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Nemcova Speaks Out on Surviving Tsunami; Michael Jackson`s Trial Continues; Interview With Kevin Costner

Aired March 8, 2005 - 19:00:00   ET


KARYN BRYANT, CO-HOST: Tonight, Petra`s peril. For the first time, supermodel Petra Nemcova speaks about her tsunami struggle. We have her heartbreaking story.


RON ELDARD, "BLIND JUSTICE": All I want is a chance.


HAMMER: Blind ambition. Ron Eldard joins us live. He plays a blind cop with a gun, and he`ll shed some light on this "NYPD Blue" replacement.


KEVIN COSTNER, "THE UPSIDE OF ANGER": The charm of it for me comes out that he is not a traditional jock.


BRYANT: The jock and Joan. He`s played the sports guy before, but this time it`s different, and with Joan Allen. Tonight, a SHOWBIZ sitdown with Kevin Costner.

HAMMER: So today...


HILARY DUFF: Like, it`s completely different than anything I`ve really done before.


HAMMER: Hilary Duff does something so different, she`s invited SHOWBIZ TONIGHT along for the ride. We`ve got it.

BRYANT: Tuesday "In Style." The very best in dresses. Do you have the look?


GLORIA ESTEFAN: Hi. I`m Gloria Estefan. And if it happens today, it happens 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 are with you live with you from Headline Prime studios in New York City for the next hour.

BRYANT: Tonight, supermodel Petra Nemcova is telling the terrifying story of what she went through when she was nearly swept away by the killer tsunami.

HAMMER: More than two months after the tsunami swept her boyfriend out to sea and left her near dead, Nemcova is reliving her nightmare for the first time on TV. Let`s get right to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s David Haffenreffer -- David.

DAVID HAFFENREFFER, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT: A.J. and Karyn. Certainly, the 25-year-old cover girl spoke with ABC`s Diane Sawyer, who was on "The View" this morning to talk about the interview. Sawyer also mentioned the sad update that we just got today from Thailand on the fate of Nemcova`s missing boyfriend.



DIANE SAWYER, ABC NEWS: ... the body of her -- her boyfriend and the man she loved more than anything in the world.


HAFFENREFFER (voice-over): The normal light and airy mood on "The View" turned heartbreaking this morning as Diane Sawyer talked about her interview with Nemcova. The supermodel relieves the deadly tsunami, which sent waves crashing into their bungalow Nemcova was sharing with her boyfriend, photographer Simon Atlee, during their vacation in Thailand.


SAWYER: I have never heard a story like this in my life because when the wave takes her, it starts breaking her pelvic bones.


SAWYER: It breaks every bone in her pelvis. She is swept away. She finally grabs onto the top of a tree, and for eight hours, hemorrhaging blood, with her bones being broken repeatedly by the wood and the garbage hitting her. It`s like a torture you couldn`t imagine.


HAFFENREFFER: Nemcova recalls nearly drowning amid the waves and debris. She says, quote, "You just start swallowing the black water for one time, a second time, and then it was quite peaceful in that moment because I thought, That`s it." Sawyer says even the doctors are amazed that Nemcova survived, and she describes how Nemcova is getting through this difficult time.


SAWYER: You`ll see in her nature, there is a beautiful -- we call it amazing grace because there -- she really does believe that you have to remember to love in the most agonized moments of your life, or you cannot live.



HAFFENREFFER: Petra also tells Diane that despite the massive loss of life, she sees some good in the tsunami disaster because it brought the world together. That "Primetime Live" special airs tomorrow night, 10:00 PM, on ABC -- Karyn.

BRYANT: Tonight, Russell Crowe`s worst fears have apparently been confirmed. Osama bin Laden`s henchmen were out to kidnap him. A federal law enforcement official confirms to CNN that Crowe was the target of an al Qaeda kidnap plot at the 2001 Oscars. Now, you may remember scenes of Crowe arriving surrounded by bodyguards. The actor revealed the kidnapping plot in an interview in this month`s "GQ" magazine.

HAMMER: Tonight, developments in the Michael Jackson trial, riveting cross-examination of the 14-year-old who says he saw the pop superstar molest his little brother. Pat Lalama of "Celebrity Justice" joins us now, live from Burbank, California. Pat, please bring us up to speed.

PAT LALAMA, "CELEBRITY JUSTICE": I shall. Defense attorney Tom Mesereau did what we expected him to do, and that`s to trip up the brother, so to speak, able to prove that there were discrepancies in exactly what this young man said he saw in the way of alleged molestation, how it was done, whether there were clothes, et cetera, et cetera. The young person also did testify that, yes, this "Barely Legal" magazine was the type of magazine that he felt Michael Jackson had shown him, but not the one that the prosecution had showed. He said, Well, you know, I didn`t say it was that particular issue, but I did say it was that magazine.

He also was able to get the young man to admit that he lied on a previous matter in another lawsuit regarding whether his parents fought. Also, one more item. If there were so-called alarms that kept anybody from entering Michael Jackson`s room, how was it that this young man was able to see these things without the alarm going off?

