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Showbiz Tonight

Britney Spears, the Sitcom Star; Kathie Lee Gifford`s Great Comeback; Fathers Know Best; April Fools` News

Aired April 01, 2008 - 23:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: A frightening scare for John Cusack. A woman arrested for allegedly stalking him right near his house. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: And is Eliot Spitzer`s hooker, Ashley Dupre about to star on a huge TV sitcom? I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. TV`s most provocative entertainment news show starts right now.

HAMMER: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, amazing news. At long last, hope for Britney Spears. A blockbuster TV role.


BRITNEY SPEARS, POP STAR: Because when people yell at me, I have a tendency to start crying.


HAMMER: She`s staying out of trouble. Even the paparazzi are moving on. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with Britney`s remarkable change. But will it last?

Three explosive April Fools` stories, or could they be true? Paris Hilton starting a Bible study group in Africa? Angelina Jolie and George Clooney turning the presidential race upside down. And Oprah all by herself solving the country`s mortgage and housing crisis.

Plus Kathie Lee back on TV.


KATHIE LEE GIFFORD, TV HOST: It couldn`t be worse timing in some ways.

HAMMER: But do people really want to see her today and every day?


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

ANDERSON: Hi, there, everyone. I`m Brooke Anderson coming to you from Hollywood where the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT truth squad has had one heck of a day tracking down some really wild stories. Now, as crazy as this sounds, is Madonna planning to star in a re-make of one of the greatest movies of all time, "Casablanca."

And what about the wild reports that "Ghost Whisperer" star Jennifer Love Hewitt is very pregnant? The SHOWBIZ TONIGHT truth squad is on the case, straight ahead.

HAMMER: But first, tonight, I`ve got to tell you, it got to the point that I was actually worried I`d never be able to say this. But tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can reveal for the very first time that there is hope for Britney Spears. And the driving reason is definitely something to laugh about.


(voice over): They are among TV`s great sit-com stars, Seinfeld, Mary, Britney. Yes, I said Britney. Before you laugh at the idea of Britney Spears as the next great sit-com star, consider this.

SPEARS: When people yell at me, I have a tendency to start crying.

HAMMER: Britney`s appearance on the sitcom, "How I Met Your Mother," earned that show its highest ratings ever. Ever. And the general consensus was she wasn`t horrible.

JO PIAZZA, "NEW YORK DAILY NEWS": I thought Britney was fantastic in "How I Met Your Mother."

HAMMER: So SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you there`s talk that the next step in Britney Spears` career and personal rehab could be a comedy series. It`s yet another in a growing list of signs that the former train wreck may be back on track.

The "New York Post" reports some members of Britney`s inner circle want her to do a sit-com. Her people aren`t talking but Marc Malkin of "E! Online" says he wouldn`t be surprised if Britney`s peeps were mulling a TV career to keep her on the straight and narrow.

MARC MALKIN, "E! ONLINE": TV is a little bit more stable. She won`t be on the road. She won`t be, you know, partying it up.

HAMMER: "How I Met Your Mother" isn`t Britney`s only TV experience.

SPEARS: I haven`t been on TV since I was a little girl. And that was because our neighbor shot his wife.

HAMMER: She previously did an episode of "Will & Grace." And now, the star and creator of "30 Rock," Tina Fey isn`t scoffing at the idea of giving Britney a guest spot on her show. Fey recently told reporters, quote, "If there were a part that was appropriate, I don`t think we`d hesitate to go to somebody like that. I`ve actually worked with Britney twice at `Saturday Night Live` and she was very professional and nice." Maybe a TV series is just what the career doctor ordered.

PIAZZA: The real ensemble is there. Maybe if they could insert her into a show that`s going on right now. I mean, maybe "Two and a Half Men," that little kid on that show is getting older. He`s got to start dating someone.

HAMMER: Britney is free to concentrate on her career now that she no longer attracts dozens of paparazzi who hope to record her bizarre antics.

SHEERAZ HASAN, FOUNDER, "HOLLYWOOD.TV": I just came back from Britney`s place. There are four paparazzi sitting outside Britney`s house. Why? Because the industry is not paying for Britney Spears right now.

HAMMER: And if the paparazzi is no longer interested in you, you`re doing something right. No matter if Britney becomes the next great sit-com star, if her recent seemingly normal behavior is any indication, to paraphrase the theme of another classic sitcom, maybe Britney`s going to make it after all.


HAMMER: And what a far cry all of this is from Britney`s psych ward and head-shaving days. Tonight from Hollywood, Jane Velez-Mitchell is joining us, investigative journalist and author of the book, "Secrets Can Be Murder." Also in Hollywood tonight, Ken Baker, executive news editor for "E!." I`ve got to tell you, guys, I`m feeling pretty good about this. Ken, are we being delusional or can we truly say there is now hope for Britney Spears?

