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Paris Hilton`s Cell Phone Hacked; Is Chris Rock Right Man to Host Oscars?; Interview With Alan Alda

Aired February 22, 2005 - 19:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: Breaking news. Jessica Simpson hospitalized.
KARYN BRYANT, CO-HOST: And Paris Hilton pilfered. Now, that`s hot. I`m Karyn Bryant.

HAMMER: And I`m A.J. Hammer. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

BRYANT: Tonight: Hilton hacked. Someone breaks into her Sidekick just for kicks, and now stars everywhere are getting slammed with...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you hear me now?


BRYANT: Alan Alda live. Hawkeye flies high in "The Aviator."


ALAN ALDA, ACTOR: I`ll have him dragged here to Washington, if I have to.


HAMMER: Now he`s running for president. The Oscar nominee joins us.

BRYANT: Plus, tonight our "SHOWBIZ Showdown." Chris Rock, right for the Oscars? Host with the most or a gig gone wrong?

HAMMER: Also, West side story.


KANYE WEST, SINGER: We really did really good this year.


HAMMER: Kanye West. How the college dropout graduated to Grammy winner.

BRYANT: Kevin`s cleanup. Britney`s hubby gets a makeover, and we`ve got your exclusive photos.


PARIS HILTON: I`m Paris Hilton. If it happened today, it`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


BRYANT: Hello. I`m Karyn Bryant, and you are at the top of the show.

HAMMER: I`m A.J. Hammer. We`re with you live from Headline Prime studios in New York City for the next hour.

BRYANT: We begin with some breaking news from Los Angeles. We just learned moments ago that Jessica Simpson has been hospitalized. This is from a report on

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Brooke Anderson is live in Los Angeles to fill us in. Brooke, give us the very latest.

BROOKE ANDERSON, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT: A.j., here is what we know right now so far. Jessica Simpson was briefly hospitalized yesterday. She was actually in Chicago, shooting a segment for Oprah Winfrey, when she became ill. This is according to "People" magazine, like you said.

Now, we did receive a statement. Simpson`s rep, Brad Cafarelli, released a statement saying she contracted a stomach virus and became dehydrated. He goes on to say, quote, "She is already feeling better after being checked into and released from a local hospital for rehydration before flying back to Los Angeles."

Now, Simpson reportedly flew back to LA today. Now, her interview with Oprah, according to the show`s Web site, will air on Friday. It`s entitled "Red Carpet Makeovers With Jessica Simpson." So as planned, that segment will hit the airwaves two days before this Sunday`s Oscars.

A.J., Simpson has been extremely busy recently, filming the upcoming "Dukes of Hazzard" movie. She`s also got the "Newlyweds" reality show on MTV, and she has her own line of beauty products. Busy lady. But she did slow down briefly, according to her publicist, to check into the hospital for this. We hope she`s back to 100 percent very, very soon. Back to you.

HAMMER: We hope so, too. Thanks a lot, Brooke.

BRYANT: Well, tonight the private Paris is public again. Paris Hilton`s private life is all over the Internet -- phone numbers, pictures. It is crazy!

HAMMER: It is crazy. T-Mobile and now the feds are trying to figure out how the oh-so-secret numbers on Paris Hilton`s Sidekick brand cell phone ended up out there in cyberspace, sending stars scrambling to change their phone numbers.


LIL JON: Thank you, hackers. Thank you very much.


HAMMER: Rapper Lil Jon couldn`t hide how annoyed he was to our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT cameras. He`s getting hit with crank calls, not crank calls.


LIL JON: I did get hit with the Paris Hilton bug. I had to change my phone number.


HAMMER: Eminem reportedly had to change his digits. Victoria Gotti is the star of a reality show, but this is unreal. She got slammed with 100 calls in two hours. Even Paris Hilton`s TV sidekick, Nicole Richie, has been affected by this Sidekick saga.

Look at the bunch of big name celebrities we hear are hacked off tonight. Their deets (ph) were hacked from Paris`s star-studded address book. It all started with Hilton`s T-Mobile Sidekick II, which is featured in commercials starring Hilton herself.


HILTON: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) wants to know how much a pat of butter is.


HAMMER: Now, if you use a Sidekick, some of your information, including phone numbers, is stored on an on-line server. T-Mobile tells CNN that someone either hacked into that server or lifted Paris`s password. Either way, the phone numbers, e-mail addresses and photos of hundreds of Hilton`s friends reportedly were posted on line worldwide in seconds. But good luck trying to find them. T-mobile says the Secret Service -- they investigate computer crime -- is putting a stop to this.

This is just the latest hang-up in Paris`s private life that has been publicized on the Internet. You probably remember the sex tape she made with an ex-boyfriend that became a Web phenomenon. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT called Paris Hilton`s people this afternoon to find out what she has to say about this mess. She`s not talking about it.

She probably doesn`t have us in her phonebook yet, but a close friend of hers does. Brian Long tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that his name was right next to Lindsay Lohan`s in Paris`s address book.


