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Do Weathermen Deserve a Break?

Aired October 25, 2005 - 19:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, HOST: I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
BROOKE ANDERSON, HOST: And I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. TV`s only live entertainment news show starts right now.

HAMMER: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, hurricanes, snowstorms, sun. Tonight, TV weather forecasters. You love `em one day, you hate `em the next. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on whether the weathermen deserve a break.

Also tonight, a tragic and controversial milestone in Iraq -- there have now been 2,000 U.S. troops killed there. Tonight SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is live coast to coast with passionate talk on talk radio about the war a majority now say should have never been fought.

And extreme cell phones. Tonight, TV and movies in the palm of your hand. How producers are creating shows you won`t see anywhere else except on your phone. And you can get them now. It`s the special series you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

CHARO, CELEBRITY: Hola, I am Charo. Whatever happened today, you`ll see it on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Don`t miss it. Did you understand what the hell I was talking about?

HAMMER: Hello, I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood.

HAMMER: Well, tonight`s TV weather forecasters, you watch them, but do you trust them? Predicting where hurricanes like Wilma will hit, what to put on before leaving the house tonight, tonight SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with a special look at the tough job they face, why so many viewers wonder how come they sometimes get the forecast so wrong?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This now is the most dangerous part of the storm for millions of people.

DAVID HAFFENREFFER, CNNHN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The TV weather forecaster. It`s a job that comes with great power. Yes, as Peter Parker`s uncle tells him in "Spiderman", power and responsibility go hand in hand. Yet, while TV weather forecasters have the responsibility for letting people know what`s z coming .

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m concerned a little bit about Key Largo.

HAFFENREFFER: They don`t always have the power to get it right, because predicting the power and path of a hurricane is, well, unpredictable.

UNIDENTFIED MALE: What they don`t have a good handle on, the hurricane center does not have a great model on intensity.

HAFFENREFFER: Weather predictions. For days before Hurricane Wilma hit Florida, TV viewers kept hearing the predictions change.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It looks as if it`s going to be a big threat to Florida, but when and where obviously still a very big mystery.

JACQUI JERAS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: There have been some changes since you went to bed last night so play close attention.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are seeing pretty close to as bad as you can get.

HAFFENREFFER: Despite all the high-tech multi-million dollar systems that TV weather forecasters trot out every day, a hurricane pays them no mind, defiantly and unpredictably moving, sliding, shifting, weakening and strengthening again, but it`s not hurricanes that often defy the forecasters. Even basic everyday weather can be hard to call.

NICOLAS CAGE, ACTOR: Mild in the northwest as this high pressure gives way.

HAFFENREFFER: In his new movie, "The Weatherman" Nicolas Cage plays a beleaguered weatherman who takes his lumps from viewers.

CAGE: The first time I was struck with something, a chicken breast from Kenny Rogers.

HAFFENREFFER: Viewers not happy with his bungled forecasts, it`s something that Cage`s co-star Michael Caine tells me he`s familiar with as well.

MICHAEL CAINE, ACTOR: I don`t truth weathermen, no. They always get it wrong. Because sometimes I always think when I`m watching, I say, hasn`t anybody looked out the window?

HAFFENREFFER (on camera): It`s not easy to predict whether the sun will shine or rain will fall. Yet every day people make their plans based on what the TV weatherman or woman has to say, deciding how they will dress, what kind of coat to wear, or whether or not to pack an umbrella.

(voice-over): When SHOWBIZ TONIGHT hit the rainy streets of New York today, we found plenty of people whose lives are shaped by the forecast.

You pay attention to TV weather forecasts?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely especially with all the hurricanes and everything going on, I`m on top of it.

HAFFENREFFER: And we also found folks who watched the forecast on TV and regretted it later.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I remember sometime in Florida somewhere where they would give a prediction and say something like it`s 60 percent accurate? I wish we would do that in New York. Because that`s about how accurate it is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five years ago, they said it definitely was not going to snow and there was a massive snowstorm, and a friend of mine`s birthday party had to be canceled.

HAFFENREFFER: Chad Myers tell SHOWBIZ TONIGHT it is something he thinks about, that he`s getting up there everyday and putting his face and his reputation all the line.

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: All I`m trying to do for that lowly guy sitting in an airport in New York and flying to Indianapolis or Denver or whatever he or she may be doing, if I can help them get through that next day. We`re really looking at the next 24 hours.


HAFFENREFFER (on camera): Here in New York, and in much of the country, many people are crossing their fingers that the next 24 hours will simply be dry, so like everybody else, we`ll all be tuning into our national and local forecasters tomorrow morning to see whether we should be packing an umbrella.

Brooke, back to you in Hollywood.

ANDERSON: Indeed we will. Thank you, David. David Haffenreffer live in New York City tonight.

OK, so now we want to hear from year. It`s our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day, TV weather forecasters, do you trust them. Vote at, send us an email, We`re going to read some of your thoughts later on in the show.

HAMMER: Well, tonight, CNN is confirming a grim milestone; 2,000 U.S. troops have now died fighting in the war in Iraq.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In honor of our fallen soldiers.


