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Showbiz Tonight for August 19, 2005, CNNHN

Aired August 19, 2005 - 19:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, CNN HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: I`m A.J. Hammer. TV`s only live entertainment news show starts right now.


HAMMER (voice-over): On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Eminem in rehab. His tour cancelled, the rap star hospitalized. Addiction to sleep medication. Tonight, his public admission, and how many Americans privately understand.

BRYANT (voice-over): True crime stories, more riveting than fiction. From JonBenet Ramsey to O.J.`s car chase to Scott and Laci Peterson, they`re the real-life dramas that capture an audience and keep it. Tonight, America`s obsession with crime stories.

HAMMER: Bill Maher writes the book on mixing comedy and politics.

BILL MAHER, COMEDIAN: Welcome to an evening of faith-based humor.

HAMMER: Tonight, Bill Maher on religion, the critics who say he`s anti-American, and what he hopes for Paris Hilton. Bill Maher joins us in the "Showbiz Sitdown."

TONY SHALHOUB, ACTOR, "MONK": Hi, I`m Tony Shalhoub. And if it happened today, it`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


BRYANT: Hello, I`m Karyn Bryant.

HAMMER: I`m A.J. Hammer.

BRYANT: Two major celebrities are spending the night in rehab. Rocker Courtney Love was sent there by a judge today. And we`re going to get to that dramatic courtroom video in just a moment.

HAMMER: But first, rapper Eminem`s spending the end of his first week in rehab. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s David Haffenreffer here live with the latest on that -- David?

DAVID HAFFENREFFER, CNN HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: A.J. and Karyn, just two days ago, we heard that hip-hop superstar Eminem was dealing with a serious and mysterious unspecified medical issue. Today, that mystery has been solved. It`s sleeping pill dependency.

And last night, his record company announced that he had entered rehab to treat it. It`s all part of a condition that reportedly has affected Eminem for years now and strikes millions of Americans every night.


EMINEM, RAPPER: Sometimes you feel tired, weak...

HAFFENREFFER (voice-over): Apparently, Eminem is more tired than we knew, with word that Eminem has entered rehab for a sleeping pill dependency and reports that he suffered from insomnia for years. It`s clear the hip-hop superstar is waging a struggle with sleep that`s all too familiar to millions of Americans.

BRIAN MCCOLLUM, "DETROIT FREE PRESS": I think it just kind of hit a point where he hit a wall.

HAFFENREFFER: Brian McCollum has closely followed Em`s career for the "Detroit Free Press," Eminem`s hometown paper. He tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT the hard-working rapper has struggled with sleep for years.

MCCOLLUM: He`s apparently had issues with sleeping for quite a while, you know, three to four hours a night, quite often, but managed to sort of thrive off that anyway.

People close to him will tell you he`s a guy who is a notorious workaholic. He`s always in the studio. He`s always working on something.

HAFFENREFFER: The latest thing Eminem was working on was his first U.S. tour in three years, which wrapped up last week. But reports say Em struggled to sleep during the tour, often getting by on an hour at most a night.

MCCOLLUM: You know, anybody who`s gone without sleep, even for just one night, knows that it can really sort of, you know, mess with your head. It messes with pretty much, you know, your whole physiology.

HAFFENREFFER: Brian McCollum`s sources tell him that caused Eminem to boost his intake of a sleeping pill called Ambien. And just two days ago, Eminem announced he was canceling the European leg of his tour because of exhaustion and other medical issues. With word of his sleeping pill dependency, we now know what those other medical issues were.

Eminem`s not alone in his sleeping troubles. In a nation of multitasking workaholics, insomnia strikes 127 million adults. That`s more than half the population. Many of them turn to drugs like Ambien, the world`s top-selling sleeping pill.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s never been a better time to talk with your doctor about Ambien.

HAFFENREFFER: And while the pill is generally regarded as safe, if it`s taken too long, it can lead to anxiety, memory loss, and worsening sleeping problems.

JENNIFER BARRETT, "NEWSWEEK": Something that happens with Ambien, which you don`t see in other drugs, obviously, is you actually get the reverse effect. If you continue to take more Ambien than you`re supposed to, you become an insomniac again.

HAFFENREFFER: And as we see, it`s those kinds of problems that have sidelined the biggest star in hip-hop.

MCCOLLUM: To go on and on like that, and then start taking sleeping pills on top of it that back fire on you and keep you up and sort of make you even kind of feel crazier, that can be a pretty hardcore sort of state.


HAFFENREFFER: And just a few weeks ago, Eminem had to deal with reports that he planned to retire at the end of his tour. He said those reports were false and that he wants to focus more on producing and his record label. First, it looks like he`ll have to focus on kicking that sleeping pill problem -- Karyn?

BRYANT: Thank you very much, David Haffenreffer.

Well, now on to Courtney Love. She is in rehab, as well, tonight, but not by choice. Just hours ago, Love was sent to a rehab center for 28 days after she admitted violating her probation by using drugs. In Los Angeles County Court, the judge told Love originally wanted to send her to jail.


RAND RUBIN, SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE: I understand that there is a chemical dependency center that is ready to receive you today. And they have convinced me that I should allow you to go to that center. I think you either need a long-term drug program or a long term in the county jail.


