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Showbiz Tonight for June 29, 2005, CNNHN

Aired June 29, 2005 - 19:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: I`m A.J. Hammer.
KARYN BRYANT, CO-HOST: I`m Karyn Bryant. TV`s only live entertainment news show starts now.


BRYANT (voice-over): Tonight on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, the invasion begins. "War of the Worlds" opens today, and we`ve got up-to-the minute worldwide first reaction from the critics and you.

HAMMER: Also, opening up on "Oprah." The stars get vocal about the shopping incident Oprah says may have been racially motivated.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it`s the most ridiculous thing ever.

HAMMER: Plus, "SHOWBIZ In-Depth" on the power of Oprah. When she speaks, do you pay attention?

BRYANT: And, "Mr. & Mrs. Smith`s" summer vacation: Brad and Angelina traveling together again, and we`ve got the exclusive photos and the story of their trip.

BARRY MANILOW, SINGER/SONGWRITER: Hey, I`m Barry Manilow, and if it happened today it`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


HAMMER: Hello, I`m A.J. Hammer.

BRYANT: I`m Karyn Bryant.

HAMMER: Well, you`ve heard all the hype. Now, should you go see the movie? Today, at long last, after really what seems like an eternity, "War of the Worlds" has finally opened at the tail end of a Tom Cruise romance and controversy crusade.

BRYANT: Well, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is all over this story. David Haffenreffer live right now out in New York City -- David.

DAVID HAFFENREFFER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Karyn, it is opening day in this theater behind us here in midtown Manhattan, one of nearly 4,000 showing the Spielberg sci-fi spectacle, but it is the headlines of the personal life of the film star, Tom Cruise, that has certainly been garnering most of the attention over the past couple of weeks.

We know all of that, so now it`s time to get on that cinema soapbox a bit and get a sense of what the movie reviewers and the movie seers are saying about this film.


HAFFENREFFER (voice-over): The world may be ending, but the bang in Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise`s "War of the Worlds" and now, the movie is making a lot of noise as it finally hits U.S. movie theaters.

After months of hearing everything we ever wanted to know about Tom and Katie, Tom on "Oprah"...

OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST: Have you ever felt this way before?

HAFFENREFFER: Tom and Matt during their "Today Show" showdown.

TOM CRUISE, ACTOR: You don`t know the history of psychiatry. I do.

HAFFENREFFER: And just about every Tom Cruise-related topic that doesn`t involve "War of the Worlds," we`re now finally able to answer the big question: so how`s his movie?

GENE SHALIT, FILM CRITIC: My acronym for "War of the Worlds" is wow.

HAFFENREFFER: Film critic Gene Shalit raved about "War of the Worlds" during this morning`s "Today Show." He also had kind words about Cruise.

SHALIT: It`s Cruise`s finest mature performance.

HAFFENREFFER: "Good Morning America" may be "The Today Show`s" bitter rival, but their in-house critics seem to have similar tastes. GMA`s film guru Joel Siegel agreed with Shalit.

JOEL SIEGEL, FILM CRITIC: The summer movie with the most thrills, the best special effects, unbearable suspense the summer movie that`s the most fun opens today, "War of the Worlds."

HAFFENREFFER: The print reviews were also kind, for the most part. "Variety" calls "War of the Worlds," quote, "a gritty, intense and supremely accomplished sci-fier."

And "The Hollywood Reporter" says, quote, "The film takes perhaps a little too much glee in its abilities to manufacture mayhem. That being said, the ride is extraordinary."

And what about TV critic Roger Ebert? Ebert wasn`t too blown away by "War of the Worlds." In today`s "Chicago Sun-Times," he calls it, quote, "a big clunky movie containing some sensational sights but lacking the zest and joyous energy we expect from Steven Spielberg."

But those are the critics who are paid to give their opinion. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT wanted the opinion of those who paid.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought it was pretty good. It was like a big adventure ride.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s not the most exciting thing in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought it was wonderful. Enjoyed it tremendously.

HAFFENREFFER: The generally good reviews may mean good news for the movie. There were fears that Cruise and "War of the Worlds" would be hurt by Cruise`s recent bout of headline making.

MARVET BRITTO, CELEBRITY PUBLICIST: Tom Cruise is everywhere. It`s almost as if you look -- if I looked in my wallet, he`d be there. I think that he has -- you know, he`s gone from being a serious actor to being a joke.

HAFFENREFFER: But for moviegoers, the Cruise effect appears to be mixed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have to say that he was a little bit annoying in the movie, and I think it`s because of all the interviews that I`ve been watching of him. And he does seem a little bit annoying lately, and it came across a little bit in the movie.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel sorry for the guy, to tell you the truth. I don`t imagine it makes much difference one way or the other to the success of a movie.

HAFFENREFFER: So it seems that if enough moviegoers are willing to look past all of the Cruise hoopla, as far as Cruise and his movie are concerned, it may not be the end of the world.


HAFFENREFFER: And some dissenters aside, most of the reviews of this particular film do appear quite solid. In a collection of newspaper reviews on the web site,, about 75 percent of the reviews on that particular web site all seemed mostly positive.

