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SHOWBIZ TONIGHT

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT for March 31, 2005, CNNHN

Aired March 31, 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: A TV news giant calls it quits.
A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: And a criminal past for an "American Idol" contestant. I`m A.J. Hammer.

BRYANT: And I`m Karyn Bryant. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: Ted`s tuning out. Ted Koppel is saying good-bye. Will the lights go out on "Nightline"?

BRYANT: Judging "American Idol." Down to nine.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jessica, you are going home tonight.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRYANT: Who`s next in line? Former finalist Kimberly Caldwell joins us live.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAMELA ANDERSON, M.A.C. SPOKESWOMAN: Yes, how does it always happen? How do I always end up naked?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Plus, blond ambition. Pam Anderson goes glam for a very good cause. We`re there.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PATRICK DEMPSEY, "GREY`S ANATOMY": What never happened, you sleeping with me last night, or you throwing me out this morning?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRYANT: Making the rounds. He plays a dapper doctor on TV`s newest hit show, and he`s making a house call to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Patrick Dempsey live.

HAMMER: And hooray for Dollywood. Country star Dolly Parton celebrates a very special anniversary with us.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRANDI: Hey, what`s up? I`m Brandi, and if it happened today, it`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(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: Another big-time newsman calls it quits.

HAMMER: Ted Koppel said today he`s leaving ABC and leaving behind "Nightline," the ground-breaking show he`s anchored since it began more than two decades ago. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s David Haffenreffer is here with more -- David.

DAVID HAFFENREFFER, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT: A.J. and Karyn. Koppel helped to create "Nightline" back in 1980, the first of its kind of late night news shows that originally began as "America Held Hostage," which provided late-night updates of the Iranian hostage crisis. Now, after 25 years and countless other big stories, he says he`ll leave ABC by the end of the year.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TED KOPPEL, ABC NEWS: I`m Ted Koppel, and this is "Nightline."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAFFENREFFER (voice-over): We won`t be hearing those words for too much longer. After 42 years at ABC News, Ted Koppel is stepping down. He`s been the anchor of "Nightline" for 25 years, but recently, he`s only been hosting three nights a week. Fill-ins have been taking the other two, and a journalist who talked to Koppel just last night tells me that played a role in his departure.

HOWARD KURTZ, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Ted Koppel actually wanted to continue at `Nightline" and at ABC, but when presented with the condition that he would have to be live every night, 11:30 PM, he decided that he was at a stage in his life and a stage in his career where perhaps he should do other things. That was the deal breaker, as far as he was concerned.

HAFFENREFFER: And it`s a heartbreaker for fans of hard news and TV sketch comics. But Koppel`s "Nightline" hasn`t given ABC a lot of reasons to laugh lately. Last year, "Nightline" averaged about 3.7 million viewers a night. "The Late Show With David Letterman" had 4.5 million, and the "Tonight" show with Jay Leno had 6 million. Still, Koppel has won 41 Emmy Awards and the respect of his peers.

KURTZ: Ted Koppel is an extremely confident, agile and aggressive newsman. He is probably the best live interviewer I have ever seen.

HAFFENREFFER: Kurtz isn`t the only one who respects Koppel. Five years ago, ABC tried to replace Koppel and "Nightline" by wooing David Letterman away from CBS. Letterman turned them down flat. The reason? He`s a Koppel fan, too.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID LETTERMAN, "LATE NIGHT WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": Ted Koppel, at the very least, at the absolute very least, because of his contributions and because of the kind of guy he is and the kind of show he runs and what he has done for this country and the world of broadcasting -- this guy, at very least, deserves the right to determine his own professional future. He deserves absolutely no less than that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAFFENREFFER: It looks like he`ll get the chance to do just that. Koppel is now the latest network newsman to sign off in the last few months. He follows Dan Rather at CBS and Tom Brokaw at NBC.

KURTZ: The phrase "end of an era" is overused, but in this case, with Koppel, Rather and Brokaw all moving on, it really is quite appropriate. They have a stature and a reach and a gravitas that the younger generation of anchors, through no fault of their own, simply are not able to match. So it really is a move from a time when three networks dominated the landscape to a time when we have hundreds of cable channels all competing for a piece of that television pie.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAFFENREFFER: That was Howard Kurtz, the media critic at "The Washington Post." ABC`s Peter Jennings is the last of the old guard network anchors still on the job. He is expected to stay on at "World News Tonight" when his contract expires later on this year. As for "Nightline," experts think ABC may keep that show on, but with major changes aimed, of course, at a younger audience -- A.J.

HAMMER: All right, David. Thank you very much.

Well, tonight, some shocking news about one of the contestants on "American Idol." SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has learned that Scott Savol has a rap sheet, and we`re not talking about music here.

That`s Savol singing "One Last Cry" on last night`s show. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has learned that on Valentine`s Day four years ago, Savol was arrested and charged with beating his girlfriend at their Ohio home. He pleaded it down it a lesser charge of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor, after taking a domestic violence program. He was also ordered to pay a fine and given probation. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT called Fox to get their comment. They declined.

BRYANT: Well, just how are the "American Idol" contestants checked out? Joining us live from Hollywood is Kimberly Caldwell, second-season "American Idol" finalist and TV Guide channel host. Hi, Kimberly.

KIMBERLY CALDWELL, SECOND-SEASON "IDOL" FINALIST: Hi. How are you?

BRYANT: OK. So what happens with the background checks? Don`t they do an extensive look into your past?

