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Eva Longoria Has Brush with the Law; Standards Changing for G-Rated Films; Thieves Target iPod Users; Primetime Smackdown as Shows to Fight it Out
Aired December 27, 2005 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: I`m Brooke Anderson.
JASON CARROLL, CO-HOST: I`m Jason Carroll filling in for A.J. Hammer. TV`s only live entertainment news show stars right now.
ANDERSON (voice-over): On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Eva Longoria`s blue Christmas. The hot star in hot water after a run-in with police. A war of words, even charges of racism. We`ve got the witnesses who reveal what they heard and what the "Desperate Housewives" star supposedly said. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT gets to the bottom of Eva`s traffic tussle.
CARROLL (voice-over): The odd couple. Why Anna Nicole Smith is getting help from the White House in a case before the nation`s highest court. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the inside story of the feds and the "Playboy" playmate.
ANDERSON: Thursday night smackdown. "American Idol`s" Simon Cowell hurling insults and punches in the same ring as "My Name is Earl." "Earl" trying to body slam "Survivor." SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the big battle that will have your finger on the remote. It`s must-see mayhem.
PARIS HILTON, HOTEL HEIRESS: Hi, I`m Paris Hilton. If it happened today, it`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
ANDERSON: Hello, there. I`m Brooke Anderson live in New York.
CARROLL: And I`m Jason Carroll filling in for A.J. Hammer.
Tonight, "Desperate Housewives" actress Eva Longoria is desperate to set the record straight. Longoria and her basketball player boyfriend got into a Texas traffic tiff with a cop, and depending on who`s talking, got really nasty with accusations. Eva even blurted out a racial insult.
ANDERSON: That`s right, Jason. Two sides, two stories and tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT goes after the real story. We`ve been digging all day to find out what really went down.
ANDERSON (voice-over): They may be one of the hottest couples in Hollywood, but one cop claims they`re also the hottest heads in Hollywood.
SEAN MEEHAN, WITNESS TO THE FEUD: Officer slapped his car and that`s when Tony got angry about it.
ANDERSON: The trouble began early Christmas Eve morning in downtown San Antonio. "Desperate Housewives" actress Eva Longoria and boyfriend Tony Parker, a basketball player for the Spurs, were looking to celebrate after a big win that night. So the couple pulled up to this bar.
MEEHAN: Tony tried to pull in, and when he tried to stop and talk to the doorman at the bar to find out if the other Spurs were in there and which valet company they use -- they usually they valet with us -- they stopped him and started hassling him.
ANDERSON: And apparently so did a bike cop, who said the couple was blocking traffic.
When the cop rapped the hood of their car with his hand to get them to move, police say the couple lost their cool, saying quote, "Parker and Longoria began screaming in a verbally abusive and demeaning manner."
(on camera) The police report says the officer asked for Parker`s driver`s license but instead, Parker began to drive away, nearly hitting a man. He did stop but was only able to provide a French driver`s license. Parker is a French citizen.
JOE RIOS, SAN ANTONIO POLICE DEPARTMENT: He had a female passenger in the vehicle also that was also being a little bit unruly towards the officers.
ANDERSON (voice-over): SHOWBIZ TONIGHT obtained a copy of the police report, which says Longoria told the officer he had an ego problem. And when the cop said he didn`t want to get into a shouting match, the cop claims she said well, "(expletive deleted) you, then."
MEEHAN: She told the cops some things. Maybe she was angry.
ANDERSON: She had to be angry to say what she apparently did next. The police report says she shouted out the passenger window, quote, "He`s just a Mexican bike cop. He only wants your autograph."
But the "Desperate Housewives" star says that`s not at all what happened. She tells the Associated Press, quote, "I never made any sort of racial slurs, let alone made any comments about the officer being Mexican, as a Mexican myself."
Longoria is intent on sitting the record straight. Her publicist says the couple will be pressing charges over the incident. They say it was the officer who was inappropriate.
RIOS: It doesn`t matter who you are. We can show day in and day out that we`re not biased.
ANDERSON: The San Antonio police issued citations to Parker for impeding traffic and failing to produce a valid Texas driver`s license.
But the two may have some damage control to take care of. Check out what happens when Eva Longoria was shown at Sunday`s game.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When they put her on the big screen, they actually booed her.
ANDERSON: But leave it to Gabrielle Solis to show the spoils of victory. She responded by showing the crowd the Spurs championship pendant on her necklace.
ANDERSON: Longoria has made San Antonio her second home and, despite this run-in with the cops, she`s had an incredibly successful year, named one of "People" magazine`s one of "50 Most Beautiful People" and nabbing a Golden Globe nomination for her role in "Desperate Housewives."
And it turns out there will be some dramatic changes on ABC`s hit show. "Desperate Housewives" creator Mark Cherry tells "TV Guide" that Marcia Cross`s character Bree will soon be starting a descent into alcoholism on the show. Cherry says she isn`t reacting well to the deaths of her husband and her fiance. And there will be a few alcohol-fueled moments in show that get pretty ugly.
CARROLL: Tonight, a story that may seem stranger than fiction. The White House is trying to help Anna Nicole Smith win a fortune left behind by her late husband.