Karyn, back to you.

BRYANT: Thanks very much, David Haffenreffer.

"War of the Worlds" is, of course, fiction, but Tom Cruise thinks there might be some fact in there. At a recent press conference for the movie, when he was asked about extraterrestrial life, he responded, quote, "Are we really so arrogant as to believe we`re alone in the universe?"

So we want to know what you think. It`s our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. "War of the Worlds": do you believe in aliens?


BRYANT: All right, you can vote at Send your e-mail our way at We`re going to read some of your thoughts later in the show.

HAMMER: And it should be interesting. Last night, before his movie opened, Tom Cruise popped by the BET Awards. It`s a big event for Black Entertainment Television.

Cruise was there to present the best actor award for Jamie Foxx. He was the winner for that. Foxx couldn`t make it in person, but when Tom gave him a buzz to say "congrats," Jamie was so excited, he just couldn`t hide it, kind of like when Cruise showed up on "Oprah" to chat about Katie Holmes.


JAMIE FOXX, ACTOR: To my man, Tom Cruise, baby, you hold it down for them. I`m jumping up and down on the couch right now, my bro, it`s going down.

CRUISE: Much love.


HAMMER: Yes, I think it`s going to be a while before Tom Cruise gets to live down that couch moment on "Oprah."

BRYANT: Well, the episode of "Oprah Winfrey Show" that hasn`t even been shot yet is the one that some of the biggest stars are already talking about tonight.

Oprah is promising to do a show about her being shut out of an Hermes store in Paris, which she has strongly implied was racially motivated. Hermes has, of course, denied that.

It was the talk of the town last night at those Black Entertainment Television Awards in Hollywood, and SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was right there. We`ve got the story from our own Brooke Anderson, who is live in Hollywood.

Hey, Brooke.


Yes, many celebrities spoke out about what they thought about Oprah Winfrey being turned away from Hermes, that expensive boutique in Paris, France, and why -- and the stars, like everybody else, well, they had a whole lot to say.


ANDERSON (voice-over): SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was there as music and fashion were the highlights of the awards. But the most talked about person was Oprah Winfrey, and she wasn`t even there. That didn`t stop tongues from wagging to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT about the daytime queen`s incident in Paris.

This all started two weeks ago, when Winfrey visited the luxury goods store Hermes. A security guard refused to let Oprah inside the store, but according to Hermes, invited Winfrey back to the store the very next day.

Winfrey calls it her "Crash moment," alluding to the movie that deals with racism. Hermes said the store was closed, and that Winfrey showed up 15 minutes after closing.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was given this statement by Hermes: "Hermes regrets not having been able to accommodate Ms. Winfrey and apologizes for any offense taken due to such circumstances."

The spokesperson for Hermes also says the CEO of the company called Oprah`s people to explain the situation, and to invite Winfrey back to the store to shop.

Now, Winfrey has yet to publicly tell her side of the story, but already, some at the awards show said they are standing by America`s queen of daytime talk. Among them, former daytime talk show host Rolonda Watts.

ROLONDA WATTS, FORMER DAYTIME TALK HOST: There`s some who would say if the store closes 6:30, the store closes at 6:30. The other side is, if you have a good customer, you open the store. I think that if I sold anything and anybody came and bought as much as Oprah did at that store, I would open that store at 6:30 and serve her a bottle of champagne if that`s what she wanted.

ANDERSON: Oprah is worth $1.3 billion, according to "Forbes" magazine, and rap-star Common says her power goes beyond the TV screen.

COMMON, RAPPER: Oprah is the queen. She shouldn`t be turned down for anything that she needs. She does so many great things for people. I don`t understand how anybody could do that.

ANDERSON: And one actor SHOWBIZ TONIGHT spoke with thinks the whole thing is much ado about nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whatever happened, happened. It`s time to move on.

ANDERSON: Once the stars got inside the awards show, they were treated to some of the best performances, like this one by Destiny`s Child, which made jaws drop.

The Fugees reunited and wowed the crowd, too. And power couple Will and Jada Pinkett Smith hosted. Among those taking home BET Statuettes, Kanye West, Usher, Ciara, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Destiny`s Child, and soul superstar Gladys Knight for the lifetime achievement award.

Before the night was over, Knight brought the crowd to its feet.

GLADYS KNIGHT, SINGER (singing): On that midnight train to Georgia...


ANDERSON: The "Oprah Winfrey show" is currently on hiatus. But a spokesperson for Harpo Productions has confirmed that Winfrey will devote an entire hour-long show in September to what she`s calling her "Crash" moment. The movie "Crash," of course, deals with racism in Los Angeles -- Karyn.

BRYANT: All right. It`s a very good movie, too, by the way. And you can bet many people will be tuning in to that "Oprah" episode. Thanks very much, Brooke Anderson, live in Hollywood.

Well, coming up, we`ll look at the power of Oprah. In "Showbiz In- Depth," we`re going to see why has she`s become so powerful, and why so many people live their lives based on what this woman says and does.

