS: That`s right. This is one of the funniest moments, when Ray and Debra learn that their parents, that Ray`s parents, are moving away for good. They get a little excited.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What, our own house?

RAY ROMANO, "EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND": What, you get the house?

GARRETT: We get the house, $26,000.

ROMANO: Well, why did you get that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you care, Ray?

ROMANO: $26,000.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Eighty-five minutes.


ANDERSON: Oh, "Everybody Loves Raymond." Patricia Karpas, AOL Television, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it. That was fun.

KARPAS: My pleasure.

BRYANT: Well, there is still time for you to sound off on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." Antiwar protests: Should celebrities get involved? You can vote at or write us at We`ll read some of your e-mails live, next.


ANDERSON: Well, we`ve been asking you to vote online on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." Antiwar protests: Should celebrities get involved?

The vote so far, 44 percent of you say yes, celebrities should get involved. And 56 percent of you say no, they should not.

And we`ve gotten some e-mails. Julianne from New York writes, "Celebrity or not, we are all citizens of this country and each voice and opinion is as valid as the next."

And Tara from Texas writes, "Celebrities who speak out about their political opinions forget that we enjoy them solely as entertainers."

Keep voting at

BRYANT: It is time to see what`s playing on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT tomorrow. It is Mean Gene, the poker-playing machine. Gene Simmons is taking on Dave Navarro and other rockers in the Vegas Rock Star Poker Tournament. Does he have any tricks up his sleeve? Well, he`ll tell us. Gene Simmons is live on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT tomorrow.

ANDERSON: Thanks, Karyn. And that`s a wrap for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson.

BRYANT: And I`m Karyn Bryant. Stay tuned for the latest from CNN Headline News.