The former "Playboy" play mate and reality TV star claims she is entitled to the estate of Howard Marshall II, who she married when she was 26 and he was 89. But Marshall`s only son has been fighting her.
First, a federal bankruptcy judge awarded Smith $474 million. Another federal court cut that down to $87 million. Then a federal appeals court ruled against Smith altogether.
And now the case is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Bush administration has just filed arguments in support of Smith`s claim that federal court should not be allowed to get involved in these kinds of cases once a decision has been made at the state level.
So what do you think about all this? It`s our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Anna Nicole Smith, should she get her late husband`s money? Vote at CNN.com/ShowbizTonight and send us our e-mails at ShowbizTonight@CNN.com. We`ll read some of your e-mails letter on in the show.
ANDERSON: And speaking of money, "King Kong" still reigns at the box office. The great ape raked in nearly $31.5 million over the four-day holiday weekend. Though "Kong" remains mighty, ticket sales dipped 37 percent from last weekend.
Close at "Kong`s" heels, "The Chronicles of Narnia" roaring in with $30 million. The comedy caper "Fun with Dick and Jane" was third, taking in $21.5 million in its debut weekend. Rounding out the top five, "Cheaper by the Dozen 2," starring Steve Martin and an unruly brood, and "The Family Stone," an ensemble dramedy with Diane Keaton and Sarah Jessica Parker.
CARROLL: The No. 2 movie in America, "The Chronicles of Narnia," is rated PG. Families all across America are taking their kids to see the movie, but more and more families say PG- and G-rated films are not what they used to be. Some say the days of "Pippi Longstocking" are over.
Here is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas.
TILDA SWINTON, ACTRESS: Is it`s a war Aslan wants, it`s a war he shall get.
SIBILA VARGAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From life or death battles in "Narnia" to laser-wielding aliens in "Chicken Little," today`s G- and PG-rated films are certainly not the ones your parents used to take you to.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would say that G movies have more violence, more sexual innuendo, than ever before.
DAN GLICKMAN, PRESIDENT/CEO, MPAA: My guess is that a movie that comes out today, and if you took one 50 years ago, there would be different American standards about issues like language or nudity or violence, because our society has changed.
VARGAS: In fact, a recent Harvard study says violence is on the rise in G-rated animated movies and PG-rated films, while sexual innuendo is creeping into dialogue as in "Shark Tale."
ANGELINA JOLIE, VOICE OF LOLA: Nice breast (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the real problem with the G movies are not really a safety zone anymore. "Chicken Little" is a G movie but I wouldn`t take my 5-year-old daughter to see it. There`s enough violence and disturbing stuff going on that she would probably be scared.
JOANNE CANTOR, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN: Many of these films cause intense nightmares. Those kinds of things stay with kids an incredibly long period of time, and parents need to know that the stakes are very high.
VARGAS: The Motion Picture Association of America says its ratings are mere guidelines, and it`s up to parents to decide what`s suitable.
GLICKMAN: Look, we do the best job we can to try to rate these movies, based upon what the standards are that are out there, and what the parent needs to know. But the parent has an obligation to, in fact, find out more if he or she wants to.
VARGAS: Common Sense Media, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, offers online information about a film`s ratings and content.
JIM STEYER, FOUNDER/CEO, COMMON SENSE MEDIA: The reason we built the Common Sense system was that we found that people wanted a couple of things. I don`t know what parental guidance means. I think it`s different for every parent. And that`s one of the challenges.
VARGAS: So while films become more sophisticated, parents may have to arm themselves to keep up with the times.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, at least we can sell the video to "Chickens Gone Wild."
CARROLL: That was SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas reporting.
ANDERSON: And coming up, a warning to pod people who tune out the world. Why iPod oblivion could have you singing the blues.
CARROLL: And get ready to be glued to your tube. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with a prime-time smackdown. There`s a big battle brewing, a really nasty one, too, that will have you going crazy trying to watch your favorite shows. It`s a fascinating fight, and we have your first look.
ANDERSON: And David Letterman and the letter of the law. A fan makes some unfunny allegations in a case some call totally wacky. And Letterman battles back. A major decision today, and SHOWBIZ TONIGHT brings you the latest on the courtroom combat.
CARROLL: First, tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz." What was the name of Tony Baretta`s pet cockatoo? Was it A, Albert; B, Amadeus; C, Fred or E, Elvis? We`ll be right back with the answer.
CARROLL: So again, tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz." What was the name of Tony Baretta`s pet cockatoo? The answer is c, Fred.
ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s only life entertainment news show. I`m Brooke Anderson.
Topping tonight`s top 10 reasons why David Letterman may be celebrating a legal victory, a New Mexico judge today lifted a restraining order against the late show host.
The order had been granted to a Santa Fe woman who claimed, among other things, that Letterman used secret coded words on air to ask her to marry him. She also said Letterman subjected her to mental cruelty and caused her to go bankrupt. Letterman`s attorney said the order was without merit, and that he was entitled to protect his legal rights as well as his reputation.
CARROLL: Thousands of you got iPods for Christmas, and while you may not want to start using them on the commute into work, those white earphones could be a give-away that you`re in iPod oblivion.
Thieves are now preying on those who are too caught up in their iPods. In Boston pick-pocketing those on their iPods is going up.