KEN BAKER, EXECUTIVE NEWS DIRECTOR, "E!": No, we`re not being delusional at all. There is a lot of hope. And I think it really started back in February when Jamie Spears, her father, took conservatorship, which means he`s been in control of all of her affairs. And it`s really made a difference.

And you know, just today, we found out that her manager who really managed her career early on and really was responsible in part for her rise early in her career is now back on the team. That`s a really good sign. Just every sign points to the fact that she`s getting it back together.

And it`s not delusional at all. In fact, what you are seeing is real. And I think that she has a lot of potential, not only in acting. It`s really about music. She is a performer. She needs to be on stage, on tour. And I know there`s a lot of people out there watching right now who will be the first ones to buy tickets as soon as they become available.

HAMMER: No, that`s a lot of truth in everything you said there. And I have to say, these are all things we`ve discussed and hope would happen right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. So optimism rightfully felt here, Jane?

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Absolutely. She`s made a 180-degree turn. We don`t see her anymore in these embarrassing situations, sobbing on her front porch or driving over people`s toes or being chased into a Starbucks. Right there, the fact that the paparazzi is leaving her alone is a tremendous advantage.

And then, here`s a woman, as Ken said, who is under a conservatorship. That means technically, she is not able to care for herself. And yet, she didn`t just string some words together on this sit-com. She performed with great comic timing. And I think that`s the way out for her because she`s no longer this ingenue teenage sexpot. She`s got to grow into something else. And a sitcom or a role on "30 Rock" would be a great way out for her to transition into something new.

HAMMER: Yes, I mean, you reiterate a great point, too, Jane, that we mention in our story. You know, the paparazzi are saying Britney is now yesterday`s train wreck news.

So, Ken, I`m wondering about this, though. It seems to be a two-way street. Britney`s has almost broken her - I don`t know - that manic need she always seemed to have to be in front of the paparazzi every single minute.

BAKER: Well, I think her father has broken her. That`s really what it`s about. He`s instituted a curfew, I`m told. At 10:00 p.m., every night, she has to be in the house.

Everything has been very restricted to the point where she knows that she`s not going to get her affairs back in her own control unless she listens to her dad and she`s done just that.

And it really has had an amazing benefit. I know in the lead in here, you know, they said that there`s like four paparazzi outside of her house right now. That`s true. They`re just not getting the pictures. It doesn`t make economic sense to stake her out and get photos anymore because she`s not giving it up. And it`s been really smart for her.

HAMMER: I want to be a bit responsible with how we`re looking at this. And I don`t want to be pessimistic here, but I want to keep in mind, you know, it`s only been 53 days now since Britney was released from the psych ward.

Jane, do you think, you know, keeping that in mind, are we in any way jumping the gun? I mean it should be more cautious optimism perhaps?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we don`t really know, A.J. The real test will come when that conservatorship is lifted. And ultimately, it will be lifted. It can`t last forever. And at that point, we have to see what decisions Britney makes on her own.

Will she begin flirting again with the paparazzi and making herself a juicy target? Or will she do what most of the celebrities in Hollywood - preserve their privacy. Maybe she has to move somewhere else where there`s a big yard and a gate and bushes so that people can`t look into her life.

And also, I know People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals kind of tongue-in-cheek offered her a job as a receptionist. But there`s some truth there. The way to get out of your own self-obsession and your own narcissism -

HAMMER: Focus elsewhere.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is to be of service to somebody else.

HAMMER: Absolutely. Got to wrap it there, and it is optimism as we leave you tonight. Jane Velez-Mitchell, Ken Baker, I appreciate you joining us.

And for the latest breaking Britney news and video, check out the Britney Drama section of our Web site anytime -

ANDERSON: OK. So now, Kathie Lee Gifford is making a comeback. Now, we told you about Kathie Lee joining the "Today" show. But is that really a good idea? I mean she`s got a lot of fans but then again, there are plenty of people that just don`t like her. Next, is Kathie Lee the right choice?

HAMMER: Also, three explosive stories. Are they true or just outrageous April Fools` jokes? Paris Hilton starting a Bible study group in Africa, Angelina Jolie and George Clooney turning the presidential race upside down. And Oprah all by herself solving the country`s mortgage and housing crisis. To find out, you`ve got to keep it right here.

ANDERSON: And father knows best. Which star dads are doing a good job? I think Britney Spears` dad is. I`m grading the Hollywood fathers straight ahead.



GIFFORD: It couldn`t be worse timing in some ways. I mean I`m literally - well, I`m eight years older, ten pounds heavier and a half inch shorter and just in time for HD television.


ANDERSON: She`s back. That was Kathie Lee Gifford announcing her return to TV on the "Today" show. Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson. This is TV`s most provocative entertainment news show.

Eight years after leaving "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee," the never dull and often controversial Kathie Lee will become the co-host for the "Today" show`s recently launched fourth hour. Bad move or good move?

