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SHOWBIZ TONIGHT

Suspect in Letterman Kidnap Plot Pleads Not Guilty; Billy Idol Releases First New Album in Decade

Aired March 22, 2005 - 19:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


KARYN BRYANT, CO-HOST: Court time for the suspect in the alleged Letterman kidnapping plot.
A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: And is Tom Cruise telling Scientology secrets? I`m A.J. Hammer.

BRYANT: I`m Karyn Bryant, and this is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: Shackled and in stripes. What happened when the man accused of plotting to kidnap David Letterman`s son showed up in court today?

BRYANT: Tom Cruise, pulling back the curtain on his beliefs. He`s opening up about Scientology like never before. But why now?

HAMMER: Sandra Bullock in style. A new movie, a scorching new photo shoot -- we`ve got it all.

BRYANT: Costner`s co-star live. Erika Christensen is young, talented and feeling good about "The Upside of Anger." She`s live on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: Billy Idol is back, a new record out today. But why did he fall off the map for the last 10 years? Idol chatter with SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILLY IDOL, "DEVIL`S PLAYGROUND": Hi. I`m Billy Idol. If it happened today, it`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. All right!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

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

BRYANT: He`s the man who`s accused of a crime that could have turned David Letterman`s world upside down, and today we got our first look at him, up close and not so personal.

HAMMER: The cameras were there to capture it all, and SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s David Haffenreffer is here to tell us exactly what happened -- David.

DAVID HAFFENREFFER, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT: That is right, Karyn and A.J. Indeed, Letterman`s former house painter, 43-year-old Kelly Frank, was in a Montana courtroom today. He`s facing charges of plotting to kidnap David Letterman`s 16-month-old son, Harry.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice-over): For the first time, we`re getting to see the man who allegedly plotted to kidnap David Letterman`s son. In stripes and shackles, Kelly Frank said just two words.

KELLY FRANK, LETTERMAN KIDNAP PLOT SUSPECT: Not guilty.

HAFFENREFFER: Joe Coble, Teton County attorney, says it`s not unusual for a suspect to plead not guilty.

JOE COBLE, TETON COUNTY ATTORNEY: What is unusual about this case is you folks being here in Choteau, Montana.

QUESTION: How do you feel? How`s things going now?

HAFFENREFFER: The national media has caused a frenzy, descending on the sleepy town of Choteau, Montana, population, 1,700, located about 60 miles outside of Great Falls. It`s even got Frank`s attorney riled up.

JAMES HUNT, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: My wife finally got fed up with all you guys calling the house and gave you my cell phone number, which is fine. And my kid -- my 10-year-old said, Dad, I`m not answering the phone anymore.

HAFFENREFFER: Letterman himself felt the same way.

DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, "LATE NIGHT HOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": I don`t think I`ll ever get tired of seeing my house on television while I`m in my house, watching television. You can`t beat that, boy!

HAFFENREFFER: In his first "Late Night" show since the kidnapping plot came to light, Letterman took the time to thank the FBI agents and Teton County officials who helped him.

LETTERMAN: I want to thank FBI special agent Jim Wilson (ph), FBI special agent Aaron Vanhoff (ph), Teton County sheriff George Anderson, Teton County attorney Joe Coble...

HAFFENREFFER: It didn`t go unnoticed by Joe Coble.

COBLE: We appreciate Mr. Letterman acknowledging our efforts.

LETTERMAN: And the Teton County sheriff, what a guy this is. Tremendous. This is, like, the real deal. They`re completely serious and deadly earnest. And you don`t want to cross them. Don`t want to even -- don`t even poke `em.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAFFENREFFER: Not even poke `em. Despite all the media attention brought to the "Late Night" host, a CBS spokesperson told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT the ratings from last night`s show were no different than normal. As for Kelly Frank, his next court appearance is set for three weeks from today -- A.J.

HAMMER: OK, Dave. Thanks very much.

Well, tonight, Robert Blake in his own words on what it`s like to be a free man. Blake today gave his first TV interview since the verdict in his murder trial. On ABC`s "Good Morning America," Barbara Walters asked Blake about that highly emotional moment when he heard that the jury had found him not guilty.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice-over): This was the last time we saw former tough guy Robert Blake, openly sobbing right after being acquitted of murdering his wife.

ROBERT BLAKE, ACTOR: I`m OK.

HAMMER: This morning, a reserved and thoughtful Blake gave his first post-trial TV interview on ABC`s "Good Morning America" with Barbara Walters. He says that in the time since he was charged with the 2001 murder of Bonny Lee Bakley, he was just living long enough to die.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BLAKE: I`d gotten so brainwashed over -- over five years of being America`s Saddam Hussein that I figured that if enough people want me dead, why not just croak and get it over with and go see the boss?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Blake is a free man now. This morning, he credited one person, and it wasn`t his attorney.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BLAKE: You saved my life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Blake told Barbara Walters that their jailhouse interview on ABC`s "20/20" two years ago went a long way towards clearing his name and defeating those he says were out to get him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BLAKE: That was the plan, put him in a cement box and leave him there until he dies. He`ll either go insane or croak. And it didn`t work because of you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Blake says he now plans to spend time with Rosie, the 4-year- old child he had with Bakley. But probably the most surprising thing he said in the interview was that even after spending almost four years under a cloud of suspicion and more than a year in jail...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BLAKE: I`m the most blessed person you will ever meet. I have no idea why God takes such good care of me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: Well, Blake also told Walters he`s, quote, "broke as a church mouse" and is looking for acting work.

