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SHOWBIZ TONIGHT

"West Wing" Debate Blurs Lines Between News, Entertainment; New Harry Potter Film Darkest One Yet

Aired November 7, 2005 - 19:00:00   ET

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


A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: I am A.J. Hammer.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: And I`m Brooke Anderson. TV`s only live entertainment show starts right now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER (voice-over): On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, battles brewing on screen...

ALAN ALDA, ACTOR: You want to talk about conflict of interest?

JIMMY SMITS, ACTOR: Who`s throwing cheap accusations?

HAMMER: ... and off.

WARREN BEATTY, ACTOR/ACTIVIST: Did we disrupt anything?

HAMMER: Tonight, Hollywood and politics, Santos versus Vinick in a "West Wing" live debate. Beatty versus Schwarzenegger, for real, in California. But do you really care what Hollywood thinks about politics? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT goes in depth.

Plus, selling sex, but at what price? Tonight, women and hip-hop. Some say the nearly naked ambition is a good career move; others say it`s just plain porn.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You project a poor image of yourself.

HAMMER: Tonight, are women being exploited? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates.

And this girl still wants to have fun. Cyndi Lauper, live. She`s giving a brand new twist to the songs you know. It`s the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

SMITS: Hi. I`m Jimmy Smits from "West Wing," and if it happened today, you`ll see it on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: I`m Brooke Anderson, live in Hollywood.

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

Tonight, the presidential debate that was unreal, but is raising some very real questions about that blurry line between news and entertainment. Millions watched last night`s live, fake debate on television, "The West Wing." But the issues were definitely real. The moderator was a real news man. And if you didn`t know better, you would have thought NBC News was running the debate.

Our David Haffenreffer, live in the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom, for real -- David.

DAVID HAFFENREFFER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, A.J. On a much-hyped live episode of "The West Wing," fictional Republican presidential candidate Arnold Vinick, played by Alan Alda, went head to head with Democratic candidate Matt Santos, played by Jimmy Smits. They debated live twice: once for the East Coast and again on the West Coast version of the program.

Some are saying it crossed a line. And could -- could a debate as fiery and risky as this one ever really happen? Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT asks the hard questions.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FORREST SAWYER, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: I`m Forrest Sawyer, and I will moderate tonight`s debate.

HAFFENREFFER (voice-over): A real journalist...

ALDA: I`m going to cut Congress`s allowance.

HAFFENREFFER: ... real issues, and real arguments.

SMITS: Help close the gap between Beverly Hills High and Harlem High.

HAFFENREFFER: And the line between entertainment and news is really, really blurred. And that`s just what the creative forces between Sunday`s "West Wing" presidential debate wanted. "The West Wing`s" Lawrence O`Donnell said that is why they aired it live.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, WRITER/PRODUCER: It adds to the realism of doing the debate. Making this episode live is central to making it feel real.

HAFFENREFFER: Also making it feel real, a real moderator, something Jimmy Smits, who plays fictional Democratic Congressman Matt Santos says was key.

SMITS: We have Forrest Sawyer, who`s moderating the debate, who adds the authenticity.

HAFFENREFFER: But a real journalist, one who`s anchored ABC`s respected "NIGHTLINE" program, acting on a drama? Even a real live NBC News logo. No comment from NBC on that one. Where does fiction start and reality end?

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT getting answers from industry experts.

JEFF ALAN, NEWS DIRECTOR, WPGH-PITTSBURGH: "West Wing," in my opinion, did cross the line last night, because they put a live graphic on the screen. You`re tuning across the dial, and all of a sudden, you see that. Some uninformed viewers are going to think, "My goodness. This is something I`ve got to watch. This is news."

It blurred the line so badly between news and journalism and entertainment, that I`m afraid that, if the entertainment folks at the networks keep thinking that this is intriguing and ways to get ratings, they`ll keep this up, and it`s a poor choice.

HAFFENREFFER: And the episode tried to make it more even real than your standard fare presidential debate.

ALDA: We could have a debate that Lincoln would have been proud of. We could junk the rules.

SMITS: OK. Let`s have a real debate.

HAFFENREFFER: Abandoning all the standard debate rules, the show ironically made the debate seem less scripted, more passionate and off the cuff. And that`s where it crossed the line back into the fictional realm.

SMITS: Yes, I am in favor of tax increases.

HAFFENREFFER: A Democrat favoring tax hikes? Walter Mondale taught Democrats that won`t fly.

ALDA: Head Start doesn`t work.

HAFFENREFFER: And Republicans would never press that education hot button. Alan Alda, who plays Republican presidential candidate Arnold Vinick, told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT the only reality is the issues.

ALDA: I think it will be like a real debate in this sense, that when you hear the candidate who articulates the things that you believe in, you`re going to be certain that he`s winning the debate, because he`s saying what you believe.

HAFFENREFFER: With two years to go before the next presidential debate, could a debate like this really happen? CNN went to Bill Schneider for a reality check.

BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Absolutely much more exciting than any debate you`ll ever see in real politics. It was great television but not very good politics, because it was risky. Politicians don`t want to take risks like that. They want to get everybody to vote for them. So they try to be as bland and as encompassing as possible. That`s not what they did in this debate. But boy, was it entertaining; it was great TV.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAFFENREFFER: And so that line gets more blurry.