HAMMER: This afternoon, America watched as senators marked the solemn occasion with a moment you silence from Capitol Hill in Washington. A new Harris poll out today shows that for the first time, a majority of Americans believe going to war was the wrong thing to do. The numbers - 53 percent to 34 percent.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is getting the pulse of the people. It was today`s hot topic on talk radio across the country. Live tonight in Sacrament, California is Mark Williams, a syndicated talk radio host at KFBK radio. Thanks for joining us Mark. And live in Chicago is Roland Martin, talk radio host for WVON-AM. Thank you both for being here tonight.

Mark, I`m going to start with you, this is a big number confirmed today, so what are your listeners saying about this milestone of 2,000 soldiers dead in this war?

MARK WILLIAMS, TALK RADIO HOST, KFBK: Well, they weren`t surprised to see it coming. We were marching that direction. And we`ve anticipated the so-called peaceniks salivating like Cindy Sheehan who said now she is going to go bolt herself to the White House fence. Fine, at least now we`ll know where she is. By the way, on that poll, I would like to point out that for the last three years, talking about Iraq, 100% of my audience is against the war. It`s just a shame that the antiwar people hadn`t gotten to Saddam Hussein in 1990 before he started the war.

HAMMER: So 100 percent of your audience was not in favor of the war?

WILLIAMS: One hundred percent of my audience is against war, period. What they are in favor of is going after and attacking the people who start the wars, and if we had a say in the start of this war, it probably wouldn`t have happened. Unfortunately, we didn`t have a say, because Saddam started it when he rolled tanks into Kuwait in 1990.

HAMMER: Let`s go to you, Roland, and find out what your listeners were saying about this number of 2,000 dead in the Iraq War.

ROLAND MARTIN, WVON-AM TALK RADIO HOST: First of all, my listeners were not surprised at all, because they are still angry we were given one set of facts to why we went to war and then of course that hasn`t been borne out.

I also found it interesting that the critics love to talk about Saddam Hussein in 1990 yet the united states was in bed with the same Saddam Hussein when we did not like Iran, now we`re angry because we`re ticked of with Iraq, so again we flip-flop back and forth. The bottom line is here, we were told that there were weapons of mass destruction. They have not been found, that`s a fact.

HAMMERS: Hold on, guys. And I really need to remind you both we`re interested in getting the pulse of what your listeners are saying about this. Mark, let me throw this one to you. Are you hearing from any of your callers, is anybody calling up and saying the war is winnable, there is going to be peace, love and happiness in the near future in Iraq? Are you hearing that at all from your callers?

WILLIAMS: It would be nice if we had peace, love and happiness anywhere in a few short years. No, what my listeners are saying is they`re sick and tired of the facts being misrepresented, things like 300,000 bodies in mass graves, victims of weapons of mass destruction that we`re now being told don`t exist, that they weren`t killed by some imaginary weapons of mass destruction that the UN was in the country destroying. My listeners are sick and tired of the misrepresentations.

That`s why when I went to Iraq with a small group of talk show hosts a couple of months ago, these shows were so highly listened to. People want to hear what`s going on there. They`re sick and tired of spin meisters from little stations like this guy in Chicago that nobody`s heard of, repeating lie after lie after lie after lie.

HAMMER. I don`t think your listeners, Mark, are specifically citing Roland who has a massive audience.

WILLIAMS: Well, they`ve never heard of them.


HAMMER: Mark, guys, stop. Enough. Thank you. Roland, I`m going to let you talk and keep Mark`s mike off for a second. Why don`t you go ahead and chime in on your listeners and how they feel about what Mark`s saying.

MARTIN: Again, what people are concerned about is that 2,000 U.S. Soldiers have died, we don`t have an exit strategy, we were initially told that the U.S. troops were going to be there for a very short period of time, now all of a sudden Condoleezza Rice, secretary of state, Vice President Dick Cheney, are suggesting 10 years or even several decades, and it`s very difficult.

I have talked to U.S. soldiers who have pleaded with me, man, do something to get us out of that country, I don`t want to come back in a body bag. Yes, they are following their orders, but they are disillusioned by what is taking place there, because they don`t know what they`re fighting for. And I have talked personally with U.S. troops.

HAMMER: Now, Mark, I know you have spoken with soldiers as well, gotten emails from soldiers, and you`ve spoken with them, people who have served time in Iraq, what are they saying about their need to stay there or to get out?

WILLIAMS: Well, they`re telling me the very same thing they told my listeners when my listeners personally had the chance to ask them by making phone calls to the shows I did from Baghdad with those soldiers on the air. The soldiers are telling me they`re terrified we`re going to cut and run and leave the Iraqis hanging. And I tell you, the Iraqis are, as well. I spent some time talking last night with Brad Maski (ph) who went to Iraq with me, he is a filmmaker. His documentary on Saddam Hussein has quickly become the documentary of record on Saddam`s history.

WILLIAMS: Is he a listener of your program?