BRYANT: Time for "SHOWBIZ Shorts," a look at more stories making news tonight. Spiderman is going to church, so to speak. Thomas Haden Church will play the villain in "Spiderman 3." The movie is scheduled to come out in May of 2007. Church, of course, was nominated for as Oscar for his role in "Sideways."

It`s a girl for a "Desperate Housewives" star. We learned today that James Denton`s wife has given birth to a daughter. And Denton and his wife also have a son who is almost 2. More "SHOWBIZ Shorts" coming up throughout the show.

HAMMER: Well, Billy`s back, Billy Idol out with a new album. "Devil`s Playground" hit stores today. Now, it`s been a while since we last heard from the `80s glam-rock icon. Billy and I had a chance to catch up at Olives restaurant here in New York City, and we talked about his new album, his past and cleaning up his act.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice-over): Billy Idol -- his bad boy looks and infectious hooks brought new wave punk to the masses. "White Wedding," "Dancing With Myself," "Rebel Yell" made him a household name in the `80s. The `90s -- well, they weren`t so kind. A drug overdose and a motorcycle accident almost sent him to the "Where are they now?" file.

BILLY IDOL, "DEVIL`S PLAYGROUND": We were sort of tripping the light fantastic, so you know, occasionally, that makes you a little bit ragged.

HAMMER (on camera): Back then, before that happened, before the overdose happened, you were somewhat oblivious to what life was really about.

IDOL: It got to a point where my son was at a certain age where, you know, you knew in a minute they could read the news. And also, I wanted him to have friends who could come around to my house. And the last thing they`re going to do is send them around to some guy who`s just collapsed on television or something.

HAMMER (voice-over): So Billy took stock and disappeared for about 10 years.

IDOL: Dare I say it, sitting back for a bit wasn`t so bad because I stopped worrying about trying to come up with the next big hit and just started to just write songs how I felt they should be. Just do it, just do what you do. I never dreamed that this could happen, you know, that, you know, after this amount of time, you could pull this back together. You know, it`s great to find your talent doesn`t desert you.

HAMMER: There have been many stories over the years as to how William Michael Albert Broad got the name "Idol." Billy set the record straight, telling us it was a high school teacher who gave him the idea.

IDOL: He wrote in massive letters on one of my reports, William is I- D-L-E -- idle. First I thought, Well, Billy Idle, like -- because he wrote -- said I was idle. But then I thought, Well, there`s Eric Idle. I can`t -- Ah! But it could be Billy I-D-O-L. Oh, you maniac! That`s right.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: He sounds a little like Austin Powers. No shortage of energy there. Even though he`s now 49 years old, definitely the same old Billy Idol. "Devil`s Playground" -- that`s the name of the new album, and it`s in stores today. He kicks off his international tour on April 8 in Philadelphia.

BRYANT: Well, PETA is campaigning hard against Jennifer Lopez. Is it time for J.Lo to give up the fur? That`s our debate coming up in the "SHOWBIZ Showdown."

HAMMER: Plus, Scientology secrets. Tom Cruise goes public with his religion like never before.

BRYANT: Now tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz." In what city was the popular mid-`90s TV show "Party of Five" set? Was it, A, Portland, B, Boston, C, San Francisco, or D, Los Angeles? We`ll be right back with the answer.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Welcome back. So once again, tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz." In what city was the popular mid-`90s TV show "Party of Five" set? Was it Portland, Boston, San Francisco or Los Angeles. The answer is C, San Francisco.

BRYANT: Almost 13 minutes past the hour. Time now for the "SHOWBIZ Showdown." People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, is targeting Jennifer Lopez. They`re angry with the use of fur in her "Sweetface" line. And tonight`s hot topic, J.Lo`s fashion fur: Should she give it up? Joining us live, Michael McGraw, director of media relations at PETA, who says, Yes, J.Lo should give up the fashion fur. Now, PETA took out this full-page ad in this week`s "Billboard" magazine as an open letter to J.Lo demanding she stop using fur.

Also joining us on the other side of the issue is Keith Kaplan, executive director of the Fur Information Council of America, who says, No, J.Lo shouldn`t give up fashion fur. Now, he is standing by in LA. He didn`t want to discuss the issue at the same time with Michael McGraw, so we`re going to get to his point of view in just a moment.

But I do want to start with you, Michael. Why are you guys targeting Jennifer Lopez?