BRYANT: Love broke down after hearing the judge`s words. After she regained her composure, she left the courthouse without speaking to reporters. But her attorney, Howard Weitzman, had this to say about today`s hearing.


HOWARD WEITZMAN, COURTNEY LOVE`S ATTORNEY: She had a relapse. She`ll deal with it. She`s serious. She`s sincere. And she`s pretty tenacious about getting her life in order. So we`ll see what happens, but...


BRYANT: Love will return to court on September 16th so the judge can review her progress and for sentencing on probation violations.

HAMMER: Well, the next 28 days have been decided for Courtney Love. But why rehab and not jail? And what does this mean for her family? Courtney does have a child with late rock icon Kurt Cobain. And what happens after the 28 days are up?

Joining us live here on the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT set to explain, Harvey Levin from "Celebrity Justice."

It`s nice to see you, Harvey. What the heck is going on here? Why did this judge say he wanted to send her to jail and allowed a rehab center to talk him into sending her to rehab instead?

HARVEY LEVIN, "CELEBRITY JUSTICE": Well, she has been violating, and violating, and violating probation because of this. She has a really serious problem.

And I think the judge was inclined to say, "Look, nothing else is working. I`m going to let you hit rock bottom, go to jail, and maybe that`s going make you find God."

But the lawyer convinced -- the lawyers convinced the judge, "Look, give her a chance. There`s a decent rehab center. Give her a shot. She`s not a criminal. She`s sick." And the judge bought it, at least for now.

HAMMER: But three courts before, according to this judge, have tried to get her to kick drugs. Is this just another case of special treatment for a celebrity?

LEVIN: You know, I mean, I think to some extent, if it weren`t Courtney Love, if it were Joe Shmoe and he had three probation violations, they`d probably throw him in jail. But it`s not the right thing to do.

I mean, this woman is not going out trying to commit a crime. She is addicted to drugs. She has a terrible problem. And you deal with that by getting treatment for somebody.

But the fact is, if it weren`t Courtney Love and if it were somebody who was just being pushed through the system, they`d probably be in jail tonight.

HAMMER: So that is more typical for anybody else?

LEVIN: Yes. I mean, they give people a chance, because the jails are so overcrowded, but I think, if it were somebody else, at this point, she`d be in jail tonight.

HAMMER: OK. Well, let`s talk about her daughter, Francis Bean, because there is a child involved. Sort of the same thing for Eminem. Of course, Eminem admitted himself into rehab. But he has custody of a child, as well. What happens to the kids while the parents are in rehab?

LEVIN: Yes, I mean, this is a really serious problem. And Courtney Love had problems keeping custody before. And this will exacerbate it. I mean, I think she`s in real trouble of possibly losing Francis Bean. And I think maybe more than jail, maybe more than rehab, that could be the thing that sets Courtney Love straight.

But I think she`s in some trouble right now that a judge could step in and say, "You`re not fit, at least for now, to really have this child."

HAMMER: What about when the 28 days are over, though? What`s going to happen in her life then? Is she going to get to continue, perhaps, going on this same path? Obviously, it depends how rehab goes.

LEVIN: Yes, she`s got a hearing coming up next month. And if she doesn`t do everything she has to do to comply with what the judge is telling her to do right now, she`s going to jail on September 16th. She has three probation violations, and the judge is going to sentence her.

If she does everything she`s supposed to do, my guess is the judge will say, "Look, I won`t put you in jail. Continue on this program." But if she missteps, Courtney Love could really end up in jail.

And we`ve seen this -- not just with Eminem -- we`ve seen it with Tom Sizemore, where over, and over, and over, you have this guy committing all of these violations, and judges just are slow to throw these high-profile people in...

HAMMER: Why? How do they keep getting away with it, Harvey? And we have 20 seconds.

LEVIN: I don`t think -- they get away with it, yes. But what do you solve by throwing them in jail? I mean, they get no treatment. They`re sitting there with a bunch of criminals. And then they come out no better for wear.

HAMMER: Well, we wish her the best. And hopefully, this is the right thing for her. He made the decision, and she`s going to rehab and not jail.

LEVIN: We may know soon.

HAMMER: Yes, Harvey Levin from "Celebrity Justice." Good to see you here on the set.

LEVIN: Good seeing you.

HAMMER: Karyn?

BRYANT: Tonight, singer Marc Cohn is speaking out about getting shot during a carjacking in Denver nearly two weeks ago. In an interview with ABC News, Cohn says he thought he was going to die, and the doctor who treated him says the singer is lucky to be alive. Cohn and his wife, ABC News anchor Elizabeth Vargas, are opening up about the shooting, tonight on "20/20."


MARC COHN, SINGER: I touched myself, and there was blood all over my hands. I realized I was the one who`d been hit. So this thought that, "Oh, my God, I`m not going to get home."

It was terror, disbelief, and just, you know, a prayer, just, "Please, don`t let this be it. This wasn`t supposed to be the end."


BRYANT: The alleged carjacker has been charged with attempted murder. And that episode of "20/20" airs tonight on ABC.