HAMMER: Yes, he is.

WILLIAMS: And he tells me he`s in contact with the prosecutors of Saddam .

HAMMER: You have 10 seconds.

WILLIAMS: That they`re afraid we`re going to cut and run and put Saddam back in power because guys like this one and the folks that are spreading their lies about what`s going on.

HAMMER: I`m sorry, Roland, we are out of time. And Mark and Roland .

MARTIN: That`s OK, A.J.

HAMMER: . I am going to thank you both for chiming in tonight with your listeners` opinions or your own opinions at times. Thanks for being on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

MARTIN: Thanks, A.J.


ANDERSON: Stars strike back. Coming up, the bold new step stars are taking to beat the paparazzi at their own game. That`s next.

HAMMER: There`s always a party going on here.

Plus, country star Joe Nichols. He`ll tell us a story about a woman who happens sheds some of her clothes. It`ll make you scream "Tequila!" Joe Nichols live in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

ANDERSON: Oh dear, and "extreme cell phones." Tonight, TV on your cellie. Miss your favorite shows at home? Well, you might be able to see them on the road. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT shows you how in part two of our special series, coming up.


ANDERSON: Welcome back to SWOWBIZ TONIGHT, I`m Brooke Anderson.

Well, this may sound very "James Bond," but tonight, celebrities are now using secret agents to battle the war against the prying paparazzi, paying big bucks and going all-out to protect themselves from photographers who sometimes put them and their families in danger.

Harvey Levin, managing editor of the soon-to-be-launched rode along with these secret agents for one night on the town to see exactly what they do. He`s going to tell us about it. He joins us live from Glendale, California. Harvey, great to see you.

HARVEY LEVIN, TMZ.COM: Hey, Brooke. I`ve got to tell you, this is so interesting. I mean, secret agent, it`s not quite Maxwell Smart, but this is a company called Sunset Protective Services in L.A. and it`s run by this retired cop named John Perry. His job now, one of the things he does, he`s hired by celebrities to keep tabs on the paparazzi, who are keeping tabs on the celebrities. And he`s basically there to keep these guys in line.

ANDERSON: Well, tell us how it works. Do these secret agents jump into the situation like bodyguards? Do they stand on the sideline staying out of it? How does it all work?

LEVIN: He does two things. He befriends the paparazzi that he`s monitoring, and basically says, guys, look you`ve lost your cover, we know who you are, and I`m taking down your license plate, I know where you live, and I want to work with you, I will help you, as long as you stay between the lines, if you go outside the lines and start breaking the law to get the shots you want, I`m going to nail you.

And in fact there`s a file sitting on a D.A.`s desk right now that John Perry is responsible for, and he`s trying to get this paparazzi prosecuted. So, he`s saying, work with me, I`ll help you, but if you turn on the client, if you cross the line, I`m going to videotape what you do, I`m going to give it to the cops, I`m going to give it to the prosecutors, create a record so that they have the evidence they need to throw you in jail.

ANDERSON: And get really serious.

Well, Harvey, I want to get to this tape. You went to this ride along. Let`s watch the tape and you kind of walk us through it. What happened while you were doing this?

LEVIN: You`re looking at one of the biggest celebrities in the world and John Perry will not give up hi client list, but I`ll tell you this is one of the biggest in the world and you`re also looking at cars that are following him right now and these cars are paparazzi. And this client had problems with the paparazzi, and you`re going to see a Mercedes come into the picture in a second and that Mercedes, there it is, is a French photographer, and they`ve problems with this guy.

And John Perry is on this guy`s tail as this guy is on this client`s tail, and it`s a cat and mouse game along the highway. And John Perry is there to make sure that, A, the guy doesn`t do anything wrong, but more importantly the guy knows that John Perry is right behind him and John Perry is taking pictures of him. And if he does anything bad, there will be video for all to see.

ANDERSON: Watching his every move. And also, something happened with Lucy Liu that happened the night you were doing this. Talk us through that?

LEVIN: Well, one of my producers was out with John Perry. It was actually during the daytime, in a fancy restaurant called Orseau (ph). And there it is right there. Look at these camera. Lucy Liu is coming out of restaurant, and it`s really kind of an amazing scene. She`s absolutely besieged, like a criminal, trying to get to her car.

Now, watch what they do. Just hoards of photographers al around her. This is basically the way a lot of celebrities live their lives. John Perry wanted to show us this to show us how intrusive it can get. Look at this. This is .

ANDERSON: Well, is it admissible in court or just mainly a scare tactic? Really quickly Harvey.

LEVIN: If they cross the line, it`s absolutely admissible in court. But one of reasons he tapes it is to let them know he`s watching.

ANDERSON: Absolutely. I understand. All right. Harvey Levin of We appreciate it so much.

LEVIN: See you, Brooke.

HAMMER: Tonight in the "Showbiz Sitdown," country crooner Joe Nichols is mixing it up for his fans on his new album, "Three." The four time Grammy-nominee is singing about tequila, and a girl who comes undone because of it.