MICHAEL MCGRAW, DIR. OF MEDIA RELATIONS, PETA: Well, because as a lot of people know, she has just come out with a new fashion line, and an awful lot of it includes fur, unfortunately. You know, this comes after years of very politely sending -- PETA has sent more than a dozen letters to her over the years, explaining that animals are trapped, drowned, beaten to death and electrocuted for their pelts, and nothing has gotten through to her. So we`ve taken out a full-page ad in this week`s "Billboard" magazine that hits newsstands on Saturday. It`s an open letter to her, pleading with her to please stop designing with fur.

BRYANT: OK, now, I want to talk to Keith about this. Do you think, Keith, that the -- oh, I`m sorry. OK. I`m going to do this a little differently, Michael. I`m going to just stick with you for these issues. How effective is your campaign against Jennifer?

MCGRAW: Well, it`s been very effective so far. We were outside of the Virgin megastore here in New York City at the debut of her new album, when she was signing copies inside, and we talked to literally hundreds of her fans. We showed them a very graphic videotape of what happens to animals before they wind up on coats and on clothing like J.Lo is selling now. And the vast majority of them were horrified. They are going to our Web site jlowdown.com, where we have a lot more information about how fur - - how -- you know, what happens to animals before they become fur coats.

And you know, I think all this really points to the fact that Jennifer is really out of step with the young consumers of today. One of the biggest retail chains for young people, called Forever 21, has just banned fur from all of their stores. As of December 31, they`re no longer selling fur. And that`s a major step in the right direction.

BRYANT: OK, well, now we`re going to switch over to Keith Kaplan. Keith, I want to talk to you. Do you think that the PETA targeting of Jennifer is fair?

KEITH KAPLAN, FUR INFO. COUNCIL OF AMERICA: Absolutely not. Once again, PETA has used the high celebrity profile of someone like Jennifer Lopez to gain a media stronghold to push forth an agenda that in this case has absolutely nothing to do with the J.Lo Sweetface line. If they`d done the homework, they know that the J.Lo Sweetface people have done their homework and they`ve done their research, and she is using only Saga (ph) fur, which is produced only on northern European farms, which are very strictly regulated by both the European Union and by European directives. It is legally binding in northern European countries, and they adhere to the absolute best management and care guidelines for animal welfare.

BRYANT: Do you think other designers, though, are taking note, since Jennifer`s -- you know, the attack on Jennifer has been so publicized?

KAPLAN: No, I think what`s -- the issue is how effective is the intimidation? Because when it comes to the facts, the designers have done their homework. We`ve worked with the designers. We`ve presented them with the correct information on the issues surrounding animal care and feeding and housing and welfare and methodologies, and they move forward comfortable with their decisions.

BRYANT: Quickly, do you think that this will have any effect on Jennifer`s fans and the consumption of her products?

KAPLAN: I think not. I think if consumers realize, again, that her team did their homework and that they are using solely furs that are provided by Saga, raised on North American (SIC) farms, that the Saga label guarantees that, and further, that every garment in the United States has to carry a label, according to the fur products labeling law, that guarantees the country of origin. They can be absolutely 100 percent confident in knowing that the garments that J.Lo is producing for the Sweetface line are of the highest quality...

BRYANT: OK.

KAPLAN: -- and come from farms that adhere to the strictest guidelines for animal care.

BRYANT: OK. Well, there you go. You`ve heard both sides. Now we want to know your thoughts. I do want to thank both Michael and Keith for giving their opinion. It`s our "SHOWBIZ Showdown" question of the day: J.Lo`s fashion fur, should she give it up? Vote at cnn.com/showbiztonight, or if you want to tell us more, e-mail us at showbiztonight@cnn.com. We`ll share some of what you had to say later in the show.

HAMMER: Well, she`s one of the hottest young actresses in Hollywood, and now she`s co-starring with Kevin Costner. What was that like? Erika Christensen joins us live on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, coming up next.

BRYANT: Plus: You may not win an Oscar for them, but believe it or not, you can have Halle Berry`s teeth. We will take that to the "Buzz Bench" coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Well, she`s just 22 years old, but Erika Christensen has already starred alongside Hollywood`s biggest actors. And right now, she`s starring with two more A-listers, Joan Allen and Kevin Costner, in "The Upside of Anger." Erika Christensen joins us now live on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Thanks for dropping by.

ERIKA CHRISTENSEN, "THE UPSIDE OF ANGER": Yes. Of course. Thanks for having me.

HAMMER: In this new movie, you`re playing one of Joan Allen`s daughters. Joan Allen`s character is being pursued by Kevin Costner`s character. Talk about it in a second, but first let`s take a look at a clip.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTENSEN: Wolfmeyer residence.

KEVIN COSTNER: Hey, beautiful, it`s Denny. Which one is this?

CHRISTENSEN: It`s Andy.

COSTNER: Bingo. You still looking for work?

CHRISTENSEN: I am.

COSTNER: Well, I want you to come in tomorrow and see Shep Goodman from my show. He needs a production assistant.

CHRISTENSEN: Denny, you`re kidding me! You`re amazing!

COSTNER: Yes. Well, you tell that to your mom, we`re even. So you come in tomorrow, OK? I`ll set you two up.