BRIAN LONG, FRIEND OF PARIS: At first, they were sort of nice people just saying, Your number`s on the Internet, but then they started getting a little weirder and weirder, and some got rally out of hand. And then the text messages started getting out of hand.


HAMMER: So when will it all end? In a statement, T-Mobile tells us, quote, "T-Mobile`s computer forensics and security team is actively investigating to determine how Ms. Hilton`s information was obtained."

So where is Paris tonight? Well, she`s busy in Florida, shooting a new season of "The Simple Life," even as her real life gets more complicated. I get crank phone calls all the time anyway. I have no idea if it`s related.

BRYANT: Sorry about that, A.J.

HAMMER: Me, too.

BRYANT: Well, our "Countdown to Oscar" continues tonight. Getting a close look, the Oscars host, Chris Rock. Now, Rock has made some comments recently about the Oscars and the people who watch them. On "Ellen" this morning, Rock repeated that Jamie Foxx will not be leaving without an Oscar, even if he has to take one from Jack Nicholson.

Now, earlier, he implied that the only guys who watch the show are gay. Last night on the "Tonight" show, he backed away from that a bit, joking that only gay guys watch the Tonys.

So that`s what we`ll be debating tonight in our "SHOWBIZ Showdown." Is Chris Rock the right choice to host the Oscars? We kick off our debate at 15 past the hour. We want to know what you think, of course, so take our cnn poll at or e-mail us at We`ll be sure to read some of your e-mails a little later on.

HAMMER: Well, all this week on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, we are bringing you interviews with some of the biggest Oscar nominees. Tonight, the hits keep on coming. Joining us tonight is Alan Alda, who is nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role as the senator in "The Aviator." Joining us live, as I see, from the set of "The West Wing," you`re there in the Oval Office, Alan. Nice to see you.

ALAN ALDA, ACTOR, "THE AVIATOR": Hi. How are you? Good to see you. I`m so upset! My name is on the Internet now from Paris Hilton`s phone book.

HAMMER: I was going to -- by now, you`ve changed your phone number. I`m certain of it.

ALDA: No. I -- no, I didn`t. Maybe I`d better now. I don`t know. You know, we used to go camping together.

HAMMER: I understand you`re also quite the computer guru yourself. And perhaps you were doing the hacking. But more on that later. Right now, I want to talk about -- well, your roles as senators. You keep playing senator after senator, of course, in "The Aviator," of course in "The West Wing," and you`ve done it before. How many times have you played this kind of a role?

ALDA: Well, only one other time, in "The Seduction of Joe Tynan," which I wrote, too, a long time ago.

HAMMER: Right.

ALDA: But I`ve been in the Oval Office a lot. I played a president once in a movie, and then in another movie, I tried to kill the president in the Oval Office. So I think Marty -- I just mention that to Marty Sheen every once in a while, just to keep him off balance, you know?

HAMMER: Well, I know that years ago, you used to be somewhat political, and I know you`re very much into the acting. But of course, it has to make us wonder, will you consider political aspirations? Do you have any? You know, look at what people were saying about Martin Sheen. He`s so good as the president. And look at Arnold.

ALDA: Yes. Yes. Look at Arnold. I know. No, I have no interest in going into politics. I`d rather do good in the world.

HAMMER: Well, I personally am a hardcore...

ALDA: And the cameraman`s going like this.

HAMMER: Yes. Exactly!


HAMMER: I`m a hardcore "West Wing" fan. It was so terrific to see you join up with the show. You`re playing something which is very unusual for that show, which is a likable Republican.

ALDA: Well, there are plenty of likable Republicans. You know, I really -- I get a little worried about us dividing ourselves into red and blue. I mean, there are good things to hear from both sides of the political spectrum. And I -- I think that this show aspires to encouraging people to do that, to listen to one another, regardless of the strategy, for how to make the country better, if we take it that everybody does want to make it better.

HAMMER: So what was it like the first time you came back to the set of "The West Wing" after you got the news that you`re nominated for an Oscar? Were they bowing down to you?

ALDA: It was wonderful. Everybody was so supportive. Everybody`s, you know, encouraging me and telling me they hope I win and stuff like that. It just feels great. I never thought that if this happened to me, you know, getting nominated, that it would be so exciting. And I really am.

HAMMER: How did the role come about to begin with? How did you hook up with Martin and wind up playing the part?

ALDA: My agent, Tony Howard, got the idea that I`d be good in this part, and she told Ellen Lewis, the casting director, and she told Martin Scorsese, who I`m so grateful to that he saw me in this part, you know, because I think a lot of people wouldn`t -- it wouldn`t occur to a lot of people because a lot of people think of me as Mr. Nice Guy, but they don`t know what I`m really like.

HAMMER: That`s exactly right. And it really is playing against type, which my guess is, for you, really a role you could sink your teeth into.

ALDA: Yes, well, it`s not really playing against type. It`s playing against the type of person people think I am. I think that`s more like what it is.

HAMMER: Now, you have never been nominated before. Have you attended the Academy Awards before?


HAMMER: Is this the first time?

ALDA: I did. You know, my father was a famous actor, Robert Alda. And I went to the Academy Awards once with him when I was about 12 years old. And I remember sitting in the back seat with Debbie Reynolds. And she was -- she was a teenager. And I had a crush on her.