HAMMER: Also, what Brad and Angelina did on their summer vacation. We`ve got some exclusive photos just in today, and SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is going to show them to you, coming up next.

BRYANT: And, he took on McDonald`s in "Super Size Me." Now, Morgan Spurlock takes on religion, sexuality, aging and more. Morgan Spurlock is live on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, next.

HAMMER: Now it`s time for tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz." In which film did Kirsten Dunst make her big- screen debut? Was it, A, "Little Women"; B, "Interview with the Vampire"; C, "Bonfire of the Vanities"; or D, "New York Stories"? We`re coming straight back with the answer.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Once again, tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz." In which film did Kirsten Dunst make her big screen debut? Was it "Little Women," "Interview with the Vampire," "Bonfire of the Vanities" or "New York Stories"? Well, you might think it was, B, "Interview with the Vampire," because she was in that, but it was actually Woody Allen and Francis Ford Coppola`s 1989 flick, "New York Stories," that she was uncredited in the film but the answer is, in fact, D -- Karyn.

BRYANT: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Karyn Bryant.

And tonight, we have new pictures of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, together again. The exclusive photos come from the upcoming issue of "People" magazine, which features Brad and Angelina on the cover.

The pictures show Brad, Angelina and her son, Maddox, all together near her house in an English village. We get to see Brad and Maddox, who is going to be turning 4, soon on a dirt bike while Angelina looks on.

Now Brad and Angelina have never acknowledged if they are romantically involved, saying they aren`t sure what the future holds. And "People" magazine`s deputy managing editor says with the roar of publicity behind them, they`re free to find out.


LARRY HACKETT, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: Here are two people who are spending time at her home, two grown-ups, who are trying to figure out what`s next. Not everybody is Tom and Katie. Not everybody does PDAs. Not everybody, you know, thinks that way.

And I think these are two people who are, you know, trying to figure out what`s next. Is this a romance? Is this a friendship? Is this a professional relationship? Are these two -- are we dear friends? What are we? So it`s not surprising to me that there isn`t a lot of public displays of affection going on.


BRYANT: Brad`s ex, Jennifer Aniston, is in Chicago right now, shooting a romantic comedy called "The Breakup." She`s filming that with Vince Vaughn. And you`ll find more on Brad, Angelina and Jen in the new "People" magazine, which hits newsstands Friday.

HAMMER: Well, it`s time now for a "Showbiz Sitdown" with Morgan Spurlock. He, of course, was nominated for an Academy Award for his documentary "Super Size Me," in which he ate nothing but McDonald`s for 30 days, and got mighty fat and mighty sick doing it.

And now, he`s applying the same idea to a reality TV show, challenging people to spend 30 days in other people`s shoes. The show is, naturally, called "30 Days." Morgan Spurlock joining us live, here in New York.

Thanks for coming by SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

MORGAN SPURLOCK, FILMMAKER: Thanks for having me.

BRYANT: So, the weight that you gained.


BRYANT: It was 25 pounds, I believe?

SPURLOCK: Twenty-four 1/2 in a month.

BRYANT: Over 30 days. How long did it take to you lose that weight?

SPURLOCK: It took 14 months for me to get all the weight off.

BRYANT: And you`re supposed to lose it slowly, so I assume you were advised in that process.

SPURLOCK: Yes. And it was just a little slower than even I`d hoped for, you know? It`s easy putting it on; getting it off is tough.

BRYANT: Well, you look nice and healthy, because the last image most people have of you is a pretty sickly way.

SPURLOCK: Ashen colored, you know, very, very large. And my girlfriend did a great job of cleaning me out.

BRYANT: Have you been back to the Mickey D`s since?

SPURLOCK: See, I love a good burger and for me, a good burger just doesn`t come from any of those places.



BRYANT: As I mentioned, you`re applying the 30-day concept to your new show, "30 Days." It`s really quite compelling. The critics really seem to love it. And one of the scenarios you started off with was you and your fiance spending 30 days, after your Oscars, after your big Academy Award nomination, living in Columbus, Ohio, on minimum wage.

What was the biggest surprise that you learned in the course of that time?

SPURLOCK: I mean, for me, it was just how hard it was on our relationship. You know, Alex and I have a great relationship; we get along fantastic. And when you`re starting to -- struggling through this -- through this type of life, you`re exhausted. You know, you get moody very quickly. I mean, and we just were constantly at odds with one another.

HAMMER: Snapping at each other nonstop?

SPURLOCK: Yes. It was really, really difficult. And for me, it`s no surprise when -- when I was there and I learned that, you know, there`s twice as many divorces of families that make $25,000 or less than there are of people who make 50 grand, so it was -- for me, that was probably the most shocking.

HAMMER: How many jobs were you guys working collectively?

SPURLOCK: She worked one throughout the month, and I worked four over the course of the whole 30 days. Because you know, if you`re making $5.15 an hour, and somebody offers you $5.50 or $6, you take it. You know, you get the better job. And it got to the point where I was working two jobs at a time and we were still just barely scraping by.