CALDWELL: They do. They might have skipped over this. And the thing is, is that Corey Clark from my season actually got kicked off the show from a previous accusation that was made about him. And you know, the only thing that you can do is just continue with your life. And if he came out about it and he told the producers, hopefully, he won`t be kicked off the show. And if he didn`t, you know, he`s on "American Idol." He`s trying to make a good life for himself. So I really hope that the audience at home does not judge him for this because there`s always two sides to every story.

BRYANT: OK. Well, last night`s "American Idol" was a huge ratings winner, but a non-finale record of 32.5 votes still couldn`t help the latest "Idol" casualty.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jessica, you are going home tonight. You have the lowest number of votes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRYANT: She may have had a big voice, but according to Simon, it was the likability factor that helped send 19-year-old Jessica Sierra packing. So we are down to nine. Kimberly, what are your thoughts on Jessica`s departure?

CALDWELL: I think that Jessica was one of the best vocalists out of everybody on the show, and I was actually really sad to see her go. I don`t think that she deserved to go, but at same time, she sang a song that wasn`t really familiar maybe to the audience, and that might have hurt her. Song selection, you know, is a big issue in this competition.

BRYANT: Were there any surprises or letdowns for you this week?

CALDWELL: No. I think that everybody did a really great job. I loved Vonzell. Again, I think she`s just, you know, gradually getting better every week. I was really glad with Nadia`s performance, and I`m really glad that she`s back to Nadia again. And the fact that Constantine was up there with Bo this week, as well.

BRYANT: Well, see, that was my thing. I think Constantine made a very conscious effort to do the sweeter side of himself, which Bo had done previously and really, you know, got the ladies behind him. I think that Constantine is being very conscious about that.

CALDWELL: I know. I know that they`re both, like, claimed (ph) rockers, but at the same time, I think -- I don`t think it is fair to compare both of them because I think they`re completely different. But my personal favorite is Bo.

BRYANT: OK. Well, I have to agree with you on that one, even though I`m completely objective as a news person. Right!

CALDWELL: Of course.

BRYANT: Yes, of course. Of course. Thank you very much, Kimberly Caldwell...

CALDWELL: Thank you, Karyn.

BRYANT: ... TV Guide channel host.

We have more "American Idol" in "SHOWBIZ Shorts," a look at more stories making news tonight. The season finale showdown. It will be "Lost" versus "American Idol." They`ll be going head to head on Wednesday, May 25. It`s the final night of May sweeps and the last night of the 2004- 2005 TV season.

Fire at the Osbournes. Today we learned that Ozzie and Sharon had to flee their British mansion this past Friday. A blaze broke out as they slept. Ozzie and Sharon and their pets weren`t hurt.

We`ll have more "SHOWBIZ Shorts" coming up throughout the show.

HAMMER: ... is getting glammed up for a good cause. The former "Baywatch" beauty is hooking up with M.A.c. cosmetics to help get the word out about AIDS. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT caught up with Pam today, who told us that she wants people to take responsibility and get tested.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice-over): New York getting glammed up today, Pamela Anderson style. The former "Baywatch" beauty told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT she`s teamed up with M.A.C. cosmetics to help raise awareness and money for AIDS.

PAMELA ANDERSON, M.A.C. SPOKESWOMAN: AIDS really doesn`t discriminate. It`s not just junkies in the alley and heroin addicts and gay people that get AIDS.

HAMMER: M.A.C. created the AIDS Fund 11 years ago, raising more than $44 million over the years. The money comes from sales of its Viva Glam line.

ANDERSON: A tube of lipstick costs $14, and all $14 goes to the AIDS Foundation. And it`s -- like, four people can get tested with one tube of lipstick.

HAMMER: Other A-listers, like Missy Elliot and Christina Aguilera have leant their faces to the campaign. But for Pam, her face just wasn`t enough. It took four hours and three make-up artists to create Pam`s look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What did this screwed-up boyfriend of yours do?

ANDERSON: Oh, he`s in a band. I seem to have a thing for guys in a band

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Pam`s a busy lady. She`s a single mom and author and now a sitcom star. Her new show, "Stacked," premiers in two weeks on Fox.

ANDERSON: I`m really enjoying it because, you know, I`ve never done anything where I`m not winking at the camera. So this kind of, like -- it`s interesting because I`m actually learning about -- you know, people rehearse (ph). I never heard of that before. This is really exciting, to work with Christopher Lloyd, who`s one my heroes. I have my kids as a single mom. I get to drop my kids off at school every day and go to work and work with these guys.

HAMMER: Could it be possibly be true, Pam Anderson, Little League mom? You`re not going to believe what she told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT her favorite mom thing is.

ANDERSON: You know, I like being a soccer mom. I got the cooler and the cut-up oranges and the -- you know, the -- like, I`m the one with the healthy snacks, so they`re always going, Oh, no, not Ben and Gil`s (ph) mom again this week. She has to be snack mom? We`re going to be eating pretzels and peanut butter.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: Pam`s ad for M.A.C. will be unveiled tomorrow in Times Square, New York City. The special lipstick goes on sale tomorrow, as well.

BRYANT: Well, Pam Anderson has certainly been in her share of celebrity magazines, and as we told you last night, Britney Spears took a shot at some glossies. Tonight, "SHOWBIZ In Depth": the magazine wars. That`s next.

BRYANT: And hello, Dolly. Dolly Parton`s celebrating 20 years of fun. She`s going to tell us all about it a bit later on.