According to preliminary Nielsen media research, last night`s episode pulled in an estimated 9.6 million viewers. That`s up from the show`s 8.2 million average. NBC, trying to pull itself out of third place in the primetime ratings battle behind first place ABC and second place CBS -- A.J.

HAMMER: Real, fake, it was captivating to watch indeed. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s David Haffenreffer. Thanks very much.

So what do you think about all this? It is our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. The "West Wing" debate: do you care about Hollywood`s take on politics? You can vote by going to CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. Got more to say? Our e-mail address is ShowbizTonight@CNN.com. We`re going to share some of your thoughts later in the show.

ANDERSON: Well, tonight, there`s a real live political battle brewing between two of Hollywood`s biggest stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Warren Beatty. Beatty and wife Annette Bening tried to get into a rally held by the California governor at San Diego. But they had the door closed in their faces, literally.

Arnold has been traveling all over the Golden State to drum up support for ballot measures that voters will "yay" or "nay" Tomorrow. Beatty opposes them and says he`ll take on the Terminator any time, anywhere.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BEATTY: I would be happen happy to challenge him, but he`ll probably say, "I don`t want to debate an actor." But I say debate anybody. Debate anybody. He hasn`t debated. That is a strange thing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Beatty says he isn`t interested in running against Arnold Schwarzenegger for governor next year, but he hasn`t ruled out politics entirely, though.

HAMMER: Now a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT special report. You`ve seen them in just about every hip-hop video: women wearing not much more than bikinis, the cameras focused on their body parts. Some say a good career move. Others say exploitation, even pornographic.

CNN`s Jason Carroll joins us now with controversy that surrounds these sexy women dancing in these racy videos.

What have you learned, Jason?

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we learned a lot. We learned basically that they do it all for the exposure. The question is, are they exposing themselves too much?

We went behind the scenes and directly to the girls who dance in the videos to ask them, is it all worth it?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CARROLL (voice-over): In many ways, Celestina Henry is a typical college student. She`s an English major at Temple University, and when she`s not studying or dancing.

CELESTINA HENRY, HIP-HOP DANCER: Yes, exactly.

CARROLL: She`s teaching ballet at a children`s center in her community. She herself has been a dancer since she was 5. But there`s another side to Celestina, one that, well, you be the judge.

HENRY: I never had any aspirations to be in a video. I had aspirations to be a dancer, aspirations to be an actress. And I thought about different ways of getting exposure.

CARROLL: Exposure, she got. Her father was concerned at first but also supportive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s one scene that, you know, as a father, I don`t necessarily need to see her in her lingerie or underclothing, but you know, it`s a videos. I`ve seen the videos, and compared to what I`ve seen, that was mild.

CARROLL: If that was mild, here`s a look at the wilder side of hip- hop videos. Critics say the videos promote a negative image of black women, going as far as saying they foster misogynistic ideas and calling some of them porn for beginners.

Celestina, one of the girls behind the music, says that`s not what video girls are all about. She said she won`t do anything too suggestive, but that hip-hop videos can actually open doors for all types of women.

HENRY: There`s this idea that black women are not attractive unless they`re a hundred pounds, or they have to be a certain build, a certain size, a certain color, you know. And I feel that music videos embrace many different women of color.

NICE, NICE LOOKS CASTING: I understand that this is not just a beauty role.

CARROLL: Her casting director sees hip-hop as an opportunity.

NICE: We do wish that black women could be seen in a different light. Maybe not as sexual. To be seen for, you know, their intellectual side, for their fashion sense, for their sense of personality. But I guess right now, it`s better to have something than not. You have to start somewhere.

CARROLL (on camera): But the sexual images are so powerful, so pervasive, one former video performer says they can even corrupt the women in the videos.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s your fault when you`re treated you know, poorly, because you project a poor image of yourself.

CARROLL: Corrine Stephens (ph) says she should know. She`s a former video performer who says she started behaving like the promiscuous women she portrayed in the videos. Stephens (ph) even wrote a book about her sexual exploits.

And while on a racy magazine shoot, she warned about the down side of doing what she did and what she does, selling her sexuality.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`ve been video girls, and so you`re not going to be taken seriously. If you want to be taken seriously, get an education and get a job that utilizes your brain and not your body.

MELYSSA FORD, FORMER HIP-HOP VIDEO PERFORMER: She`s one individual who made her own choices.

CARROLL: Unlike Corrine, Melyssa Ford got herself into the kind of hip-hop videos that make careers.

FORD: Hey, everybody. Welcome to BET Style. She used it to launch another career, in her case broadcasting.

The majority of girls that you see are not portraying the image of who they really are. They`re -- they`re being sexy for the camera, but they go home and they`re regular people.

CARROLL: And while she believes the public is savvy enough to separate images in videos from the real thing, she wouldn`t feel comfortable doing them these days.

FORD: My Plan A has always been this. It`s never been this.

CARROLL: But for Celestina, still waiting for her big break, her advice to women hoping to break into hip-hop videos...

HENRY: Women need to make sure that they stay true to themselves. And that`s the biggest thing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re walking toward the camera, real sexy, provocative.

CARROLL: It`s also one of the most difficult things to come to terms with. Using videos as a stepping stone but at the cost of creating an image that may be tough to erase.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CARROLL: OK. What I find interesting is when you ask many of the girls who dance in the videos, if they had a daughter who grew up and wanted to be in one, would they allow it? There were quite a few of them who sat and told me that no, they would not -- A.J.