So listen up. Here`s Dan Lothian for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
DAN LOTHIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The crushing crowds and deafening noise of Boston`s busy commute, a potential thief`s paradise. Their target, passengers lost in their iPods.
LT. DET. MARK GILLESPIE, MASSACHUSETTS BAY TRANSIT POLICE: When you have them on, you`ve signed off. Mentally, you`re not paying attention to anything that you`re doing other than walking and listening to music.
LOTHIAN: This passenger seems completely oblivious to a transit officer wearing a bright colored vest, warning passengers to be on the lookout.
GILLESPIE: Sir. Sir. Some of the people, we have to actually take a couple of extra steps after and actually physically touch them to hand out these flyers to get their attention.
LOTHIAN (on camera): Being zoned out has cost some commuters dearly. Investigators have seen a rise in robberies around the transit system. Cash, credit cards and other valuables snatched from the pockets and purses of commuters who are either listening to music or deep in a cell phone conversation.
GILLESPIE: You have an iPod or you talk on a cell phone, you should read this.
LOTHIAN (voice-over): Fearing these crimes could escalate, especially during the busy holiday season, Boston transit police and other law enforcement agencies have launched a safety campaign, handing out flyers with tips like staying alert or removing earphones when entering or leaving a subway station at night.
GILLESPIE: If people don`t take these measures of safety, they could potentially become victims.
LOTHIAN: Undercover officers will also be working the crowds at some stations.
Elvis Hernandez man loves his music but won`t let the volume drown his sense of awareness.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do pay attention. I do take awareness of my surroundings, especially during the holiday season. It`s crazy around here.
LOTHIAN: This commuter stays safe by dropping the stereo.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I usually keep one off so I don`t really -- I can still hear what`s going on around me.
LOTHIAN: An effort to keep commuters tuned in to their surroundings and not just their iPod.
CARROLL: That was CNN`s Dan Lothian for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
ANDERSON: You better heed those warnings as well. I, too, am guilty of iPod oblivion.
But your iPod might keep you tuned out but you`d better be tuned in for TV`s 2006 prime-time smackdown. So let`s get ready to rumble.
The new year in TV brings some big names, big changes and big chances in primetime. Ratings champ "American Idol" returns. Jenna Elfman and Jane Curtin make comedy comebacks and networks duke it out for must-see Thursday.
Don`t know what to watch? Don`t despair. Because SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is going to make sense of all of it for you tonight.
Live in New York is "Newsweek" senior writer Mark Peyser. Live in Hollywood tonight, Mary Murphy, TV critic for "TV Guide." Welcome to you both.
And I want to begin with the big X factor here, "American Idol," the juggernaut. It will air on a select few Thursdays, but it seems to be taking dead aim at CBS, which whose dominated that night with shows like "CSI" and "Without a Trace."
Mark, does it stand a chance?
MARK PEYSER, "NEWSWEEK": Sure. "American Idol" is the behemoth of television of the last couple of years. FOX has moved it around the schedule outside of its Tuesday/Wednesday time slots to great success in the past. Not as big as on its regular nights, but it`s always a force to be reckoned with. I`m sure it`s going to eat a little bit of the audience away from the other networks. I don`t think "CSI" is likely to fall off the planet, but "American Idol" is going to get its viewers on Thursday.
ANDERSON: Well, so Mary, let`s take a reality check. If "American Idol" on those Thursday nights gets huge numbers, 25, 30 million viewers, will FOX really pull the plug on that night and take it off Thursday nights? FOX has been in need of a hit on Thursday nights.
MARY MURPHY, "TV GUIDE": Well, remember that "American Idol" is only going to be on for three Thursday nights, so what we`ll see is if it takes a huge chunk out of CBS and NBC, they`ll probably keep it on for more. And if not, I mean, they knew it was a risk and they decided let`s take a minimal risk, put it on three Thursday nights.
But you know, any time American Idol is on, just watch out.
ANDERSON: So kind of a test here. Now, Mark, Thursdays are going to be crazy. All the networks are throwing their big monster ratings shows at this night to compete against one another. As we said, FOX has "American Idol." NBC, "My Name is Earl." ABC, "Dancing with the Stars" and then CBS, of course, "CSI" and "Without a Trace." Sort it out for us. Who`s going to be left standing?
PEYSER: Well, certainly, CBS is going to be left standing. It`s got the No. 1 show on television in "CSI" on Thursday. That`s not going to go away.
"Survivor" has survived for many seasons now on Thursday nights quite well against very strong NBC lineups in the past with "Friends." That`s not going to go away. And neither will "Without a Trace," so CBS is certainly going to be doing fine.
I`m not so sure that ABC is going to come out of this too well. I think "Dancing with the Stars" was a nice little summer hit for them, but I`m not sure up against "Survivor" and some of -- and certainly the "Idol" pop-ups that come up on Thursday, that that`s going to still be on its feet.
Yet, Thursday is the most lucrative night in television. It`s why all the networks are really vying for a place there. There`s so much movie advertising, especially, that they`re all willing to take their best shot because there`s a lot of money.
ANDERSON: All right. Advertising money there. So that`s why Thursday is the focus.
Another theme that we are going to see in January, high-profile names. Jenna Elfman is coming back, "Third Rock from the Sun`s" Jane Curtin. We`re also going to see Heather Graham.