BRYANT: Now tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz." Who played the role of slain Tejano singer Selena in the 1997 film "Selena"? Was it A, Penelope Cruz, B, Salma Hayek, C, Jennifer Lopez, or D, Ariadna Gil? We will be right back with the answer.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BRYANT: Welcome back. Once again, tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz." Who played the role of slain Tejano singer Selena in the 1997 film "Selena"? Was it Penelope Cruz, Salma Hayek, Jennifer Lopez or Ariadna Gil? The answer is C, Jennifer Lopez.

HAMMER: Well, it`s 14 past the hour and time now for "SHOWBIZ In Depth." The celebrity magazine wars. As we`ve reported, Britney Spears has put up a message on her Web site blasting the tabloid magazines for all the rumors about her marriage and speculation that she may be pregnant. Well, every week, the celebrity magazines battle it out for the biggest scoops, and the competition really has never been more fierce. Tonight, we`re going to take an inside look at the magazine wars.

And joining us to discuss this, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT contributor Julia Boorstin, who covers the entertainment industry for "Fortune" magazine. And also with us tonight is "Mediaweek" news editor Lisa Granatstein, who oversees coverage of the magazines. Ladies, thanks for both joining us.

So Britney specifically went out of her way to slam "In Touch," "US Weekly" and "Star." She had very high praise for "People" magazine. There seems to be an insatiable appetite for this kind of information. Julia, why is that?

JULIA BOORSTIN, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT: America really is a culture of celebrity. We are obsessed with celebrities. We are more obsessed with them than we`ve ever been. And we`re not obsessed with someone like Britney because she`s a great singer. Certainly not. We`re obsessed with her because we want to know if she`s pregnant. We want to see the pictures of her barefoot, walking out of a gas station bathroom, as we did a couple weeks ago -- a couple months ago. I`m sorry.

But I think the whole thing here is that we`re not just obsessed with seeing celebrities as these distant fantasies, we want to see them as real people, too. We want to see their expensive dresses and also in their human, ugly faces, when they`re not wearing any make-up.

HAMMER: And you would think, with all of these magazines sort of reporting on similar stories, that they would be cannibalizing each other. What`s the reality, Lisa, on how they are doing?

LISA GRANATSTEIN, "MEDIAWEEK": They`re actually not at all. They`re all doing very, very well. And it`s really because there`s something for everyone. There`s the fluffy ones, the edgy ones. Some are cheaper than others on newsstands. And that`s -- and actually, there are more coming. There`s "Celebrity Living" that`s coming and "Vitals," which is a celebrity lifestyle magazine. And there`s a men`s one and a women`s one.

HAMMER: And is there realistically room for all of these in the marketplace, with more on the way?

BOORSTIN: Well, the thing is, it`s not like you have to pick just one. Some people will pick "People" magazine because, for instance, they have more real people stories...

HAMMER: Right.

BOORSTIN: ... and balance out the celebrities with real people. And they will go for an "In Touch" or an "US Weekly." And some of them are just impulse buys. People, you know, have a subscription to one and pick up another one at the grocery store.

HAMMER: Because the fact is, some of them don`t have a lot of substance to them. You flip through them and it`s just a bunch of pictures.

GRANATSTEIN: No. Absolutely. And that`s just it. It`s all pictures, and that`s where the news comes from. That`s where you see the cellulite. That`s where you see the flabby arms. That`s where you get the dirt. And you know, you get to see who`s canoodling with who, and those -- that`s what people want.

BOORSTIN: People aren`t buying them to read any text. If you want to read serious articles, you go on line or you go to a newspaper. But for these magazines, people are looking just for the pictures and the interpretation of the pictures because that`s what distinguishes the magazines from each other.

HAMMER: And those exactly, Julia, are the scoops that these magazines are going out for and after, and there really is a battle that goes on between the magazines to get those scoops. Give me some insight into actually what happens behind the scenes.

BOORSTIN: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) sense of things. I mean, if you get a really great cover with an amazing picture and some really sexy taglines, you could boost your newsstand sales that week by half a million dollars. So each week, it`s really a battle about who has the better pictures, who has the better taglines and who`s going to grab more eyes at the supermarket.

GRANATSTEIN: And there`s a big battle over -- there`s actually bidding wars that go on. You know, a picture of Britney carrying a cup of coffee may get you $50, but going to her Vegas wedding, you know, getting those blow-out pictures is $100,000. It`s big business.

HAMMER: That`s amazing. And as you said, more on the way. There certainly will be no shortage of information on these subjects for any time to come?

BOORSTIN: I mean, celebrities are going to continue to exist, and they`re going to continue to make fools of themselves, which is what America seems to love the most.

HAMMER: Right. All right, Julia and Lisa. Thank you very much for joining us on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT tonight.

And all of this, of course, leads to our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Here`s the question. Celebrity magazines: Do you believe what you read? You can vote on the question by going to cnn.com/showbiztonight. You got more to say, we`d like to hear it. E-mail us at showbiztonight@cnn.com. And we`ll share some of what you had to say later on in the show.

BRYANT: You know him from "Sweet Home Alabama." Now he`s playing a surgeon in a Seattle hospital. "Grey`s Anatomy" star Patrick Dempsey live.

HAMMER: And speaking of hospitals, we`re heading to Port Charles for a behind-the-scenes tour of one of the most successful soaps of all time, "General Hospital."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Well, she`s been working a whole lot longer than 9:00 to 5:00 on this anniversary. Country star and actress Dolly Parton is celebrating a birthday, but it`s not hers. We`ve got that scoop on that coming up in about 10 minutes.