HAMMER: Well, we...

ALDA: You won`t tell anybody this, will you? Because I`m going to get in trouble already on account of Paris Hilton.

HAMMER: No, we`ll keep that just between you and I, I promise.


HAMMER: OK. Breaking news coming up a little later on in the show about Alan Alda and a secret crush he once had. We thank you very much for joining us tonight. And best of luck on Sunday.

ALDA: Thank you so much.

HAMMER: And of course, you can see Alan Alda on "The West Wing" on Wednesday nights on NBC, and of course, on Oscar night this Sunday, perhaps picking up an award.

BRYANT: Well, some late-breaking news on Prince Charles`s impending nuptials. Late this afternoon, Buckingham Palace announced that when the prince marries Camilla Parker Bowles in April, the mother of the groom will not be there. The palace spin is that the couple wants the civil ceremony to be, you know, low-key. So the queen isn`t going. But she will attend a religious service for the couple, and she will throw a party at the castle later in the day.

HAMMER: It is time now for "SHOWBIZ Shorts," a look at more stories that are making news tonight.

Back to court. Michael Jackson showed up at his trial this morning, and jury selection resumed. The trial had been on hold for a week while Jackson stayed in the hospital with the flu.

Martha`s homework. The editor of "Martha Stewart Living" says Stewart will write a column for the magazine while she serves the last five months of her sentence under house arrest. Stewart gets out of prison on March 6. The first column will be in the April issue. More "SHOWBIZ Shorts" coming up throughout the show.

BRYANT: You know, Hollywood`s a pretty small town, when you get right down to it. And it is even smaller on Oscar night. We`ll show you how the nominees are all connected coming up, as we play "Six Degrees of Oscar."

HAMMER: And Federline sublime. Britney`s hubby gets a makeover, and we`ve got exclusive photos.

BRYANT: Now tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly" great American Oscar quiz. What dramatic role has resulted in the most Oscar nominations? Is it A, Queen Elizabeth I, B, Henry VIII, C, Hamlet, or D, Michael Corleone? We`ll be right back with the answer.


HAMMER: Welcome back. So once again, tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly" great American Oscar quiz. What dramatic role has resulted in the most Oscar nominations, Queen Elizabeth I, Henry VIII, Hamlet or Michael Corleone? The answer is B, Henry VIII.

Oscar winners usually prosper, but now a study shows they live longer, as well. "Variety" reports directors who win Oscars live about two years longer than nominees. An earlier study found that actors who won Oscars lived an average of four years longer than the competition.

BRYANT: Well, it is 15 past the hour. Time now for the "SHOWBIZ Showdown." We`re doing a little bit of a different take on it tonight. But you know, Chris Rock`s riff on the Oscars and the people who watch them has sparked a debate in Hollywood, and we figured we may as well get in on the action here in New York.

Now, as we tackle the "Showdown" question, Is Chris Rock the right choice to host the Oscars, we are now joined live by Neil Rosen. He is from New York 1 News. He says, Yes, Chris Rock is the right choice to host the Oscars. So Neil, I want to get right to this with you. I will debate with you tonight. But first I`m going to let you state your case. Why do you think Chris Rock is the correct choice?

NEIL ROSEN, NEW YORK 1: Well, Chris Rock to me personally is the funniest comedian in America, from his HBO specials "Bring the Pain" and "Bigger and Blacker," the guy is just hilarious. And that`s what Oscar needs. Oscar needs a shot in the arm. I mean, that show is getting -- you know, the ratings have been going down over the years. The show has -- I won`t say a geriatric audience, but I will say that, you know, it`s kind of staid and conservative. You watch the show, most of the winners you know in advance. It`s predictable.

Chris Rock is unpredictable. He`s controversial. I hope that he does say something a little off skew and controversial on the show to spice things up. It`s just what Oscar needs.

BRYANT: OK. Well, I actually think that this year, the race is very close. I don`t think you know who`s going to win in every category. But what about the idea that Chris has made comments that have tarnished the reputation and the image of the Oscars?

ROSEN: Well, I think, you know, Chris Rock is just trying to generate ratings and trying to generate viewership. I mean, what did Chris Rock say exactly? He said that only gay people -- only gay men will watch the show.

BRYANT: Right. He said, No straight black man that I know watches the Oscars.

ROSEN: Right. So who`s that going to offend? A heterosexual black man now is now not going to tune in to the Oscars because of Chris Rock`s comments? I mean, it`s funny. He actually back-pedaled on that yesterday on the "Tonight" show and said that...

BRYANT: Right.

ROSEN: ... it was real the Tonys.

BRYANT: The Tonys.

ROSEN: But I mean, who`s that really offending anyway? I mean, I think he`s just trying to, like -- you know, Chris Rock, if you`ve ever watched any of his specials, his stand-up specials, he`s out there. He`s funny. He`s trying to make people watch the show.