Joe Nichols joins us live on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Tequila makes her clothes come off or fall of, Joe. There is a song title that will grab people`s attention.

JOE NICHOLS, COUNTRY MUSICIAN: Yeah, pretty catchy. The first time I heard it, I was pretty shocked. That`s pretty much the reaction we`re getting across the country.

HAMMER: And everybody, it seems, has a tequila story of some sort. Do you one you can quickly share with us?

NICHOLS: Yeah, I`ve got several. I don`t know, we won an award out in Las Vegas once and I happened to hit the tequila bottle that night and wound up buck naked and late for a plane the next day. I don`t know how.

HAMMER: In the middle of the casino?

NICHOLS: No, in my hotel room, thank God.

HAMMER: Let as put this video that you did for this particular song. Take a look at it here for the single. It looks like a pretty tough day at work. We were talking off-air about the fact that you haven`t taken a vacation in a long time. Not having too hard a time, are you?

NICHOLS: This is all fun, today. A lot of sombreros and bikinis and that`s kind of what I wanted for that day. The shocker was the grandma coming up, grandma comes up and she gets naked and just kind of hung out naked, which was really, really awkward.

HAMMER: Naked grandma. Now, did you have a say other than perhaps the grandma in any of the casting that was going on for this particular video?

NICHOLS: No, but I was really pleasantly surprised. I was like very happy with what they came up with. It was a good job.

HAMMER: Not such a bad gig.

NICHOLS: Great. I`m enjoying my job for today. This is good.

HAMMER: Well, I got to spend time earlier today with a young woman who seems to like to have a good time as well, Leanne Womack. You spent some time out on the road with Leanne. As a matter of fact I found you spend some time on her bus. We have a Joe Nichols trivia question we would like to offer to you posed by Leanne Womack.

Let`s take a look at this.


LEANNE WOMACK, COUNTRY MUSICIAN: Okay, Joe, apparently you`re being tested. What DVD did you and I watch together on the bus about five or six times in a row one night?


NICHOLS: I hope I get this right. I would say the Gene Watson and George Jones live DVD.

HAMMER: I believe that`s what she said. Is that right, guys? Nothing that involved tequila and poker chips everywhere.

NICHOLS: Yeah. Nothing bad.

HAMMER: You like being out on the road?

NICHOLS: I love being out on the road. I`m having the time of my life.

HAMMER: And she speaks the world of you, man. She said that when people talk about who their influences are, they always say Merle Haggard and George Jones. She can always tell when listening to somebody if they`re telling the truth or not. She says within two lines of hearing you singing that she knew that you were the real deal.

NICHOLS: That`s awesome. We have a mutual respect for each other. I think Leanne is one of the best female country singers out there and had a lot of success singing country songs and I`m a big traditional country fan, so it`s really an honor for her to say that about me.

HAMMER: I heard your tequila story, and now I`d like to just get a touring story. I`m sure you had at least one bad experience happen while you were up on stage, something go terribly wrong?

NICHOLS: I`ve had several things go terribly wrong.

HAMMER: Give me one real quick.

NICHOLS: Well, this weekend we are playing "Tequila Makes Her Clothes Come Off" and bras and all kinds of articles of clothing are flying up on stage, and a lady hit me with a shoe. A shoe. Shoes are no good. Not so much.

HAMMER: Shoes are no good. Ladies, keep the shoes on the feet.

NICHOLS: Bras, panties, okay, but shoes, no.

HAMMER: Joe, thanks for joining us tonight.

And Joe`s new CD, "Three," is in stores today.

ANDERSON: Shoes to the heads or not, there`s a man who enjoys himself, that`s all I`m going to say.

All right. Moving now to a teenager who was an astonishing 400 pounds. And when nothing else worked, he underwent a radical procedure to lose the weight. His emotional battle with the bulge, live next.

HAMMER: Also, busting out TV to go. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT shows you the latest exciting ways you can take bring your cell phone to a whole new level. Our special series, "extreme cell phones," still to come.

ANDERSON: And if you are planning a trip with Robert Downey Jr., you better make sure you find a hotel with a lot of closet space. Find out just what we`re talking about in "Tuesday, In Style" next.


ANDERSON: Time now for "Tuesday, In Style." Tonight, Robert Downey Jr. You know this versatile actor from his roles in `80s movies like the "Pick Up Artist," to his Oscar-nominated turn in "Chaplin," and also a stint on "Ally McBeal." Well, he`s even got an album out. And he`s got a pretty good fashion sense, too, as November`s "Man of Style."


POLLY BLITZER, "IN STYLE MAGAZINE": We chose Robert Downey Jr. as our November "man of style" because he is going to be starring in "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang," in which he will be a thief turned actor this month. And aside from his amazing and prolific roles in Hollywood, he has an incredible sense of style that has taken him from trenchcoat and gelled hair to today`s kind of laid back t-shirt and blazer that he wears effortlessly, and so chic.

Robert totally considers himself a metrosexual, and he probably was one before that term was even coined. He said that if he is going away for a weekend, he will take the biggest Samsonite piece of luggage that he can find, and pack as many outfits as possible.