Joining me tonight in Miami, Michael Cohen, Miami editor for "In Touch Weekly." And in New York, Maggie Gallant, founder of "Spotlight Communications." Maggie, Michael, good to see you both. Maggie, I`ll go to you first. Bad move or good move?

MAGGIE GALLANT, FOUNDER, SPOTLIGHT COMMUNICATIONS: I think this is a great move for both Kathie Lee and the "Today" show. The "Today" show in general is at the lead of the morning show game. They know what their audience wants.

They didn`t just pick her because some one at the "Today" show really likes Kathie Lee. You can bet they did their research to find out who of their audience in that fourth hour, who they identify with and who they want to be entertained with in the morning. So I`m excited to see what she brings.

ANDERSON: Yes, she`s energetic. She does appeal to a lot of people. Michael, your thoughts - bad or good move?

MICHAEL COHEN, MIAMI EDITOR, "IN TOUCH WEEKLY": A boring move. Kathie Lee Gifford is more exciting on QVC(ph) at 2:00 in the morning. I really don`t think she`s fresh. I think her schtick is tired. And she`s right, it`s eight years later - eight years. It`s like, "You were good then. I don`t know about now."

ANDERSON: We can always leave to it you to have the dissenting opinion. Thank you for that, Michael. I do want to say this - Kathie Lee still does carry baggage from the scandal that revealed her clothing line was made using sweatshop labor and from the embarrassment from her husband Frank`s very public affair.

Maggie, what do you think? Is that ancient history, yesterday`s news?

GALLANT: I mean I think there are hundreds of celebrity scandals ever since. I mean she has these scandals. She was very honest about them and they`re over and done with. You know, she`s going to have another scandal. Let her have it now, now that she`s on the fourth hour. Maybe they`ll get even more publicity.

ANDERSON: Michael, do you think people will forget about that - viewers?

COHEN: No, because she`s - as soon as I heard Kathie Lee Gifford, all I could think of was sweatshops. That`s all I think of when I hear her name. Sorry. You know, that`s why I don`t want to see her on TV.

GALLANT: You`re very unforgiving. You are a grudge holder.

COHEN: I have a memory like an elephant.

ANDERSON: Yes. Yes. Well, you know, she has been known for, at times, not having that little chip in the brain that says, you can`t say this on air. Michael, do you think the "Today" show, which is a division of NBC news, has anything to worry about in that regard?

COHEN: I mean, obviously, like now you said, I mean they`ve done their research. They`ve done all that. They`ve picked her for a reason. I don`t really think they have anything to worry about. All I think they have to worry is will she really be able to pull it off and will the audience really attract to her? Because I just don`t know if that audience from eight years ago is the same people today. And that`s my fear for Kathie Lee Gifford and the "Today" show.

ANDERSON: Michael, the "Today" show probably could be fear that you won`t be tuning into the fourth hour from what I`m hearing.

COHEN: I`m working.

ANDERSON: Maggie - Oh, yes, as a lot of us are. Maggie, you know, what are your thoughts. Does the "Today" show have anything to be anxious about? Because sometimes, she has been known to be a loose cannon on air.

GALLANT: Well, sometimes a loose cannon on air makes for great television and also makes people want to tune in. But the difference between a "Today" show and a "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee" is that the "Today" show is more about the news of the day, what are people talking about, not necessarily, you know, an hour Kathie Lee talking about what`s going on with her children. She can really focus on things that are interesting to the public as of today.

ANDERSON: You know, the "Today" show is very well-produced. I`m sure it will be compelling TV.

COHEN: As of the first three hours, or four? Really, that`s where I get my news.

ANDERSON: Michael Cohen, Maggie Gallant, thanks for your opinions. Thank you so much.

COHEN: Thank you.

ANDERSON: And we do want to hear from you. It is our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. What do you think about this? "Kathie Lee Gifford: The right choice for the `Today` show?" Vote at E-mail us

OK. Switching gears here, A.J. Who do you think are some stars that are way overexposed?

HAMMER: You know, Brooke, I can`t think of one. Nothing`s coming to mind.

ANDERSON: I don`t believe you. And tonight, A.J., we`ve got a shocking new poll out naming the most overexposed stars. And you won`t believe who our fired-up talkers think were left out. That`s next.

HAMMER: And wait until you hear these explosive stories. But are they really true or just outrageous April Fools` jokes? Paris Hilton starting a Bible study group in Africa. Angelina Jolie and George Clooney turning the presidential race upside down. What about Oprah Winfrey solving the country`s mortgage and housing crisis? To find out if they`re true, you`ve got to keep it right here.

And father knows best. Which star dads are doing a good job? I think Britney Spears` father is taking great care of his daughter. Coming up, I`m grading the Hollywood dads.


ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson. Tonight, I`ve got a revealing new "Forbes" magazine poll that`s naming the most overexposed celebrities. And wait until you hear who made the cut.

Joining me again from Miami, Michael Cohen, Miami editor for "In Touch Weekly." In New York, Maggie Gallant, founder of Spotlight Communications.

OK. Surprise, surprise. The poll from "Forbes" magazine shows Paris Hilton tops the list with a whopping 70 percent of those polled saying that Paris is overexposed.

Now, normally it`s about 10 percent of those polls say that somebody is overexposed, it`s an extraordinary number. But Paris gets 70 percent. Michael, she`s more overexposed than a film camera going through an x-ray machine at an airport.

COHEN: You know what? Like I was surprised about Paris. I mean give me a break. You`ve been talking about her now because there`s too much exposure. I`ll tell you something, I was reading that and I thought, you know what feels really overexposed is Victoria Beckham. And she`s overexposed for nothing but shopping. Every picture you see, she`s shopping at Barney`s. She`s dropping her kid Jersey off or Brooklyn - whatever his name is. You know where she`s shopping with Katie Holmes. It`s just ridiculous. She is everywhere for nothing.

And ditto for her friend, Katie Holmes. You know, I saw people at lunch, nobody can remember what movie she did lately and it was just a couple of months ago. All they remember was her haircut, pictures of that.

ANDERSON: "Mad Money" with Diane Keaton. All right. So you think Katie Holmes and Victoria Beckham were left off the list and shouldn`t have been. But Maggie, on the list right behind Paris are Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan, no surprise. But here`s the thing, Maggie, people claim they`re overexposed but they still buy the magazines. They still read the stories about them. This doesn`t compute. Explain.

GALLANT: Well, you know, everybody either blames the media. They blame the celebrities themselves. People in the industry blame the publicist, which of course, I`m not a fan of. Everyone`s sort of pointing the finger.

But all of us are reading the magazines. We`re not even just buying one of these weekly tabloids like "In Touch," we`re buying all of them. We love it. It makes us feel better about ourselves.

COHEN: Now you see Victoria Beckham everywhere.

GALLANT: Exactly.

ANDERSON: You see the same stories everywhere. You see Victoria in every picture. You see Katie. You see Paris. You see Britney. They`re all overexposed. And the sad part is they`re overexposed for nothing. At least we should put talented people in the magazines.

GALLANT: Well, I actually would say, you know, we`re in a different culture now. We`re in a culture where celebrities are not just famous for the work that they`re doing. They are famous for their personalities. They keep us interested. They`re the popular kids at high school. It`s just like high school, only it`s Hollywood.

COHEN: I agree. Like they`re famous for sex.

ANDERSON: Unfortunately, talent, not the top priority these days in terms of celebrity. Michael Cohen, Maggie Gallant, we`re out of time. Thank you both.

HAMMER: All right, Brooke, you`ve get a load of this. So Miss Overexposed herself, Paris Hilton, is she heading to Africa to start a Bible study group, huh? And then what about Angelina Jolie and George Clooney? Are they about to shake up the presidential election? Or how about Oprah solving the country`s housing crisis all by herself? Are these for real or just wild April Fools` jokes? You`ve got to stick around to find out.

ANDERSON: A.J., I`ll tell you something that`s absolutely real. Some Hollywood dads are finally helping out their out-of-control daughters. I mean, look at Britney Spears` dad. Tonight, I`m grading stars` fathers. Straight ahead.

HAMMER: I love Tina Fey`s show, "30 rock." But get a load of this. Does Tina really want Eliot Spitzer`s hooker, Ashley Dupre, here in "Us Weekly" to guest star. Well, I am unleashing the showbiz truth squad on that story, coming up next.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. It`s time now the call in the showbiz truth squad. This is where we get to the bottom of Hollywood`s biggest rumors. So does Madonna really want to do a remake of the 1942 classic "Casablanca?" Starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, and set it in Iraq?

Sounds kind of funny, right? Well, we called Madonna`s people and they said, quote, "Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. Maybe never." Not true.

HAMMER: Jennifer Love-Hewitt, the star CBS` "Ghost Whisperer" - is she pregnant? Well, you know, there were those pictures of her on the beach looking a little more rounded out. And then she just showed up to the Kids` Choice Awards wearing a maternity-style outfit. But I can tell you, no party of two for love because she is not expecting.

And does "30 Rock`s" Tina Fey actually want to put the hooker of former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer on her NBC show.

Well, we reached out to Tina`s people who said Tina would like to put Ashley, seen here in "Us Weekly," on the sitcom. I think Tina is just being Tina and joking around. But she says one of "Rock`s" writers used to live in Ashley`s apartment building here in New York.

ANDERSON: Well, I`ve got to say I`ve been really impressed with Britney Spears lately. She is staying out of trouble. And I think her father, doing a great job. But how are the other dads of other young stars doing? Tonight, I`ve got a revealing report card grading Hollywood dads.