I would say those would be the four key points today, Tom Mesereau making some headway in terms of trying to break apart what the young man had testified to.

HAMMER: OK, Pat, real quickly, in a related story, there`s been a development in the gag order that was placed against Jay Leno? Can you tell us about that?

LALAMA: I can. Very quickly, the prosecution will challenge it, as we expect, but as also expected, the defense will say, No, no, no. Keep Jay Leno quiet. He doesn`t often say things that favor us.

HAMMER: OK, Pat, thanks so much. Pat Lalama from "Celebrity Justice," live in Burbank, California -- Karyn.

BRYANT: While the judge considers Jay Leno`s request to lift the gag order, Jay`s been using stand-ins to make the Jackson jokes in his monologue. Last night, Dennis Miller gave it a shot. Let`s take a look.


DENNIS MILLER, COMEDIAN: Some interesting facts coming out about Neverland. It seems that Michael Jackson has the only playroom in the Western world with a wine steward.



JAY LENO, HOST: Not as easy as it looks, is it?

MILLER: No, it isn`t!


MILLER: What do you serve with Macaulay Culkin? Red? White?


MILLER: So let me get this straight. Jackson gets the kids over to the Neverland ranch -- and by the way, if you like the Neverland ranch, try the vinaigrette. But anyway, he gets...


MILLER: He gets the kids over, and he gives them vodka and porn. You know, you get rid of the child molestation thing, this guy`s the really cool uncle I always wanted.



BRYANT: On Monday night, Brad Garrett from "Everybody Loves Raymond" stood in to do the Jackson jokes. Tonight it will be Roseanne Barr.

HAMMER: It is time for "SHOWBIZ Shorts," a look at more stories that are making news tonight. Real-life drama for a soap star. Tonight, "Days of Our Lives" star Jason Cook faces misdemeanor public intoxication and drug paraphernalia charges. He was arrested at the airport in Des Moines, Iowa, after a pipe with marijuana debris was allegedly found in his luggage. Cook was released on bond after several hours. He was in Iowa for a children`s charity telethon.

Ed McMahon update. McMahon is out of the hospital tonight. He was treated for a mild concussion after falling at his home in Beverly Hills.

We`ve got more "SHOWBIZ Shorts" coming up throughout the show.

BRYANT: It has been two years since we saw Kevin Costner in "Open Range." Now he`s in front of the cameras again in a daring dramedy opening this Friday. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Brooke Anderson sat down with Costner. She joins us now live from Hollywood. Brooke, please do tell us what Kevin`s been up to.

BROOKE ANDERSON, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT: Well, Karyn, first of all, Oscar winner Kevin Costner is anything but Hollywood, from his demeanor to his life outside work. We talked about his new movie, "The Upside of Anger," his new marriage, and his new age.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re a baseball star. Talk baseball.

KEVIN COSTNER, "THE UPSIDE OF ANGER": I don`t want to talk baseball.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You used to be my idol. Now I think you...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think you just hung up on our last listener.


ANDERSON: Why did you want to play Denny, this over-the-hill baseball player? Drinks a lot, but he`s got depth, right?

COSTNER: I describe him a little bit like -- he`s kind of like a St. Bernard, who just kind of goes from backyard to backyard in these neighborhoods, wondering who`s cooking.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your girls invited me for dinner.

COSTNER: You notice my position on free food.


ANDERSON: You`re a dad in real life. Did you find common ground with this role?

COSTNER: I`m really aware of women and like women to begin with, and so, you know, I`m conscious of what they`re about. I just didn`t -- in this particular movie, I think Denny can`t believe how mean they are to each other.



COSTNER: Nothing, just you`re all very female.


ANDERSON: You and Joan Allen seem to have such wonderful chemistry. The scene where you surprise her, she gets out of the shower naked, only a towel -- every woman`s worst nightmare.


COSTNER: You want me to dry your back?

ALLEN: Oh! What are you doing?

COSTNER: I didn`t see much.

ALLEN: Have you ever heard of boundaries?


COSTNER: Well, he is a guy that has difficulty with boundaries, except he doesn`t have difficult with them, so when someone points it out to him, he`s, like, Huh?

ANDERSON: You recently got married again. Was it the happiest day of your life?

COSTNER: It was a day that I`m glad could come along for me. I didn`t know that it would. I wasn`t trying to invent it, wasn`t trying to make it happen. It was not planned on, and after five years of being together, that was really the right step for us.

ANDERSON: Who would know that you`re 50 now, Kevin? Do you look at things difficult differently?

COSTNER: It`s a big number. You know, when I think about people who are 50, when I was 20, they looked ancient. So I`m wondering, well, I guess maybe that`s the way I look. If I want to work in a movie, I want it to live forever. I don`t know if it will or it won`t, but that`s always the goal. And if I`m not working, I`m trying to figure out how I can make more laughs.


ANDERSON: Karyn, making more laughs not only in film, but in life is what Kevin enjoys doing. He told me life to him is about tractors and trucks and playing hard with his friends and family. He says recess is what`s most important. Back to you.

BRYANT: All right. Thank you, Brooke in Hollywood. "The Upside of Anger" is new in theaters this weekend.