Robert Downey jr. Is sort of a self-proclaimed beauty aficionado. He told us that he loves the all natural product line Dr. Hashka (ph), which actually had a cameo in an episode of "The Sopranos." but besides that, make-up artists all around Hollywood us it on their clients, and it just makes the skin feel very fresh and clean, and you can tell by his complexion that he does it right.

Robert also told us that he is a huge fan of Christane Celle`s fragrance In Banille, which his wife Susan Levin wears, and he said that he loves her skin, and it just makes her skin smell even better.


ANDERSON: And if you want to read more about Robert Downey Jr., just pick up a copy of November`s "In Style" magazine, on newsstands now.

HAMMER: Well, the Oscars are months away, but SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was right there for a preview of who might walk away with a golden statue. We`re at the Hollywood Film Festival.

ANDERSON: Plus, film on your phone. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT reveals how to get never-before-seen clips of your favorite shows right in the palm of your hand. It`s "extreme cell phones," a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT special series.

HAMMER: And a 400-pound teenager makes a very tough decision, one filled with risk. And now it`s playing out on your TV. We`re going to speak with him and his family about his weight struggles, live. That`s still to come.


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

Iraqis are closer to achieving democracy. Now they`ve overwhelmingly voted in favor of a draft constitution. It passed with 78 percent of the vote. This as the U.S. passes the grim milestone of 2,000 U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq.

The aftermath of Hurricane Wilma is hitting hard tonight. Many Floridians are forced to wait in very long lines to get food or gas. Six million people are without power and could remain that way for several more weeks in certain areas.

Fast food giant McDonald`s will start offering nutritional information on its fast food items. The information is already available on the company`s web site. McDonald`s says that you can expect to start counting those calories by the end of next year.

All right, so former figure skater-turned-boxer Tonya Harding is back in the news after a fight, this one with her boyfriend. Court documents show Christopher Nolan told police Harding she threw him down and bit his finger when he told her that she had had too much to drink. Taking on Tonya.

That`s the news for now. I`m Thomas Roberts. Back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It`s 31 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. And you`re watching TV`s only live entertainment news show.

A.J., very dramatic story coming up. A teenager who weighed 411 pounds a year ago made a bold move, took his weight problems into the operating room, had the very risky, very controversial gastric bypass surgery done. It`s the subject of a new Discovery Channel special. And coming up, I`ll speak live with Brandon Bennett. A teenager, as I said, had this operation when he was 16. We`ll get an update on how he`s doing emotionally and physically. His parents will also join us live.

HAMMER: All right, Brooke.

And from that, we`re going to move onto extremes of a different kind. Anybody who knows me knows I`m a big gadget freak. And one of my favorite words, "convergence," the ability to do lots of different things with one gadget.

Have you ever wondered if you`re going to be someday able to watch television on your cell phone? That day has already arrived. "Extreme Cell Phones," it`s our special series. It`s going to continue in just a couple of moments.

ANDERSON: All right. Thanks, A.J.

But first, let`s get to tonight`s "Hot Headlines." And for that, we got to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas. She joins us live from Hollywood.

Hey, Sibila.


Well, here`s a name from the past. Tonight, Tonya Harding is making headlines again. Today we learned that the former ice-skater`s boyfriend has been charged with assault for an alleged fight he had with Harding. Now, Harding called 911 at first and said she was attacked by two masked men. As you probably recall, Harding was banned from competitive figure skating after her former husband hired a hit-man to attack her rival, Nancy Kerrigan.

Well, Infinity Broadcasting is getting ready for a life after Howard Stern. Today, the company announced its plans for when Stern leaves for Sirius Satellite Radio. Rather than naming a single replacement, Infinity announced various plans for different market, including David Lee Roth, Adam Corolla, and CNN Radio News.

And Madonna is jumping on the "CSI" bandwagon. Today, CBS announced that her single, called "Hung Up," will be featured next month on crossover episodes of "CSI: Miami" and "CSI: New York." Madonna`s new album, "Confessions on the Dance Floor," comes out November 15th.

And those are tonight`s "Hot Headlines." Brooke, back to you.

ANDERSON: Sibila, Madonna following the lead of U2. They debuted a few songs on "CSI" last season, right?

VARGAS: That`s right. You know, she`s a very smart lady.


ANDERSON: Sibila Vargas, thank you so much.

HAMMER: Tonight, our special series, "Extreme Cell Phones." You already have cameras, video games, and special ring tones on your mobile phones. Now television.

That`s right. This is already one of the hottest features on cell phones in Asia, and now it is here in these United States, just one more way your phone is turning into a one-stop entertainment center. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s David Haffenreffer live again with the story.

HAFFENREFFER: A.J., it`s an about convergence, right? And this is two addictions combined into one, your cell phone and television. And it`s all fitting right into the palm of your hand.

We`re just at the beginning and the best is yet to come.