HAMMER: All right. Look out. Here come some explosive new stories. But are they legit or are they just wild April Fools` jokes? Is Paris Hilton heading off to Africa to start a Bible study group? Are Angelina Jolie and George Clooney about to shake up the presidential election? Or how about Oprah solving the country`s housing crisis by herself? You have got to stick around for all of that.

Also, new right now, a startling health scare for Jessica Simpson. She has spent a few nights in the hospital. But what happened and how is Jessica doing now? Well, I`ve got the latest coming up.

HAMMER: But first, you can stay on top of the latest and most provocative entertainment news with our daily SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsletter. Head on over to our Web site at Click on "sign up for newsletter" at the bottom of the page. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is coming right back.



HAMMER: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, wait until you hear this. Three explosive April Fools` stories. Paris Hilton starting a charity in Africa. Angelina Jolie and George Clooney saying, step aside Barack and Hillary. And Oprah Winfrey single-handedly saves the economy. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the April Fools` stories that we wish could come true.

Does father really know best in young Hollywood? These stars have dads who are taking a major role in their daughters` lives. But who`s doing it right and who could use a parenting lesson or two? Tonight, a showbiz special report. "Who`s Your Daddy?"


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

HAMMER: All right. Here we go. Tonight, three explosive April Fools` stories or could they actually come true? Now, I`d like you to imagine this. Paris Hilton goes to Rwanda to open up a halfway house for women.

And imagine this, Angelina Jolie and George Clooney turning the presidential race upside down by running together - Angelina for president; Clooney as her VP. And Oprah Winfrey single-handedly solving the country`s mortgage and housing crisis.

Joining me in Hollywood tonight, Ken Baker, executive news editor for "E!" Also in Hollywood, investigative journalist and author Jane Velez- Mitchell. And in Washington, D.C., Amy Argetsinger, "Reliable Source" columnist for "The Washington Post."

Gang, almost no need to remind you that Paris Hilton made a whole bunch of promises to CNN`s Larry King right after she was released from the slammer. But just in case you don`t remember exactly what those promises were, let me flash you back at this time.


PARIS HILTON, ACTRESS: I want to help set up a place where these women can get themselves back on their feet. A place with food, shelter, clothing and programs. Kind of a transitional home. I want to help raise money for kids and for breast cancer and multiple sclerosis.

LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": You want to get involved in all this?


KING: What`s your favorite Bible passage?


HAMMER: That was a no. She did not have an answer there. Imagine this April Fools` story though. Paris opens up a women`s halfway house/cancer center that also happens to feature free Bible study. And she does it in Rwanda after learning where that is. Jane, too far fetched?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: sadly, A.J., it`s far-fetched to assume that Paris Hilton is going to do anything she says she`s going to do. You know, there`s this old play, "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum." I think we should revise it into "A Funny Thing Happened to Paris Hilton on the Way to Doing Charity Work," about a young woman who`s so self-involved and has such a short attention span, every time she goes out to do good works, she mysteriously ends up dancing the night away in nightclubs and has no idea how she got there.

HAMMER: Oh, Jane, you are just so pessimistic. I don`t understand it at all. You know, Paris is the new Angelina Jolie. I can see it now. Ken, can you?

BAKER: No. What you have to remember is in that Larry King interview, she said, "I want to do this, I want to do that." Subject-verb, "I want." She`s used to saying I want a lot. She didn`t say, "I will do it."

And I think that we`re all idiots if we thought she was actually doing to do these things. And guess what? The expiration date on her as this major philanthropist, the second coming of Angelina Jolie - it`s expired.

HAMMER: Oh, it has.

BAKER: It has expired. She`s not going to be doing that.

HAMMER: You know, I didn`t check my day planner before coming on to do the show. I`m sorry I missed it. Amy Argetsinger, what do you think? Too ambitious for Paris to do all that?

AMY ARGETSINGER, COLUMNIST, "RELIABLE SOURCE": No. My only criticism is that it`s not ambitious enough. And clearly, I think the world agrees that it is time for Paris Hilton to step up, to take up the cause of women`s rights in Rwanda and breast cancer and Bible study.

I think she`s not going far enough, though. I mean Paris Hilton needs to be addressing the problem of abandoned ferrets. This is a big problem in America and we lay blame at her feet.

She was the one who, a year or so ago, was trotting around with a cute little ferret inspiring young girls across America to adopt their own ferrets. And then you never hear of this Paris ferret anymore.

And you know, everyone loses interest in their own ferrets who are now, you know, rummaging around in the dumpsters behind (UNINTELLIGIBLE) across America. It`s a disaster and ferrets need -

HAMMER: There`s a huge ferret problem.

ARGETSINGER: Paris needs to do something about this.