HAMMER: A new TV show debuts tonight called "Blind Justice." Actor Ron Eldard`s character may be blind, but he still has a vision, and a gun. Ron`s going to tells us about his new cop drama, live.

BRYANT: Plus, think plaid is bad? Think again. Dress your best in our Tuesday`s "In Style," coming up.

HAMMER: Now it`s time for tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly`s" "Great American Pop Culture Quiz." In the climactic scene of P.T. Anderson`s film "Magnolia," what rains from the sky? Was it, A, bugs, B, hail, C, meteorites, or D, frogs?

We will be right back with the answer.


HAMMER: Welcome back. So once again, today`s "Entertainment Weekly" pop culture quiz. In the climactic scene of P.T. Anderson`s film "Magnolia," what rains from the sky, bugs, hail, meteorites or frogs? The answer is D, frogs.

BRYANT: Well, it is just about 14 past the hour, and tonight we`ve got a special edition of our "SHOWBIZ Showdown." Here`s our hot topic. It`s nightly network news.


ANNOUNCER: This is "The CBS Evening News With Dan Rather" reporting from CBS News headquarters in New York.

DAN RATHER, ANCHOR: Good evening. Six months after his heart bypass...


HAMMER: That was Dan Rather just a short time ago, anchoring his next to last edition of "The CBS Evening News." Now, Rather leaves the anchor chair tomorrow after 24 years. Bob Schieffer will take over until CBS decides what it`s going to do with the show. Rather leaves just months after Brian Williams replaced Tom Brokaw on the "NBC Nightly News." It appears there`s been a changing of the guard, and with the change comes speculation whether nightly half-hour network newcasts can survive in this modern world of instant, 24-hour-a-day information.

So with that in mind, we have put together a special group to discuss and debate this in our "SHOWBIZ Showdown." SuChin Pak is a correspondent with MTV News. Brian Stelter -- right? I`m going to get that right. I want to say Stetler, but that`s not it -- Stelter. He is the editor of the widely read Tvnewser blog at, and Mark Peyser covers the news industry for "Newsweek" magazine.

And I want to start with you. What are your thoughts? Can the half- hour broadcast survive any longer?

MARK PEYSER, "NEWSWEEK": I think it`ll survive for a while. I think that the networks are hardly making a million dollars a day on network news, but it`s sort of the crown jewel. It has always been in the networks. It`ll be hard for the first network to sort of say, We`re not going to do this anymore. I think it`s sort of a game of chicken until then. When somebody says, All right, we`re not going to do this, we have cable outlets and such that carry news -- until then, I think it`s safe. But it could be soon.

BRYANT: For a little while? What do you think about this?

BRIAN STELTER, TVNEWSER: It`s time to evolve. You know, it`s been 24 years since Dan Rather took over the anchor chair, and it`s not the days of Walter Cronkite anymore. It`s time to reinvent what the evening news really is.

BRYANT: OK, SuChin, jump right in here.

SUCHIN PAK, MTV NEWS: Well, you know, I`m not sure if it`s the jewel of networks so much anymore, especially for the audiences that we speak to. I think -- I was talking to you and I was talking to a lot of my young friends, and I can`t remember the last time that I actually watched the evening news. I think it was probably when I was a kid with my parents, with one TV set, and we didn`t have a choice. We had to watch the news. So I think as things are evolving, whether it`s the Internet, whether we`re getting, you know, updates on our cell phone, whether it`s instant messaging, all these kinds of things, you know, breaking news doesn`t happen at 6:30 anymore.

BRYANT: Yes, what about that idea? I mean, it seems to me sometimes viewers stuck with it, Well, because that`s what I`ve always done. And you know, they literally -- they are the same age group now. But now that these guys are retiring, what are -- what are they going to do to court the younger viewers?

PEYSER: Well, they`d like to get some young blood on the air. Not so long ago there was a rumor -- you probably read about it -- Katie Couric being talked about as a possible replacement. They need to get young people on. You know, that being said, everybody needs to buy -- you know, Viagra needs to advertise someplace. If you ever watch these shows, there are only ads for Levitra and...

BRYANT: Right.

PEYSER: ... and prune juice.


PEYSER: So the viewership is well over 60 years old. Half the people who watch network news are over 60s year old. The Baby Boomers are aging. You know it`s still a large audience. In this fractured world of television, they still get, what, 35 million viewers?

STELTER: About 30 million. But you know what? I don`t want to hear about Alzheimer`s. I don`t want to hear about Social Security unless it relates to me and our generation. And so I think they really have to reevaluate, What are we putting on the air? And is it really opening up -- is it really interesting to those new news consumers?

PAK: And I think that there is, more than ever -- and it starts to become evident that there is not only a generational gap between what parents watch and what kids watch, but there really is a cultural gap. And I think that in an age where, at the household, you know, the kids are teaching parents how to Tivo and get on line, you know, and there seems to be an information swap, you know, that`s much more even and evenly balanced -- you know, when, like, minivan companies are suddenly advertising to teenagers to, you know, make sure that it`s cool to ride a minivan -- I think that suddenly, it becomes sort of, like, Where is the balance of power?