HAMMER: When crime plays out on TV, people pay attention. Coming up, we`re going to take a look at the true crime stories that captured the most attention and why America is just fascinated with this kind of drama.

BRYANT: Plus, from "Hustle & Flow" to "Crash," the Oscar buzz around this guy is deafening. Terrence Howard joins us in a "Showbiz Sitdown," coming up.

HAMMER: And one of the "Desperate Housewives" is getting married in real life. We`re going to tell you who`s engaged, coming up next.

BRYANT: Now, tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly" great American pop culture quiz. Which of these Radiohead tunes was not featured on their album "OK Computer": "Karma Police"; "National Anthem"; "Paranoid Android"; or "Airbag"? We`ll be right back with the answer.


BRYANT: Once again, tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly" great American pop culture quiz. Which of these Radiohead tunes was not featured on their album "OK Computer"? What is "Karma Police," "National Anthem," "Paranoid Android," or "Airbag"? Well, the answer is b, "National Anthem."

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer.

Time now for "Showbiz Shorts." Tonight, a celebrity wedding and a celebrity divorce.

First, a "Desperate Housewife" is getting ready to become a wife. Marcia Cross has gotten engaged to businessman Tom Mahoney. Today, we learned that he proposed last weekend. Cross is up for an Emmy as Bree Van De Kamp on "Desperate Housewives."

Jenny McCarthy is getting a divorce. She and her husband, John Asher, have filed for divorce in Los Angeles. The couple met in 1999 when Asher directed McCarthy in the film, "Diamonds." They married that same year, and they have a 3-year-old son.

BRYANT: Time now for a "Showbiz Sitdown." While the Oscars are still months away, the race toward the golden guy has already begun. Terrence Howard has both his feet in this year`s race and everyone is noticing, including "Entertainment Weekly." They just named him this year`s number- one summer breakout. He`s currently starring in "Hustle & Flow" and "Crash." Terrence Howard joins us from Philadelphia.

And, Terrence, you are this year`s it boy. How does that make you feel? It is terrific, yes?

TERRENCE HOWARD, ACTOR, "HUSTLE & FLOW": Well, it is such an ambiguous term. But I think it`s said with a lot of kindness associated with it, so I`m, you know, I`m kind of thrilled, you know, just to be it, if I can say that.

BRYANT: It`s cool. No, you can. And here`s the thing that I love about your kind of story. Some people perceive you as this overnight sensation who`s all of a sudden in these great movies, yet you`ve been acting for a number of years.

Why do you think it`s now that things are clicking?

HOWARD: It takes years to get good at something. You know, and I`m not saying I`m good at anything yet, but I`m getting better at being able to use this tool called, you know, acting, as a craft towards helping people to experience emotions that they may not have been given an opportunity to understand.

BRYANT: The fact is "Hustle & Flow" is a movie about a Memphis pimp. He`s searching for redemption. I have to believe that there are certain people that think, "Eh, I don`t need to see a movie about a pimp." But this is really a movie about people and dreams, right?

HOWARD: Yes. It`s not -- the pimp is just the backdrop. But the movie starts with a backdrop of a man in a very darkened place. But the purpose of the film is him finding strength in himself to rise above his circumstances and no longer be -- to be molded by his environment, but to have a positive force in his own destiny.

BRYANT: In "Crash," you were just tremendous in this movie. And you`re playing a producer who is humiliated by racist cops and who really has a lot of inner turmoil. Was this the kind of film when you read the script that you just knew you had to do?

HOWARD: Well, when I first read the script, I read it because Larenz Tate was a friend of mine. And he was telling me about this great project he was doing, and the role wasn`t available at the time.

I was always saying that I wished I could do a film like this. But then when the opportunity and the role opened up for me, you know, then I was trepidatious, because I wasn`t sure that I could bring to life, you know, the problems that people have with racism. Paul Haggis, you know, he penned such an amazing human story. Without giving any bias to it, he just presented it as the truth of life.

BRYANT: Well, I want to touch on quickly the project you just wrapped, "Get Rich or Die Tryin`." This is a movie, a rap movie directed by an Irish immigrant. Can you tell me about this?

HOWARD: Yes. Oh, yes, Jim Sheridan took on an amazing task of trying to tell this inner-city story about 50 Cent, or Curtis Jackson, and his life. You know, and it`s loosely based around his life, a lot of the events, you know, especially him being shot nine times and how he was able to use that as that stumbling stone into -- a stumbling block into a stepping stone to having this amazing career.

And one of the things Jim said was he was a little nervous about taking it, but he saw a relationship between the underprivileged in Ireland and also the relationship between the disenfranchised in the urban communities, which translated into us having an incredible experience. And for me to work with such a brilliant director like that, I was just -- you know, I will be forever thankful for that.

BRYANT: All right, well, Terrence, you`ve had a terrific year, and we wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors. And I hope to see you with a golden man come next winter.

You catch Terrence Howard in "Crash "and "Hustle & Flow" in theaters now. And you can read more about him in this week`s issue of "Entertainment Weekly." It is on newsstands now.

HAMMER: Well, tonight, if you`re heading off to a Friday night movie, you should know that movie theater owners are angry at Disney head Robert Iger. That`s because he`s calling for movies and DVDs to be released at the same time.