HAMMER: Yes. Maybe the White House needs to address the Paris ferret issue. I can`t even believe I just said that.

So let`s move on to a story, perhaps where we can have greater hope. I`d like you to imagine, if you will, this April Fool story. Angelina Jolie and George Clooney frustrated by the presidential race, decided to run together, Angelina at the top of the ticket, George, of course, as the VP. I`d like to see how that can look. Bret(ph), do we have something we can show. I mean it just looks oh, so right. Jane?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I love it. I would vote for this ticket. I love the sound of President Jolie. First of all, she would not only be America`s first female president. She would be America`s first president with multiple tattoos, and that`s important.

And imagine the Jolie-Pitt family living in unwedded bliss in the White House with their many children from all over the world scampering around. And when the dignitaries visit, they would have to chant and maybe do a little yoga before having their macrobiotic meal. I mean this mean this would be a lot of fun. I wish it would happen just for the entertainment value.

HAMMER: And I appreciate you thinking through so much. Amy Argetsinger, I mean they do have quite a resume - both of them. What do you think?

ARGETSINGER: They do, absolutely. I mean I think America also is possibly ready for a female president. I don`t know though if America is ready for a woman president who looks better than they do in a bathing suit.

George Clooney is an ideal number two at the job that requires not a whole lot of work and yet a whole lot of charm. And I think he has established himself as a man who can fill this job.

HAMMER: Man, it could just be so spectacular instead of a presidential limo, it would be a presidential motorcycle perhaps. But Angelina would be the one driving.

ARGETSINGER: A presidential yacht also because of Lake Como.

HAMMER: Ken Baker, Jane Velez-Mitchell, Amy Argetsinger, I`d like you to stay right where you are. Because coming up next in our April Fools` round-up, here`s the question I`m posing - can Oprah single-handedly save the country from economic disaster?

I`ve got to say I think if anybody can do it, Oprah can. Oprah can. How Oprah could ease the worries of every homeowner in the land, coming up next.

ANDERSON: Also, A.J., when it comes to young Hollywood, does father really know best? These stars` dads are playing a big part in their daughters` lives. But I wanted to know who is doing it right and who could use some parenting lessons? That`s coming up in a showbiz special report "Who`s Your Daddy?"

HAMMER: And a health scare for Jessica Simpson. Coming up, why Jessica actually had to spend three nights in a hospital. I`m also going to tell you how she`s doing now because I know you want to know. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is coming straight back.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. As we continue to bring you the April Fools` stories that man, we wish they were true.

The next headline, Oprah Winfrey does come up with a plan to solve the country`s mortgage and housing crisis. Back with us once again, Ken Baker, executive news editor for "E!" Author and investigative journalist Jane Velez-Mitchell and Amy Argetsinger, "Reliable Source" columnist for "The Washington Post."

All right, gang. We know that Oprah`s new show "The Big Give" is a big hit. She loves giving stuff away to her studio audience. So I`d like you to imagine this, if you will. Oprah decides to buy everyone in America - and I mean everyone - a house. You get a house, you get a house, you get a house. Amy, she certainly can afford it.

ARGETSINGER: She certainly can. I mean for starters, she could bail out Bear Stearns by offering $14 per share rather than $10. She could do this simply by going through the sofa cushions at all the houses that she owns and finding enough spare change there.


ARGETSINGER: In addition, not only can she buy out every mortgage that at the risk of foreclosing, she can send Ty Pennington to everyone`s house and make sure that they all get new kitchens. I want mind to have granite countertops.

HAMMER: You got it. We`ll put that on the list. Now, Jane, I mean obviously, we can`t deny Oprah`s great ability to seek out and solve big problems. What do you think?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what`s shocking, A.J.? She might actually be able to do this. I think she could get all the CEOs who have destroyed all these companies, destroyed so many lives and yet managed to walk away with these multi-multi-million dollar golden parachutes.

Put all these men on her show and berate them and scold them until they break down - fall down on their knees and decide, "Yes, I`m going to give all the money that I walked away with to the people whose lives I destroyed, whose homes I ended up taking way with my malfeasance. I think that could actually be a show. And I think she should do it and put these men in their place.

HAMMER: You got it. Ken Baker, shall I put you down for stainless steel appliances?

BAKER: I don`t know. That`s a tough one to follow there with what Jane said. But what I have to say is the reality of the matter is that Oprah Winfrey is really good at inspiring people. She`s good at being generous in giving away things to some individuals.

She`s not so good at actually solving nationwide ills.

ANDERSON: Oh, come on.

BAKER: I mean she can expose them. She can shed a light on them. But look, if she`s giving away houses, that`s not helping the mortgage industry because no one`s going to be paying mortgages. Mortgage industry might go bankrupt.