HAMMER: That`s crazy. And plus, you had to support, I think, the niece and nephew came, too.

SPURLOCK: Yes. My brother was nice enough to give us his kids, you know, so we could really see what it was like to be parents, and it`s difficult. You know, I mean, it`s a really hard way to go.

You`re constantly on, like, the edge of a knife. You`re on this precipice where one -- one thing can happen that will just send you down.

HAMMER: Well, this was the one that you did personally, but you had some other really interesting scenarios that you put other people in place for. You had a Christian living as a Muslim in a very heavily Muslim community, a conservative homophobe living in a predominantly gay community.

I`m actually curious, were there any concepts or scenarios you came up with that you didn`t get to do?

SPURLOCK: Yes, there were. And you know, the Muslim episode, which is tonight, is one of my favorite episodes. And I think that really deals with a great serious issue. There are so many issues to deal with in a show like this.

You know, we really wanted to examine the prison system in America, but the logistics of actually filming in a prison is really hard. You know, they don`t just let you walk in with cameras. And so hopefully, you know, knock on wood, we`ll get to do a second season, and that will be one for next year.

HAMMER: And in terms of the episode that`s on tonight, the Christian living as a Muslim, what was the biggest challenge that this individual faced?

SPURLOCK: I mean, it`s incredible to see somebody because what happens in the show, you really make yourself vulnerable. You know, you let your guard down. All your safety nets that are usually around you, your family and your friends, these things are taken away as you`re put in a situation that`s completely new to you, surrounded by people and cultures and ideas that are native -- not native to your existence.

So it`s -- for me, I thin kit`s incredible to see the transformation that David goes through over this 30 days of living as a Muslim and what he learns and how his stereotypes are kind of shattered. I mean, it`s -- it`s great television.

HAMMER: I imagine some discrimination was involved in...

SPURLOCK: I mean, a lot. I mean, he really starts to feel the prejudice, the trials and tribulations that Muslim Americans face every day. And I think it`s -- you know, for me I think it`s a great -- great first step to educating people about what`s happening.

HAMMER: And I`m curious about that, because "Super Size Me" was certainly a fun movie to watch.


HAMMER: But it was also educational, and this certainly provides a lot of education and...

SPURLOCK: And it`s still fun. It`s still a fun show.

HAMMER: And it can even enact change or help teach people the real ways of the world.


HAMMER: Is that your motivation or is it basically coming from the fact that you liked to make compelling TV and film?

SPURLOCK: Well, for me, I like to make things that make people think and I like to make things that make people feel. And I think this show does both, much like "Super Size Me" did.

And you know, there`s the great song in "Mary Poppins," you know, the spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.


SPURLOCK: And that`s what we`re doing, you know. We`re sweetening it up, and you know, they deal with very serious issues. But the show is really funny and really entertaining.

HAMMER: We appreciate you making education easy for us.

SPURLOCK: Exactly.

HAMMER: Morgan Spurlock, thanks for joining us on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

SPURLOCK: Thank you.

HAMMER: And you can catch "30 Days" with Morgan Spurlock tonight on the FX network.

BRYANT: Up next, the Hollywood baby boom. Tonight, what are the must-haves for celebrity moms? Our special series will continue, next.

HAMMER: Plus, will you go ape over the can`t-wait-to-see remake of "King Kong"? The movie is not going to be released for a while now, but we have the very first look, and you`ll see it in our "Showbiz Showcase."

BRYANT: And, does "War of the Worlds" live up to the hype? We`ll have a review from "People magazine." Is it a pick or a pan? You`ll have to stay tuned to find out.


BRYANT: Tonight, our special SHOWBIZ TONIGHT series, the "Hollywood Baby Boom." From Angelina Jolie to Kate Hudson, celebrity moms know what they absolutely must have not just for themselves, but for their kids, too. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT meets up with celebrity style expert Jay Neoni to get the inside scoop on what`s hot for Hollywood moms.


JAY NEONI, CELEBRITY STYLE EXPERT: We`re here at Netto collection, who designs the luxury cribs that celebrity moms can`t get enough of. It`s combines modern day chic with luxury vintage.

Also, moms really love the Dwell baby bedding. And it has great patterns, modern day patterns, very chic. It can be found in nurseries like Liv Tyler, Gwyneth Paltrow. The sheets are $315, and the bed is around $1,700. So that`s about over $2,000. But when your name is Apple and Coco, who cares about the price?

If you`re under 2 years old, in Hollywood, and you`re not in a Bugaboo, that means that your mom is not on the A-list. Everyone from Kate Winslet, Gwyneth Paltrow, Debra Messing, Courtney Cox, Sarah Jessica Parker -- I could go on and on. It is the Mercedes of the strollers. It retails for about $729.

When it comes to celebrity moms, they want to make sure that their babies don`t like every other baby strolling down Rodeo Drive. Moms look for a lot of great fabrics, and one that thing that`s huge is vintage. And these are the best jeans for babies. This is actually Riders first pair of jeans. Kate Hudson was so excited when she first saw these.