Disney says it`s a wake-up call to theater owners. As you might know, the summer box office has been in a slump. Attendance is down 10 percent. The owners say, "If you want more moviegoers, make better movies."

So what do you think? We`d like to know. It`s our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." Movie releases: Should they be released at the same time in theaters and on DVD? You can vote by going to You can also e-mail us at We`re going to put some of your words on our show a bit later on.

BRYANT: This tug-of-war is at the center of a weeklong series we here at SHOWBIZ TONIGHT are doing next week, "Movie Theater Madness." Those cellphones, the couple that just won`t shut up, the toddler screaming through the R-rated movie.

Is going to the theaters a nightmare? Are you mad as hell and not going to take it anymore? Well, step onto your cinema soapbox. "Movie Theater Madness," all next week on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: It`s a reality show recount. Coming up, we`re going to tell you why Mr. Peterman is dusting off his dancing shoes.

BRYANT: Plus, he`s as politically incorrect as ever. Bill Maher weighs in on religion, politics, and, yes, Paris Hilton. Stick around for that.

HAMMER: And they`re the real-life crime dramas that capture our nation`s attention. On the way, a look at what makes true crime great television.



You`re going to want to make a notation in your calendar. We`ve got a dance-off. ABC has announced that Kelly Monaco and John O`Hurley will return for a rematch of the "Dancing with the Stars" finale. Monaco won the competition on the hit reality show, but some fans thought O`Hurley was a better dancer. And there was even some grumbling that Monaco was favored because she`s on another ABC show, "General Hospital." ABC says, "Not true."

Still, the dance-off is set for September 20th, with a results show two days later.

BRYANT: O`Hurley was robbed!

Well, the dance-off will include the tango, but if Kelly Monaco and John O`Hurley really want to see how it`s down, they might want to take a trip down to Argentina, where hundreds of dancers are competing in the World Tango Championship.

Here`s CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What a tangoed web they weave in Argentina, where the World Tango Championship is up for grabs. Argentina, home of the tango, a dance that supposedly got its start as men waited their turn at brothels.

The church frowned on it. It was even banned. What a difference a century makes. Now over 400 couples are competing for a $5,000 prize, and any star who`s anybody has done a tango scene, from Brad and Angelina, to J. Lo and Richard Gere, from Jack Lemmon in drag, to "The Addams Family." Even kids are getting into it, in the recently released documentary "Mad Hot Ballroom."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at that attitude. Look at that attitude on that face. I love that.

MOOS: The World Tango Championship has attracted couples from 29 countries.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want to say (INAUDIBLE) Argentina y tango.

MOOS: Don`t try this at the world championship, tangoing blindfolded, like in the movie "Naked Tango." From blindfolded to blind in "Scent of a Woman," Al Pacino had a tango tongue twister.

AL PACINO, ACTOR: No mistakes in a tango, darling. You make a mistake and you get all tangled up, just tango on.

MOOS: No purists quibbled with his performance.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well-done and it`s professional, but...

MOOS (on-screen): But it`s not the tango?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s not Argentine tango.

MOOS (voice-over): These two taught Madonna to tango, and they say that, in the true Argentine tango...

DANEL BASTONE, TANGO INSTRUCTOR: From the waist up, there`s no move.


BASTONE: It`s stationary.

MOOS: Nothing is stationary when you`re "Dancing with the Stars."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dancing the tango, Rachel Hunter and Jonathan Roberts.

MOOS: One guy who wouldn`t make it into the tango championship...


MOOS: Arnold admits he was concerned when he saw he`d have to tango in "True Lies."

TOM ARNOLD, ACTOR: Harry, you do not have time to tango, buddy, you copy?

MOOS: Arnold says he had to take a lot of lessons.

There`s even an electric car named the Tango. George Clooney just bought the first one for $108,000. Its inventor is an ice dancer who loves to tango on ice. Look how this thing tangos into tight parking spaces.

And finally, there`s the former tangoer-in-chief. When Bill Clinton had to tango with Argentina`s first lady, he did a lot of looking at his feet. And when he got tangled up with another couple, he took Al Pacino`s advice.

PACINO: ... get all tangled up, just tango on.


HAMMER: CNN`s Jeanne Moos reporting for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Well, Bill Maher rewrites the rules literally. Coming up, why he`s laying down the law for Paris Hilton and even Mount St. Helens.

BRYANT: Plus, don`t touch that dial. It is JACK-FM coming up. Who is Jack? And why is he in charge of what`s on the radio?

HAMMER: Also, real-life law and order. The Scott Peterson trial is just one example of a true crime story that held the nation`s attention. Coming up, we`re going to talk about why the public just can`t seem to get enough. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT will be back.


THOMAS ROBERTS, CNN HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT continues in one minute. Hi, everybody. I`m Thomas Roberts with your "Headline Prime Newsbreak."

A jury has found pharmaceutical giant Merck negligent in the death of a man who took the painkiller Vioxx. It awarded his widow $235.4 million. It`s the first of thousands of lawsuits over Vioxx. Merck plans to appeal.