HAMMER: Don`t confuse the issue here, Ken. I want her to give away houses. Let me recap our April Fools headlines for you now - Oprah solving the housing crisis. We have Paris Hilton opening up a halfway house/cancer research center/Bible study center in Rwanda. And then there was Angelina Jolie and George Clooney running for the White House. Let me ask you - and I`ll start with you, Amy - out of all of these, which one do you really wish were true?

ARGETSINGER: I vote for the dream ticket, definitely. Angelina and George. That`s the one.

HAMMER: You`re going to go for that?


HAMMER: All right. Jane Velez-Mitchell, you got your choice here and I`m going to put a lot of credence into the fact that whatever you say will come true one day. So make it really good.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I have to go with Amy. I want to see Ms. Jolie in the White House. I want to see the entire White House staff doing yoga exercises before the state of the union speech. You know, that would be a lot of fun.

HAMMER: It would be nice to see a little more Zen brought to Washington, D.C., wouldn`t it? Ken Baker, I mean,, I don`t know - Paris Hilton going off to Rwanda. That`s got to be your top pick, no?

BAKER: It`s definitely my top pick if only for the reason that I can then come on this show and watch you berate her and say how she`s just doing it for -

HAMMER: Hey, hey, hey.

BAKER: The media to lay off her.

HAMMER: I`m going to make this promise and vow - no Ken. I`ll make this promise and vow right here, right now on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. If she does that, I will say nothing but good things about Paris Hilton for taking on such a task that she`ll never take on.

Ken Baker, Jane Velez-Mitchell, Amy Argetsinger, happy April Fools to all of you. I do appreciate you joining us tonight.

And we want you to know you can watch video reports from SHOWBIZ TONIGHT anytime on the Web site. New ones up all the time at

ANDERSON: You know the old TV show, "Father Knows Best"? Well, I wanted to know does that hold true when it comes to young Hollywood? We`ve got a report card on how these stars` dads are affecting their lives, who`s doing it right and who may not know best after all. That`s coming up in a showbiz special report, "Who`s Your Daddy?"

HAMMER: Also a stalker scare for John Cusack, one of my favorite actors. But this is frightening. A woman who was ordered to stay away from him has been arrested near his house. He actually recognized this woman in a cab in his neighborhood. I`ll fill you in on exactly what happened, coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

And a health scare for Jessica Simpson. Straight ahead, why Jess spent three nights in the hospital. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is coming right back, but first, we`ve been asking you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. It is this - "Kathie Lee Gifford, the right choice for the `Today` show?" Keep voting at E-mail us. There`s the address - Stay with us.

ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson. And this is TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. Tonight, a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT special report "Who`s Your Daddy?"

"Father Knows Best" may have been a `50s TV show, but it could also be the mantra in Hollywood these days. Some bad girls are going good with the help of their dads.

Joining me tonight here in Hollywood, CNN entertainment correspondent, Kareen Wynter and in New York, host of Tru TV`s "Hollywood Heat," Ashleigh Banfield.

Ashleigh, Kareen, I want to begin with Britney Spears` father, Jamie. Now, he`s been in control since she got out of the psych ward. And for so long, though, Jamie and Britney were estranged.

Ashleigh, explain to me how this could have happened? I know it was because of a judge`s intervention, but no one would have expected him to really be able to pull this off especially because of their tenuous relationship.

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, HOST, "HOLLYWOOD HEAT": Two things come to mind, Brooke. It`s amazing what tens of millions of dollars can do when there`s a rogue manager who`s entering into the picture.

ANDERSON: It`s true.

BANFIELD: I`m just saying. But the other thing is that maybe, just maybe his conscience caught up with him. And I`m a little shocked that you and I even have to talk about fathers just doing the bare minimum to be considered good.

ANDERSON: Yes, being a good parent, it should be a given. And you know, another example of a father estranged from a daughter, Lindsay Lohan and her father, Michael. Michael is a former addict, spent time in jail. Kareen, another big surprise here. Another estranged dad who is able to finally positively intervene in his daughter`s life.

KAREEN WYNTER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, I have to disagree a little bit with Ashleigh there. I don`t find this surprising at all. And behind Jamie Spears, I think Lindsay Lohan`s dad should get father of the year. I just want to throw that out, by the way. But -

ANDERSON: Father of the Year - Michael Lohan, are you listening?

WYNTER: Absolutely, Michael, a message to you. But you know, these are people who have been in their lives for so long. They`ve known them all their lives. And this is probably the only dose of reality, the only grounded people surrounding them.

You have all these stars in Hollywood, so many handlers around them and you bring dad into the picture. That`s really, really simple - they`re looking out for their best interest as we see in these two cases. And it`s no surprise really that they`re able to transform them literally overnight.

ANDERSON: Well, speaking of Michael Lohan, he says, it`s harder to be a good father when your child is in the spotlight. I want you to listen to what he told "Extra," quote, "People just don`t realize what it`s like to live under the whirlwind of families like mine and the Spears` and other families out there are caught up in. It takes a lot to hold it together."