Levis` only cuts about maybe 20 pairs of these a year. It`s really limited edition, because they really want to make sure that it`s a really exclusive product, and only for their high-end clients. They retail for $120.

In Hollywood, to have things personalized is always for the A-listers. This is actually by Diesh Designs, and it`s so cute because it allows little baby Coco to actually wear her mom and her dad`s name on her shirt. And it doesn`t have a retail price yet, because it`s really exclusive for celebrities, but we`re hoping to see it in stores soon.

Moms, no more going to jail for breast feeding or no more baby Janet Jackson moments. We have now the Hooter Hider, which is the world`s first fashionable cover-up for nursing moms. This actually retails for $48. And celebrity moms like Sarah Jessica Parker, Jada Pinkett Smith really love products like this, because they are very vocal about the importance of breast feeding.

This is actually my favorite baby product. It`s A La Lunch baby clothing. It`s by Best of Chums. It retails for about $48-$58. It`s actually a layette set that comes closed in a lunch tray. This has been a favorite for Madonna. She gave it to David Letterman on air for his baby shower gift. It`s a great, great product for any baby.


BRYANT: Jay Neoni says that with celebrity moms, the hottest baby products are determined by how hard it is to get your hands on them.

Tomorrow, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, our "Hollywood Baby Boom" series continues with adoption. Which celebrities are doing it and why?

HAMMER: Well, tonight, ColdPlay is still the hottest band on the Billboard album charts for the third week in a row.

The album "X&Y" still No. 1 in figures just out today. The CD has sold 1.2 million copies since it was released back on June 7. Mariah Carey`s "The Emancipation of Mimi," is still going strong at No. 2 this week. The Foo Fighters` "In Your Honor" checks in at No. 3. Black Eyed Peas` "Monkey Business," is sitting pretty at No. 3. And, bad boy artists Boyz N De Hood debuts at No. 5 with their self-titled album.

BRYANT: She has got plenty of cash of her own, but she`s also helped plenty of others cash in, as well. Up next, what`s the story behind the power of Oprah?

HAMMER: Also, there`s some big monkey business going on. The guy who gave us "Lord of the Rings" is working on yet another blockbuster. We get your first look. We`re going to take a sneak peek at "King Kong," coming up in the "Showbiz Showcase."

BRYANT: And, Bobby Brown. We are going to get to follow every little step he takes. It`s his new reality show with wife Whitney Houston. What can you expect out of this one? Well, we will let you know.

It`s all coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Stay with us.


THOMAS ROBERTS, CNN HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: Hi, everybody. I`m Thomas Roberts. And here`s your "Headline Prime Newsbreak."

Some very tense moments in the nation`s capital just about an hour ago. The Capitol building was evacuated after a plane entered restricted air space. Military jets were scrambled on the breach, as it was reported. Now, the evacuation is over. It lasted just a few minutes, and people have returned to the building. The Capitol emptied out after Senate leaders received an e-mail from Capitol police about the situation.

All 17 passengers of a U.S. special operations helicopter shot down over Afghanistan are feared dead. That`s the latest word from the Pentagon. Their chopper came under enemy fire before it went down near the Afghan-Pakistan border. The rescue effort is being hampered by bad weather in the rugged terrain there.

We`re learning more about the second confirmed case of mad cow disease in the U.S. Officials now say the cow was from Texas. The USDA is facing criticism for waiting almost seven months to publicize the results.

That`s the news for now. Thanks for joining us. I`m Thomas Roberts. We take you back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: When she talks, people listen. But just how much pull does she actually have? Tonight, our "Showbiz In-depth," the power of Oprah.

BRYANT: Can "War of the Worlds" win the battle at the box office? It`s the review you haven`t heard yet, but you will, live, in "People" magazine`s "Picks and Pans."


AMY GRANT, SINGER: Hi, I`m Amy Grant. If it happened today, it`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


BRYANT: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s only live entertainment news show. It`s 31 minutes past the hour. I`m Karyn Bryant.

HAMMER: I`m A.J. Hammer. Here are tonight`s "Hot Headlines."

BRYANT: The war is on. "War of the Worlds" finally hit theaters today after a worldwide publicity blitz. Tom Cruise traveled the globe promoting the movie at premieres, including London, Paris, New York, and Los Angeles.

HAMMER: Oprah`s incident at a Hermes store in Paris is again the talk of the town. Tongues are still wagging about Oprah being turned away from the store. Hermes says it was closed for the night.

Last night at the BET awards, the general consensus was it`s Oprah, and she shouldn`t be turned away for anything, anytime, anywhere.

BRYANT: Yes, when Oprah speaks, people listen. But what`s behind her magic? In tonight`s "Showbiz In-depth," the power of Oprah Winfrey.

At 50-years-old, Oprah is still on top. "Forbes" magazine just ranked her number-one on its annual celebrity 100 list. Her net worth is estimated to be over $1 billion. That`s billion with a "b." And Oprah`s talk show, which is now in its 19th season, draws more than 30 million viewers every week around the world.