HAFFENREFFER (voice-over): Video and television on your cell phone, a cool concept that`s happening right now. On Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and others, you can already download news clips from NBC and CNN, up-to-the- minute weather reports, even movie trailers. And just appearing on U.S. cell phones, short original programs.

MARIBEL LOPEZ, FORRESTER RESEARCH: Right now, you can get small video clips called "mobisodes" of things such as "24," things that have been specially created just for the mobile net.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pick up a guy at a bar and bring him back to my hotel room.

HAFFENREFFER: "24: Conspiracy" is one of the first mobisodes to hit U.S. cell phones and is loosely based on FOX`s hit TV series "24." The mobisode runs about a minute long and the director had to make sure he shot it in a special way so that you could see it on a teeny-weeny screen. It`s just one of many challenges in the whole mobile TV-phone experience.

XENI JARDIN, BOINGBOING.NET EDITOR: People have to have relatively inexpensive devices with screens that are large enough to make that kind of thing enjoyable. I mean, nobody wants to watch this on a screen the size of their thumbnail.

HAFFENREFFER: In Asia, the TV cell phone craze has already taken off. And networks like MTV are right there, providing quirky little original shorts to download straight to their cell phones, like this riveting mini- movie about a man with a detached head.

Weird, I know, but original content is an important part of the equation if mobile TV is going to take off in America. And it`s got to be short.

LOPEZ: No one wants to watch a 30-minute program on their cell phone, but they`d be much happier to watch a one- to three-, to maybe even five- minute video clip, that`s something that they couldn`t get on TV or highlights of the things that they would have watched on TV.

HAFFENREFFER: That`s what Verizon`s service called V-Cast did. They took scenes that never made it into Paris Hilton`s TV show, "A Simple Life," and made it available on their phones.

Still, short original programming might not be enough to pique America`s interest in cell phone TV.

LOPEZ: We actually have data that says, in the 18- to 21-year-old segment, which is really a ripe segment for this type of service, that only about 8 percent of them would even consider paying for this service.

HAFFENREFFER: But it`s working in Asia right now, and their tech trends eventually catch up on this side of the world.

JARDIN: I think we`ve seen in other countries, like in Japan and in South Korea, that where this content was made available, short-form video, and it was made available in a way that was free or inexpensive for people and fast to download, they eat it up.

HAFFENREFFER: But that may be part of the problem. In America, it`s not fast to download video to your cell. Leo Laporte, author of the 2006 "Gadget Guide," tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that providing high-speed connections is a big issue.

LEO LAPORTE, AUTHOR, "GADGET GUIDE": So the cell phone companies are starting to upgrade their networks for faster data capacity. Now, most of the networks either have or have plans to implement a network that is almost as fast as high-speed Internet in your home.

HAFFENREFFER: Even so, quality television service on your cell phone could be a long way off. But the future is ripe with possibilities, like live television or an entire network with programming made especially for your cell phone. The possibilities are limitless. And phone companies are pumping a lot of money into making it a reality.

LAPORTE: It`s an investment I think the phone companies are willing to make. They see it as a pretty good gamble. They figure, if they build it, we will come.


HAFFENREFFER: And they probably will come, A.J. Juniper Research projects that, in just five years` time, mobile television subscriptions will be a multibillion-dollar industry. And I will count you as one of the future customers.

HAMMER: And, you know, David, here in New York City, I`m starting to see people on the subway actually sitting and watching their cell phones on their way to work. Bizarre.

HAFFENREFFER: There`s hardly any reason to talk to each other anymore.

HAMMER: Hardly any.

Thanks very much, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s David Haffenreffer.

Now, tomorrow, we`re going to continue our "Extreme Cell Phone" series, taking a look at the very hottest cell phones that are on the market and taking a glimpse at what`s to come.

ANDERSON: It`s been intense hurricane season, to say the least, both for weather forecasters and the people who rely on them. And that`s our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." TV weather forecasters: Do you trust them?

Keep voting at and write us at Your e-mails are coming up at 55 past the hour.

HAMMER: Now, imagine having a life-or-death surgery as a teenager. Brandon Bennett is his name, and he underwent gastric bypass surgery at a very young age. Now, his story is a TV special. He`ll joins us live, next.

ANDERSON: Plus, the stars of "Crash" tell SHOWBIZ TONIGHT how the movie changed their lives, coming up.

HAMMER: First, let`s take a look at what`s new on DVD. "Bewitched," the remake of the classic TV show, starring Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell, is out. Plus, just in time for Halloween, Paris Hilton`s "House of Wax."

"Herbie: Fully Loaded," starring Lindsay Lohan, is also new this week. Lohan stars as a girl who takes her Beetle out on the NASCAR circuit. Also out, a remastered version of the 1939 classic "The Wizard of Oz." The DVD includes hours of extra features and commentary.

And the special edition of the 1997 film "Titanic," starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, is new to DVD, including deleted scenes and even an alternate ending.


ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson.

Well, imagine weighing more than 400 pounds at just 16 years old. Brandon Bennett spent his entire life morbidly obese. At the age of 4, he was already 70 pounds and his parents put him on a diet before pre-school.