But he also -- you know, it`s not that he`s just that out there that he can`t do mainstream stuff, as well. I mean, his movies, like "Head of State" and "Down to Earth," you know, are PG movies. So it`s not that -- and the guy -- in his own words, he`s done Oprah four times and didn`t use any profanity. So Chris Rock can play both sides of the fence. I think he`s a perfect choice this year for the Oscars...


ROSEN: ... and I`m looking forward to it.

BRYANT: Well, Neil, now we`ve got somebody on the other side to refute you. Martin Grove, you are joining us now from Los Angeles. I want you to step in. You think that Chris Rock is not the correct choice.

MARTIN GROVE, "HOLLYWOOD" REPORTER ONLINE: Believe me, Karyn, he is the flavor of the month, but it`s the flavor rocky road. Nothing but trouble. His audience is not the audience that watches the Oscars. Chris Rock has a young audience, an urban audience. The Oscars play to a mainstream, broad audience across the U.S. And frankly, he`s not the guy to host the show, and neither are the films that are on this year the films that will attract a broad audience. He...

BRYANT: Well, that`s the thing, though. Won`t Chris Rock help to at least lift the ratings on a year that perhaps may not have done so well?

GROVE: I don`t think so because these are films that most people across the country haven`t seen. The Oscar host comes on, he does a few funny lines at the beginning of the show, and then he basically is just back and forth, leading in and out of commercials.

ROSEN: I don`t agree with that at all, Marty. To be perfectly honest with you, I think that because of Chris Rock, people that ordinarily wouldn`t tune in to the Oscars will tune in to the Oscars. I mean, if I...

GROVE: Yes, but Neil, when they tune in and they see that Chris Rock is not doing what they`re used to seeing him do because he can`t say those words on ABC, on the Oscars, they`re not going to be happy, either.

ROSEN: I don`t agree because "Head of State" and his other movie, "Down to Earth," was not what Chris Rock ordinarily does, either, and those movies did really tremendously well at the box office.

BRYANT: Well, now, Martin, you get the last word. Who would you like to see host instead?

GROVE: Just anybody who`s a mainstream movie guy...


GROVE: ... who can appeal to the rest of the country that really hasn`t seen these movies.

BRYANT: OK. Well, thanks for joining us, Martin Grove from "The Hollywood Reporter" and Neil Rosen from "New York 1" magazine.

Now, of course, we do want to know what you think. Is Chris Rock the right choice to host the Oscars? You can vote at Or if you want to tell us more, e-mail us at We will share some of what you had to say later in the show.

HAMMER: So do you have any idea who influenced the artist Kanye West when he was growing up? I`ll give you a big hint. Parachute pants and someone who many people say is a distant relative of mine. Kanye tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s David Haffenreffer that and much more coming up.

BRYANT: Oh, my goodness, A.J.! Plus, we will also make you a Hollywood heavy in five minutes or less, guaranteed, or your remote control back. We`ve got inside Oscar info from "People Hollywood Daily."

HAMMER: Well, now we have a challenge for you, an "In Style" Oscar fashion challenge. I want you to take a look at this picture. It`s the back of a former Oscar nominee. And the question is, Who is it? Cate Blanchett, Kate Winslet or Diane Lane? The answer for you later in the show.


HAMMER: The Hilary bone`s connected to the Cate bone. The Cate bone`s connected to the Depp bone. Or something like that. We will sing you the rest of the song in our "Six Degrees of Oscar" -- well, maybe we won`t sing it because we`re not sure if we`re cleared to do that. But we`ll do something like that. "Six Degrees of Oscar" about 10 minutes away.

BRYANT: Time now for some more "SHOWBIZ Shorts." Blink and you will miss them. Blink-182 announced today they`re on, quote, "indefinite hiatus." in a statement, band members say they want to spend more time with family and friends and have no plans to work together again.

Super Ben. Ben Affleck and Diane Lane will star in a movie about the death of Superman star George Reeves. "Truth, Justice and the American Way" starts filming this summer. More "SHOWBIZ Shorts" coming up throughout the show.

HAMMER: Well, every night leading up to the Oscars, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT will be bringing you an inside look at "People Hollywood Daily." Now, this is something you won`t be able to get on your newsstands. It`s for Hollywood`s insiders and big players only. But don`t worry, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, of course, has you covered.

And joining us live from Los Angeles is the LA associate bureau chief for "People" magazine, Mike Fleeman. Mike, we are placing some bets around here today, just for fun, of course. And you have some predictions for us, right?


HAMMER: Well, let`s get right to it. In the Best Actress category, we have some nominees this year, and two nominees, in particular, who`ve been at it before, Hilary Swank and Annette Bening. Now, Mike, everybody`s saying it`s going to be a real tight race here. What are the Vegas odds on this?

FLEEMAN: Well, the Vegas odds have Hilary Swank for "Million Dollar Baby." But you know, we`re going to call it a toss-up. I think Annette Bening could surprise a lot of people, and it`s going to be a little too close to call.

HAMMER: OK, so "People" magazine is calling it for Annette Bening, or you`re just saying...

FLEEMAN: We`re saying it`s a toss-up.