And where is the information actually coming from? Is it coming from my parents`, you know, news, or is it coming from the news that I get with, you know, Jon Stewart or Jay Leno or...

BRYANT: Well, exactly. That`s one thing I wanted to transition to is that viewers nowadays, younger views anyway, like sarcasm with their news. They want news with commentary at the same time, and I don`t know if the network news outlets want to do it that way. They seem to be sort of old- fashioned, and, Here`s the news. I`m going to be objective. I`m going to just float it out there.

PEYSER: You don`t think Brian Williams would do stupid pet tricks at 6:30 at night?


PEYSER: Yes, I mean, but, you know, there`s a lot of channels they days. It`s not the day when there were three networks and 70 percent of the audience watched a network news station. But nonetheless, you know, 30 million viewers is a lot of people to sneeze at. That`s more than the cable network news all combined. So until that really is dissipated, they`re not going to go anyplace fast.

BRYANT: But the idea is, too, I can watch a financial channel for business news. I can watch a sports channel for sports news. What about the fractured nature of news now?

PEYSER: But sometimes you only have a half an hour, and you want to get an overview. I mean, I work for a newsweekly. They`ve been dead for 20 years!


STELTER: In this reality, I wake up with "Good Morning America." I check my news during the day on I go to sleep with "The Daily Show." I just don`t have time for a 6:30 newscast that probably won`t really relate to me.

PAK: And I don`t know if it`s good thing or a bad thing that that it is so fractured because, in a way, we`re sort of catering to a generation - - they`re all experts in their own field, right? If you`re really crazy about animals, you can get your news on Animal Planet. Or if you`re crazy about cooking -- so you know, it`s really interesting that we`ve all become sort of experts in little bits of news, and we don`t have, like, a huge sort of place to go where we can get, These are the top five stories you should be concerned about. At the water cooler, this is what we`re going to be talking about tomorrow.


STELTER: ... once in a while, we still do have big news events where we do need Tom Brokaw.

BRYANT: Sure. We all want to tune in and join together and watch...


BRYANT: ... not that often. Well, I want to thank SuChin Pak from MTV News, of course, Brian Stelter of TVnewser, and Mark Peyser of "Newsweek" magazine. Thanks for joining us here.

And we would like to know your thoughts on the question of the day. The nightly network news: Is it still relevant? You can vote at, or if you want to tell us more, e-mail us at We`ll share some of what you had to say later in the show -- A.J.

HAMMER: Hip hop violence, Karyn. 50 Cent softens his stance, while Reverend Al Sharpton calls for a ban. He`ll join us live.

BRYANT: And time to play dress-up. Some of today`s hottest celebrity fashions. Tuesday "In Style" is next.


HAMMER: It is time now for Tuesday "In Style," and the look. So what`s the look for March? "In Style" magazine`s fashion director, Hal Rubenstein, gives us his take on the best dresses out there and why he loves them.


HAL RUBENSTEIN, FASHION DIRECTOR, "IN STYLE" MAGAZINE: I love the cut-out because if you have the body for it, it`s really sexy, and it`s fresh and it`s young. And it`s just a very modern (UNINTELLIGIBLE) It`s a peekaboo. It`s a tease. I mean, what`s wonderful about it is that it doesn`t have to be just under the breast. It`s a titillation, and it`s a great way for a dress to have sex appeal and still have a little bit of fun.

Love the little red dress because it`s not the little black dress. What`s great about a red dress, it has pow, it has immediate sex appeal, it shows you off, it brightens you up. It`s terrific for most people`s skin tones, depending on the shade of red that you pick. And it gets you noticed. I don`t understand why you get dressed if you don`t want to be noticed.

I love plaid for everything that it`s not. I love plaids when you take this staid fabric and you goose it. They`ve gone riot with it. The dresses are big, and they`re flowing, and they move. They`re plaid party dresses, and I think the juxtaposition of something so staid with a shape that`s so much fun is kind of terrific.

Hooks (ph) are sexy, one, because it looks like lingerie. It`s the whole idea of the boudoir because it has that history. You know, if you unlace that thing and it all falls part, we know what`s underneath it. It also creates an incredible form on the female body.


HAMMER: If you`d like to read more on Hal Rubenstein`s for best dresses, make sure you pick up a copy of this month`s "In Style" magazine. It is on newsstands now.

BRYANT: Time for more "SHOWBIZ Shorts." Sarah Jessica Parker in style at HBO. Now, today HBO announced a two-year deal with Parker. Her production company will develop series for the channel. Parker says she`s, quote, "overjoyed" to officially call HBO her creative home. She, of course, won Emmy and Golden Globe awards playing Carrie on HBO`s "Sex and the City."

HAMMER: Well, we`ll show you the cover, if you promise not to judge the book. The cover for the latest book in the Harry Potter series was released today. "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" comes out July 16.

And we`ve got more "SHOWBIZ Shorts" throughout the show.

BRYANT: Duff does something different. Coming up, it`s rhyme time for Hilary with George Lopez. We`ll explain that coming up.