HAMMER: Interesting report. Thanks very much, Jason Carroll, for that SHOWBIZ TONIGHT special report.

ANDERSON: Jennifer Aniston opens up about men, but she`s not chatting about Brad Pitt or Vince Vaughan. Her candid, eye-opening thoughts, coming up.

HAMMER: Plus, what happens when a gorgeous former supermodel goes undercover as a 350-pound women. Tyra Banks tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT about her emotional and heartbreaking experience. That`s next.

ANDERSON: And how is the latest Harry Potter movie different than all the ones before? It could have an effect on ticket sales. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT asks the stars of "The Goblet of Fire" at the premiere in London, coming up next.

HAMMER: Here comes tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz." Which one of these was not the name of one of Bruce Springsteen`s bands? Dr. Zoom and the Sonic Boom, Child, Steel Mill or The Question? We`re coming right back with the answer.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Once again, tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz." Which one of these was not the name of one of Bruce Springsteen`s bands? Dr. Zoom and the Sonic Boom, Child, Steel Mill or The Question? The answer is The Question, "D."

ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, I am Brooke Anderson.

Well, she`s accustomed to admiring glances, not disapproving stares. Tyra Banks showed viewers what it`s like to spend a day in someone else`s shoes.

The TV show host stepped out of her supermodel self to masquerade as a 350-pound woman. Tyra put on a padded suit and prosthetics, testing the public`s reaction to overweight women. You see her on the video.

Tyra says she was laughed and jeered at, even mocked by the men she went on blind dates with.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TYRA BANKS, TV SHOW HOST: In fact, the first guy had to take a shot. He -- I sat down. He immediately ordered a drink. And later, he told me he had to take a shot to get through it.

It just was heartbreaking, because it was so in your face. You know, it was so in my face, and I`m like -- I couldn`t believe it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Banks says the experience changed her life forever and that now she has a greater appreciation for what obese people endure.

HAMMER: Well, tonight, Harry Potter fans are all fired up. The Potter faithful braved rain in London last night for the "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" world premiere.

The movie is the fourth in the hugely successful series based on J.K. Rowling`s books and, according to the stars, Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson, this one is darker than the others.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DANIEL RADCLIFFE, ACTOR: Very -- quite scary.

EMMA WATSON: It`s scarier. Possibly more than it ever has been before.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" is the first Potter film to get a PG-13 rating. It opens here in the United States November 18.

ANDERSON: But SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is giving you the inside scoop on "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." This week`s issue of "Entertainment Weekly" has some juicy new details about the movie. And joining us live in New York with the inside story is the magazine`s senior editor, Tom Geier.

Tom, welcome.

TOM GEIER, SENIOR EDITOR, "ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY": Thank you, Brooke.

ANDERSON: All right. Do you know there are millions and millions of kids who would give their right arm to be where you are right now? You`ve seen this film. What do you think?

GEIER: I think the Potterheads are going to be fantastically excited, because Harry is back on screen, and all of the things that they`ve come to expect from these films are back, as well.

ANDERSON: So it will be expected, what we see? Because this one`s supposedly much darker than the previous three, the first one to get a PF- 13 rating. Do you think it warrants that?

GEIER: It`s certainly much scarier. I mean, this not the sort of PG- 13 where you see gore and blood and guts, but it`s certainly more intense than the previous two as, indeed, you know, Harry has grown up over the years. He`s now in puberty. He`s now 14. And it`s just a much more mature film in a lot of ways.

HAFFENREFFER: More mature. OK.

Also revealed in this article, it really stood out to me, there was talk of actually making this book into two movies, not one, because the book was so thick, right?

GEIER: Well, this was the longest of the books that J.K. Rowling had published. And so there was, indeed, talk of breaking up the movie into two movies. But they ultimately decided that they could streamline the plots and focus, really, on the characters and -- and get it done in one film.

ANDERSON: Another thing, Tom. Just like in "Star Wars" when we finally got to see Darth Vader, we get to see what Voldemort looks like. What can you tell us about his experience, and was it a shocking scene?

GEIER: Well, I think everyone is going to be surprised to see Ralph Fiennes, the fine British actor, appearing in the Harry Potter films for the first time as Voldemort, who`s the archenemy of Harry Potter, as fans all know. And they`ve kept his appearance under wraps. But I think that fans will want to know that, because Voldemort, like Harry, is able to speak like a snake, that might give a hint of what sort of appearance he`ll take on.

ANDERSON: Another new face, Miranda Richardson is in it, as the annoying newspaper journalist, Rita Skeeter. Tell us about her. And she`s got a magical quill that doesn`t do good things, right?

GEIER: Well, that`s right. Rita Skeeter is one of the sort of more comic elements of the film, and one of the fan favorites over the years, since she was first introduced in J.K. Rowling`s books. And she`s a tabloid journalist run amuck. And in this case, she has a quill that takes down -- that writes by itself without her having to touch it and -- but always seems to get the facts wrong. So she`s saying that Harry Potter is 12 years old, when in fact, he`s 14 in these films.

ANDERSON: I`m sure Harry is not happy about that.

GEIER: No, not all.