HAMMER: Got it. Moving on to Best Actor, then, lively race here, as well -- Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, two great roles. What about Vegas in this case?

FLEEMAN: Well, Vegas and "People" magazine agree it`s got to be Jamie Foxx. He is playing a blind musician with a drug problem. It doesn`t get any better than that for an actor.

HAMMER: All right. Well, then let`s move on to Martin Scorsese. He`s nominated again this year. Now, Mike, he`s never gotten an Oscar for directing. He`s up against Clint Eastwood, who has got one for that role. Is Vegas showing some love to Marty this time?

FLEEMAN: Yes. Vegas is showing a little tiny bit of love, just a peck on the cheek. But you know what? We`re going to give it to Clint Eastwood this time.

HAMMER: OK. Thank you very much, Mike. We appreciate you Joining us. We`re going to be following this every day to see exactly what you have to say. Mike Fleeman, the LA associate bureau chief for "People" magazine. And we`ll see you again tomorrow night for some more Oscar scoops.

BRYANT: Well, it`s his prerogative, but Britney`s hubby gets a brand- new look, and we have exclusive photos.

HAMMER: And attention all women going to the Oscars: Heads up because our Tuesday "In Style" will help you from making a fashion faux pas.



HAMMER: Oscar connection. As the nominees battle for the awards, we play six degrees of Oscar separation.

BRYANT: Plus, how the West was won. Grammy winner Kanye West, one on one on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


KANYE WEST, MUSICIAN: Yo, what`s up? This is Kanye West. And if it happened today, it`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It is 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer.

BRYANT: And I`m Karyn Bryant. Here are tonight`s hot headlines.

Simpson hospitalized. Just a short time ago, we learned that Jessica Simpson was hospitalized in Chicago yesterday. reports she was in Chicago shooting a segment for Oprah and contracted a stomach virus and became dehydrated. Her rep says she was hospitalized briefly, but is feeling better now.

HAMMER: Paris sideswiped. As we told you earlier, hotel heiress Paris Hilton`s sidekick, which is a phone and an e-mail device, got hacked into. Then a whole mess of people reached out and touched a whole mess of celebrities, including Lil` Jon, Victoria Gotti and even reportedly Lindsay Lohan.

BRYANT: And segue of segues. We`ve been asking you to vote on tonight`s SHOWBIZ SHOWDOWN question of the day. Is Chris Rock the right choice to host the Oscars? So far it looks like 55 percent of you say yes, Chris Rock is the right choice to host the Oscars, 45 percent of you say no, Chris Rock is not the right choice to host the Oscars. Pretty close race going on. Keep on voting at And send your e- mails with comments to We`ll share some of what you had to say at 55 past the hour.

HAMMER: So did you ever hear of this game six degrees of Kevin Bacon, you know, the one where no matter what actor you start out with, you always make a connection to Kevin Bacon. Well, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has a new game. So move over, Bacon, as we play six degrees of Oscar separation.


HAMMER (voice-over): Oscar time isn`t the only time these nominees have rubbed elbows with each other on the red carpet. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT did some digging on this year`s crop of Oscar hopefuls and we discovered these nominees won`t need introductions to each other on their big day. Hilary worked with Cate. Kate worked with Laura. But when did Laura work with Clint? Got you stumped? Good. Because we were too until we uncovered some connections of our own.

Let`s play six degrees of Oscar separation! Hilary Swank, up for best actress for "Million Dollar Baby," co-starred with Oscar nominee Cate Blanchett in "The Gift," a story about a young woman`s disappearance.

Cate, who`s nominated for her role in "The Aviator," worked alongside Johnny Depp in "The Man Who Cried." Depp is nominated this year for his portrayal of writer J.M. Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan, in this year`s "Finding Neverland."

In "What`s Eating Gilbert Grape?" Depp played big brother to Leonardo DiCaprio, whose character finds love getting in the way of family. DiCaprio, who`s nominated this year for his portrayal of Howard Hughes in "The Aviator," stole Kate Winslet`s heart in "Titanic." Winslet, who is nominated this year for her role as a neurotic ex-girlfriend in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," played a journalist investigating the murder of Laura Linney`s character in "The Life of David Gale."

Laura Linney, who is nominated this year for her role playing the wife to Dr. Alfred Kinsey in "Kinsey," played daughter to a professional thief, Clint Eastwood, in "Absolute Power." Clint Eastwood, nominated for directing "Million Dollar Baby," teamed up with Morgan Freeman in the gun- slinging western drama "Unforgiven."

Freeman is nominated for his supporting role in "Million Dollar Baby," which brings us back full circle to Hilary Swank, nominated for her starring role in "Million Dollar Baby."

And that concludes this game of six degrees of Oscar separation.


HAMMER: I hope you were playing along at home. There`s another Oscar game you can play. It`s called inside the envelope. All you have to do is log on to, click on inside the envelope once you`re there and make your Oscar predictions. The grand prize winner will get a 32-inch LCD HDTV and $1,000 cash.

BRYANT: Well, the Oscars help us kick off Tuesday in style. From "In Style" magazine, which you will see every Tuesday here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. And with only days to go before the big event, we want to know what should the female nominees wear? "In Style" magazine`s Toby Tucker Peters, what a fun name to say, is here to tell us. So welcome, Toby.