Mary, is it true that star power doesn`t make the show, doesn`t, you know, say that it is going to be a hit, it doesn`t ensure that. The show has to be good, right?
MURPHY: The show has to be good. I mean, look at this season, Chris O`Donnell was on, was the first cancelled show. Martha Stewart, you can`t get any get bigger than Martha Stewart.
But in some of these shows -- John Stamos is coming back in "Jake in Progress," which has been retooled and very funny. Jenna Elfman, when you`re talking about star power, you`re talking about TV star power. And what you have here are TV stars who are coming back. And if they`re well- written, these people have already proved themselves to the TV audiences and have a much better chance than, say, a movie star.
ANDERSON: All right. Mary Murphy, Mark Peyser, thank you so much for your suggestions. I`m going to get my TiVo ready. We appreciate you being here.
PEYSER: Thank you.
CARROLL: And coming up, what do "King Kong" and "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" have in common? Well, we`re going to tell you in a live report coming up with "Rolling Stone`s" film critic.
ANDERSON: Plus Mrs. Smith goes to Washington. Anna Nicole Smith gets ready for her day in court, the Supreme Court. And finds an unusual ally. Would you believe, the White House? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the inside scoop on who`s involved and what`s at stake.
CARROLL: And Osama bin Laden`s niece has been posing. Really, we`re not kidding here. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, with an eye-opening look at the woman who calls Osama uncle. Coming up.
CARROLL: Time for the "SHOWBIZ Guide," where throughout the week we help you decide where to spend your dollars on movies, music, DVDs and more. Tonight, the best movies on DVD.
Joining us live, Peter Travers. He`s "Rolling Stone`s" films magazine critic and author of the book, "1,000 Best Movies on DVD" here.
PETER TRAVERS, MOVIE CRITIC, "ROLLING STONE": Well said. Well said.
CARROLL: I did my best. It`s after the holiday, you know that.
First of all, why are we calling it the best movies on DVD rather than just best movies?
TRAVERS: Instead of just best movies?
TRAVERS: Because some really good movies look lousy on DVD. So not only do these have to be good movies, they have to look good, they have to sound good. They`ve got to give you extras. You`ve got to have deleted scenes. You have to have documentaries. I insist...
CARROLL: Alternate endings.
TRAVERS: Alternate endings. You know that. You want to see an alternate ending.
CARROLL: All right. Now I`ve heard this list described as being somewhat eclectic.
TRAVERS: Eclectic is the word.
CARROLL: We only have a little bit of time here, so give me some of your favorites. What are some of the ones you recommend?
TRAVERS: Well, I mean, it`s a book that has "Citizen Kane" and "Dodgeball." So that`s eclectic. That`s the definition of it. There it is. Because we have to remember that movies are fun, too.
CARROLL: Also speaking of fun, "King Kong." But not the "King Kong" most are probably thinking about, right?
TRAVERS: No, not the Peter Jackson one. But for the first time, everybody has waited since DVD came out 10 years ago for the 1933 original black and white. What`s that, black and white? But it`s a great movie.
CARROLL: We`re looking at some of the special effects here from back in the day.
TRAVERS: And they`re incredible. But what Peter Jackson did for the DVD was there`s a missing spider pit scene. It was too scary in 1933. It was lost. Peter Jackson, at his own expense, found the models, recreated it exactly as it would have looked in black and white, and you get it on the DVD.
CARROLL: Incredible. Also on your list, we`re going to fast-forward a little bit, "War of the Worlds."
CARROLL: Not the original, but the Tom Cruise.
TRAVERS: The Tom Cruise one where Steven Spielberg directs it and we get to see the monsters or the tripods. Instead of coming from space with flying saucers, they come from underground, like that.
CARROLL: Also, what I found interesting, there`s -- "Titanic" is on your list, as well, for obvious reasons but also because of the ending as well, correct?
TRAVERS: There`s a new alternate ending, but I`ve got to say, you wish you would never look at it.
CARROLL: Why is that?
TRAVERS: It`s really boring. The one that was working worked, which is also an education about it. The great things are the alternate things on "Titanic" where Kate Winslet and James Cameron have different views of the love scenes in the movies.
CARROLL: Tell me also, I mean, is this your list? This is your list, correct?
TRAVERS: Who else is going to do it?
CARROLL: Well, I don`t know. Some of the others at "Rolling Stone," maybe?
TRAVERS: It`s me. It`s just me.
CARROLL: How long did it take you to get through all this?
TRAVERS: Listen, this is six hours on each one, so that took me, if I were watching movies, 24/7 for 260 days. That`s how long it would take. So it`s two years watching this. I did it for you. I really did.
CARROLL: My holiday present.
CARROLL: One of my favorites on your list, "40-Year-Old Version" -- "Virgin."
TRAVERS: Yes, that, too.
CARROLL: Tell me why you chose that one.
TRAVERS: Because it`s hilarious. It`s a really funny movie, and you need that kind of movie. And the extras on this, deleted scenes, 17 minutes of them, are just as funny as anything you saw in the movies.
And that hair, that hair, hot wax, pulling the hair off his chest.
CARROLL: A little uncomfortable.