And it`s time now for "SHOWBIZ Shorts." A betrayal. That`s what Jane Fonda now says about her 1972 visit to a North Vietnam anti-aircraft gun site. That`s what it was. The site was used to shoot down the U.S. pilots, and it led her to be referred to as Hanoi Jane. The "Barbarella" actress is interviewed on "60 Minutes" this Sunday about her upcoming biography.

Well, tonight: ticked off over tickets. In a lawsuit filed last week in a Los Angeles court, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is suing three ticket brokers and an unspecified amount of individuals for reselling tickets to the Oscars. Some allegedly went for up to $40,000 a pair.

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

BRYANT: Well, it is "ER" meets "Sex and the City." "Grey`s Anatomy" is an ABC drama that debuted Sunday, and it`s about first-year surgical interns. It followed "Desperate Housewives" and did incredibly well in the ratings. One of the show`s stars is here, Patrick Dempsey, joining us live. Thanks for coming.

PATRICK DEMPSEY, "GREY`S ANATOMY": Thanks for having me.

BRYANT: Not a problem because after Sunday`s show, where we got an up close and personal look at a very special part of your anatomy -- what`s the deal with your character in the show? Is he a player?

DEMPSEY: No. Well, we`ll find out what he does eventually. But no, he`s -- he just got into town and met this girl, and it turns out to be his intern.

BRYANT: Uh-huh. Uh-huh. But it`s going to play out some more. Your...

DEMPSEY: Yes, it will -- the relationship will continue on.

BRYANT: OK. Well, we`re going to take a look at a clip here, so let`s check this out, "Grey`s Anatomy."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dr. Shepherd.

DEMPSEY: Dr. Shepherd? This morning, it was Derek. Now it`s Dr. Shepherd.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dr. Shepherd, we should pretend it never happened.

DEMPSEY: What never happened, you sleeping with me last night, or you throwing me out this morning? Because both are fond memories I`d like to hold onto.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRYANT: All right. So yes, it was a one-night stand, then she shows up and finds out that you`re her boss.

DEMPSEY: Yes, I`m her -- I`m the attending neurosurgeon.

BRYANT: OK. So this -- you know, here`s the thing. There`s a lot of hospital dramas on...

DEMPSEY: Right.

BRYANT: ... and what -- what made you think, yes, I want to commit to this one? Because some have come and gone. Only "ER," you know, has been around for 11 years.

DEMPSEY: Right.

BRYANT: What made this one special?

DEMPSEY: I sat down and met the show creator, Shonda Rhimes, who I liked very much, and Peter Horton, who`s directed the first two episodes.

BRYANT: Oh, great.

DEMPSEY: And I had known him, you know, meeting him at events and things like that, and I liked him very much. And it was an ensemble, and I thought it had a great sense of humor to the piece, as well as the medical aspect, and you know, it was an opportunity to go to work.

BRYANT: Right. Well, because it`s also -- it is nice to have some levity in a hospital drama because I don`t want to tune in every week just to watch people...

DEMPSEY: No, it`s too depressing. It`s a great -- a little bit of a soap, a little -- you know, a little bit of a comedy. It`s a nice mixture of different tones put together. And the cast is phenomenal. We have a great ensemble.

BRYANT: Right.

DEMPSEY: And I think it works because of that.

BRYANT: Hospital shows also work well when the actors are believable in delivering the dialogue. I want to know...

DEMPSEY: Right.

BRYANT: ... if you`ve got any favorite doctor words yet, or any term that made you think, Oh, my God, I am a doctor, I don`t just play one on TV.

DEMPSEY: Well, I forget -- it`s like cramming for a test.

BRYANT: Right.

DEMPSEY: You work so hard to remember the lines, and then when it`s over, you completely forget about them. On Monday, I had this long list of medical jargon that I could not get through. I had to do it line by line. It was really sad because the entire crew knew the dialogue by the end of it...

BRYANT: Oh, really?

DEMPSEY: ... but I didn`t. But that`s the difficult part.

BRYANT: And you -- but you can`t -- you don`t -- it`s just gone?

DEMPSEY: Yes, I can`t think of a thing right now. MRI. MRI. Get an MRI.

BRYANT: MRI!

DEMPSEY: I need an MRI.

BRYANT: Dude, come on! At least give me a sphigmomameter (ph). You know what that is?

(CROSSTALK)

DEMPSEY: ... technique. You do that, and then the MRI`s big. I do the MRI a lot.

BRYANT: You do the MRI.

DEMPSEY: Run her down to MRI.

BRYANT: Right. But you`re a surgeon, right?

DEMPSEY: Do an MRI. Do a work-up -- yes, a neurosurgeon.

BRYANT: OK, very...

DEMPSEY: I`m always working on the brain.

BRYANT: All right. All right. Well, I want to talk about -- one of these movies that`s on cable a lot is "Lover Boy"...

DEMPSEY: Right.

BRYANT: ... where you`re a pizza guy, and when the women order extra anchovies...

DEMPSEY: Right.

BRYANT: ... they get a little taste of you.

DEMPSEY: Right.

BRYANT: So you used to...

DEMPSEY: So to speak.

BRYANT: Yes, so to speak. You used to play kind of goofball, lovable, dorky guys in the past.

DEMPSEY: Right.

BRYANT: Now you`re the stud head surgeon. How did you make that transition?

DEMPSEY: Well, that was 20 years ago.

BRYANT: Yes. You just grew up?

DEMPSEY: Yes, I just got a little older, went to the gym a lot more. Steroids. I really think they`re a great thing.

BRYANT: Oh!

DEMPSEY: No, I`m just kidding. Just kidding.