Joining us live tonight to discuss the power of Oprah, Brett Pulley, senior editor at "Forbes" magazine, and branding expert Linda Kaplan Thaler of the Kaplan Thaler Group.

Thanks for joining us. First, and foremost, do you have any insight into what her secret is?

LINDA KAPLAN THALER, KAPLAN THALER GROUP: You know, some people have a very high intelligence I.Q., which she has, but she has something even better: an unbelievable brilliant emotional I.Q., an ability to, whatever she taps into, she has the Oprah touch. It`s absolutely uncanny.

BRYANT: Well, you certainly have ranked influence, along with just money, in the "Forbes" list. Talk about her influence. I mean, you agree that it`s basically, she can connect on so many more levels?

BRETT PULLEY, "FORBES" MAGAZINE: Absolutely. Well, this is not a person who you want to make mad, because, as you point out, she has this tremendous influence, 20 to 30 million viewers of each show. Her television show goes to 100 countries. It`s the number-one show in daytime television and has been for about 15 years.

Publishing, any time a book gets the Oprah Winfrey Book Club stamp on it, sales increase by a double-digit multiple. And then we have the ancillary businesses, a Web business, Oprah after the show. You know, for the people who are Oprah`s followers, Oprah is like a drug. They can`t get enough of her.

BRYANT: And certainly, when you look at other influential people, say, Donald Trump or something, I guess it`s that emotional element, that connection that people don`t have.

THALER: Yes. But she surpasses everything. I mean, she is a brand icon. This is a woman, if she promoted, you know, the yellow pages, it would become the best-seller if it got on her book club.

So I mean, she really has this ability to transcend what normal people do at this point because she is so honest and so much integrity about what she does. She never lets the public see something about her that is not correct and not in keeping with her image. She`s very aware of that.

BRYANT: Brett, how hands-on is Oprah in those ancillary businesses?

PULLEY: Well, I think she is pretty hands on. It`s clear that she`s a true businesswoman. And you know, I spoke with another celebrity businessperson recently. And they said they had had a conversation with Oprah. And Oprah said to them, "Make sure you own everything, and make sure you sign every check."

BRYANT: I heard -- I read -- she says she signs every check over $100, something like that.

THALER: Yes, even when she did the Pontiac giveaway...

BRYANT: The giveaway?

THALER: ... she made sure that every person in that audience really needed and deserved a car. She did not want it to be seen that she was just giving it away to anybody. She was very much on top of that deal, and it just won a Titanium Lion at the Cannes Film Festival.

BRYANT: So that`s great to see that she really does have influence on her magazine. All of those businesses, she really gets in there and puts her print on it.

Let`s talk but something that doesn`t work for her. Is there anything that Oprah`s tried to do in which she has not succeeded?

THALER: Well, you know what, I think, if she ran for president, she`d have a very good shot at it.

BRYANT: Do you?

THALER: President Oprah, I don`t know. It`s a possibility.

PULLEY: I mean, the thing about her is -- and I think this is what`s particularly frightening for a company like Hermes -- is that she transcends these traditional racial and socio-economic barriers. Because of her past as a young girl in dirt-poor Mississippi, poor people relate to her. Because she has been so vocal about some of the issues she dealt with as young woman, women of all walks of life relate to her. And because she`s so -- has so much style and is so affluent, people who are wealthy relate to her and gravitate to her.

THALER: And anybody`s who`s going to a diet is relating to her. At any point, it`s like most of the public, so...

BRYANT: Exactly. Everybody`s got some connection with Oprah. Let`s talk about the Hermes incident. I want to talk to you first about this, Brett. How worried should Hermes be about the potential boycott or something? There`s talk that Oprah will address the incident in the fall on a show. Let`s say she told people, "Never buy another Hermes product." Should they be worried?

PULLEY: Well, I think they absolutely should be worried. I think that they should probably right now be camping outside of her home, presenting her with flowers every time she walks out, shining her shoes, buying her an ice cream cone when she walks down the street, because there`s no doubt she has lot of influence.

And look, as you point out, this is a woman who has a net worth in excess of a billion dollars, by our estimates, earns about $200 million a year. We`re talking about a person who earns probably in one minute the amount that that security guard at the store earns over a year or two.

Yet, in spite of that, all it took was this very common security guard to remind her, and to remind us all, of these sort of preconceived notions that people still have around the world based on the color of one`s skin.

So I think that -- you know, I`d be surprised if Oprah turned this into a boycott. But I wouldn`t be surprised if she makes it -- turns it into something to talk about a larger, broader sort of social issue.

BRYANT: All right. Well, we will wait and see until the fall.

Brett, thank you very much.

Linda, thank you, as well, for joining us here -- A.J.?

HAMMER: It`s time now, Karyn, for our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." Tom Cruise, whose new movie, of course, "War of the Worlds," opened today, says in a new interview he believes there is other life in the universe. So here`s our question for you. "War of the Worlds": Do you believe in aliens?

You can keep voting at, and write to us at We`re going to read some of your e-mails at 54 past the hour.