Just one year ago, Brandon went through a procedure that is risky, even for adults: gastric bypass surgery. Brandon`s story is told in "Obese at 16," a special on the Discovery Health Channel.

And live in Houston, Texas, are Brandon Bennett, his mother, Allison, and father, Michael. Welcome to all of you.




ANDERSON: Brandon, I want to start with you. You look fantastic. How much weight have you lost?

B. BENNETT: I`ve lost about 192 pounds so far.

ANDERSON: And what is your ultimate weight goal?

B. BENNETT: My ultimate weight goal will probably be about 200 pounds.

ANDERSON: What a dramatic difference. And you were obese at a very early age, before preschool. You were dieting. I watched this special, this Discovery Health special. In it, you said that food was a stress reliever, a comfort food for you.

You were bullied a lot, weren`t you, Brandon? Talk to us about what life was like for you.

B. BENNETT: Life was hard, because, you know, kids can be mean. And kids are always going to be mean, but, I mean, as soon as I got older, and I came to grips with myself, I believe it became more easy for other people to like me also, because I never really had a problem with being big. It was just more of a health risk for me than a cosmetic thing.

ANDERSON: Yes, you struggled with heart problems, sleep apnea.

And, Allison, I want to ask you, this surgery is risky for adults, let alone teenagers. How difficult was it for you to allow Brandon to go through with this?

A. BENNETT: Well, of course, any mother with a 14-year-old that weighs over 300 pounds and he comes to you and says, "I would like to look into this," of course I was a little leery and a little afraid because of the risk involved in the surgery.

But with his health issues deteriorating, you know, the benefits far outweighed the risk. And when my son came to me and said, "Mom, I`d rather take the risk of dying than living in this body the rest of my life, give me that chance," you know, as a mother, what can you say? And I wanted to help him as much as I could.

ANDERSON: And, Michael, what a difference in your son. How have you seen him change since the surgery?

M. BENNETT: His change is phenomenal. It`s almost unbelievable.

If you haven`t seen it, it`s very difficult to get your arms around it. He`s gone from being at his heaviest, 420 pounds, to today weighing in at 228.

Since my son was in second or third grade, he was bigger than I was. And recently, we discovered his shirt size is actually smaller than mine. So, for me to witness this transformation of this young man from someone as large as he was to the young man he is today, it`s been phenomenal. It`s absolutely phenomenal.

ANDERSON: Nice to hear.

And, Brandon, correct me if I`m wrong, your stomach, what, one-tenth or less of its original normal size now. Describe for me a typical meal, compared to what you would have had for a meal pre-surgery?

B. BENNETT: A typical meal would probably just consist of -- you know, you got to have your protein. You`ve got to make sure you get enough protein in. So, like, let`s say, for breakfast, I`ll have, you know, an egg, a piece of bacon, just one piece of toast. And that`s pretty much all I can eat, if that.

ANDERSON: And before, you were eating a lot more, right?

B. BENNETT: Yes, ma`am. I would eat anywhere from, you know, three eggs or three pieces of toast with, you know, a whole pack of bacon, because, I mean, like, I could eat all that, and I wouldn`t be full. It wouldn`t harm me in the least to eat all that.

ANDERSON: Well, what a lifestyle change you`ve made, Brandon. It seems you`re living life like you want to live it. We`re so happy to hear and see that you`re doing well.

Brandon, Allison, Michael, thank you all for being here.

B. BENNETT: Thank you.

M. BENNETT: Thank you.

A. BENNETT: Thank you, Brooke.

ANDERSON: Of course.

And you can see more of Brandon`s story tomorrow night on the Discovery Health Channel special, "Obese at 16: A Life in the Balance."

HAMMER: Well, if you look at the calendar, it`s only October. But it looks like award season has begun in Hollywood. Stars came out in Beverly Hills for the ninth annual Hollywood Awards, part of the Hollywood Film Festival.

Charlize Theron won actress of the year for "North Country." Susan Sarandon was honored for a supporting role in "Elizabethtown." The cast of "Crash" was recognized as outstanding ensemble cast, and told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT what the film meant to them.


DON CHEADLE, "CRASH": It`s great to have this distinguished sort of award, because it really is on the backs of the cast, and their honesty, and their integrity, and everything that they brought to this that I think people are responding to.

TERRENCE HOWARD, "CRASH": If I never get another opportunity to play something as wonderful as Cameron in "Crash" or a character as complex as D.J. in "Hustle and Flow," I will have known that I, for one day, for one year, I got to do my very, very best.

SANDRA BULLOCK, "CRASH": I think that it was so brave and so abrasive, in a good way, that it just sort of irks people, whether in a good or in a bad way. It evoked conversation, and I think that`s what I`m most proud of, you know?


HAMMER: "Crash" director Paul Haggis was recognized as breakthrough director of the year. Quite a film.

Well, tonight, the country mourns the loss of a legendary and courageous civil rights icon. It was that one moment 50 years ago when Rosa Parks stood up for civil rights by sitting down, that changed the course of this country`s history.