ANDERSON: Tom Geier, thank you so much for joining us. Many, many people are looking forward to this film.

GEIER: Thank you, Brooke.

ANDERSON: All right. And you can check out the entire article on "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" in this week`s issue of "Entertainment Weekly."

HAMMER: Tonight, a few of Jennifer Aniston`s favorite things, and they don`t include Brad Pitt, Vince Vaughn or any other man. Jennifer Aniston says she`s tired of talking about her love life. So the actress gave "Newsweek" magazine a list of topics that she`d rather talk about.

Making the list: her perceived rep as a crier. Aniston says she had only one emotional moment with an interviewer after her marriage broke up and instead, she usually cries at the movies and the birth of babies.

She also talks about Botox and her dislike of that. Aniston questions the long term effects of the injections and insists that nothing is worse than a man with an eye job.

And the state of television, not high on her list. Aniston says America is now obsessed with reality shows. She wonders whatever happened to all the good, creative writing that went into shows like "Friends."

You can catch the rest of Aniston`s article in "Newsweek" magazine, which is on newsstands now.

ANDERSON: Well, Jennifer Aniston may reportedly be dating Vince Vaughn, but SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has learned they might have already broken up. That`s still to come.

HAMMER: Also, if you think you`ve heard Cyndi Lauper`s "Money Changes Everything," "Time After Time" or "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," wait until you hear what she`s done with those classic songs. Cyndi Lauper joins us live in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

ANDERSON: And, brand-new music from Neil Diamond, a London duo, and possibly the next big teen queen. That`s in the "SHOWBIZ Guide to New Music," next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Time now for the "SHOWBIZ Guide," where throughout the week we help you decide where to spend your dollars on movies, music, DVDs and more. Well, tonight in "People`s Picks and Pans," new music from sparkly- shirted singer-songwriter Neil Diamond, the R&B duo Floetry and we`ve also got new music from the newcomer -- from a newcomer to the teen pop scene, Hope Partlow.

Live in New York is "People" magazine senior editor, Julie Dam to tell us all about these.

Hi, Julie.

JULIE DAM, SENIOR EDITOR, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: Hi.

ANDERSON: All right. I want to kick it off with Neil Diamond. He`s back with a new album. It`s your critic`s choice, getting rave reviews.

DAM: Right.

ANDERSON: Why don`t we take a listen to "Hell Yeah"? It`s off his new disc, called "12 Songs."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: What an incredible voice. Four stars from you guys.

DAM: Yes.

ANDERSON: Why do you love it so much?

DAM: Well, you know, it`s such a revelation. This is so different from the Neil Diamond you probably grew up with, you know, the "Coming to America" Vegas showman, because it`s so stripped down. He works with producer Rick Rubin, who was also known for working with Johnny Cash towards the end of his life, when he did that great cover of the Nine Inch Nails song. So it`s just so different for him. And he can play...

ANDERSON: Sixty-four years old, still going strong.

DAM: Yes. Yes, absolutely.

ANDERSON: Incredible. OK. Moving on now to Floetry, sort of an R&B, neo-soul duo from London. Here`s a little bit of their new single "Supa Star" off "FloOlogy."

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

(MUSIC)

(END AUDIO CLIP)

ANDERSON: They collaborated with rapper Common on that one. We haven`t heard from these girls since 2003. How did they do here?

DAM: Well, you know, their first album in 2002 was so kind of fresh and new, because it`s -- you know, there are two of them. One is a singer, and one is a spoken word artist. And here, it`s not quite as fresh, obviously, the third time around. But you know, it doesn`t really stand out, but it`s not bad.

ANDERSON: All right. And just a few moments left. A new gal on the scene, hoping to become the new teen queen. Her name is Hope Partlow. She`s got a new disc called "Who We Are." Can she stand out from Ashlee Simpson, Lindsay Lohan and the rest of the pack?

DAM: Yes, actually. You know, she`s 17 years old. She`s from Tennessee, and she has a great voice. And her record label obviously really believes in her, because they`ve really thrown some great songs at her.

ANDERSON: OK. Fantastic. Julie Dam, thank you for sharing with us about all the new music this week. We appreciate it.

And for more "Picks and Pans," you can pick up a copy of "People" magazine. It`s on newsstands now.

HAMMER: Kenny Chesney opens up about his short-lived marriage to Renee Zellweger, coming up.

ANDERSON: Also, Jennifer Aniston is going through a "Breakup" of her own, but this one doesn`t involve Brad Pitt. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has your first look at her upcoming movie, next.

HAMMER: And, Hollywood and politics coming together. Tonight, the fictional "West Wing" makes history tackling real issues and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Warren Beatty are squaring off. Who`s influencing who? We`ll go in-depth.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SOPHIA CHOI, CNN HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT continues in just a minute. I`m Sophia Choi with your "Headline Prime Newsbreak."

Well, what could have been a major terror attack has been foiled in Australia. Raids by hundreds of police have netted 17 terror suspects in Melbourne and Sydney. Authorities are still on the hunt for more suspects, too.

Indiana rescue crews have pulled yet another body from a lake, adding to the death toll from yesterday`s tornado. Eighteen people were killed when a twister hit an Evansville, Indiana, mobile home park. At least four died in neighboring Demoura County (ph). More than 200 people were injured by the storm. It was the nation`s deadliest day of tornado activity in seven years.