CHRISTENSEN: OK. Thank you so much!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: OK. So there you are with Kevin Costner. You`ve worked with Michael Douglas, Susan Sarandon, Goldie Hawn, Joan Allen, of course, in this movie. You have something coming down the pike with Jodie Foster. You`re 22 years old!

CHRISTENSEN: Does that mean I`m a baby?

(LAUGHTER)

HAMMER: Unbelievable!

CHRISTENSEN: That`s the comment -- you`re a baby!

HAMMER: That`s just amazing. I know you, at a very early age, when you were 12, you knew what you wanted to do, but could you have imagined so early on in your career, you would have worked with so many, so many big stars?

CHRISTENSON: I didn`t imagine that exactly, but I think I`ve been very confident from the beginning. You know, I`ve been acting 10 years. And from the beginning, I thought, you know, I can do this, so I`m going to. And if I had, like, the deep-seated insecurity that I couldn`t really do this, I don`t think I really would have tried.

HAMMER: So when you`re walking onto the set and Kevin is there, are you intimidated, or now, because, you know, you`ve worked with Michael Douglas in the past, is it, like, old school for you now?

CHRISTENSEN: There`s the first -- there`s the initial, like, Wow, OK, you know? And then you get into working and rehearsals, and everything is good. And there`s a mutual respect among artists generally and -- it`s just amazing, but I get over it.

HAMMER: Well, tell me about the character in this movie, "Upside of Anger," Andy, that you play.

CHRISTENSEN: OK. Well, as you just have seen, she wants a job.

HAMMER: Right.

CHRISTENSEN: She`s rebelling. She`s saying, I`m not going to college. Joan Allen says very specifically, You`re all going to college, all four of her daughters, and I -- we all rebel in our various ways, but I go and get a job at the radio station and start dating my boss.

HAMMER: Yes, and as we see in this clip right here, you wind up in bed with him. And I was squirming in my seat when I saw this scene happen. Made me a little uncomfortable. Now, people probably remember you from "Traffic," where five years ago, you played the drug addict daughter of Michael Douglas. In that film -- when you did that film and there was a sex scene involved, I remember reading somewhere that you were very uncomfortable with the idea of doing that scene.

CHRISTENSEN: Oh. Well, that`s...

HAMMER: You said it somewhere.

CHRISTENSEN: I was.

HAMMER: So you were. So doing it in this case wasn`t a big deal for you.

CHRISTENSEN: Yes, these scenes are so impersonal. It`s very funny, actually.

HAMMER: OK. So you just kind of rolled right into bed with the old guy and -- and it was what it was.

CHRISTENSEN: You know, we`re fully clothed. It`s, like, he`s directing in his underwear and I`m -- because that is the director.

HAMMER: So among these major stars that you`ve worked with, and now with Kevin and Joan in this last movie -- Joan was just unbelievable.

CHRISTENSEN: She`s amazing.

HAMMER: I mean, you have to have learned so much from them. Do you remain friends with them? Are these people, I mean, in your cell phone speed dial? You got any of them in there?

CHRISTENSEN: It`s more of an e-mail relationship. And you know, it goes down, but over the last year-and-a-half, we have kept in touch. And Joan is just -- as amazing of a person as she is as an actor, so it`s awesome to be -- to consider her a friend.

HAMMER: Well, do your best to keep those e-mail addresses private and all to yourself. We know what can happen with that.

CHRISTENSEN: Absolutely, we do.

HAMMER: Erika Christensen, thanks for stopping by. We really appreciate it.

CHRISTENSEN: Sure.

HAMMER: "The Upside of Anger" is in theaters now -- Karyn.

BRYANT: They have 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. On "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," Ellen grilled Ashton Kutcher about rumors that his girlfriend, Demi Moore, is pregnant.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELLEN DEGENERES, HOST: Now, I hate asking things like this, but I have to because it`s all over the place everywhere, every cover of every magazine. Is she pregnant? Or do you want to talk about it? Do you not want to talk about it?

ASHTON KUTCHER, ACTOR: I don`t know. I don`t know if she is or not.

(LAUGHTER)

KUTCHER: Well, that`s my new thing. I`m just going to say I don`t know.

DEGENERES: Yes.

KUTCHER: Maybe that will be no.

DEGENERES: So it`s a yes.

(LAUGHTER)

KUTCHER: I don`t know.

DEGENERES: Yes.

KUTCHER: Or no.

DEGENERES: Yes. Well, I know that you would like it to happen, and so if it is, congratulations, and hopefully, you`re...

KUTCHER: What -- I mean, that`s why -- that`s why -- I don`t -- I don`t -- I don`t know!

DEGENERES: Is it a boy or a girl?

(LAUGHTER)

KUTCHER: No!

DEGENERES: Yes. And do you have names picked out?

(LAUGHTER)

KUTCHER: No! No! I don`t know!

DEGENERES: Well...

KUTCHER: I`m really confused. Like, I can`t say no enough...

DEGENERES: Right.

KUTCHER: ... and they just keep saying yes.

DEGENERES: Yes. All right. Well, congratulations anyway.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Ellen just couldn`t let it go.