HAMMER: We`re on the sly -- Stallone, that is. We`re with him at "The Contender" launch party. But how did the boxing show contend in the ratings? We`ve got the answer straight ahead.


HAMMER: Banned in the USA. Tonight, a prominent figure says enough is enough. He wants to ban certain music and artists like 50 Cent couldn`t pay the price.

BRYANT: And "Vision Quest." The star of ABC`s new cop drama joins us live.


TINA FAYE: I`m Tina Faye. If it happened today, it`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


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

BRYANT: And I`m Karyn Bryant.

Here are tonight`s hot headlines.

Petra speaks. Supermodel Petra Nemcova spoke out for the first time on TV today about surviving the tsunami. She also received the news today that the body of her boyfriend, photographer Simon Atlee, was found and identified.

HAMMER: Crowe kidnap plot. A federal law enforcement official confirmed to CNN today that actor Russell Crowe was the target of an al Qaeda kidnap plot at the 2001 Oscars. You see him here surrounded by bodyguards at the awards.

The defense goes on offense. Michael Jackson`s lawyer went after the credibility of the accuser`s brother today. Under cross-examination, he got him to admit that he didn`t remember all the details surrounding the molestation accusation. Jackson`s publicist says the pop star, quote, "felt better today."

HAMMER: Well, we have been asking you to vote on tonight`s SHOWBIZ showdown question of the day. The nightly network news, is it still relevant? Please keep voting by going to If you have more to say, send us your e-mails at We`ll share some of what you have to say at 55 past the hour.

BRYANT: Tonight, rapper 50 Cent appears to be offering the olive branch, giving rapper and former protege The Game a chance to squash their feud. In an interview with a New York radio station, 50 said, quote, "If me competing is making the New York Police Department feel like there is going to be violence, then I will fall back for a moment. I am making a conscious decision to try to be nice about this."

50 Cent, shown here with The Game, gave the interview to the same radio station where a member of The Game`s entourage was shot last week, allegedly by one of 50`s people.

Now, this is just the latest flareup in the notoriously heated world of hip-hop.

Today, activist and former presidential candidate Reverend Al Sharpton protested outside the station, demanding a 90-day radio and television ban on artists who use violence to settle beefs or to promote their music.

And the Reverend Sharpton is here live in the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT studios with us.

I first want to ask, why did you want to speak out on this matter?

REV. AL SHARPTON, ACTIVIST: Well, I think that it is important, when we see a pattern of violence that is actually happening -- I`m not dealing with the music. People have the First Amendment right to do whatever music they want. But when we start seeing behavior that actually leads to bloodshed, I think radio stations that are federally regulated and are supported from advertisers off our consumers dollars have a responsibility to uphold a standard, saying, You will not use airwaves to try to promote records by engaging in actual violence.

This is what I`m talking about. In sports, you have standards. No basketball player or baseball player could have a shootout and be expected to play in the next game.

And I think that there ought to be in the music industry, where artists go as far as engaging in violence -- not singing about violence, but engaging -- then there ought to be a suspension of their airtime so they cannot use that to promote some record based on their tough-guy or tough-lady outside.

BRYANT: Do you believe that these beefs are just fabricated to sell records?

SHARPTON: I think that the temptation is to fabricate them if they`re not fabricated. I suspect some are fabricated. I think the only way you stop that is, you take the profit motive out. If someone knew that if they pulled a gun, that that was going to close their career down on the airwaves for three months, or some period of time, they would think twice before they pulled that gun.

BRYANT: One of the ideas in this, though, is that the radio station sometimes promotes these beefs, almost, because now they`re getting the publicity of having all this stuff happen. I mean, isn`t it something that we should be punishing the radio station more so than the artist, perhaps?

SHARPTON: Well, I`m not punishing the artist. I am punishing the radio stations, because I`m saying they ought to be regulated so that they cannot promote this.

BRYANT: (UNINTELLIGIBLE), so they can`t make the ad revenue from (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

SHARPTON: Exactly. Or that the advertisers ought to be challenged, Why are you financing radio stations doing this, that has such a social upheaval that they cause in the minds of our young people? Can you imagine that this country stood still when Janet Jackson just had a problem with her wardrobe, but we have actual bloodshed going on, and no one is saying anything about that?

BRYANT: But do you think the reason nobody`s saying anything is because they may look upon it as a black problem, and until, you know, it`s just a problem of these young guys who were born, you know, poor, raised without a lot of education, it`s their problem, we`re not going to worry about it?

SHARPTON: What about black guys poor, raised without an education, or raised without a solid family in sports?

BRYANT: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: But they have to be a standard. And I`m saying, why don`t we put a standard? The same FCC that put a standard after Janet Jackson, should have a standard here. And these young people can meet that standard if there was a standard there to meet.

BRYANT: OK. Do you think that the FCC will response?

SHARPTON: Oh, we intend to campaign not only to make them respond, we intend to go after advertisers, advertisers, particularly those that have to justify to stockholders what they`re doing with their money, but have a hard time explaining to stockholders why they are supporting stations that in fact promote violence, not violent music, but actual bloodshed, shootings, violence.