And the trial of a man accused of abducting, raping and murdering an 11-year-old Florida girl began today. Authorities say a security video shows Joseph Smith abducting Carlie Brucia from a local car wash. Prosecutors say Smith told relatives where to find the body.

That`s the news for now. I`m Sophia Choi. Now back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

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

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

HAMMER: Well, still to come in the next 30 minutes, I was among the millions locked into the "West Wing" last night for some good debate. The only problem with it was it was fake. Made for great television. And they were floating some real political issues out there.

This is happening while there`s a real political debate going on in California with Arnold Schwarzenegger, the governor, and actor Warren Beatty, going head-to-head. Does Hollywood have an influence on politics? We`re going to go in-depth with that subject in just a couple of moments.

ANDERSON: The line has become so blurred recently, A.J. And I have to ask you, do you have a favorite Cyndi Lauper song?

HAMMER: I love them all, although "Time After Time" certainly stands among my favorites.

ANDERSON: That`s a great one. "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" for me.

Well, Cyndi Lauper has been out there on the music scene for more than two decades. And now she`s got a brand new album out. It`s called "The Body Acoustic." And on it, she will take a number of her most popular songs, including the ones we mentioned, and give them a modern musical makeover, so to speak. We`ll chat with her about that live. She`ll be here joining us in just a few minutes.

HAMMER: Had it on in the office all day. It is a good listen.

But first, let`s get to tonight`s "Hot Headlines." SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas joining us live from Hollywood.

Hi, Sibila.

SIBILA VARGAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, A.J.

Well, Kate Hudson is seeking legal action against tabloids suggesting she suffers from an eating disorder. The actress is suing two British publications and the "National Enquirer" for running photos and captions portraying her as dangerously thin. Her lawyers say the images could affect her movie career. If no settlement is reached, the case could go to trial next year.

Well tonight, Hollywood is buzzing about a rare public appearance by the legendary Elizabeth Taylor. The 73-year-old actress was honored with the naming of the Elizabeth Taylor Endowment Fund for the UCLA Clinical AIDS Research and Education Center. Taylor, who suffers from serious health problems, has been a tireless AIDS awareness advocate since 1991. You can contribute to the endowment by calling the UCLA AIDS Institute at 310-267-1826.

Tiger tamers Siegfried and Roy are back on stage. The pair made an appearance in Branson, Missouri, more than two years after Roy Horn nearly lost his life in a tiger attack. Siegfried and Roy are out promoting the show of their protege, Darren Romeo. They also promised to return to performing themselves, but no date has been set.

And those are tonight`s "Hot Headlines." A.J., back to you in New York.

Oh, actually, it`s Brooke.

ANDERSON: I`ll take it right here, Sibila.

(LAUGHTER)

ANDERSON: And hopefully, those guys will be out promoting their own show very, very soon. Thank you so much.

All right. No regrets. Tonight, that`s country crooner Kenny Chesney`s take on his whirlwind affair with actress Renee Zellweger. The pair stayed married for just four months, after meeting at the tsunami relief benefit back in January. They wed at Chesney`s estate in the U.S. Virgin Islands. You see a wedding photo here. Chesney says their brief union taught him an important lesson about love.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KENNY CHESNEY, COUNTRY MUSIC SINGER: She and I fell in love like a couple of school kids. I`m glad to know that that can happen, that that exists. I mean, we still really care about each other a lot.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Chesney is out promoting his new album, "The Road and the Radio." He performed songs from the CD on "Good Morning America." The new tunes hit stores tomorrow.

HAMMER: Tonight, in our "Showbiz In-depth," Hollywood and politics colliding. Two very big celebrity smack-downs centered around politics; one`s real, one`s pretend, both extraordinary.

The first, an unprecedented episode of the "West Wing," a live presidential debate pitting two make-believe candidates against each other, duking it out over real political issues, from immigration, to tax cuts, to the environment.

The second, a celebrity smack-down between Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and actor Warren Beatty. Beatty and wife, Annette Bening, tried to crash a Schwarzenegger campaign event, but were initially banned from entering.

Beatty is lobbying hard against Schwarzenegger`s latest ballot measures which California will vote on tomorrow.

So the question is, is Hollywood influencing politics? Joining us live to tackle this, from Washington, D.C., communications specialist Frank Luntz. Also live in D.C., Morris Reid, brand strategist and political consultant.

Gentlemen, thank you both for joining us.

MORRIS REID, POLITICAL CONSULTANT: Thanks.

HAMMER: Morris, I want to start with you. Last night on the "West Wing," the Democratic candidate, who`s played by Jimmy Smits, floated a lot of issues out there, but took a particularly strong stand on some. What buttons did you see that he pushed speaking to the real-life Democratic Party?

REID: Well, immigration. First let me say that that was probably more realistic in a setting than most people get. Those guys were under a lot of pressure, because it was live television. And, quite frankly, I believe Frank would agree with me, that`s a format that you will never see. I don`t think you`ll ever see candidates throw things up, because the weaker debater would not want to be in that position.

HAMMER: No, they like to stick to the scripts.

REID: Absolutely. It`s very scripted, more so than television. I think that he really hit immigration, which was a really big issue. He also hit the oil, which is a major issue right now.