Well, Tom Cruise recently set up a Scientology tent on the set of his latest movie. We`re going to look into why Cruise is getting more public about his beliefs. That`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

BRYANT: Plus, Sandra Bullock, always in style. A look at her glamorous new photo shoot from Mexico coming up in "Tuesday In Style."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK) * BRYANT: Tom tells. Tom Cruise is talking, and Hollywood is listening. Why he`s bringing his beliefs out into the open.

HAMMER: And California scheming. We go right to the source and get a sneak peek at what`s coming up on "The OC"

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TORI SPELLING, ACTRESS: Hi. I`m Tori Spelling. If it happened today, it`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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.

Letterman latest. Today, we got the first in-person look at the man accused of plotting to kidnap talk show host David Letterman`s son. Kelly Frank showed up in a Montana court and simply said, "Not guilty."

HAMMER: "I`m ready to live again." That`s what Robert Blake told Barbara Walters this morning on "Good Morning America." In his first TV appearance since being acquitted of murdering his wife last week, the star of the `70s TV show -- cop show, "Baretta," also said that Walters saved his life. She had interviewed him in 2003, and the jury that acquitted him saw that interview during the trial.

Well, we`ve been asking you to vote on tonight`s "Showbiz Showdown" question of the day: J.Lo`s fashion fur. Should she give it up? We`d like you to keep voting by going to CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. If you`ve got more to say, you can send us an e-mail. The address is ShowbizTonight@CNN.com. We`ll share some of what you have to say at 55 past the hour.

BRYANT: Tonight, Tom Cruise`s Church of Scientology connection laid out like never before. In a revealing article today in "The New York Times," reporter Sharon Waxman shows how Cruise is lifting the veil of secrecy that has long surrounded his ties to scientology.

Waxman is also the author of the book "Rebels on the Backlot." Sharon Waxman joins us live now from Hollywood.

Sharon, thanks for joining us tonight.

SHARON FOREMAN, AUTHOR, "REBELS ON THE BACKLOT": Hi, there.

BRYANT: First and foremost, I want to ask, why did Tom feel the need to speak out now?

FOREMAN: He`s not really speaking out. What he`s doing more is that he`s educating his peers in Hollywood about the Church of Scientology, which is something that is of interest, because he`s really mixing his private affairs, his religion, with his business affairs in a way that we haven`t seen before.

So in late January, he had about -- there was a big meeting for his upcoming film, "War of the Worlds," a marketing meeting from executives who were the international distributors of the film. And after two days of meetings, Tom invited them on a four-hour tour of scientology projects and buildings in Hollywood. So that`s the genesis of that.

BRYANT: And he had also said up a tent on the set of the film, as well, that had sort of treatment and therapy?

FOREMAN: Right. Yes, right, doing the various therapies that are associated with scientology, and apparently volunteer ministers -- what they`re calling volunteer ministers were administering these therapies for people who had back problems or other issues.

BRYANT: Right.

FOREMAN: So that`s something different, certainly, from what we`ve seen before.

BRYANT: Now, do you think that his relationship with the scientology has had anything to do with why he let Pat Kingsley go, his longtime publicist?

FOREMAN: I don`t know for certain. The exact reason of why he let Pat Kingsley, his long-time Hollywood, very powerful publicist, go for many years was a subject of a lot of discussion and speculation.

And ultimately, even people close to him say that that`s between him and Pat Kingsley, but -- but it is of note that the person that he hired to be his publicist after this time is his sister, who is a fellow scientologist, and not someone who is a veteran of the Hollywood machine.

BRYANT: Right. Now, last quick question. John Travolta had mentioned on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that scientology has really helped his relationship with his wife, Kelly. Why do you think so many celebrities are drawn to scientology?

FOREMAN: That`s a very good question. I think it`s very interesting. You know, they have these celebrity centers in various cities. There`s a huge one here in Hollywood. And they treat celebrities very well. They really go out of their way to make them feel special, to make it clear that they are welcome in the church, and to also to tell them that their status is celebrated and important and they are leaders of the culture of society. So there must be something in that that is comforting in some way, I guess, but that`s really no more than an educated guess, because I`m no expert on scientology.

BRYANT: OK. Well, thank you for joining us, though, Sharon Waxman from "New York Times," also author of "Rebels on the Backlot" -- A.J.

HAMMER: It is 34 minutes past the hour and time for more "Showbiz Shorts."

Ben behind the camera. Ben Affleck will make his feature directing debut, on "Gone, Baby Gone." It`s based on a crime drama written by Dennis Lahane of "Mystic River" fame. "Gone" will be set in Boston, which is Affleck`s home town.

Jason Bateman is about to experience some heartbreak. The "Arrested Development" star will star in "The Heartbreak Kid." The movie also features "Saturday Night Live`s" Amy Poehler, and it`s about a man who thinks he`s found Miss Right. Filming will begin at the end of May.

BRYANT: Sandra Bullock`s new movie, "Miss Congeneality 2," hits theaters this week. She goes undercover in the movie, but for this month`s "In Style Magazine," she`s on the cover.