The antiwar protest outside President Bush`s ranch continues without its leader today. But Cindy Sheehan, who is with her ill mom, says she will return as soon as she can, adding just because she`s gone, quote, the president is not off the hook.

An Ohio judge is ordering an escaped prisoner and his wife back to Tennessee to face murder charges. That decision came during George and Jennifer Hyatte`s extradition hearing in Columbus. The couple is accused of killing a corrections officer in last week`s brazen courthouse escape.

And another day, another record. AAA reports the average price for regular unleaded gas is $2.60 per gallon. Diesel also a record high, averaging $2.64 per gallon.

That is the news for now. Thanks so much for joining us. I`m Thomas Roberts. Back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

BRYANT: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It`s 31 minutes past the hour. I`m Karen Bryant.

HAMMER: I`m A.J. Hammer. You`re watching television`s only live entertainment news show.

Still to come in the next 30 minutes, O.J. Simpson, JonBenet Ramsey, Laci Peterson, America fascinated with these true-life crime stories. But why? We`re going to talk about that, coming up.

BRYANT: That`s right. And also, love him or hate him, Bill Maher always has a lot to say, and he`s going to be talking to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Brooke Anderson.

But first, tonight`s "Hot Headlines." We`ve got SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s David Haffenreffer in the newsroom with more -- David?


Tonight, Courtney Love is spending the night in rehab. A judge sent a tearful Courtney there for violating her parole. No word yet on what`ll happen with her daughter, Frances Bean.

A couple of celebrity couple news items to report tonight. "Desperate Housewives" star Marcia Cross, who battled rumors she was gay, is engaged now to a man. And best-selling motherhood author Jenny McCarthy and her husband have filed for divorce.

The Rolling Stones open Sunday at Fenway Park in Boston. The noise police will be there in force. The city reportedly wants to make sure the concert doesn`t impact the quality of life at Fenway Park.

Those are your "Hot Headlines." A.J., back to you.

HAMMER: All right, David Haffenreffer. Thank you very much. Have a nice weekend.

Tonight, a "Showbiz Sitdown" with Bill Maher. The comedian has a new book, a new HBO special, and his show, "Real Time," is about to start a new season. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Brooke Anderson sat down with the controversial comic in Hollywood to talk politics, his platform, and give him the chance to pick on Paris Hilton.


BILL MAHER, COMEDIAN: Welcome to an evening of faith-based humor and Christian conversation.

BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bill, so much going on. "Real Time" coming back. You`ve got this new book, "New Rules." You`ve got a new stand-up special on HBO. How are you feeling right now?

MAHER: I promised I wouldn`t cry. And there I am at the first question.


Yes, sure, I`m happy when I`m working so, you know, you`re right. I`m doing a lot of work now, and that keeps me distracted from anything that would probably make me unhappy.

ANDERSON: And why did you want to do a new book of rules?

MAHER: First of all, I just wanted to put out a book that was just laugh, laugh, laugh. I think people like that. I think people, like, think that that`s good value for their dollar, when something is just going to make them laugh on every page. And I think this book does that.

ANDERSON: Like a coffee table read for guests and...

MAHER: I`m thinking more of the toilet, but coffee table`s good, too.

ANDERSON: Of course, we`re doing SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m with entertainment. And something that really stood out to me, Paris Hilton`s new rule?

MAHER: Paris Hilton -- I think we did a rule that Mount St. Helens has to either blow or shut up, you know, the volcano in Washington. And the next time it does blow, we should throw Paris Hilton into it, and take care of two divas at once.

ANDERSON: Your comedy special, you call it "I`m Swiss." Some critical of you say, "Oh, he`s anti-American. He hates America." You say you don`t hate America.

MAHER: No. "I`m Swiss" doesn`t mean I hate America. It means "I`m embarrassed by the cretins who have taken over America." When the country freaked out about Janet Jackson`s nipple being on television for one second, that`s an "I`m Swiss" moment.

There`s just so many of them these days because, unfortunately, America has been taken over by church-simple idiots who thinks that Jesus picks their lottery numbers.

ANDERSON: Well, who voted for him?

MAHER: The church-simple idiots who think that Jesus picks their lottery numbers.


ANDERSON: You know, how is that, that you really take a mindset of, "This is the best thing for"...

MAHER: There are zillions of people -- not zillions, millions and millions of people in this country who know exactly what`s going on. I think I just bond with them, because I have a platform to voice it. So I know I`m not alone.

It`s just unfortunate that the people who think, in our view, more rationally and more clearly, are not as motivated to vote.

ANDERSON: Why is that?

MAHER: Because they`re out in clubs at night, and they`re sleeping in a ditch the next day. I don`t know. I don`t know why. They can`t just talk about it, and be mad, and angry, and go to Bruce Springsteen concerts. They have to actually get up in the morning and go to the voting booth.

ANDERSON: Now, your show, "Real Time," has been very successful, Emmy-nominated. Are there going to be changes with this season? It kicks off again next week.

MAHER: My vacation`s over. Well, I don`t know, but I hope it`s funny.

ANDERSON: I do, too. Yes, I`m sure it will be.

MAHER: I hope the people do something that make me go, "I`m Swiss."