Let`s go straight to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas, who joins us live once again from Hollywood -- Sibila?


Well, 92-year-old civil rights icon Rosa Parks died peacefully at home while taking a nap. She was a legendary role model here in Hollywood for many celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey. And today, she was celebrated for her life and her legacy.


VARGAS (voice-over): Rosa Parks was an American icon. Her courage has been hailed as the turning point in the civil rights movement.

It was December 1, 1955. And the seamstress was on her way home, seated in the so-called "colored" section of a packed bus in Montgomery, Alabama. When several white passengers got on the bus, she refused to surrender her seat.

ROSA PARKS, LATE CIVIL RIGHTS ICON: The driver wanted us to stand up, the four of us. We didn`t move at the beginning. And he said, "You all make it light on yourselves and let me have those seats." And then the other people moved, and I didn`t.

VARGAS: Parks was arrested and fined $14. In protest, the new minister in town organized a bus boycott. That minister, Martin Luther King, Jr. That boycott, and the marches that followed, lasted over a year and divided a nation.

It ended when the Supreme Court ruled segregation on public transportation illegal.

"Sister Rosa Parks," a Neville Brothers song tribute, and just one of the many examples of how revered Rosa Parks was by entertainers everywhere. Oprah Winfrey saluted Parks at her Legends Ball this past May, a tribute to legendary women who, Oprah said, paved the way for others.

OPRAH WINFREY, TELEVISION HOST: What I think is you give people their bouquets, their beauty, their -- your appreciation while they`re here.

VARGAS: Rosa Parks did receive great appreciation and honor before her death. Songs, plays, movies celebrated her.

Angela Basset played Parks in the 2002 TV movie, "The Rosa Parks Story." She told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT in a statement, quote, "I can`t help but say a prayer, utter an appreciative thank you, take a moment to reflect on her sacrifice. And it is that spirit that I must seek to cultivate in my life."

Parks received countless awards, including Congress` highest honor, the Congressional Gold Medal. Today, she was remembered as a leader by America`s leaders.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Her show of defiance was an act of personal courage that moved millions, including a young preacher named Martin Luther King. Rosa Parks` example helped touch off the civil rights movement and transformed America for the better.

VARGAS: Here is Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Mrs. Parks, who was 92 years old, and lived a life that was long and inspirational well beyond that single act, I think, for all of us, her inspiration will live on. And I just wanted to acknowledge that.

VARGAS: Here in Hollywood and across America, everyone is mourning, but so many tell SHOWBIZ TONIGHT her spirit will live on forever and so will her message.


VARGAS: Now, A.J., the community here very impacted by this news. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT just spoke with Maya Angelou, who told us, quote, "When I first of it 50 years ago, I expected her to be an Amazon, a stalwart at six feet tall. And when I met her, small, dainty, petite, with a small voice but determined -- the determination. That`s how I would describe her, courageous, dignified determination."

A.J., an amazing woman and an amazing life.

Back to you.

HAMMER: And amazing life, indeed. Thanks very much. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas live in Hollywood.

ANDERSON: Well, there`s still time for you to sound off in our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." TV weather forecasters: Do you trust them?

Vote at or write us at We`re going to read some of your thoughts live, next.


ANDERSON: Throughout the show, we`ve been asking you to vote on-line on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." TV weather forecasters: Do you trust them?

Let`s take a look at how the voting is going so far: 40 percent of you say, yes, you do trust them; 60 percent of you say you do not.

Here`s some of the e-mails we`ve received. Allison, a meteorology student from Pennsylvania writes, "There is no way to predict a spotless forecast."

And Marilyn from Arizona writes, "I love my weather man. It`s always sunny in Arizona, so the weather man is generally 100 percent correct."

The weathermen in Arizona get to keep it positive, right, Marilyn? Well, you can keep voting at

HAMMER: The weather doesn`t change in Arizona, though, right? It`s hot and it`s dry. Isn`t that the truth?

All right. Time to see now what`s playing on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT tomorrow. Here comes the Marquee Guy.

MARQUEE GUY: Tomorrow, got any hang-ups about cell phones? Forget about it. We`ve got the best of the best, the latest of the latest, all the bells and whistles and ring tones, too, stuff you ain`t seen before. It`s our series, "Extreme Cell Phones," and we`re calling you back tomorrow.

Also tomorrow, you`ve seen it before, but you`ve never seen "The Wizard of Oz" like this. On the remastered DVD, you can almost see Dorothy`s split-ends. We`re off to see a whole new wizard, tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

This is the Marquee Guy, clicking my ruby red sneakers and saying, "There`s no place like showbiz. There`s no place like showbiz. There`s no place like showbiz."

HAMMER: I actually saw the Marquee Guy a little bit earlier, and he has ruby red slippers on tonight.

ANDERSON: Oh, slippers, not sneakers, huh?

HAMMER: Yes, he`s smiling.

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

HAMMER: I`m Brooke Anderson. Stay tuned for the latest from CNN Headline News.


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