It`s our "Tuesday In Style."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARTHA MCCULLY, "IN STYLE MAGAZINE": The photo shoot with Sandra Bullock was done in Todos Santos, Mexico, which is about two hours north of Cabo. And she had been in Cabo over new year`s with a special someone, and then we brought her up for the shoot.

And it was at a resort. Very natural. She loves the outdoors and that whole sort of in nature, in the country. She was really comfortable in that setting. She loves Mexico.

All Sandra will say is that she is not single. But we`ve heard that there`s a very special Jesse James, the host of "Monster Garage," that she`s been spending a lot of time with.

Sandra`s not your typical glamour girl in couture dresses. She`s really more about jeans and cowboy boots and the cowboy hat. And she`s casual and she feels really comfortable wearing that.

We really thought about Sandra and her love of nature and her love of Mexico and the outdoors and then this trend, what`s hot this season is this white crocheted very light summery dresses and skirts and tops. And that`s what we put her in. And it goes really well with her and with the natural setting.

The dress she`s wearing on the cover is a Neo Richie (ph). It`s a gorgeous dress with crystal beads. And it`s very light and pretty and feminine, and shows skin, and she wore it so beautifully. It`s made to order. It`s price available on request only.

But we found another dress, too, that has the same feeling, a Kathryn Malondrino (ph), $495. And it sort of has the same vibe.

Sandra has turned 40 recently, and she really doesn`t care at all about the number 40. She has a great outlook on age. She says that, you know, in yoga, if you can do a backbend when you`re 80 you`re considered young. It`s about flexibility. And she says, why can`t we think that way? She`s got a really healthy attitude about age.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BRYANT: And if you want to read more on Sandra Bullock, pick up a copy of April`s "In Style Magazine," which hits newsstands Friday.

HAMMER: Celine is a snoozer. What Celine Dion had to say about some of the Vegas audiences that she`s experiencing. Our "Buzz Bench" is bright eyed and bushy tailed, coming up!

BRYANT: And, the cast of "The OC" is tight lipped about upcoming episodes, but we pry some information out of them. Find out what we learned, next.

HAMMER: And speaking of "The OC," Rachel Bilson -- did I get that right? Bilson. She plays Summer on the show. She wishes Reese Witherspoon a happy 29th birthday. It`s our birthday shout out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RACHEL BILSON, ACTRESS: Hi, Reese, happy birthday. I think it`s amazing, you have a family and a career, and I really look up to you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: It is time now for the "Buzz Bench," where we chat about the events that people are buzzing about. And tonight`s topics, snap them on and smile. Celebrity chompers. Celine`s not so sober audiences, and does Prince Charles` bride-to-be really want to be queen?

BRYANT: Joining us now on the "Buzz Bench," Lola Ogunnaike from "The New York Times," host of MTV`s "TRL," which is, of course, a live, daily video countdown show, we`ve got Damien Fahey, making his first appearance.

HAMMER: Welcome to the show.

BRYANT: And "Entertainment Weekly`s" Jessica Shaw, back for more. So I want to jump right into it. Jessica, there`s this deal right now. You can basically get celebrity snap-on teeth. And I know we`re...

JESSICA SHAW, "ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY": I want A.J.`s.

BRYANT: Basically, you can have your smile imitate celebrities, with your teeth. And I know we have a pictures of this for everybody. What your take on this?

SHAW: Well, first of all, I think this is completely terrifying. This is so what "Extreme Makeover" has spawned. This is like the end of our culture.

But essentially, for anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000, you can sort of get these tacky snap-on, paste-on teeth and you can request Halle Berry`s smile or Gwyneth Paltrow`s smile.

HAMMER: What`s wrong with that? She looks lovely. She should brush and floss a little more.

DAMIEN FAHEY, "TRL" HOST: She`s better than that. That`s the thing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does she look like Halle Berry? No.

LOLA OGUNNAIKE, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": It`s a glorified retainer, which is like really stupid. Just pay for the real teeth. Don`t buy the fake teeth.

FAHEY: People have a problem when Michael Jackson snaps his nose on in the morning. A snap-on nose is an entirely different program. Sounds like a copyright infringement.

OGUNNAIKE: What happens when you`re making out with a girl and her teeth fall in your mouth?

FAHEY: That would be a regular night, actually, at my place.

(CROSS TALK)

SHAW: Also, does anyone take beauty advice from Michael Jackson? No.

HAMMER: Well, whose teeth would you put in your mouth, if you could?

FAHEY: Well, with teeth...

SHAW: Say A.J.! A.J.

FAHEY: I would say the celebrity, the big thing with teeth, you want a new set. You want one that has never been used before, Lara Flynn Boyle.

HAMMER: OK. Well, I know we have Little John`s teeth. We have Little John`s teeth, because these would be sort of fun, if we could get those, right?

HAMMER: There you go.

OGUNNAIKE: With gold, a little bling in your mouth.

SHAW: I kind of wonder like, what if you want d-list celebrities. What if you want Fran Drescher`s teeth? Do they cost less? Do you get a discount?

BRYANT: There might be some kind of system.

OGUNNAIKE: There should be a sliding scale.