And I`m not against hip-hop. I defend hip-hop, I love hip-hop. What I`m talking about is a different thing, when we turn outside of studios and outside of radio stations into the wild, wild West.

BRYANT: Absolutely. Now, what do you think about the record that is coming out, 50 Cent`s record, "The Massacre" is coming out, and it`s projected to go number one right away.

SHARPTON: I think 50 Cent is a great artist. This is not about 50 Cent. This is about a pattern. We`ve had a lot more incidents before 50 Cent, and I`m trying to make sure we don`t have any after. As you said, some of us feel that they feel it`s all right, these are just urban kids, black kids, Latino kids, who care? I care.


SHARPTON: And I think that we need to make sure that they live a life that there are standards there. They can do their art, but they cannot commit violence and use the airwaves to promote it.

BRYANT: All right. Well, thank you for joining us here.

SHARPTON: Thank you, Karyn.

BRYANT: The Reverend Al Sharpton.

And again, we`ll have to just keep the eyes on the charts and see how 50 Cent`s record does do.

A.J., over to you.

HAMMER: All right, Karyn. Well, if there`s one thing you can count on these days, it`s "American Idol" being on top. And indeed, last night`s episode won the night in ratings, and, of course, won the hearts of girls across America, as the guys took center stage. The judges said they were especially impressed by Anwar. So let`s check out a little of his performance.


ANWAR (singing): ... what a wonderful world, and I think to myself...


HAMMER: Well, tonight the ladies perform live, and eliminations start again tomorrow.

BRYANT: Round one is over for the new boxing reality show, "The Contender," and so far, the scoring isn`t going its way. Early ratings out this afternoon indicate that "The Contender"`s debut on NBC last night came in third in the ratings. The show follows 16 young boxers as they train Rocky-style and compete for a shot at a $1 million prize.

Now, Rocky himself, Sly Stallone, and Sugar Ray Leonard are the co- hosts of "The Contender," and SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was there as they got together last night for a viewing party at Planet Hollywood in New York City.

But there was some sadness amid the excitement. One of the 16 contestants, Najai Turpin, committed suicide after the series had completed production. Sly tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT how "The Contender" will deal with his death.


SYLVESTER STALLONE, "THE CONTENDER": And we don`t change a frame of film, because he performed so nobly. And we want his family to be as proud of him as we are. And we thought that any altering of that would be a disservice to his performance and his life.


BRYANT: Another episode of "The Contender" airs on NBC Thursday after "The Apprentice." After that, it goes to its regular time slot on Sunday.

HAMMER: Well, Hilary Duff trades in her heels for Birkenstocks. We`re with her on the set of the "George Lopez Show." That`s coming up.

BRYANT: And his show is replacing "NYPD Blue." You`ll see "Blind Justice"`s Ron Eldard here live, coming up.


BRYANT: Hello again. It is 41 minutes past the hour, time for more SHOWBIZ shorts.

Mr. Smith goes to Washington? Well, Will Smith says he could be president. While overseas promoting (UNINTELLIGIBLE) told an Australian news piece paper, quote, "I really, truly believe I could be the president of the United States if I wanted to," end quote.

Britney`s blog? Britney Spears posted a cryptic message on her Web site this morning, fueling all those pregnancy rumors. It says, quote, "The calm before the storm. I can really relate to that statement right now."

HAMMER: Well, a guest is stopping by "The George Lopez Show." Tonight, Hilary Duff makes a special appearance on the ABC sitcom in the role of a free-spirited feminist poet. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was on the set to watch it all unfold.

And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Brooke Anderson is back with us live to fill us in. What happened, Brooke?

ANDERSON: A.J., you`re absolutely right. The 17-year-old singer and actress is now trying her hand at the sitcom. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was invited on the set for a special sneak peek.


ANDERSON (voice-over): Hilary Duff is trying out a new role as she guest-stars as a feminist poet on "The George Lopez Show." And they invited SHOWBIZ TONIGHT behind the scenes for a preview.

GEORGE LOPEZ, "THE GEORGE LOPEZ SHOW": She`s great now as this kind of poet, angst...

HILARY DUFF: Earthy...

LOPEZ: ... earthy, you know, (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

DUFF: Feminist.

LOPEZ: ... Birkenstocks, get you out of the five-inch heels and get you into some Birkenstocks.


DUFF: Our poems don`t rhyme, because rhymes keep our chains of bondage on free thought, chains invented by men.

LOPEZ: You know, Kenzie, I`m betting you have a forest under there, don`t you?


ANDERSON: The teen queen plays Kenzie, a free spirit who befriends Lopez`s daughter, Carmen, played by Nutiella Lucia (ph).

DUFF: Yes, like, it`s different than anything I`ve really done before, and she`s really, kind of, like, spacey and out there, and creative. And she kind of trying to corrupt George`s daughter to be like that.


DUFF: It`s really sad. So much head, so little in there.

ANDERSON: Lopez and Duff butt heads on the show, but in real life, the two are friends and neighbors.