BRYANT: Not...

DEMPSEY: I have to go to the Senate tomorrow to talk about the problems with steroids in Hollywood.

BRYANT: Right.

(LAUGHTER)

DEMPSEY: You can see people that bulk up, they look like animated creatures. I don`t want to talk about specific people.

BRYANT: But Michael Chiklis comes to mind for playing "The Thing," right?

DEMPSEY: Sure. Absolutely. Our governor, for one, but I shouldn`t say that.

BRYANT: Oh! Why?

DEMPSEY: I`ll never work in California again.

BRYANT: Oh, please! That`s fine. Arnold speaks so highly of you, though, so you know...

DEMPSEY: Yes, he and I are close. We smoke cigars together constantly.

BRYANT: Right. Well, Patrick, the show -- it`s great. I saw it the other day. I really enjoyed it.

DEMPSEY: Thank you.

BRYANT: It`s "Grey`s Anatomy." It is on ABC on Sunday night. Thanks for joining us.

DEMPSEY: Thanks very much.

HAMMER: Well, our "Buzz Bench" is buzzing tonight. Lil` Kim as the next Martha Stewart? Could that be possible? And Sinead O`Connor in dreadlocks? What`s that all about? We`re going to talk about it coming up.

BRYANT: And bet you can`t guess what Carmen Electra and rocker husband Dave Navarro like to do at home. Here`s a hint. It`s pretty chill. That`s in "Thursday In Style."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

AJ HAMMER, CNN ANCHOR, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT: Horray for Dollywood. Dolly Parton has a lot to celebrate this weekend. And tonight, she joins us in the "showbiz sitdown."

KARYN BRYANT, CNN ANCHOR, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT: Port Charles, here we come. We`re behind the scenes at GENERAL HOSPITAL in a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT exclusive.

ELIJAH WOOD: Hi, I am Elijah Wood and if it happened today, it`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. 30 minutes past hour. I am Karen Bryant.

HAMMER: I`m AJ Hammer. Here are tonight`s hot headlines. AMERICAN IDOL rap sheet. Today we learned that "Idol" contestant Scott Savol has an arrest in his past. Four years ago, Savol was charged with beating his girlfriend. He was ordered to pay a fine and take a domestic violence program. "American Idol" is not commenting.

BRYANT: Ted Koppel is leaving ABC. The network announced today Koppel will leave ABC News and "Nightline" when his contract is up at the end of the year. Koppel has been with ABC for an amazing 42 years. The network says Koppel thinks it`s the right time for him to leave.

HAMMER: Pamela Anderson glam for a cause. Today, Anderson told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT she`s promoting Mac cosmetics viva glam line to help raise awareness and money for AIDS. A new ad featuring Anderson will be unveiled in Times Square tomorrow.

BRYANT: We have been asking you to vote on the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Celebrity magazines. Do you believe what you read? Keep voting at cnn.com/showbiztonight. And send your e-mails this way. showbiztonight@cnn.com. We will share some of what you have to say at 55 past the hour.

HAMMER: A kidnapping plot, a coma, a custody battle -- yes it`s just all in a day work at "General Hospital." SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was there as the cast and crew celebrated 42 years on the air and two of the biggest stars gave us the a VIP tour. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Brooke Anderson was on the set in Los Angeles and she brings us a special look.

BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is here on the set of "General Hospital" and I`m here in the waiting room and I`m waiting for some soap star around here maybe to come show me around. And I think here comes one right now.

ALICIA LEIGH WILLIS, PLAYS COURTNEY MATTHEWS: Hi, Brooke.

ANDERSON: Hello. This is Alicia Leah Willis and you are Courtney, right?

WILLIS: Yes, I play Courtney Matthews. This is where we sit and worry about all the people that are shot or hurt, which happens a lot.

ANDERSON: So this is?

WILLIS: This is my loft. This is my favorite set to work on. Now this is where the magic really happens. This is my bedroom. OK, wait. Scripts. Scripts and they`re all mine.

ANDERSON: So how do you manage that? You`re on the sofa. Show me what happens. They say cut and you reach back.

WILLIS: And you`re like OK. What`s the line? No. We always have scripts tucked behind here.

ANDERSON: I`m here with Maurice Benard who is Sonny on "General Hospital."

MAURICE BENARD, PLAYS SONNY CORINTHOS: This is the new set we just got. It`s incredible. As you can see what they`ve done here. This is a cool couch. You go like this. Usually this isn`t here but I get to do kind of like a godfather thing like...

ANDERSON: The posing. You need this right in your hand?

BENARD: Yeah. A glass.

ANDERSON: You got to have this.

BENARD: It`s cool.

ANDERSON: Alicia, after all of this sight seeing, I think we need a little bit of a drink.

WILLIS: I think so too, take the edge off. It`s been a rough day.

ANDERSON: Thank you very much.

WILLIS: Thank you. So nice to meet you.

ANDERSON: You too.

WILLIS: Welcome. Bye-bye.

ANDERSON: Bye.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: "General Hospital`s" 42nd anniversary show airs tomorrow on ABC. Karyn, were you ever into the GH?

BRYANT: I was when I was in about eighth grade.

HAMMER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) You remember it all.

BRYANT: Back in the day (ph).

HAMMER: Celebrating the big one.

BRYANT: That`s right. It`s time now for more "showbiz shorts." Dr. Carter is checking out of ER. Today we learned Noah Wiley will leave as a cast regular in May, but he will return for four episodes in the next two seasons. Wiley is the only lead character who`s been with the show since the beginning 11 years ago.