BRYANT: I want to start with Hilary Swank. She`s been dressing pretty well lately.

PETERS: She`s an amazing dresser. She really is.

BRYANT: I want to take a look at some things that she`s worn in the past.

PETERS: OK. Well, actually, this is the dress I think that she might be wearing to the Oscars. You never know for sure. This is Calvin Klein. This just came down the runway. She favors Calvin Klein and actually has worn him in the past to many shows. And this dress is simple. It`s elegant. It has that touch of sexiness that she does so well. She`s always appropriate, which is a word you don`t usually use in fashion, but she just does it so well.

BRYANT: Because actually I wanted to touch on that because Oscars, somebody compared it to the Super Bowl, you know, of fashion and yet sometimes people just really fumble.

PETERS: It`s crazy. What happens on the red carpet is totally different from the actual awards and who wins for being the best actress. On the red carpet, it`s all about whose dress you have on and how many carats you have on. It`s not about what kind of actor you are, unfortunately. It`s a little shallow that way, but yet one of our guiltiest pleasures.

BRYANT: Sure. Nothing shallow about that. So Hilary Swank, we`re thinking probably Calvin Klein.


BRYANT: And I want to move on now and talk about Kate Winslet. Kate Winslet, she is lovely and she`s a terrific actress. What do you see for her?

PETERS: She actually has worn this in the past. She wore this to the Golden Globes, really simple, beautiful black dress. And she does it really well. You see she doesn`t have too much going on. Her body is wonderful. She`s really showing off her cleavage and her wonderful white skin and just very elegant with a simple clutch.

BRYANT: And who made this dress?

PETERS: This is Ben -- actually, I`m not sure who that is.

BRYANT: Somebody fabulous, though, regardless. And her hair`s been looking great. She just has a really great spirit.

PETERS: The best thing about her, she does clean hair and makeup. People go overboard. You see J. Lo with like the biggest hair ever. And it`s just too much.

BRYANT: OK. Well, somebody who wore a lot of dresses in her film "Being Julia" is Annette Bening, up again for best actress. What about Annette? What should she do?

PETERS: Annette Bening is so perfect because she knows what she looks good in. She`s a mature actress. She`s got a great body. She always looks good on the red carpet because she never overdoes it. And I think she should wear an American designer. I`d love to see her wear something from Ralph Lauren, something that came down his catwalk was this dress, which is just...

BRYANT: Oh, wow, kind of mermaidy.

PETERS: But doesn`t that just scream Oscars? Wouldn`t that look wonderful with an Oscar held just right next to it, don`t you think?

BRYANT: Oh, absolutely. I think it would match. Now, somebody, a newcomer. What does Catalina Sandino Moreno, what -- just like your name, what should she wear because this is her first nomination? She`s really introducing herself to the world.

PETERS: Right. I think that she`s so young, she`s in her early 20s, and I think that she should really wear something fun. This was the finale gown from Oscar de la Renta. It`s absolutely gorgeous. She`s in the past been seen wearing beautiful gowns, but yet I really want her to play up her youthfulness. And I think this would really do it for her.

BRYANT: Well, she`s a very pretty girl. And yes, like you said, very young. So she could go with something maybe more -- a little more sort of colorful if she chose to, right?

PETERS: Well, fun, and also, you know it`s her first time going to the awards and this could make or break her name recognition in terms of what she`s going forward with.

BRYANT: OK. Now, somebody a little bit older, Imelda Staunton, nominated for "Vera Drake." What do you think she should do, talking about being appropriate for her age?

PETERS: Well, it`s been reported that in the past she`s never gotten goodies from designers, no one`s ever sent her anything. She`s never had a designer dress before. But she said that she`s quietly making a frock in London. This is what she said. So she`s not giving out the name of a designer, but I think she should wear something age appropriate and something that`s going to really fit her body type. She`s only five feet tall.

BRYANT: Ooh, that`s petite.

PETERS: So this from Carolina Herrera is just the real classic white top and black skirt, nothing too frou-frou or fancy.

BRYANT: OK. Well, great. Thank you so much. And of course if you want to check out the very latest in fashion, from Toby Tucker Parker -- Peters. I was so close, Toby Tucker Peters. You can check her magazine out. It`s of course "In Style" magazine. Pick up a copy of the March "In Style" magazine. It hits newsstands Friday. Whew.

HAMMER: I would have screwed it up, too, Karyn. Thirty-nine minutes past the hour now and time for more SHOWBIZ SHORTS. "American Idol" on a high note. The ratings just came out this afternoon, and "American Idol" has the most viewers from last night. "Fear Factor," which is the usual Monday night winner, was not a factor for FOX. It came in second. The fog returns. We learn today that Tom Welling of "Smallville" and Maggie Grace from "Lost" will star in a remake of the horror movie "The Fog." John Carpenter, who directed and co-wrote the original is producing the remake. We have more SHOWBIZ SHORTS coming up throughout the show.