TRAVERS: You get to watch that scene and realize Steve Carell had it done. There was no special effect. And you can see that -- oh, it`s painful.
So the book isn`t painful. It`s really great.
CARROLL: And we`ve got 1,000 on this, right?
TRAVERS: You`ve got 1,000. You can count them here now.
CARROLL: Not 999?
TRAVERS: No, 1,000.
CARROLL: Thank you. Peter Travers, "Rolling Stone" magazine. For more DVD recommendations, "1,000 Best Movies on DVD." You can see it right there. It is out in stores, so check it out.
ANDERSON: Well, it looks like Howard Stern is bringing serious money to his new home. Stern, who debuts on Sirius Satellite Radio next month, helped push Sirius past the three million subscriber mark. That`s about half a million more than the company predicted at the beginning of the year. Stern, who left terrestrial radio earlier this month after two decades, has been very vocal about selling his new show, which debuts on January 9.
CARROLL: Coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, a bin Laden video making headlines of a different sort. Why Osama`s niece is vying for the spotlight.
ANDERSON: Anna Nicole Smith gets cozy with Uncle Sam. A tale of money, power and some say greed. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT brings you the D.C. drama that`s playing out like an episode of "Dallas."
CARROLL: And "The Chronicles of Narnia" as you never imagined them. Two New York comics in an epic voyage to their local movie theater. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT shows you the rapper`s delight that`s sweeping the nation.
CARROLL: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It`s 31 minutes past the hour. I`m Jason Carroll, filling in for A.J. Hammer.
ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson. And you are watching TV`s only live entertainment news show.
Well, Jason, we`ve got some strange bedfellows here, Anna Nicole Smith and the Bush administration.
CARROLL: Huh, do tell! Do tell.
ANDERSON: I know. Anna Nicole has been battling legally for her late husband`s money, and I`m talking millions and millions -- did I say millions -- of dollars. And this legal battle has lasted nearly a decade. Now it`s going all the way to the Supreme Court...
ANDERSON: Exactly. And we will tell you why, coming up in just a few minutes.
CARROLL: Also coming up, we are going to have the full-length version of this "SNL" skit. I don`t know if you`ve heard about this, but it`s hysterical.
ANDERSON: Oh, I`ve seen it.
CARROLL: Yes, we were looking at the Internet a little earlier today, when we really should have been working, but it`s a holiday, so you know how that goes. But basically, it`s these two guys who go around New York City eating cupcakes, rapping about going to a movie, sitting in a cab, really funny stuff. We`re going to be showing it to you in its entirety so you don`t have to go to the Internet to try to download it.
ANDERSON: A video in the vein of the Beastie Boys.
ANDERSON: Truly hysterical.
CARROLL: We`re going to have it for you right here.
ANDERSON: You`ll want to stay tuned for that.
But first, here are tonight`s "Hot Headlines."
It is the end of an era for "Monday Night Football." After 36 years, ABC ended its run of "Monday Night Football" last night. Early numbers out today say nearly 11 million people watched New England beat the New York Jets. Next season, the series moves to ESPN in an eight-year, $1.1 billion deal.
J.K. Rowling has big plans for the new year. Rowling says 2006 will be the year she writes the final book in the Harry Potter series, and she`s approaching it with mixed feelings. Rowling says she`s excited to get started, but is also dreading it because she can`t quite imagine life without Harry.
CBS is jumping onto the Internet bandwagon. Today, we learned CBS has struck a deal to put two of its sitcoms on Yahoo`s website, "Two and a Half Men" and "How I Met Your Mother." They`ll be offered as part of a free video stream from Yahoo`s site.
And those are tonight`s "Hot Headlines."
CARROLL: Tonight, more on why Anna Nicole Smith will have the White House by her side when she goes to the U.S. Supreme Court. Anna Nicole is fighting tooth and nail to win hundreds of millions of dollars, a battle over her late husband`s estate. So imagine her surprise and, frankly, ours, too, when we heard the Bush administration is helping out.
Live tonight in Washington, CNN`s Brian Todd for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT -- Brian?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jason, you`re right. That former "Playboy" centerfold, reality show star, and diet pill spokesperson, Anna Nicole Smith`s fight for her dead husband`s estate is about to reach the U.S. Supreme Court. It is all a big legal turf war over who has the final say in this particular kind of case, state courts or federal courts. And when this case does go to the high court, the feds, the president, and the "Playboy" playmate will all be on the same page, sort of.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is strange bedfellows.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No question about it.
TODD (voice-over): Morning show talking heads could barely contain their snickers.
MILES O`BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: From a story with legs to other parts of the anatomy, Anna Nicole Smith...
TODD: Anna Nicole Smith`s sordid 10-year legal tale of money, greed and family disharmony is headed for the U.S. Supreme Court in February. And it`s being joined by an unlikely ally.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I believe the proper role of government is to encourage ownership, is to promote an ownership society.
TODD: To that end, the Bush administration is joining Anna Nicole Smith`s side as she tries to get ownership of her super-rich late husband`s estate. With all the issues on its plate, why is the White House getting involved in a C-list starlet`s squabble over a dead Texas oil tycoon`s money? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT turned to CNN national correspondent Bob Franken for answers.
BOB FRANKEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The legal issue that has prompted the Bush administration to get involved is very, very dry. It`s not the kind of thing that causes the adrenaline to pump for anybody except the most devoted legal scholar.