Well, Billy Corrigan (ph) is covering the Bee Gees. Corrigan of course of Smashing Pumpkin`s fame has a debut solo album coming out. It will include a version of the Bee Gees` song "To Love Somebody." And The "Cure`s Robert Smith is singing backing vocals. The album comes out in June and Corrigan starts a world tour in July.

HAMMER: Dolly Parton is a country music legend, an actress and oh, yes, she runs an amusement park and that park, Dollywood celebrating its 20th anniversary. Dolly joins us now from Pigeon Forge Tennessee. Hello, Dolly.

DOLLY PARTON: Well, hello to you and we`re all excited down here in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. As you mentioned, it`s our 20th anniversary and so we`ve got a big celebration. So we`re excited to get to talk to you and tell you about it. So what do you want to know?

HAMMER: You get your 20th anniversary hair going on. It looks fantastic!

PARTON: Well, thank you. I got all dressed up for you because we have been doing a lot of press and I thought well, what will I wear for you, so this is what I picked. I hope you are happy.

HAMMER: Thank you for dressing up for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Dolly. We do appreciate that. So tell me, what has changed the most about Dollywood in 20 years?

PARTON: Well, actually we just grow every year. So it`s that we add something new every year and we have new programs, new acts, new shows. We have the best food in the world. We have something of everything in the world in the park. A lot people think that it`s an amusement park. We do great amusement rides and some great amusement areas, but we really have all sorts of wonderful things around here for people to enjoy. It`s great for families but it`s also great for couples and the young people can enjoy it, too because we`ve even got big roller coaster rides, all sorts of things around here.

HAMMER: Do you have a favorite snack item in the park that you always go for?

PARTON: Well, they have a funnel cake here that I`m pretty fond of. I used to be fat and I have to kind of stay away from that or I`ll be fat again.

HAMMER: The fried dough with the powdered sugar you do have to kind of watch that. What has changed the most about you, Dolly Parton, in the last 20 years?

PARTON: Well, a lot of things have changed about me, sort of like the park. I always try to grow also and expand and come up with new and different ideas and new dreams. So actually, we`ve had a very successful park, but I`ve had a lot of wonderful things happen to me over the last 20 years. And I`m looking forward to the next 20. And we are here at Dollywood as well.

HAMMER: And you`ve always remained one of the nicest people on the planet. Everybody loves working with you. You always got that big smile on your face. You got to tell me about one time you lost your temper, just so we know that it actually happens because I don`t believe it.

PARTON: Oh, well, there`s lots of times I lose my temper. I always say I want to get along with everybody. But I`m a very up front person, if you will pardon the expression. But seriously, though, if I don`t like where you have got it, I can tell you where to put it, sort to speak.

HAMMER: So to speak. Well, we appreciate you joining us tonight on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT and congratulations, 20 years of Dollywood, unbelievable.

PARTON: Well, thank you. We`re very proud of all the fans that have come to the park over the years. So you come and see us sometime. It`s a lot of fun around here and thank you.

HAMMER: Dollywood celebrates its 20th anniversary during its season opening this weekend.

BRYANT: Sinead O`Conner is making a comeback and she has a whole new sound, definitely what most of you would not expect. We`ll take that to the "buzz bench" coming up.

HAMMER: Plus, home sweet home with Carmen and Dave. We will see whether they live like rock stars coming up in Thursday "In Style."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Well, we`ve been telling you about Britney Spears lashing out at the media and now Britain`s Prince Charles is making his feelings known about the paparazzi. The thing is he didn`t know anyone was listening during those open mikes.

Charles was on his annual ski vacation in Switzerland with his sons William and Harry when he made the comments. Usually Buckingham Palace makes a deal. The royals give a paparazzi photo-op and then they`re left alone while they ski. It looks like someone broke that agreement when the media took pictures of Williams and his new girlfriend.

Keep in mind, Prince Charles may just be under a little bit of strain considering he`s getting married to his longtime lover Camilla Parker- Bowles, but his mom the queen says she won`t go to the wedding and that kind of hurts. They have had to move their wedding from Windsor Castle to a little town hall and that`s because of some old English law that says if they get married at a castle, anyone can get married at the castle. And then some experts are saying Prince Charles can`t have a civil ceremony at all. If they do get married, it`s going to happen a week from tomorrow.

BRYANT: Time now for the "buzz bench" and here is what we are buzzing about tonight. Is Lil` Kim the new Martha Stewart? Ted Koppel leaving NIGHTLINE and Sinead O`Conner recording reggae.

HAMMER: Joining us on the "buzz bench" tonight, TV personality and singer Bob Guiney, TV producer and SHOWBIZ TONIGHT contributor Amy Kean and host of MTV`s "TRL," Damien Fahey. I`m going to start with you Damien. Lil` Kim convicted on perjury and conspiracy charges. She`s got that new pilot Lil` Kim`s Hollywood makeover that looks like it just might get the green light from VH1.

DAMIEN FAHEY, MTV`S CRL HOST: My company, MTV network. Yeah, this is crazy. I think this may lend a little bit more street cred to Lil` Kim, you know? It worked for Martha, so maybe we`ll see that. I am also thinking that the judge, when this all comes down and everything comes out, the judge may give her a little bit shorter of a sentence based on her lifetime contributions to cleavage. I think considering that, it might know happen.

HAMMER: You have been working about that all day, haven`t you?

FAHEY: Yeah.

Obviously thinking about that, the Hollywood makeover for Lil` Kim. Isn`t she always falling out of herself?