BRYANT: Are the girls from "Full House" heading to the White House? We`ll find out coming up in our "laughter dark" segment.

HAMMER: And he`s pretty new to the music scene, but he`s already working with a legend. Kanye West talks to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s David Haffenreffer.

And now it`s time for tonight`s "birthday shoutout." Drew Barrymore turns 30 years old today. Unbelievable. The shout out comes from Jason Bateman.


JASON BATEMAN: Drew, the owner of Flower Films, you are a flower yourself and happy, happy birthday. May all your petals sing this year.



BRYANT: He`s not even 30, but he is on the ride of his life. Kanye West picked up his latest award last night at the MTV TRL awards. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s" David Haffenreffer was there live and he got a chance to talk with the rapper.

DAVID HAFFENREFFER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was another big night, Karyn, for Kanye West. He took home best new artist award. But that`s literally just one award in what`s turning out to be a really hot year for Kanye West.


HAFFENREFFER (voice-over): Kanye West stole the show at the Grammies a couple of weeks ago. He won three awards, including best rap album. But it wasn`t so much getting a Grammy that Kanye wanted. It was a chance to speak at the show.

WEST: I`ve waited to have a Grammy speech for my entire life. So I wanted to make sure I made an impact and said something that people would remember and maybe inspire someone.

HAFFENREFFER: He ruffled some feathers in November when he was passed over at the American music awards.

WEST: I feel like I was definitely robbed, and I refuse to give any politically correct [EXPLETIVE DELETED] answer. A lot of people point fingers at me, and they don`t like the way I carry myself or the way -- or my confidence. But it`s shown many people that I shine, hopefully I can be an inspiration to those people where they can just act like me for a day. If you`re at a job and they say hey, good job on that Kanye interview, I like the way you held that mike really steady, you say damn right, I`ve been practicing holding this mike all night. You just act like me just for one second. Maybe I could be an inspiration.

HAFFENREFFER: On the subject of inspirations, who were your inspirations growing up (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?

WEST: Anita Baker, Vanilla Ice, Vanilla Ice. The thing is, I was a little kid. I loved them. I used to do the Vanilla Ice dance. "Ice Ice Baby" was too cold.

HAFFENREFFER: What`s the follow-up? What`s the next thing for you?

WEST: I`m working on my new album. I`ve got my new label, "Getting Out the Dreams" with John Legend. And I just feel really good.

HAFFENREFFER: Are you at all worried about staying in the spotlight?

WEST: It`s not about the spotlight. It`s about making things that are creative.


HAFFENREFFER: And Kanye`s new album is called "Late Registration." It`s supposed to come out later on this year. He also told us that he`s directing music videos. His first is John Legend`s "Ordinary People." A.J., back to you.

HAMMER: Have you heard this John Legend album? It`s unbelievable.

HAFFENREFFER: Everybody`s buzzing about it.

HAMMER: It`s in everybody`s CD player. It`s on everybody`s iPod, and it looks like you`re becoming one of those hip-hop stars yourself, David.

HAFFENREFFER: Got to run out and get that one.

HAMMER: All right. Thanks a lot for joining us tonight. And now it is time to get your laugh on in "Laughter Dark." As we do every night, we bring you the late night laughs that just might have missed. First tonight, on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," Jimmy put in some time at a local elementary school just so he could teach kids about Presidents` Day. Actually, I don`t know if teach is the right word here.


JIMMY KIMMEL: The president has twin daughters. Do you know their names?

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: Mary-Kay and Ashley.

KIMMEL: No, Mary Kay and Ashley are not the president`s daughters. They are -- no. That`s a different -- they`ll be president eventually, but no no, relation. Who wants to punch President Lincoln in the stomach?

OK. I think President Lincoln is about to throw up.


BRYANT: Well, pretty funny there from Jimmy. Remember Oprah`s ear piercing from yesterday? Well, Tony does a take on it, Danza style. That is in our talk of the day.

HAMMER: Plus, there`s plenty of talk about Kevin Federline. Britney Spears` husband gets a brand spanking new look, and we`ve got the exclusive pictures.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, 50 minutes past the hour, and time for more "Showbiz Shorts." Suddenly Susan -- Sarandon. Sarandon has just signed on to star alongside Billy Bob Thornton in the new film comedy called "Mr. Woodcock."

Everybody hurts sometimes. R.E.M. bass player Mike Mills has a severe ear infection, so two shows on the band`s European tour had to be canceled. But today singer Michael Stipe said Mills probably will be able to perform by tomorrow.

BRYANT: On newsstands today a spiffed up Kevin Federline on the cover of "Details" magazine. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT obtained some never-before-seen photographs of Federline and wife Britney Spears.


BRYANT (voice-over): Oops. It`s Mr. Britney Spears like you`ve never seen him before. Kevin Federline steps out of Britney`s shadow and into Louis Vuitton on the cover of the new "Details" magazine. Inside, K-Fed is dressed to the nines in nothing less than Ralph Lauren, Sean John, and Marc Jacobs, just to name a few. "Details" special projects editor Andrea Oliveri says his new look is...