TODD: The legal issues at stake may be dry, but the Anna Nicole Smith saga does read like a celebrity-filled episode of "Dallas." Smith is trying to get hundreds of millions of dollars from the estate of J. Howard Marshall II, the elderly Texas oil tycoon she met when she was working as a stripper.
He lavished millions of dollars on her and helped promote her career, which included a stint as "Playboy`s" playmate of the year. The odd couple got married in 1994. She was 26; he was 89. He died about a year later. Smith says he promised her half his estate and, as she noted in her old reality show, she intends to get it.
ANNA NICOLE SMITH, SUING FOR SHARE OF LATE HUSBAND`S FORTUNE: I`m not rich. I`m going to be rich.
TODD: Not so fast, Anna Nicole.
KANYE WEST, MUSICIAN (singing): I`m not saying she a gold digger...
TODD: But her late husband`s son is saying that. Marshall`s will names his son, E. Pierce Marshall, as the sole heir, and Pierce is in no mood to share. So he and his famous stepmom have been locked in a long court battle that has gotten heated.
SMITH: That night he (INAUDIBLE) and it was Pierce. Pierce is the one he made orders to not do anything.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you been taking new acting lessons?
TODD: Smith`s courtroom score card is mixed. A federal bankruptcy court awarded her $474 million. Another federal court later reduced that to $89 million. And a year ago, a federal appeals court said the case doesn`t even belong in federal court and says Smith should get what a Texas state court previously said she should: zero. And that`s why the Bush administration is getting involved.
FRANKEN: This is a case that involves some strong legal principles, and that is the role of the federal courts in bankruptcy proceedings.
TODD: Anna Nicole Smith declared bankruptcy after her husband died. And as Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer told CNN`s "LARRY KING LIVE" in a rare interview, that`s reason enough for the high court to hear the case.
STEPHEN BREYER, SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: I will not comment on a case, but I will say one thing about the case. It`s a bankruptcy case. Bankruptcy law is federal law.
TODD: Anna Nicole has yet to get a dime from her late husband`s estate. She plans to be there for the Supreme Court arguments on February 28th. But as her record in public speaking has been mixed of late...
SMITH: You know, this show`s been kind of boring.
TODD: ... don`t expect her to say much. Still, despite the impulse to laugh at it all...
FRANKEN: There`s a reason for us discussing this. Regrettably, I`ve forgotten what it is.
TODD: ... the Anna Nicole Smith case has become serious business for the White House and the U.S. Supreme Court.
FRANKEN: Not the kind of thing that normally grabs a headline, of course, unless the person who`s involved in this is Anna Nicole Smith.
TODD: Now the Supreme Court must decide if it will let the U.S. solicitor general, who argues the White House cases before the high court, share time with Anna Nicole Smith`s attorney when the court hears the case on February 28th. We`re expecting that decision early next year -- Jason?
CARROLL: CNN`s Brian Todd in Washington. Brian, thanks so very much for that.
And that leads us to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s "Question of the Day." Anna Nicole Smith: Should she get her late husband`s money? Keep voting at CNN.com/showbiztonight and write us at showbiztonight@CNN.com. Your e- mails are coming up at 55 past the hour.
ANDERSON: Tori Spelling had an eventful Christmas Eve. She got engaged. Tonight, she and actor Dean McDermott confirmed to "People" magazine that they are planning to get married. In a joint statement, they say they`re incredibly happy and in love and can`t wait to start their lives together.
The couple met earlier this year while working on a TV movie called "Mind Over Murder." Spelling separated from her husband in September, the same month McDermott filed for divorce from his wife.
CARROLL: Osama bin Laden`s niece is bearing almost everything in a new photo shoot for "GQ" magazine. Wafah bin Laden is an aspiring pop singer who lives in New York City. After the September 11th attacks, she changed her name and goes by her mother`s maiden name, now Dufour.
But she tells "GQ" magazine that it`s hard to live down the reputation of being the niece of arguably the most hated man in America. She says, quote, "Everyone relates me to that man, and I have nothing to do with him. I want to be accepted here, but I feel that everybody`s judging me and rejecting me. Come on, where`s the American spirit?"
Well, Dufour has more to say, at least in the latest issue of "GQ" magazine, which is out on newsstands now.
ANDERSON: Well, it is an unlikely recipe for a rap song, a few cupcakes, a little "Chronicles of Narnia." It`s all the buzz on the Internet, and it`s next in the "Showbiz Showcase."
CARROLL: Plus, is David Letterman sending secret signals on his TV show? This is a strange one. We`ll get the story coming up in the "Legal Lowdown."
ANDERSON: And Jack Black blacking out on the set of "King Kong"? Well, it wasn`t all work and no play for Jack. His confession is anything but dull, coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson, and you are watching TV`s only live entertainment news show.
Tonight, we`re going to show you what might be the hottest, funniest, most talked-about video on the Internet. It`s a music video that recently debuted on "Saturday Night Live," featuring cast members Chris Parnell and Andy Samberg, in which they rap about everything from eating cupcakes to going to a matinee of the movie, "The Chronicles of Narnia."