BRYANT: Yes. She`s not really the picture of class necessarily.

AMY KEAN, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT CONTRIBUTOR: Also not that much press about this particular -- I don`t think, because it`s not that shocking. It`s the whole like gangster rap thing. It`s different when it`s Martha Stewart or a Hugh Grant. But when it is someone in part of this whole world, it`s not that big a deal.

HAMMER: It`s a big deal in the sense that these charges are not really small charges. She faces what is it, up to 20 years in jail.

KEAN: I still doubt she`ll actually do any hard time.

BOB GUINEY, TV PERSONALITY/SINGER: She`s going to camp cupcake.

HAMMER: She may go to camp cupcake. She may get the anklet.

BRYANT: It is true, you`re saying Amy, about what is she going to, in part as far as fashion-sense to other people? I don`t understand where she is going with that.

KEAN: I actually think that some people - I mean Damien knows more about this than I do. I think some people would love to see this hip-hop, insane, crazy makeover that she does.

FAHEY: Yeah, I would think so.

HAMMER: You spent time with her. I have spent time with her. She`s lovely. She`s such a big heart.

FAHEY: She`s got this crazy uncle and if the show ever airs, you`ll see how crazy this guy is.

KEAN: Is he in the show?

FAHEY: Yeah. It`s like her family and stuff and they come in and out. It`s unbelievable.

HAMMER: Have you actually seen a little bit of the pilot that they`re putting together?

FAHEY: A little bit but they`re being very tight-lipped about this.

GUINEY: Her courtroom attire has been very sharp though.

HAMMER?: She can definitely play the Winona Ryder role very nice.

BRYANT: We want to talk about Ted Koppel as well. He`s going to be leaving "Nightline." He`s been anchoring that show ever since the Iranian hostage crisis back in `79 and we have seen Dan Rather has left. Tom Brokaw. Ding, ding, ding, very good. What do you think about this?

KEAN: It is a huge, big deal. But it`s not like we didn`t see this coming. First of all, he`s been with ABC for 42 years. The show`s been on as you said for 25. How -- do any of us really watch the show? I watch it occasionally because I think it`s a good show, but there are too many other shows just like it. So who cares about "Nightline" and also I think what is interesting is that the statements that came out today. Whenever these things happen, they always say, I want to leave and pursue other things. You`re 65 years old. You don`t (ph) pursue anything. Why can`t people just say I got the boot. They don`t want to pay my insane salary anymore and they want to replace me with cheaper talent.

FAHEY: Six, seven years tops.

HAMMER: Do you really think he`s getting pushed out?

KEAN: I think that Ted Koppel I think is very talented. I think he has a huge ego and I think that if they want to do any sort of revisions to the show and make it more of an ensemble or make it younger, bring in some younger talent, he is not somebody I don`t think who wants to share the spotlight. Ever since when ABC was trying to woe David Letterman I think the relationship has been a little bit rocky. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I think it`ll be exciting to see what "Nightline" does.

BRYANT: If it even stays on.

HAMMER: I didn`t know it was still on!

GUINEY: I don`t watch it so much but it is the year to go. All the other anchors are kind of working their way out.

(CROSSTALK)

FAHEY: What would be funny actually is if like we found out or if he found out that a sex tape was about to be leaked.

BRYANT: Stop.

FAHEY: And it was like back from the `40s.

HAMMER: We`re not going to travel that road right now.

Maybe Ted`s leaving to join up with Lil Kim in her new thing. Wouldn`t that be something or maybe he`ll be doing some reggae with the new Sinead O`Conner album that`s going to be coming up. Bob, I apologize, when I introduced you before, I said singer and I was surprised when I said that.

BRYANT: A record out.

GUINEY: None of them got any attention.

(CROSSTALK)

HAMMER: Sinead getting a little bit of attention working with two of the biggest reggae producers in the world, Sly and Robby. She`s down in Kingston, Jamaica and she`s doing some old school reggae tunes and of course she`s best known for a song that came out, what 15 years ago and for ripping up the picture of the pope.

GUINEY: And she doesn`t have the hair for reggae I don`t think. Reggae makes me think about doing stuff that Sinead O`Connor doesn`t make me think about. I`m chilling. I`m sort of in a hammock.

BRYANT: Don`t you think she`s talented?

GUINEY: Yeah. She`s an amazingly talented person I think. Isn`t like reggae about like peaceful protests.

FAHEY: Yes.

(CROSSTALK)

FAHEY: I think it`s going to do well, because you have to be stoned to buy a Sinead O`Connor reggae album.

BRYANT: You and I are going to take this outside because I think she`s fantastic. I am also half Jamaican. And I think she`s going to kill. I think this record`s going to be great, Sly and Robby are fantastic.

(CROSSTALK)

KEAN: It`s time for a new -- first she said she was a lesbian. Then she married a guy. Then she said she was a priest.

(CROSSTALK)

BRYANT: Damien, thank you, Amy, thank you and Bob, thank you for joining us on the "buzz bench."

At home with Carmen Electra and Dave Navarro. We`re going to check out their digs and get a look inside Carmen`s closet. That`s coming up Thursday "In Style."

HAMMER: Plus, Penelope Cruz has a way with words and David Letterman is at a loss for words. That`s coming up in laughter dark.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: It`s time now for Thursday "In Style." Tonight Dave Navarro and Carmen Electra.