So you could see that they really wanted to focus these things on topical issues and really drill them home. They took a couple of barbs, as well. You heard him about, "I voted for, then I voted against," making fun of John Kerry, of course. But I thought Jimmy Smits did a good job, as well as Alan Alda.

HAMMER: They really were getting their agendas out there, whether they be real or fake.

Frank, what can you say for the "West Wing" Republican candidate, Arnold Vinick, of course played by Alan Alda, in terms of what he was floating out there, which would resonate with the Republicans?

FRANK LUNTZ, COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST: I`ve got to believe that Alan Alda has never, ever spoken in favor of tax cuts, except for last night, in real life. I agree totally that you would never have this kind of debate, that the candidates would be too much afraid of it.

But you know what? In watching it, I`m thinking to myself, why can`t the candidates do that? And I`d love to see in 2008, get away from the script, get away from the podium. Go out and talk about how you really feel. And do so in a way that the voters would genuinely appreciate.

But the problem that I have is, that show is written by Democrats. It`s produced by Democrats. It`s created by Democrats. And I`ve got to tell you something, Alan Alda, that the viewers can see there, no Republican candidate`s going to spend the entire debate just talking about tax cuts.

REID: Really? I thought that George Bush did that, Frank.

LUNTZ: There are other issues that Republicans care about.

REID: I thought George Bush did that.

HAMMER: Well, go ahead, Morris. What did you have to add?

REID: I thought George Bush did that. I thought it was pretty interesting, but I think...

LUNTZ: Maybe...

REID: I`m sorry, Frank. Go ahead.

LUNTZ: No, please, go ahead.

REID: I thought that it was pretty interesting. One thing, you won`t see that level of frankness in a debate. You won`t ever hear a candidate say, "Well, I don`t like my health care plan, either." You certainly won`t ever hear a candidate say, "I`m not going to create not a single job."

So it was a little unrealistic. I saw where they were going, but it was just not something that real candidates would do. They just won`t be that frank.

HAMMER: No, and it would be nice to see -- that would be a nice way to see Hollywood actually influence what goes on in D.C.

Let`s move on now from the fake to the real and what`s going on with the California vote tomorrow that`s happening. Basically, there is a mandate on Schwarzenegger and his vision tomorrow, in terms of how the state needs to operate, everything from public schools to public spending.

Which one really has the ideals that`s going to capture the hearts and minds of California voters, Arnold Schwarzenegger or Warren Beatty? Two actors against each other. Who do you think, Morris, is going to make a score here?

REID: I think that Warren Beatty and the Democrats think they smell blood, so they`re really going after Arnold. I think that there`s a challenge for the governor. He`s really on his heels. He really needs to right his ship and figure things out.

It`s not enough to just walk in and say, "I`m going to terminate things," or "I`ll be back." He really needs to find real, hard solutions. So I think that the Democrats smell blood. I`m not for sure -- this guy is a formidable candidate. And he could certainly raise a lot of money.

HAMMER: Frank, let me ask you real quick, of course, no other state in the country quite has the politics as California does. Two legendary actors duking it out over these ballot measures is what we`re seeing. Will they ever be able to separate politics from Hollywood out there?

LUNTZ: You know, Hollywood is just politics for good looking people. Or Washington is basically Hollywood for ugly people, or fat people, like yours truly.

(LAUGHTER)

HAMMER: I got five seconds.

LUNTZ: But what`s happening out there is that the public does take its politics seriously. I think a lot of people are going to vote tomorrow. And we`re going to find out whether California`s going to change or not.

REID: I think that`s...

(CROSSTALK)

HAMMER: It`s going to be interesting. Morris, I`m sorry. I`m out of time. I`m going to have to wrap it up there.

Morris Reid and Frank Luntz, thank you both for joining us and going in-depth on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

ANDERSON: And we`ve been asking you to vote online on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." "The West Wing" debate: Do you care about Hollywood`s take on politics?

Keep voting at CNN.com/showbiztonight. And write us at showbiztonight@CNN.com. Your e-mails are coming up at 55 past the hour.

HAMMER: Well tonight, some of Hollywood`s most outspoken actors are uniting about a hot issue: mercury levels in the seafood that you eat. Earlier today, I sat down with actor-activist Ted Danson and model-actress Amber Valletta, both bringing awareness to this issue through their work with Oceana. It`s an organization that serves to protect and restore the world`s oceans.

They told me that being careful about the types of fish you eat is key.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TED DANSON, ACTOR: This is from the EPA, from this administration`s figures. One out of 6 women of child-bearing years have too much mercury in their system to safely give birth to a child without the possibility of brain damage, neurological damage.

So it`s very, very hardcore, serious problem. And the mercury gets into our bodies, mostly by eating fish. Here are the four fish you need to say -- and this is FDA, not us -- FDA says shark, tile fish...

AMBER VALLETTA, MODEL-ACTRESS: King mackerel.

DANSON: King mackerel and swordfish...

VALLETTA: Tuna.

DANSON: ... are the ones you stay away from. Tuna, you have to be careful.

VALLETTA: We`re not telling people not to eat fish. Absolutely, eat fish. We`re just saying be careful, especially if you`re planning on having a child, or you are pregnant, or you have a small child that you`re feeding fish to.