Ashleigh, I would have to imagine that a lot of people look at the Lohan family and the money, the opportunities they have and the sympathy factor here is, oh, about zero.

BANFIELD: Yes, you know what? It really shouldn`t be because let`s talk about the kids, not the parents. The kids are the ones in the middle of the media scrum and they`re the ones who ultimately are affected the most.

I understand that the paparazzi makes people like the Lohans a lot of money. But it also makes for a lot of stress for kids. It`s no picnic being a big celebrity. And just look what`s happening to Miley Ray Cyrus lately. What do we call her Miley Ray Cyrus? I don`t even know what we call her. I`m that old.


BANFIELD: Ashleigh, I think she`ll answer to either. Yes, she`s just 15 years old, already being hounded by the paparazzi. It is tragic to see that.

And you`ve also got another father-daughter relationship I want to talk about, Jessica Simpson. Some say, overprotective dad, Joe, he chimes in on whom Jessica`s dating. Even has famously talked about her breasts. Kareen, as much as he`s in control, could that backfire, cause a little bit of rebellion?

WYNTER: Oh, my gosh. Are you kidding me? We`re way too long gone for that. He`s been involved in their lives so long, not just their professional lives but also their personal lives. You know, whatever Papa Joe says, it goes. It`s either his way or the highway.

And what`s scary is Ashley and Jessica - they don`t even seem to have a problem with it. He`s not only making decisions for them. He`s picking out boyfriends, telling the paparazzi where to go to snap pictures, really unhealthy here.


ANDERSON: Ashleigh, do you agree? Ten seconds.

BANFIELD: Yes. And I think the rebellion might come from the press because you`ve already seen the press dive into David Archuleta`s dad and called the stage dad from hell. It`s not a good thing when you over-manage these little stars.

ANDERSON: David Archuleta, of course, on "American Idol." Ashleigh Banfield, Kareen Wynter, thank you both for your insights.

HAMMER: Listen to this - a woman who has been ordered to stay away from John Cusack has been arrested near his house. I`ve got to tell you I think this is so scary. He actually recognized this woman in a cab in his own neighborhood. I`ll give you all the details on exactly what went down next on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

And now, you can watch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT anytime you`d like by downloading our podcast which is totally free. You will find our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT podcast on our Web site which is You can also download it on iTunes. You just have to type "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" in the search box. I can`t get the pause button. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is coming back.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Here are some more stories new right now. A woman has been arrested for allegedly stalking this guy, John Cusack. The woman had a restraining order against her. She apparently took a cab to Cusack`s neighborhood in Santa Monica but didn`t have enough money to pay the cab driver.

So that person called the police and then Cusack saw her and told them she had been stalking him. In (UNINTELLIGIBLE) papers, Cusack said that the woman throws letters over his fence along with rocks and screwdrivers.

Jessica Simpson out of the hospital after being treated for a kidney infection. Simpson spent three nights at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Her publicist says she is feeling much better now. Happy to hear that.

HAMMER: Also George Clooney sounding off about a topic close to his heart. Clooney has been very outspoken about Darfur. And with the 2008 Olympics fast approaching, there`s been pressure on Olympic sponsors to denounce China for its policy on Darfur.

So at the premiere of Clooney`s new movie, "Letterheads," SHOWBIZ TONIGHT asked Clooney if the Olympics could make a difference.


GEORGE CLOONEY, ACTOR: I believe you can use it as leverage. I don`t think you can really ask people to boycott it because that seems a bit of a stretch. But, you know, right now, basically we`re just trying to use it for awareness and see if we can find ways to keep the conversation out there. You know, you want to make sure that people are aware when you`re selling arms to the Sudanese government.


HAMMER: Yes. Such an incredibly good and smart guy. Clooney`s new movie, "Letterheads" a lot of fun and in theaters this Friday.

ANDERSON: Moving on to some more smart celebrities, on Monday we told you about the rumors that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie had gotten married even though they didn`t. And we asked you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day - "Brad and Angelina: Should they get married?"

Fifty-seven percent of you say yes; 43 percent of you say no. And here are some of the e-mails we received.

Linda from Ohio writes, "Even though I strongly believe in marriage, they seem to get along just fine the way they are."

Kerry from Virginia says, "Of course Brad and Angelina should get married. Any couple that is going to have children should be married, period."

HAMMER: I said that yesterday and I`ll say it again, they should do whatever the heck they want, right?

ANDERSON: They`re doing great.

HAMMER: All right. That is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I thank you for watching. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. And remember, you can always catch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on the 11:00s - 11:00 p.m. Eastern, 11:00 p.m. Pacific and at 11:00 a.m. in the morning. The latest from "CNN HEADLINE NEWS" is next.