BRYANT: The "War of the Worlds" hype hasn`t even died down yet, and already there`s big hype over yet another remake. This time it`s "King Kong." Peter Jackson, he`s the director who made the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy very successfully. Well, he is trying to recreate the "King Kong" magic.

Here`s a look at the trailer in the "Showbiz Showcase."


JACK BLACK, ACTOR, "WAR OF THE WORLDS": I want the cast and crew on the ship within in the hour.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can`t do this.

BLACK: Tell them the studio pressured for an early departure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s not ethical.

BLACK: What are they going to do, sue me? They can get in line. I`m not going to let them kill my film.

We have three hours to find a new leading lady or we`re finished. There are thousands of actresses out of work in this city. Somewhere out there is a woman born to play this role, a woman who will journey into the heart of the unknown towards a fateful meeting that changes everything.

I`ve come into possession of a map, an uncharted island, a place that was thought to exist only in myth...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wall! There`s a wall ahead!

BLACK: ... until now. That`s where I`m going to shoot my picture.

You`re feeling uneasy, Ann. Feeling`s growing. It`s washing over you. Scream, Ann, scream for your life!


BLACK: Herb, get the camera.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Behind the wall!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What took her, Karl? You saw something.


BRYANT: Oh, yes, A.J.

HAMMER: It`s like five months away. I don`t want to wait.

BRYANT: I know.

HAMMER: I don`t want to wait.

BRYANT: Merry Christmas to me. It opens December 14th. I`ll be seeing it. That`s "King Kong" for you.

HAMMER: Well, why is Whitney Houston`s husband, Bobby Brown, approaching strangers in restaurants? Any idea?

BRYANT: I do actually have an idea.

HAMMER: We`re going to talk about it, coming up next.

BRYANT: Plus, is "War of the Worlds" worth the trip? We have the review you haven`t heard yet, next on "People" magazine`s "Picks and Pans."

HAMMER: And do you think those late-night talk shows might give Tom Cruise a break? Well, if you do, think again. We`ll have highlights coming up in "Laughter Dark."


BRYANT: Well, Bobby Brown thinks it`s his prerogative to do a reality show. The New Edition and solo R&B star and husband to Whitney Houston is giving us "Being Bobby Brown." The TV series spans six months of his life as Bobby tries to clean up his act and put his family back together, this all coming after he`s been in and out of jail on drug and battery charges.

And while the cameras followed him, Brown found out not everyone was aware of his fame or notoriety, as the case may be.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, you`re not.

BROWN: I`m Bobby. I`m Bobby on a regular basis. I`m not in an orange jumpsuit right now.


BROWN: That`s probably why you don`t recognize me. Look, you recognize me now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes, now I see.


BRYANT: That is harsh. You can catch "Being Bobby Brown" tomorrow night on Bravo.

HAMMER: Well, here we go. Now it`s time for the review you haven`t heard, about Tom Cruise`s new movie, the "War of the Worlds," which, of course, opened today. It`s the one that matters to us, because it comes from our regular contributor, "People" magazine film critic, Leah Rozen joining us live now in New York.

Leah, we actually get to talk about the movie. This is very exciting.

LEAH ROZEN, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: We have a little time here. The movie is good. This one is just really scary. It accomplishes what it sets out to do, which is to scare you like you probably want from a big summer movie, but I have a real word of advice here: Lock up your sons and daughters. I would not take a kid under 12 years old to this movie. Way too scary, relentlessly scary. What this movie does best is just -- you know, it brings on the scares early, when the aliens show up. And they just show no mercy. And Spielberg shows no mercy for the audience.

HAMMER: And one recurring thing I`ve been hearing is "edge of your seat suspense" from the moment it starts.

ROZEN: Not quite from the moment it starts because it has to establish who these characters are, but within only a few minutes, the aliens have arrived and they are not very friendly.

HAMMER: OK. Well, you might have noticed, this movie has gotten a little bit of publicity for all the wrong reasons, probably, over the last couple of months. Now that it`s finally out, now that it`s in theaters, is it that good that it just transcends all the nonsense that has been going on?

ROZEN: Yes, I think you can say, you know, I don`t care if Tom Cruise is marrying Katie Holmes, that has nothing to do with this movie. This movie is about big summer entertainment, huge, extremely skillful special effects, and Spielberg knowing what he is doing when he makes a movie.

HAMMER: Sure, this is a man who has done sci-fi before. Of course, "Close Encounters," E.T.," how does this stack up and is it just the right part of his transition to whatever is next?

ROZEN: Well, one of the fascinating things in watching this film is knowing that Spielberg, before the evolution of his viewpoint on aliens -- in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and in "E.T." certainly you had really nice aliens, friendly aliens. They were here to be our buddies. They are not here to be our friends in this one. And in a way, it reflects the events of September 11th.

There are absolute echoes of 9/11 in this film. At one point, the child, Dakota Fanning, who is Tom Cruise`s little daughter, when the attacks first happen, she goes, are these terrorists? People are sort of running en masse, covered with ash. You have that sense that this was on Spielberg`s mind.