HAMMER: That was SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Brooke Anderson. Bill Maher`s series, "Real Time," premieres tonight on HBO -- Karyn?

BRYANT: Although radio has always been a faceless medium, it may soon become a voiceless one, as well, at least when it comes to radio personalities. Your favorite radio station may be changing its tune. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas is live in Hollywood with the story -- Sibila?

SIBILA VARGAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Karyn, once upon a time, when you thought of "Jack" on the radio, you were probably thinking about Wolfman Jack. But the times, they are a-changin`.

Personalities like the Wolfman, Casey Kasem, and Rick Dees may soon be replaced by a faceless deejay, who has less to do with being a disc jockey and more to do with mass marketing. If you think you know radio, then you don`t know "Jack."


MADONNA, MUSICIAN (singing): Hey, Mr. DJ, put a record on...

VARGAS (voice-over): Records were already relics at radio stations when that Madonna single first hit the airwaves. But recently, the deejays are also disappearing. In their place, there`s Jack.

ANNOUNCER: 93.1 JACK-FM, playing what we want to.

VARGAS: Jack`s no deejay. Jack`s not even a person. It`s what industry observers are calling the fastest-growing radio format to debut in the past decade.

Jack was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, with no deejays, just sarcastic prerecorded voice-overs and a much larger play list than most commercial radio formats. With an eclectic sound, ranging from the Pet Shop Boys to the Pointer Sisters, Steely Dan to Sugar Ray, tried and true hit music from the 1970s through the `90s.

Rick Dees, who hosts the nationally syndicated "Weekly Top 40" radio show, appreciates the competition`s variety.

RICK DEES, RADIO HOST: People used to come up to me and say, "Hey, Dees, you play the same 10 songs over, and over, and over." And I used to have to say, "No, no, no, it`s the same nine songs over, and over, and over, and over." So long live Jack.

VARGAS: Jack`s success in Canada has inspired stations in the states, from New York to L.A., Philadelphia to Dallas, Chicago to Seattle, to adopt Jack`s anything-goes approach to music. In Los Angeles, KCBS-FM recently seguewayed from classic rock to JACK-FM. And program director Kevin Weatherly insists, despite the seemingly random nature of its sound, there`s a method in the madness.

KEVIN WEATHERLY, PROGRAM DIRECTOR: You can hear anything at anytime. But you know, there`s a lot of time and thought put into the flow and making sure that we`re hitting different genres, different decades.

VARGAS: The development of JACK-FM is a reflection of a radio audience that`s increasingly turned to other sources for the music, the Internet, satellite radio, and the ever-popular iPod, with some stations telling listeners they`re like their iPod on shuffle.

WEATHERLY: It`s not meant to be arrogant or to come off as, "Hey, this is my little radio station. I`m playing what I want." That`s insane. You know, the idea at the end of the day is to get ratings.

VARGAS: While Jack`s debut in Los Angeles made it the market`s top- rated station for its target demographic, elsewhere listeners are less enthusiastic.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP (singing): Hit the road jack, and don`t you come back no more, no more, no more, no more.

VARGAS: In New York, where Jack replaced WCBS-FM`s oldies format in June, the response was outrage. Their cousin is legendary radio personality Cousin Brucie Morrow, one of the many deejays who was fired when Jack came to town.

"COUSIN" BRUCIE MORROW, RADIO PERSONALITY: You see, when radio is done properly, it has emotion. It`s not bland. It`s not boring. It`s not in-your-face, as some of these formats are, like this Jack, or Mel, or Bob, or Bill, or Brucie, whatever they`re calling the format.

Radio has to have the emotion, has to have the ability to communicate. When you don`t communicate, you don`t have radio.

WEATHERLY: All I know is, in the first three months, with no jocks, it`s come on and, you know, and had a pretty good impact on a lot of the established personalities in the market.

ANNOUNCER: 95.5 KLOS, playing Southern California`s best classic rock.

VARGAS: "Uncle" Joe Benson is one of those personalities unceremoniously told to hang up his headphones when Jack hit Los Angeles.

"UNCLE" JOE BENSON, RADIO PERSONALITY: Jack and all of its offshoots are a response to management not having a clue as to how to reach an audience.

WEATHERLY: Mindless chatter that`s not compelling or entertaining is an irritant. And we wanted to come on and reduce the amount of irritants. At the same time, we`re not void of personality.

JACK, RADIO ANNOUNCER: If you got no requests, we`ve got no problems.

VARGAS: Jack`s personality is actually created by writers and producers, and given voice by Howard Hogan, who prefers to remain in the shadows behind the microphone.

HOWARD COGAN, VOICE OVER ARTIST: Who is Jack? He`s a character. He`s not the life of the party, but he`s the guy talking about the life of the party, or making fun of the life of the party. I think we just add a little flavor. You know, come for the music and stay for the smart-ass comments.

BENSON: Come back in six months or a year. See how many Jack stations are still around them.

JACK: JACK-FM, resistance is futile.


VARGAS: And just this week, the owners of the JACK-FM trademark filed a lawsuit in a California district court against Clear Channel Communications on several trademark infringements stemming from copycat radio stations that are using slogans similar to Jack`s trademarked "Playing Whatever We Want" slogan.