ANDREA OLIVERI, "DETAILS" MAGAZINE: Kind of a little funky, edgy, some hip-hop influence thrown in.

BRYANT: Never a slave to publicity, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT got these exclusive behind the scenes photos that show Britney supporting her main man.

OLIVERI: She just misses him when she`s not with him.

BRYANT: Changing clothes and dancing to the music of Jay-Z, Federline`s shoot wouldn`t have been complete without the wife dropping in.

OLIVERI: When he would walk off, she would give him a kiss. They would cuddle and hang out together for a little bit before he would go back to shoot the next photograph.


BRYANT: Well, in the interview the happy duo wouldn`t talk about babies, but you can look out for their new fashion line called pair of dice, launching sometime this year.

HAMMER: Tony Danza gets a makeover of his own, and that`s coming up in our "Talk of the Day."

BRYANT: And there`s still time for you to sound off in tonight`s "Showbiz Showdown" question of the day. Is Chris Rock the right choice to host the Oscars? Vote at or e-mail us what`s on your mind at We`ll read some of your thoughts live next.

HAMMER: Now we have the answer to the "In Style" Oscar fashion challenge. Take a look at this picture. It`s the back of a former Oscar nominee. We asked the question earlier in the show, whose is it? Cate Blanchett, or Blanchett? People say it different ways. Kate Winslet, or Diane Lane? The answer is Cate Blanchett. She was nominated for her 1998 performance in "Elizabeth." did you get it, Karyn?

BRYANT: I think so.

HAMMER: Blanchett, Blanchett?

BRYANT: Blanchett, Blanchett. Yeah, Blanchett.

HAMMER: We`re coming right back.


BRYANT: They`ve been talking all day and we`ve been listening. Now, as we do every night on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, the best from today`s talk shows. First it was Oprah`s dramatic ear piercing. Now Kelly reacts as confetti cannons bring an unwelcome jolt on "Live with Regis & Kelly."


KELLY RIPA, CO-HOST, "LIVE WITH REGIS & KELLY": OK. Really, it`s getting dangerous. Yeah, I can`t wait till it brings down a light, or something and it kills us.

REGIS PHILBIN, CO-HOST, "LIVE WITH REGIS & KELLY": We hate this stupidity. Every day.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Confetti. It`s fun.

RIPA: Confetti is not fun. It`s taking years off our life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s fun to see you guys get scared.

RIPA: Those cannons are shot, it`s like the first time. I`m never used to it. I`m never prepared for it.



BRYANT: Oh, come on. You`ve got to show some love to Oprah. You can`t rag on her like that. Anyway, Tony Danza gets in touch with his feminine side with Harry Winston earrings, speaking of Oprah and the ear piercing. This happened on the Tony Danza show.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Academy Award-winning actress wearing these this year.

TONY DANZA: What are they? Oh.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These are diamond and ruby earrings. This is a key trend this season.

DANZA: I can`t reach my hair. That`s my only problem. Oh, it`s very nice, though, very nice.


DANZA: You got another one?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No movie star goes out with just one earring.

DANZA: Let me look as dumb as I possibly can.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How gorgeous do you look?

DANZA: I look stupid. I look stupid.


HAMMER: That`s not a bad look. And you know, the clip-ons are not painful.

BRYANT: And that might match my dress for Sunday. I might need to get those.

HAMMER: Call Harry Winston, see if they can take care of that. Throughout the show, we`ve been asking you to vote online on our SHOWBIZ SHOWDOWN question of the day. Is Chris Rock the right choice to host the Oscars? Let us take a look now at how the voting is going so far. It`s pretty much been running neck and neck all night, but 55 percent of you said yes, Chris Rock is the right choice to host the Oscars. 45 percent of you said no, Chris Rock not the right choice to host the Oscars. You`ve also been sending us your e-mails on this question. Thanks for doing that.

Fred from Albany, Georgia, writes, why has nobody questioned the antics of Billy Crystal hosting the Academy Awards? Last year he did a segment where he was nude on the show and it was very tacky. This was after the Janet Jackson Super Bowl indecent incident and nothing was mentioned about Crystal. And remember, you can continue to vote. We`d like you to do that by going to You can also still send us e-mails at

BRYANT: Time now to see what is playing on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT this week.

HAMMER: Let`s take a look at the showbiz marquee.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Playing tomorrow -- the empire with (UNINTELLIGIBLE). J. Lo perfume, J. Lo clothes, J. Lo restaurants?

JENNIFER LOPEZ: I think of them as created passion projects.


HAMMER: Hey, J. Lo, whatever you call it, you seem to get it right.

And you`re on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Also tomorrow -- we`re partying like a fox. No, not that kind, the "Ray" kind. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has your RSVP to Jamie Foxx`s P.O.B., pre- Oscar bash.

And playing Thursday -- a Celine -- you`ve got a new neighbor.

He writes the songs that makes Vegas sing. Music, passion, and he`s still in fashion, Barry Manilow`s brand new show. Barry invites SHOWBIZ TONIGHT and you`re invited too. So be there or be -- just be there.

BRYANT: Headline prime continues next with "NANCY GRACE."


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