HAMMER: All right. Before we move on, because Karyn and I actually went out and we got some of these snap-on teeth. So take a look at how we would look if we were to, you know, get these teeth. Do we have that? Do we have that still? My goodness. Scary.

I picked those up in times square.

BRYANT: I like look the alien, I think.

HAMMER: She looks like she`s really to kick my butt.

BRYANT: Yes.

BRYANT: Let`s move on to -- Damien, again, welcome to the "Buzz Bench." Let`s talk about Celine Dion. MTV doesn`t play a lot of the Celine Dion, "My Heart Will Go On." It`s really more of a VH1 thing, for sure.

But apparently she`s doing this show out in Vegas at Caesar`s Palace for a long time now, making a billion dollars, but apparently she`s realizing these are not the audiences I`m accustomed to.

FAHEY: Yes. These people are apparently -- apparently are in the audience and they`re drunk. They`re tired. Some are vomiting. They`re asleep, which means, you know, at least, you know, they`re listening, which is nice.

BRYANT: Oh! You get a rimshot.

FAHEY: But seriously, like, a lot of these -- I don`t know, what do you expect from Las Vegas, though?

OGUNNAIKE: Hello, what do you go to Vegas to do?

SHAW: What does she think any of her fans are like? You know, it`s sort of like she`s lucky.

OGUNNAIKE: I like the idea that somebody`s in the audience that`s, like, "Yes!"

HAMMER: To be sure, her fans are buying a lot of these tickets.

OGUNNAIKE: Yes.

HAMMER: The shows are always sold out. But at the same time, anybody can go and, "Oh, I`m in Vegas. I`ve got to go see the Celine Dion show." So it might not be your typical...

(CROSS TALK)

OGUNNAIKE: What does she expect, that they would be prim and proper and drink tea and listen to her?

FAHEY: It`s hard for me...

OGUNNAIKE: No. It`s after hours. They just have fun.

FAHEY: It`s hard for me to kind of believe that if you`re in Las Vegas, you`re watching an emaciated woman singing the "Titanic" song for the 700th time, that you`d want to be drunk. I don`t know. It just doesn`t make sense to me.

SHAW: She`s lucky that people are not asleep, though. I mean, God, she is so played out. And like, who wants to see Celine Dion anymore? So she`s lucky anyone is sitting in those seats, drunk or not.

FAHEY: She`s lovely.

HAMMER: She`s got a great voice.

SHAW: And great teeth. Great teeth.

BRYANT: I don`t know if Prince Charles` teeth are available for snap- on, but he`s going to be smiling a lot. He`s getting married.

And here`s the new thing. Camilla Parker Bowles will be queen. There`s this -- this whole hubbub going on right now that she actually will get the title queen. Right. She says she wants to be called princess consort, but actually, they would have to change the constitution in order for her not to be the queen. So what do you think of this?

OGUNNAIKE: Well, I think that she`s making a smart P.R. move. She`s saying publicly that she does not want to be called queen. She recognizes that she`s still a very polarizing figure. And the best thing for her to do is lay low, accept this princess consort title and just lay low, as opposed to just sort of waltzing in there and saying, "I will be queen one day." That`s not a smart move for her to do.

SHAW: My theory is as soon as the queen dies, she`s going to be like, "Charlie, call me queen."

FAHEY: The thing is, what people are forgetting that...

OGUNNAIKE: He calls her queen at night, not in the daytime.

FAHEY: There`s one problem with this, and people I think are overlooking this. So I hate to break it to them.

HAMMER: Quickly please.

OGUNNAIKE: Break it down.

FAHEY: The queen would have to die and then Camilla would have to get a sex change in order to become the queen.

HAMMER: Long live the queen. Damien on his first appearance here on the "Buzz Bench," thanks for dropping by. Jessica and Lola, we appreciate you buzzing with us today. Get us out of here.

BRYANT: Oh, say can you see? This is you, A.J.

HAMMER: The stars of "The OC" have a lot to say about recent criticism. And they spill some of the beans of what changes we may see in the show.

BRYANT: And, Jay Leno sees Martha Stewart in Robert Blake, "Laughter Dark" is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: It is time for the "Show`s Biz," a look at what`s happening in the business of entertainment.

Nineteen-seventy-nine is coming to 2005. Starting on April 5, you`ll be able to legally download, for a fee, of course, all the Smashing Pumpkins catalogs. Two hundred twenty-seven songs, in case you`re counting. The tracks will be on iTunes, Napster and a few other places.

Miss America is looking on to put on a newer face. It`s starting up a teen pageant to be held later this year in Orlando, Florida. The organization still doesn`t have a network to air this year`s Miss America pageant after being dropped by ABC.

BRYANT: "The OC," that primetime soap about teens living in California`s posh Orange County, it is the No. 1 show with the under-21 crowd, but with the cheers come some jeers. Some are saying the show is getting tired.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Brooke Anderson caught up with the stars last night at a reception in Los Angeles -- Los Angeles. Why do I keep saying Los Angeles tonight? I don`t know.

But anyway, Brooke got some of the honest answers.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The OC stars were out in Hollywood. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was, of course there, asking the question making the buzz: has the show hit a speed bump? We went straight to the cast, Rachel Bilson, Adam Brody and Mischa Barton.