The video is called "Lazy Sunday." And watch. Here it is in tonight`s "Showbiz Showcase."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDY SAMBERG, "SNL" STAR (rapping): Lazy Sunday, wake up in the late afternoon. Call Parnell just to see how he`s doing.
CHRIS PARNELL, "SNL" STAR (rapping): Hello?
SAMBERG: What up, pard?
PARNELL: Yo, Samberg, what`s crackin`?
SAMBERG: You thinking what I`m thinking? "Narnia," then it`s happenin`.
PARNELL: But first my hunger pains are sticking like duct tape.
SAMBERG: Just hit up Magnolia (ph) and mack on some cupcakes.
PARNELL: No doubt that bakery`s got all the bomb frostings.
SAMBERG: I love those cupcakes like McAdams loves Gosling.
SAMBERG: ... no six...
PARNELL: ... no twelve, baker`s dozen!
SAMBERG: I told you that I`m crazy for these cupcakes, cousin.
PARNELL: Yo, where`s the movie playing?
SAMBERG: Upper West Side, dude.
PARNELL: Well, let`s hit up Yahoo! Maps to find the dopest route.
SAMBERG: I prefer Mapquest.
PARNELL: That`s a good one, too.
SAMBERG: Google maps is the best.
PARNELL: True that, double true!
SAMBERG: 68 to Broadway.
PARNELL: Step on it sucker!
SAMBERG: What you what to do, Chris?
PARNELL: Snack attack, mother(bleep)
SAMBERG AND PARNELL TOGETHER: The Chronic -- what? -- cles of Narnia. Yes, Chronic -- what? -- cles of Narnia. We love that Chronic -- what? -- cles of Narnia. Pass that Chronic -- what? -- cles of Narnia.
SAMBERG: Yo, stop at that deli, the theater`s overpriced.
PARNELL: You got the backpack?
SAMBERG: Going to pack it up nice.
PARNELL: Don`t want security to get suspicious.
SAMBERG: Mr. Pibb and Red Vines equals crazy delicious.
PARNELL: Yo, reach in my pocket, pull out some dough.
SAMBERG: The girl acted like she`d never seen a $10 befo`.
PARNELL: It`s all about the Hamiltons baby.
SAMBERG: Throw the snacks in the bag and I`m "Ghost" like Swayze.
PARNELL: Roll up to the theater.
SAMBERG: Ticket buying while we`re handling.
PARNELL: You can call us Aaron Burr...
SAMBERG: ... from the way we`re dropping Hamiltons.
PARNELL: We`re parked in our seats, movie trivia is the illest.
SAMBERG: What Friends alum starred in films with Bruce Willis?
PARNELL: We answered so fast it was scary.
SAMBERG: Everyone stand in awe when we scream "Matthew Perry!"
Now quiet in the theater or it`s going to get tragic.
PARNELL: We`re about to get taken to a dream world of magic.
SAMBERG AND PARNELL TOGETHER: It`s the Chronic -- what? -- cles of Narnia. Yes, The Chronic -- what? -- cles of Narnia. We love the Chronic -- what? -- cles of Narnia. Pass that Chronic -- what? -- cles of Narnia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARROLL: Oh, what can be said about that?
OK, moving on to the big screen. It seems "King Kong" wasn`t the only one going wild on the set of Peter Jackson`s new movie. Apparently, Jack Black also went a little bananas. Black, who says he`s usually responsible on the set, tells "GQ" about an ecstasy-filled lost weekend during the shoot.
Black says, quote, "I went on a kind of crazy rampage, me and another member of the cast, who will remain nameless, just running around, dancing around, and drinking, and exercising, and smoking like a chimney. And then it was over." Black says that he has since quit smoking and maintains a strict diet.
ANDERSON: It is time now for the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Legal Lowdown." It has been a big, busy and strange news day, so let`s get to it. On the docket tonight, who would have thought we`d ever be mentioning the White House and Anna Nicole Smith in the same breath. Well, we are.
As we`ve been reporting, the former "Playboy" playmate is getting support tonight from the White House as her battle to win the estate of her late husband heads to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Then there`s the woman who got a judge to impose a restraining order against David Letterman. She claims Letterman was using secret codes on the air to show he wanted to marry her and make her his co-host. Today, a judge lifted the order.
And live tonight, here in New York to get us through all of this is Attorney Lida Rodriguez-Taseff.
Lida, thank you so much for being here.
LIDA RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF, ATTORNEY: Thank you for having me.
ANDERSON: All right. How absurd is it -- we`re talking about the letterman restraining order -- that this woman even got this restraining order? I mean, isn`t it a judge`s responsibility in a case like this to say, "You`ve got to be kidding me"? Is this a joke?
RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF: No, no, no, no. Not absurd at all. This actually protects every woman in America and every person who feels like they`ve been threatened. Basically, these ex parte orders are given without the presence of anyone but the complaining witness.
The complaining witness comes in. In fact, this woman did. She gave a six-page statement. Yes, it was a little nutty. And the judge issued the restraining order based on the statement.
After that, the party who feels that they`ve been restrained has an opportunity, as David Letterman, in fact, did, to come in and challenge the restraining order. These are actually important, because, were it not for the fact that women and other people can get these ex parte, meaning without the presence of the person who`s victimizing them, then you would have a lack of protection of people who are being accused of feeling unsafe.