In the public eye, they exude rock `n` roll, but at home, well that is a different matter.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SUBIRA SHAW, IN STYLE MAGAZINE: The home of Carmen Electra and Dave Navarro might be a little bit different from what people may expect. It`s not as rock `n` roll perhaps. What`s really interesting about Dave and Carmen`s home is that some parts were actually inspired by hotel living. They say that at this point, they travel so much that living at a hotel is very comfortable and familiar to them. So kind of in response to that, their front room was modeled after the standard which is a hot Hollywood hotel.

David and Carmen live in a ranch-style house above Beverly Hills in a canyon and they love it because it`s like a spa. It`s very tranquil and of course the views are spectacular. In the pool area there is a red wood deck with matching bed chaises that Carmen actually had redone for Dave`s birthday. Carmen has a closet that would be any woman`s dream. It`s a walk-in closet. It was actually converted from a guest room to a closet to accommodate all of her clothes. She`s got a collection of stilettos, Converse sneakers, ballet slippers, as well as any number of designer clothes.

Carmen and Dave`s game`s area is a perfect place to invite a few friends over for playing board games like Cranium and Scategories. They have a gas fireplace and in addition a very comfortable couch by lee Roseaye (ph). In the living room, they have a 62-inch plasma TV and an area that seats about a dozen people. Carmen and Dave`s home is very sleek and very clean. And that`s really a metaphor for how they are living their lives at this point. They`re at a point where they enjoy the simple things in life but at same time, they don`t want the clutter that may come with their lifestyle.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BRYANT: If you want to read more about Carmen and Dave`s slick Los Angeles home, pick up a copy of this month`s "In Style" magazine on newsstands now.

HAMMER: Only Conan O`Brien can make a classic board game laugh out funny and that`s coming up in laughter dark.

BRYANT: And there is still time for you to sound off on the question of the day. Celebrity magazines, do you believe what you read? You can vote at cnn.com/showbiztonight or e-mail us what`s on your mind at showbiztonight@cnn.com. And we`re going to share some your thoughts live next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: It`s time for another "showbiz short." Air America anniversary. Air America radio is celebrating one year on the air. And in honor of the anniversary, today Air America hosts Al Franken and co-host Kathryn Lampert (ph) broadcasted live from New York City at the museum of television and radio.

BRYANT: Time now 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: Did you see "Letterman" last night?

BRYANT: Love Dave.

HAMMER: All right. Well, on late show, "Sahara" star Penelope Cruz made a little bit of a confession to Dave. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PENELOPE CRUZ, ACTRESS: I`m very happy. I was always a little scared because I`m shy and at the beginning when I started my career in America, I was always saying no to talk shows (UNINTELLIGIBLE) intimidated by you. Now I feel very comfortable.

DAVID LETTERMAN: Good, good.

CRUZ: Comfortable sitting here in in -- but I remember when I came to America watching the show and always thinking wow, those people have big balls to be able to sit there and talk to you.

LETTERMAN: You know it used to be a requirement but we -- we have waived that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRYANT: Oh, Dave. Well, if you are familiar with late night with Conan O`Brien, you will recognize this segment called "what in the world"?

HAMMER: That`s right, Conan looks at an extreme zoom of a picture and tries to figure out what it is. Well, this is what he saw last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONAN O`BRIEN: Let`s take a look at the next one right here. I want to see what this is. And I`m going to say that`s a close-up of some peach sherbet. I like peach sherbet. Pull back and -- oh, that`s a scrabble tile. I play scrabble. That`s a Scrabble tile. Pull back some more and -- that`s weird. That`s just scrabble tiles but they`re not spelling out any real word. It`s nonsense. Pull back all of the way. Just curious how that could...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: A smile on his face. He was enjoying playing the game.

BRYANT: The president is such an easy mark for those late night shows. They really love to rip on him.

HAMMER: They do. Throughout the show tonight, we have been asking you to vote online on our showbiz showdown question of the day. Celebrity magazines, do you believe what you read? Let`s take a look at how the vote is going so far, 13 percent of you said yes, you actually believe what you read in celebrity magazines, which means, 87 percent of people who voted tonight actually said no, you don`t believe what you read. Thanks for sending in your e-mail as well on the question.

We heard from Jason in Los Angeles, who wrote, "I don`t believe half the covers on these magazines, much less anything contained inside them."

And remember you can continue to vote at cnn.com/showbiztonight.

BRYANT: Do you read the magazines? I like the pictures.

HAMMER: Well, sort of part of the job to read the magazines. And the piles that land on our desk every single day but how do you resist in the check-out aisle of the supermarket? Everybody looks.

BRYANT: Well, it is time to see what`s playing on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT tomorrow. Let`s take a look at the showbiz marquee. Take it away, marquee guy!

ANNOUNCER: It`s a road trip. We`re taking you on a wild, wild ride to "Sin City."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Audiences are going to be blown away.

ANNOUNCER: And just between you and me, the marquee guy can`t wait. It`s "Sin City" on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It would be a sin if you missed it.

Also, Joan Allen finding the upside of anger with Kevin Costner.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s not a conventional love story at all.

ANNOUNCER: It`s the upside of love and the upside of being on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Joan Allen live tomorrow. This is the marquee guy saying bye-bye.

HAMMER: As I`ve been telling you, I saw "Upside of Anger" last week. Joan Allen, an Oscar-worthy role.

BRYANT: She`s always good though.

HAMMER: As good as they come.

BRYANT: And I`ll be checking out "Sin City." this weekend.

HAMMER: Excellent, visually stunning I hear. That`s it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. We`ll see you back tomorrow.

BRYANT: Nancy Grace is up next right after the very latest from headline news.

(NEWS BREAK)

END


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