You want to really pay attention to the amounts of fish you consume, those four fish. And we`re also asking that supermarkets put a warning sign up by the seafood counter. That`s really our hope, and that also these six chlorine companies change the way they manufacture chlorine.

HAMMER: Which is what causes the mercury?

VALLETTA: One of the ways.

DANSON: It`s that it gets into the system.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: More information on the environmental group Oceana can be found at Oceana.org.

ANDERSON: Next on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, the break-up. Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn are rumored to be piecing it together off-screen, but onscreen it`s all about calling it quits. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has your peek at their new romantic comedy, "The Break-Up."

HAMMER: Plus, megastar Cyndi Lauper, with a brand new CD out and the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn have been making headlines nationwide for a reported off-screen romance. But onscreen, they star in "The Break-Up," a film that begins where most romantic comedies end, right when they start driving each other crazy.

Here`s a look at what you can expect to see in tonight`s "Showbiz Showcase."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VINCE VAUGHN, ACTOR: Found my shirt on the floor. Thanks for laying it out.

JENNIFER ANISTON, ACTRESS: Are you here for couples bowling?

VAUGHN: It`s why I bought the ball.

ANISTON: Don`t you think you and I should discuss something first?

VAUGHN: Like what, how your 47 average is killing us?

ANISTON: Gary, this is couples bowls. And since you and I are no longer a couple, I think you should leave.

ANNOUNCER (voice-over): All relationships have their games.

VAUGHN: OK. You know what? Why don`t we let them decide?

ANISTON: They don`t want you here either, Gary.

VAUGHN: OK. I`d like to have a team vote. Team vote, everybody. By a show of hands -- just put it up, make a decision -- who here agrees with Brooke and thinks I should leave the bowler team?

ANNOUNCER: But nobody really wins, unless someone is keeping score.

VAUGHN: "Band of Brothers." You should read it some time.

ANNOUNCER: Let the X-Games begin.

Vince Vaughn...

VAUGHN: Is that how you want to play it?

ANISTON: I don`t know what you`re talking about.

VAUGHN: I can play it like that, but I will play it like Lionel Richie. I`ll play this game all night long, lady.

ANNOUNCER: ... Jennifer Aniston...

ANISTON: I think you`re just a little embarrassed that Richard kicked your ass.

VAUGHN: There`s a really big gap between getting your ass kicked and having a dancing, singing, sprite fool you with trickery and then strike your throat before you know that you`re even in a fight.

ANNOUNCER: ... "The Break-Up."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gary?

VAUGHN: Yes?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m going to need that shirt back.

VAUGHN: It says Gary on it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The thing is, we actually know a guy named Gary. And he`s not as tall as you, but he`s a pretty good bowler.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: "The Break-Up" opens in theaters February 17th.

HAMMER: It`s time now for a "Showbiz Sitdown" with Grammy-award winner Cyndi Lauper. Cyndi first burst onto the scene back in 1984 with her debut album, "She`s So Unusual," featuring the hits that you know, "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," "All Through the Night," "She Bop," "Time After Time," among them. And she turned her into an overnight success.

Well, now, Cyndi Lauper`s out with a brand-new album. It`s called "The Body Acoustic." She joins us live.

It`s lovely to see you, Cyndi Lauper.

CYNDI LAUPER, MUSICIAN: Thank you. Thank you very much.

HAMMER: Can we flash back in time for just a moment here? I want to put a picture up here. And you were just a walking party back in the day, not that you`re not a walking party now.

LAUPER: Oh, well, no.

HAMMER: What`s happening here? And what do you think of when you see imagery of yourself like that?

When is that? That`s 20 -- probably about 20 years ago. And you were just out for a festive time.

LAUPER: Well, I wore a lot of jewelry. I don`t wear any now, well, hardly any.

HAMMER: Good memories, though, of that era?

LAUPER: Oh, yes. Yes.

HAMMER: And as I preparing...

LAUPER: Well, nobody looks the same. You don`t look the same. You don`t wear the same clothes, do you?

HAMMER: No, thank goodness.

LAUPER: No. You can`t.

HAMMER: Because back in the `80s, there was a whole thing, and the hair was, you know, blow dried.

LAUPER: Yes, big hair.

HAMMER: It was a big problem.

LAUPER: Just wrong, I know.

HAMMER: Yes, well, then, of course, speaking of big hair, I mean...

LAUPER: Oh, that was cool. I liked that.

HAMMER: But again, about 20 years. When I was getting ready to talk to you today, I was taking a look at some of the older videos, "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" among them. And there`s a great new version on "The Body Acoustic" that we`ll talk about in just a second.

LAUPER: With Puffi AmiYumi.

HAMMER: With Puffi AmiYumi.

But on the video for "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," wrestling icon Captain Lou Albano. And it reminded me that he appeared in a couple of your videos. You were one of the few celebs really into the pro-wrestling back then.

LAUPER: That was my boyfriend. He was really into that.

HAMMER: So that was the connection for you?

LAUPER: Yes.

HAMMER: And did you watch it a lot back then?

LAUPER: What, wrestling?

HAMMER: Yes.

LAUPER: No, well, we were in it, so, you know...

HAMMER: And did you know back then that it wasn`t for real? Because they weren`t saying it back then.

LAUPER: Oh, is that what we`re talking about? No, I didn`t know. I had no idea.

HAMMER: Do you still watch the wrestling?