RACHEL BILSON, ACTRESS: When something is new and it`s the first time around, you go through all these different things. And it`s hard to -- it`s hard to top that.

ADAM BRODY, ACTOR: Also, we`re on like episode 50 or something. I mean, in such a short time, that`s a lot of stories, so there might be a little fatigue. But I don`t know.

MISCHA BARTON, ACTRESS: I just think it`s, you know, one of the things where it`s really difficult to fill the middle of a season.

ANDERSON: Benjamin McKenzie tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT the turnaround is here; the best is yet to come.

BENJAMIN MCKENZIE, ACTOR: I`ve seen most of the last three or four that were shot, and they`re definitely the best ones so far. I can`t really talk about specifics.

ANDERSON: What? Try us.

MCKENZIE: But Brian has a strong plot line near the end of the season, involving someone from his past.

ANDERSON: So what`s the mystery? Tell us. So we asked creator Josh Schwartz, and he gave SHOWBIZ TONIGHT a sneak peek. Ready?

JOSH SCHWARTZ, CREATOR, "THE OC": That Bruto`s (ph) dad will be returning. You have not seen the end of Summer in her little Miss Vixen uniform, that much I can tell you. And more trouble ahead for Sandy and Kirsten.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BRYANT: Well, that was SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Brooke Anderson reporting from Hollywood. Now, FOX must be confident in the show, that it`s not in trouble, ratings-wise, because today the network announced a very early third season pickup. You can catch "The OC" Thursdays on FOX.

HAMMER: Well, David Letterman introduces a brand-new segment on the late show, and I`m not allowed to tell you what it is. That`s coming up in "Laughter Dark."

And there`s still time for you to sound off in tonight`s "Showbiz Showdown" question of the day: "J.Lo`s fashion fur: Should she give it up?" Vote at CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. Got more to say? CNN.com/ShowbizTonight is the address. We`ll read some of what you have to say coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Time for more "Showbiz Shorts."

He`s resigned. Josh Howard, the former executive producer of "60 Minutes Wednesday," stepped down yesterday. CBS had asked Howard and two other executives to quit over the discredited President Bush "memogate" report. He was the last to do so.

Mary Mapes, the report`s producer, was actually fired. She announced today that she`s writing her memoirs called "The Other Side of the Story."

A possible change at FOX. Reports today say Gail Berman is quitting as president of FOX Entertainment and going to Paramount Pictures. Just a short time ago, Paramount Pictures released a statement saying they`re still just talking.

BRYANT: Well, it is time to get your laugh on in "Laughter Dark." As we do every night, we bring you the late-night laughs you might have missed.

HAMMER: Robert Blake may have been found not guilty in court, but he isn`t escaping the wrath of the late-night comedians, as shown here on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY LENO, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": And what was that thing Blake was wearing when he was freed? Take a look. Isn`t that the poncho from Martha? That`s what Martha. Martha Stewart had that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRYANT: And David Letterman also takes his poke at Blake.

HAMMER: Announcer Alan Coulter (ph) of "The Late Show" introduces this brand-new segment, but it`s just going to have to kind of speak for itself.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: I`m pleased to debut a new segment, entitled, "Are You (expletive deleted) Kidding Me?" Tonight`s segment is torn straight from the headlines. Take a look at this clip.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People of the state of California versus Robert Blake. We the jury in the above entitled action find the defendant Robert Blake not guilty of the crime of first-degree murder of Bonny Lee Bakley.

ANNOUNCER: Are you (expletive deleted) kidding me?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: There`s something so not right about that.

BRYANT: Yes. Well, throughout the show we`ve been asking you to vote online on our "Showbiz Showdown" question of the day. J.Lo`s fashion fur, should she give it up? So let`s take a look at how the vote is going, shall we? Seventy-two percent of you said yes, J.Lo should give up her fashion fur. Twenty-eight percent of you said no, J.Lo should not give it up.

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

William from Yuma, Arizona, simply says, "If J.Lo wants to wear fur, let her."

But Marcy from Virginia Beach says, "I used to be a J.Lo fan, but no more. I`m completely disgusted by her blatant lack of compassion towards animals."

Now, remember, you can continue to vote at CNN.com/ShowbizTonight.

HAMMER: It`s time to check out what`s playing tomorrow here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. We`re going to take a look at the "Showbiz Marquee." My favorite time of the show. The Marquee Guy. Bring back the Marquee Guy. Roll it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC)

TOM HANKS, ACTOR: Houston, we have a problem.

ANNOUNCER: But they solved it. One of the biggest in American history, and one of tom hanks` biggest movies, the "Apollo 13" anniversary tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Spies like them play with gadgets like this. So what does "Alias`" Michael Vartan play with when he`s not chasing the bad guys? Get out your secret decoder rings, kids. We`ll have it tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRYANT: All right. Well, it`s been a good night here, and that does do it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. We`ll see you here tomorrow.

HAMMER: Nancy Grace is coming up next, right after the very latest from Headline News.

END


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