HAMMER: And it has been more than 50 years now since George Powell`s original lower-tech version of the film. Any comparisons worth making?

ROZEN: Well, just that, you know, this -- what they do with special effects these day, anything you can imagine you can now put on film. When you watch the 1953 version, it looks a little cheesy, but I should say, for fans of the 1953 version, Gene Barry and the leading lady from that film show up at the end of the -- they have a little cameo in this one, so wait for it.

HAMMER: I love it when they do that. Thanks very much for your insight, and everybody`s going out to see it, Leah Rozen.

ROZEN: It`s worth it.

HAMMER: And of course, for more picks and pans, you can always pick up a copy of the new People magazine, it`s on newsstands Friday.

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

On "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," Lewis Black gives his take on Tom Cruise`s philosophy on mental health.


LEWIS BLACK, COMEDIAN: We all know the best medical advice doesn`t come from the church or some machine, but from the people you trust the most, celebrities. Actor and love-struck Scientologist Tom Cruise appeared on "The Today Show" last Friday where he shared his beliefs on mental health.

TOM CRUISE, ACTOR: I`ve never agreed with psychiatry, ever. Before I was a Scientologist, I never agreed with psychiatry and I know that psychiatry is a pseudoscience.

BLACK: Unlike Scientology, I mean, that`s got science right in the name! The climax came when Matt Lauer suggested therapy and anti- depressants might work for some people.

CRUISE: Do you know what Adderall is? Do you know Ritalin? Do you know now that Ritalin is a street drug? Do you understand that? You don`t know the history of psychiatry. I do. There`s no such thing as a chemical imbalance.

LEWIS: No? Then, what do you call what`s happening to you right now?


BRYANT: On "The Daily Show" tonight, Will Ferrell, and a report on a Speedo ban.

And last night on "The Late Show," David Letterman listed highlights from President Bush`s televised address to the nation. And here are his thoughts.


DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, "THE LATE SHOW": How many of you folks earlier tonight right here saw President Bush`s address on television? You see it?


LETTERMAN: I was surprised, apparently the war in Iraq is going quite well.


LETTERMAN: He -- Bush highlighted his successes, the Iraqi election is a highlight, the homeland -- improving homeland security, that`s a big moment, capturing Russell Crowe.


LETTERMAN: But the president did admit that there are problems. The war is dragging on, of course. The economy is down. Gas prices are going up. And then he left on his two-month vacation.


LETTERMAN: But Bush is doing anything he can now to boost his popularity. As a matter of fact, tomorrow he will be jumping up and down on Oprah`s couch.



BRYANT: Tonight on "The Late Show," Tom Brokaw, and from "War of the Worlds," Dakota Fanning.

HAMMER: There`s still a bit more time for you to sound off in our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day": "War of the Worlds," do you believe in aliens? Vote at or you can still write to us at We`re going to read some of your e-mails live, next.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Time now for the "Legal Lowdown."

Nick Carter pleads guilty. A California court has ordered the Backstreet Boy into a three-month alcohol treatment program, after pleading guilty to drunk driving. Carter was pulled over back in March. And at the time, Carter said he was on prescription medication and was unaware of any interaction possibilities with alcohol. He also has to shell out $1,200 in fines, and will be on three years` probation. In a statement from his publicist today, Carter tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT he`s looking forward to putting all this behind him.

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 View," today it was time for the monthly "Joy Awards" where co-host Joy Behar gives recognition for the show`s best of the worst moments from the past month. And here are a couple of our favorites.


JOY BEHAR, HOST, "THE VIEW": Now look very closely as our camera guy crashes into Dwight Yoakam during his performance, thus winning the "best drinking on the job" award.

"Best bitch in heat" award. Look at this.


BRYANT: Bill Getty (ph) taking it hard there. Tomorrow on "The View," actor John Leguizamo.

HAMMER: Well, throughout the show tonight, we`ve been asking you to vote online on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." "War of the Worlds," do you believe in aliens? Here is how the vote has been going: 60 percent of you say, yes, you do believe in aliens; 40 percent of you say, no, you do not.

E-mails on the subject include one from Ernest in Texas who writes: "It would be arrogant of mankind to believe we`re the only intelligent life in the universe." I believe Tom Cruise said something just like that.

BRYANT: That`s right. And Dennis from California writes: "I do believe that aliens exist, but not in the way it has been depicted in the movies."

And David from Ohio adds: "Who is to say we aren`t the aliens?" We aren`t the aliens, A.J..

HAMMER: I can see his point.

BRYANT: And you can keep voting at

HAMMER: Speaking of aliens or strange out-of-this-world-ly-type creatures, you left the program a little early last night to see "Fantastic Four." Can you give us a one-line review?

BRYANT: I liked it very much. It`s a feel-good, fun movie with great action, great-looking people.

HAMMER: Those great-looking people appear on this very program next week.

BRYANT: Next Tuesday night. I had a lot of fun. Sorry you couldn`t come.

HAMMER: I am as well. That`s it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer.

BRYANT: And I`m Karyn Bryant. Stay tuned for the latest from CNN HEADLINE NEWS.



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