ANDERSON: Lida, I`m glad to hear you admit that it is a little bit nutty. And many of our viewers watching may say, "This is what`s wrong with the court system." Look at the time, the money, the resources that have been spent here. What do you think?
RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF: Completely the opposite. This is what`s right with the court system. The judge in this case, you know, he`s a state court appointed, elected judge who probably has a constituency to worry about, who`s probably thinking, "You know what? I need to give this woman the benefit of the doubt," because it turns out that Dave Letterman, you know, the guy`s got money. And the guy can come in if he needs to and defend himself and present evidence.
And if she can`t come up with evidence to prove that he`s actually been harassing her and threatening her, then I`m going to lift the restraining order. But the judge did the right thing.
You know, sometimes the best examples of how well the law works are these nutty, nutty cases, where you would think it`s not working well but it really is. I promise you.
ANDERSON: And I want to reiterate, the judge did lift that order. Now, moving on, Lida, to Anna Nicole Smith`s decade-long battle for her late husband`s fortune. Why is the Supreme Court getting involved here? What`s at stake?
RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF: What`s at stake is a snoozer for everybody except the most committed lawyer. It`s an issue about when a federal court can rule on probate issues.
Probate issues are issues that have to do with will contests. Wills are usually decided by state court judges. And state courts usually have full and complete control over wills. In fact, Congress has specifically said that federal courts have no business in probate issues.
In this particular case, a California federal court got involved in Anna Nicole Smith`s will contest and actually ruled contrary to the state court that had already denied her any of Howard Marshall`s money. So the Supreme Court has to come in and say, "Wait a second. Do federal courts have a role here or don`t they?"
ANDERSON: Well, let me ask you this. Why has it been able to bounce around the courts like this for so many years?
RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF: Well, because Anna Nicole Smith is a celebrity and because there`s $489 million at stake. And, you know, rich people, sadly in this country, get better justice than everybody else. So she`s been able to form shop. She`s been able to go to different courts and ask different judges to rule on this issue. And now the Supreme Court is going to give us the definitive answer.
ANDERSON: And we will see what they say.
Moving on quickly to Eva Longoria. Aren`t there people out there who might say -- I know I`m saying this -- "If I were stopped by a cop and then drove off, nearly hit somebody, I would be behind bars in jail." Like, what`s happening here?
RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF: Well, you know, that`s one side of it. The other side of it is, if you`re Hispanic or black in this country, the statistics show that chances are that the police will harass you more often than they harass everybody else.
So, you know, until all the facts are out on this one, we`re not going to really know for sure. But the question is going to be whether or not this officer had even the right to stop them, to ask Parker for his driver`s license, and whether or not, in fact, he did bang on the car. And what was said afterwards is going to be an issue at some point, because it`ll depend on whether or not the officer was feeling threatened or anybody else around him was in danger.
ANDERSON: And a citation was issued for Parker. They said he was impeding traffic.
Lida Rodriguez-Taseff,, we will leave it there. Thank you so much for your insight and for joining us. We appreciate it.
RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF: Thank you.
CARROLL: One of the most recognizable faces in movies has died. You may not know him by name, but chances are you`ve seen character actor Vincent Schiavelli in more than one film.
Schiavelli died yesterday of lung cancer at his home in Sicily. He was 57 years old. He played a science teacher in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," a patient in "One Flew over the Cuckoo`s Nest," a subway ghost in the movie "Ghost," and had more than a hundred other roles in TV and film. He also wrote three cookbooks.
ANDERSON: And there is still time for you to sound off in our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." Anna Nicole Smith: Should she get her late husband`s money? Vote at CNN.com/showbiztonight or write us at showbiztonight@CNN.com, and we will read some of your e-mails live, coming up next.
ANDERSON: Throughout the show, we have been asking you to vote online on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." Anna Nicole Smith: Should she get her late husband`s money?
Let`s take a look at how the vote is going so far: 61 percent of you say yes; 39 percent of you say no.
Here`s some of the e-mails we`ve received. Sheila from Texas writes, "This is clearly what he wanted. There was a will. Her stepson should let his father`s last wishes go unprotested."
Emily writes, "Anna Nicole Smith should not be rewarded for her greediness in marrying a much older man for his money."
You can keep voting at CNN.com/showbiztonight.
CARROLL: Time to see what`s playing on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT tomorrow. Take it away, Marquee Guy.
MARQUEE GUY: Tomorrow, it`s all about eve, New Year`s Eve, and what you`ll be watching. Dick Clark will be rocking. Regis is counting down. Plus, Carson and Seacrest and Cooper, oh, my! We`ll get you all acquainted with the battle of the New Year`s Eve shows. When? Tomorrow.
Also tomorrow, the big losers of 2005. Less is more for some of your favorite stars. They`re slimming down and trimming down. And we`ll look at their incredible transformations and find out how they did it. When? Tomorrow.
This is the Marquee Guy, a lean, mean, marquee machine.
ANDERSON: Indeed you are. He`s fierce.
CARROLL: He`s great. Got to love him.
ANDERSON: That is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Thanks for watching. I`m Brooke Anderson.
CARROLL: And I`m Jason Carroll. Stay tuned for the latest from CNN Headline News.