LOPEZ: We drive by, and my daughter`s in the back, in her car seat, like she`s trying to unbuckle it. She`s, like, Hilary Duff, Hilary Duff. And she wants to get out, like, eject herself from the seat, because she just saw Hilary Duff in the front yard. And I`m, like, Would you relax? What would Hilary Duff be doing living in this neighborhood? And she did.

ANDERSON: This isn`t Duff`s first appearance on the show. She played a know-it-all cosmetologist two years ago, and it probably won`t be her last.

DUFF: I`m only coming back if I can be somebody else.

LOPEZ: You could be someone with dark hair.


ANDERSON: Hilary Duff told us that since the incident when George Lopez`s daughter spotted her on the street, the two neighbors have become fast friends. Duff says George`s daughter is her new knitting partner.

A.J., do you like to knit?

HAMMER: I, you know, I do occasionally knit. I`m not ashamed to admit it, (UNINTELLIGIBLE), Brooke.

ANDERSON: All right, good to know.

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Brooke Anderson, live in Los Angeles.

And you can catch that episode of "George Lopez" tonight at 8:30 p.m. on ABC. Well, I`m knitting (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

BRYANT: I love, I`ve just learned something new about my co-host.

Well, ABC also premieres "Blind Justice" tonight, and the show`s star, Ron Eldard, is on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT live, next.

HAMMER: Plus, Karyn, can you guess how many people it takes to put on an "Amazing Race"? It`s an amazing number. The show`s host, Phil Kheogan, will tell us, next.


HAMMER: Well, "NYPD Blue" may be off the air, but ABC`s not wasting any time getting us addicted to a brand-new police drama. "Blind Justice" debuts tonight. It`s from producer Stephen Bochco, and centers around blind detective Jim Dunbar. Let`s take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What the hell are you going to able to do at a crime scene?

RON ELDARD: Conduct interviews, going to get a feel for things, bounce ideas back and forth with my partner. Same thing I`ve been doing over the last 10 years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, except you won`t be able to see anything.

ELDARD: Right, which I think will allow me to go at things from a different angle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What if something jumps off?

ELDARD: I`ll react.


HAMMER: Ron Eldard, whose long list of credits include "E.R." and "House of Sand and Fog," plays Detective Dunbar. And he`s with us tonight on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Thanks for dropping by, Ron.

ELDARD: Thanks for having me.

HAMMER: OK, let`s set this up now. Well, first of all, are you fired up by just, you know, it`s the (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

ELDARD: Yes, yes.

HAMMER: ... big debut of the show, you`ve been working on it for a long time.

ELDARD: Yes, it`s interesting. I mean, some of the people doing the show are kind of tense, because we`ve shot all -- the whole -- all 13, and they don`t get any feedback. But I actually really enjoy doing the whole 13 without any feedback, you know, so you can create the show you want and not get swayed by a million other voices, so...

HAMMER: Well, the feedback`s starting to come in. And if you looked at that clip that we just played, your fellow officers had this sort of look of disbelief as a blind cop walks into their precinct. And some of the people are talking about the show using words like "implausible," or, You have to suspend disbelief for this show. It`s a tough sell, a blind cop. Sell it.

ELDARD: Yes, well, I would say, first of all, you know, Al Pacino drove a car blind and won an Academy Award for it. You know, there are so many -- the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) -- some of the best comedy, drama, theater, it doesn`t matter, it`s not exactly in a configuration that would be straightforward acceptable. I don`t -- so that -- I can name you tons of stories that are great, that are -- actually the hook, the build on it, what makes it dramatic is taking a leap with them.

So I think that should be accepted, and I think that should be encouraged, first of all.

HAMMER: So people really need to give it a chance and...

ELDARD: Absolutely.

HAMMER: ... and check it out. And on premise, don`t dismiss, Oh, my God, a blind cop. Here in New York City, could you imagine?

ELDARD: Yes, no, I understand that completely. When I met Bochco, I said the exact same thing. And I don`t, you know, I don`t (UNINTELLIGIBLE), Oh, no, this could have. There have been several New York cops, who, a very famous one who was blinded, and was absolutely offered to keep his job. He was not offered to have his gun and be on the street.

HAMMER: I was going to say, could he actually carry a piece?

ELDARD: But I would tell you that in watching the show -- and I know, since I know what happens...

HAMMER: Right.

ELDARD: ... the gun is a great device. It`s a great device, because, first of all, detectives barely ever pull a gun. This guy is not a superhero, he`s not running around shooting, he`s -- obviously, he`s not running around shooting things. And it`s constantly a point of trouble, and it`s dealt with, and nothing -- and he doesn`t get it past, the show doesn`t get it past.

Every single person you meet says, What the hell are you doing here?

HAMMER: Right.

ELDARD: Every person, you go to their house, What are you doing here? So I say, hold on, I would say also with the pilot, because of Gary Fleeter, I think, the director, I think even after, by the time the credits roll in the opening, you`re willing to take a jump, because he made a very cool, very action, very, very cool opening.

HAMMER: With some fine acting in here too, and we`ll be watching tonight. Best of luck with the show.

ELDARD: Oh, thanks a lot.

HAMMER: Really appreciate coming by SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, thanks.

ELDARD: Oh, thanks.