Clear Channel has declined comment. Karyn, back to you.

BRYANT: All right, thanks very much, Sibila Vargas, in Hollywood.

Well, coming up, crimes that captivate. From O.J. to Scott Peterson, inside a new book and a new special that explains America`s fascination.


HEATHER GRAHAM, ACTRESS: I`m Heather Graham. I`m wearing Michelle Jonas (ph), cool back, because I went out to a party the other night and Michelle (ph) was there. And she was like, "You got to have one of my dresses," and she gave it to me. And I was so psyched, because she`s so talented.



HAMMER: Tonight, crimes that have captivated America. From Laci Peterson, to O.J. Simpson, to JonBenet Ramsey, America just can`t get enough of the chilling crimes and the high-profile cases that you`ve watched on TV and read in the magazines over the years.

So fascinating that "People" magazine has put together a book and an hour-long special on the 50 crimes that have captivated America. Joining me to talk more about this, JD Heyman from "People" magazine here in New York.

Thanks for coming on board.

JD HEYMAN, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: Hi, A.J., how are you?

HAMMER: I`m very well. So let`s break it down here. We`re talking about some pretty ugly crimes in most of these cases. What about this is so riveting to America?

HEYMAN: Well, you know, even before television or magazines, people have been fascinated by crimes, by sensational trials, by the figures, you know, the criminals themselves and their victims. It`s something that, you know, rivets the culture.

And we picked some of the more interesting ones that we think are revealing, or interesting, or, you know, frankly, entertaining that we all remember and come away with different kinds of lessons and interest in.

HAMMER: Well, let`s get specific then in one case, and it certainly has captivated America for much of this year and last, Laci Peterson.

HEYMAN: Well, you know, I can`t think of a more sensational trial or a more sensational case. I mean, this was a typical American couple. They seemed, you know, like the people next door, and it turned out that there was a lot more going on there.

There`s a beautiful woman at the center of it, you know, obviously killed while she was pregnant. And then a guy whose architecture of lies just kind of, you know, crumbled in front of America, and we watched him being pursued and taken to justice.

And then at the end, of course, when he was convicted, you know, there was almost this roar of jubilation from the crowd outside the courthouse because justice seemed to be done there.

HAMMER: Certainly had all of the right elements for captivating television and story-telling. Another case, of course, O.J. Simpson, you`ll be covering that, as well?

HEYMAN: Yes. O.J. Simpson, of course, one of the most memorable trials of, you know, my lifetime, probably one of the most significant trials of the late 20th century, just because it sort of tripped all of these fault lines in American culture, race, celebrity, again, a beautiful victim at the center of it.

You know, we all knew who O.J. Simpson was. We all watched him in, you know, in this car chase. It was one of the, you know, seminal moments in television, you know, that I can think of.

HAMMER: People love to watch justice being done. And in the case of O.J., for better or for worse, or whatever the outcome, we saw the justice process. But in the case of JonBenet Ramsey, people are still out there saying, "Who done it?"

HEYMAN: Right.

HAMMER: How does that fall into all this?

HEYMAN: Well, you know, JonBenet, I mean, again, I think, when you look at these cases, one of the most interesting things is at the center is a very compelling victim. The person who was wronged, the victim of the crime, is somebody that you remember. And who can forget JonBenet Ramsey?

This case, of course, is far from being, you know, solved in any satisfactory way, but we`ll never forget, of course, the beauty pageants, the fact that she was involved in this.

A lot of people judged the Ramsey family. And the Ramsey family, really, was put on trial. Whether they were guilty or innocent, or whether, you know, we`ll ever know the truth ultimately in that case, you know, we will all have to think about how that family was treated in the process.

HAMMER: The criminal justice system has captivated America for a long time, as you said, even long before television. What are some of the common elements that make crime and justice so captivating?

HEYMAN: Well, you know, it`s just great drama. You know, you have something horrible that happens, and then you a villain, you have somebody who is wronged at the center of it, and, you know, you have this hopefully this closure, a sense of public expiation, when it all is tied up.

So I think that, you know, if you think about it, back in ancient times, when there wasn`t, you know, television or movies, this what was in entertainment and served as entertainment all through the history of civilization. It`s always been there.

And now, of course, with television, and magazines, and all the media, you just can`t escape it, so that we actually are now following these crimes and the trials almost from the moment of the commission of the crime to the end. So, you know, we have a lot more knowledge and insight into the way all this stuff works now.

HAMMER: And sometimes it`s the relatability of whether it be the victim, as you mentioned in the Laci Peterson case, or perhaps the person who carried out the crime, that draws us in. But in the case of someone -- let`s say Martha Stewart who, you know, before her crime was committed, and before she went to prison, people really always had a hard time relating to her or seeing them self in her.

HEYMAN: Well, that`s absolutely right. I mean, somebody like Martha Stewart, as much as she may have been admired or disliked or whatever, she was sort of -- she wasn`t quite human. She wasn`t somebody that you could really understand.

And there was something about the fact that Martha Stewart was brought to court, and then went and did time, that made her actually more relatable. I mean, you know, people are shocked that she became more likable because she went through all of that.