LAUPER: No.

HAMMER: It`s not a part of your life?

LAUPER: No, I kind of wanted to go on. And, you know, I was coming out with "True Colors," and I wanted to move on. And, you know, "True Colors" is on this album, too. This album kind of goes through the old stuff. It has some new stuff. It has a song that I wrote with Jeff Beck. And he plays on it.

It has old songs and new songs featuring special guests, like Sarah McLachlan...

(CROSSTALK)

HAMMER: Spectacular version of "Time After Time" that you do with Sarah.

LAUPER: "Time After Time," and Shaggy is on it. Ani DiFranco, Vivian Green, and Adam Lazzara, from Taking Back Sunday. I tried to make a very diverse group, because the music is kind of diverse, anyway.

HAMMER: Well, and it`s fairly timeless, particularly when you put it in a new context. But what`s interesting is so many artists...

LAUPER: Are playing dulcimer now?

HAMMER: ... are not playing dulcimer.

LAUPER: No, but I was. And that`s what makes it different.

HAMMER: You`re playing the dulcimer on there, which is among what makes it different.

LAUPER: Yes. If anybody -- no, and we wanted it to kind of live in this kind of acoustic dulcimer word, which is a very Americana -- it`s an Americana instrument. And we`re going to kind of do something like that on the VH-1 special on Friday, this Friday, November 11th.

So, hey, come down. Be part of the video, because it`s a VH-1 special. And you know how I love to incorporate the audience, so...

HAMMER: You love getting them in. And this wasn`t because -- you didn`t do these versions of these songs because you said, "God, if I played `Girls Just Want to Have Fun` the same again, I`m going to off myself."

LAUPER: You know, I never do.

HAMMER: You never felt that way?

LAUPER: Well, I never play it the same. Live is live. And like this album, this album was really created in a live sense.

We sat around in a circle -- what`s different is I played and sang. So when you`re playing an instrument and singing, you`re going to make different choices, you`ll sing differently, you`ll play differently.

And I thought that, for me, it was kind of exciting, because it was a whole different take on the older material. Oh, and we had also Puffi AmiYumi in "Girls Just Want to Have Fun." And my son kind of knows...

HAMMER: Who`s, what, seven years old now?

LAUPER: Yes, hockey player. He`s going to be a...

HAMMER: OK, well, we`re out of time. But as I said, a great listen. It`s a lot of fun. And you`re still a party on the move.

LAUPER: Well, a little bit. What do you mean? I feel that I`m very conservative, and my hair isn`t big, is it?

HAMMER: I see.

LAUPER: You don`t like big hair?

(LAUGHTER)

HAMMER: It`s not so big.

Thank you very much.

LAUPER: OK, thank you so much.

HAMMER: "The Body Acoustic" will arrive in stores tomorrow.

ANDERSON: We`ve all had bigger hair than that at one point or another.

And there`s still time for you to sound off in our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." "The West Wing" debate: Do you care about Hollywood`s take on politics?

Vote at CNN.com/showbiztonight or write us at showbiztonight@CNN.com. We`re going to read some of your e-mails live, next.

HAMMER: But first, "Chicken Little" collects one big egg at the box office over the weekend. In final figures out just this afternoon, Disney`s computer-animated flick ruled the roost. "Chicken Little" debuted at number one, $40 million in ticket sales.

But the box office is still down from last year, despite that big number. The gulf-war drama, "Jarhead," opened in second place with $27 million. "Saw 2" in third with nearly $17 million. "The Legend of Zorro" was in fourth place, $10 million there. And "Prime" perched in fifth with $5 million.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. We`ve been asking you to vote online on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." "The West Wing" debate: Do you care about Hollywood`s take on politics?

Here`s the vote so far: 16 percent of you say you do care, so 84 percent of you say, no, don`t care how the Hollywood`s influenced the politics.

Among the e-mails we received, one from Troy in Louisiana who writes, "TV shows like `The West Wing` and `Commander-in-Chief` are more realistic and now more captivating."

We also heard from Daniel in Florida who writes, "It was good to see the two sides of the political debate being more open about today`s views than real politicians."

Also heard from Jeannie in Nevada who writes, "Overall, I thought the debate was BORING."

You can keep voting by going to CNN.com/showbiztonight.

ANDERSON: Boring in all caps there.

And now it`s time to see what`s playing on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT tomorrow. Let`s take a look at the "Showbiz Marquee."

Marquee Guy, take it away.

MARQUEE GUY: Tomorrow, the future of 3-D movies. Theaters are now showing this weekend`s number-one movie, "Chicken Little" in 3-D. But you ain`t seen nothin` yet. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT takes a look at the next dimension.

Hey, you might even see me, the Marquee Guy, in 3-D, tomorrow.

Also tomorrow, thank you for being a friend. "Golden Girl" Betty White live, just in time to celebrate 20 years of Rose, Sophia, Dorothy and Blanche. Cheesecake, anyone? That`s tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

This is the Marquee Guy, and you can thank me for being the golden marquee guy.

HAMMER: You know, I`ve seen the "Golden Girls" many times. I don`t know the cheesecake reference. And they keep saying it.

ANDERSON: Over and over, right? They must have really loved cheesecake.

HAMMER: We`ll find out about it tomorrow. That is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer.

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

HAMMER: What do I know?

END

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