HAMMER: All right. "Blind Justice" with Ron Eldard will premiere tonight at 10:00 p.m. on ABC.


BRYANT: A new episode of the reality show "The Amazing Race" airs tonight on CBS. Season seven kicked off last week, and nearly 12 million people tuned in to see 11 teams began their race around the globe for a million bucks. Best friends Ryan and Chuck lost the first leg from California to Peru. Phil Kheogan hosts the show, and he stopped by to tell us how complicated it is to put "The Amazing Race" together.


PHIL KHEOGAN, HOST, "THE AMAZING RACE": We, you got to understand, there are about 2,000 people working on a given series of "The Amazing Race" around the world, security people, we have emergency people available at all times, there are producers and assistants and jib (ph) operators. And it`s incredible, and we`re using all of these different people from all around the world.

So tremendously exciting to be involved in something of this scale. I don`t think there is a show on television that logistically is as complicated as "The Amazing Race."


BRYANT: Producers are already taking applications for "The Amazing Race" eight, which will be the first-ever all-family edition. Families of four will compete, including kids as young as 8 years old. The deadline for filing, this Friday.

HAMMER: Well, Jon Stewart takes aim at the Martha Stewart media frenzy. That`s coming up in laughter dark.

BRYANT: And there`s still time for you so sound off in tonight`s SHOWBIZ showdown question of the day. The nightly network news, is it still relevant? Vote at, or e-mail us what`s on your mind, We`ll read some of your thoughts live next.


BRYANT: It is time to get your laugh on in laughter dark. As we do every night, we bring you the late-night laughs you may have missed.

HAMMER: Well, Martha Stewart has been under constant media surveillance since she got out of prison, and, of course, "The Daily Show" no exception, as its reporters scrambled to break this exclusive story.


SAMANTHA BEE, "THE DAILY SHOW": Sorry, sorry, Rob, I`ve got some breaking news. I`ve just gotten word that the situation inside is developing. Let`s go to our live feed and see what`s happening.

OK, looks like she`s crossing back, and -- we have lost visual. I repeat, we have lost visual. We are at code vermilion. Mother Swan is on the move.

BOB CORDORY, "THE DAILY SHOW": Get me position alpha on screen, position alpha on screen, stat. We have a wide shot. On screen.


BRYANT: Oh, I love "The Daily Show."

Well, they have also been talking all day, and we`ve been listening. So, as we do every night on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, the best from today`s talk shows.

HAMMER: I`m live with "Regis and Kelly." Kelly`s home state of New Jersey is talking about making the tomato its state fruit. Well, this news sparked the famous debate, fruit or vegetable?


REGIS PHILBIN, HOST: Well, they`re talking about naming, they aim to make the trenchant tomato the state`s official vegetable.

KELLY RIPA, HOST: Well, yes.

PHILBIN: But that`s New Jersey for you, because the tomato is really a fruit.

RIPA: Then maybe at the grocery store, they should keep the tomatoes with the other fruits, instead of next to the cucumbers, which is which is a vegetable.


BRYANT: Throughout the show, we`ve been asking you to vote online on our SHOWBIZ showdown question of the day. The nightly network news, is it still relevant?

Let`s take a look at how the vote is going so far, 68 percent of you say yes, it is still relevant, 32 percent of you say no, it is not still relevant.

And you`ve also been sending us e-mails on this question.

Tess writes, "The nightly news is essentially important, especially to individuals that are occupied throughout the day."

And Diane from Dayton, Kentucky, writes, "The real news here is everyone doesn`t have cable, and they need CBS, NBC, CBS."

And remember, you can continue to vote at

HAMMER: It`s time to see what`s playing on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT this week. Let`s take a look now at the SHOWBIZ marquee.

ANNOUNCER: Tomorrow, it`s rocking Robin. Shore seems like he`s done it all.


ROBIN WILLIAMS: Then why do they all salute him?



WILLIAMS: Good morning, Vietnam.


ANNOUNCER: But now, it`s something new. Robin the robot?


WILLIAMS: Yes, loving it, loving it, loving it.


ANNOUNCER: Robin Williams on his new animated comedy, "Robots," tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT."

And these "Power Girls" love the power.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People, places, and things. I make them famous.


ANNOUNCER: They`re young, they`re beautiful, and they handle some of the biggest names in the biz. "The Power Girls," no puff here, bring their new MTV series to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT tomorrow.

Once upon a time, Bruce Willis was a moonlighter. But then, things got harder, die harder, and now, he`s saving hostages again? Bruce, you`ve a sixth sense for this stuff. Yippee ka-yay, it`s Bruce Willis, live this Thursday on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

BRYANT: Can`t wait to see the blind cop.

HAMMER: Are you going to watch "Blind Justice" (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?

BRYANT: Yes, I`m going to check it out.

HAMMER: All right. Nice guy, perfectly...


BRYANT: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE), good explanation for how a blind cop can have a gun and be in New York.

BRYANT: He sold it.

HAMMER: We`ll be watching.


Well, that does it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. We will see you here tomorrow.

HAMMER: "NANCY GRACE" is coming up next right after the very latest from Headline News.


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