HAMMER: That`s true. People actually look at her as more of a human being, having gone through that, and saying, "Well, maybe, in fact she was unjustly, you know, put through what she was put through."

HEYMAN: Was this fair? Was it fair to do this to her and not to some other people? And I think that, you know, in a way, she came out smelling like a rose.

HAMMER: And real quickly, what`s the common hook in the celebrity trial? Because we love watching those.

HEYMAN: Well, look, I think everybody likes to see somebody who is rich and famous and powerful brought low or brought before the bar of justice. And you see that they`re just like you or I, that they could really be in the same shape.

So I think that it`s a way of people out there in America seeing somebody famous, you know, just look like, you know, you or I.

HAMMER: All right. JD Heyman, thank you very much for joining us from "People" magazine. "Fifty Crimes that Captivated America" is going to air this Sunday night on Court TV. If you`d like to read more, you can grab a copy of "People" magazine`s true-crime story, that`s filled with some of the most publicized and unusual stories of America in crime.

BRYANT: There is a movement afoot to release movies to both theaters and DVD at the same time. Now, the studios say it will help sell movies. The theater owners disagree. They say better movies will sell themselves.

So we have been asking you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." Movie releases: At theaters and on DVD at the same time? Keep voting at And write us at We`ll read some of your e-mails, next.

HAMMER: But first, we got to get into the "Entertainment Weekly" must list. These are five things "EW" says you have got to check out this week.

First up, Lisa Kudrow in "The Comeback." Her performance will keep you coming back for more. Funny show.

Then, pick up a copy of "Kung Fu Hustle" on DVD. Fast as lightning, you`ll be laughing at some hilarious kung fu fighting.

Next, Emily Flake`s "Lulu Eightball." This dark and deadpan comic strip is not going to show up in your Sunday paper. This will be found online. But it should show up on your must-see list.

"EW" also says to see the sweet video, "Sugar, We`re Going Down" by the Fall Out Boy. It`s deer-lightful.

And finally, let Bill Murray take you on an emotional and bittersweet trip in "Broken Flowers."

For more "EW" must list, pick up your copy of "Entertainment Weekly" on newsstands now.


BRYANT: Oh, time for some great literature. Pamela Anderson`s first book, "Star," now has a sequel. And this one is called "Star Struck." And, like the first one, it is loosely based on her life.

On "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno, Jay read an excerpt to the audience. And it was a bedtime story of a different sort.


PAMELA ANDERSON, ACTRESS: That`s from the roast. Yes, that was funny.

JAY LENO, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": "Cutting a switch from a tree, Bill beat Sue`s buttocks until they took on a rosy tinge."

P. ANDERSON: It doesn`t say that.

LENO: "`No,` cried Sue. `Ha ha,` laughed Bill, as he grabbed his male cruelty and lunged at her." This is pretty racy stuff.

P. ANDERSON: It`s racy stuff.

LENO: Now it says, "`Oh, Jimmy,` she gasped, coming up for air, but not really breaking contact with him. `You feel so ... perfect against me,` she groaned, as she ground her hips into his. `God, baby, that feels sooo good,` he howled, throwing his head back."

You know, I see Pulitzer Prize right here.


HAMMER: I`ve got a sign copy for you back in my office.

BRYANT: Oh, joy. I`ll put my Franz Kafka book down now.

HAMMER: Special weekend reading for you, Karyn.

Well, throughout our show tonight, we`ve been asking you to vote online on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." Movie releases: Should they be released at the same time in theaters and on DVD?

Here`s how the vote`s been going for a Friday night: 41 percent of you say yes, they should be released at the same time. So 59 percent of you say no, they should not. You like the movies out first.

Some e-mails on the subject include one from Robin in Louisiana who writes, "Releasing them at the same time wouldn`t be fair to theaters. It would put them out of business."

We also hear from Connor in California who writes, "Most of the movies this summer should not have been released at all. The quality just isn`t there any more."

And that`s what the movie theaters are actually saying. You can continue to vote by going to

BRYANT: Well, it is time to see what is playing on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on Monday.

HAMMER: Now, our Marquee Guy took a long weekend, so we`re going to do the marquee tonight. Ellie, can you roll that fancy automation with Karyn and I in that little picture in the corner, and we`ll do it ourselves?

Forget Gucci. Her brand is Gotti. Hot Italian dish Victoria Gotti tells us what she is serving up with her boys on the next season of "Growing Up Gotti." That`s Monday.

BRYANT: And those cellphones, the couple that just won`t shut up, the toddler running around screaming through the R-rated movie. Are you mad as hell and not going to take it anymore? Are you fed up with going to the movie theaters? Well, a lot of us here at SHOWBIZ TONIGHT are, and we`re starting a week-long series, "Movie Theater Madness." So step on up to your cinema soapbox on Monday.

HAMMER: We were off-camera, but you were shaking my hands. You were very angry.

BRYANT: I`m a little bit frustrated. I`m not mad as hell, but I`m a little frustrated.

HAMMER: That is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer.

BRYANT: I`m Karyn Bryant. Stay tuned for the latest from CNN`s Headline News.


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