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Showbiz Tonight for December 07, 2005, CNNHN

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


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


HAMMER (voice-over): On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, passions stirred again. Tonight, a Holocaust controversy surrounding the producer of "The Passion of the Christ." Why people are outraged at Mel Gibson this time. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates.

Also, stunning star splits. Tonight why the hottest celebrity trend seems to be the breakup. Nick and Jessica, Bertinelli and Van Halen, Applegate and Schaech. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT asks, is it really harder for celebrities to stay together?

And, ain`t no party like one of these parties.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is a lifetime of memories, I hope.

HAMMER: Tonight, outrageous, over-the-top parties that parents are throwing for their kids, hiring big name stars to perform, spending so much money your head will spin. What`s going here? It`s a "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Special Report."

FELICITY HUFFMAN, ACTRESS: Hi, I`m Felicity Huffman. And if it happened today, it`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


ANDERSON: HI THERE, I`m Brooke Anderson live in New York.

HAMMER: And I`m A.J. Hammer.

Tonight, Mel Gibson under fire again. His biggest critics called "The Passion of the Christ" anti-Semitic.

ANDERSON: Right. So you can only imagine the outrage when the news broke today that Gibson might be doing a miniseries about the Holocaust. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is all over the story tonight with the breaking new details and the hot new reaction.


ANDERSON: Mel Gibson`s "Passion of the Christ" was a big time blockbuster. But it was not without big time controversy, drawing criticism for the way Jews were portrayed in the film.

That`s why it comes as a big surprise that the Oscar-winning director is taking on, of all things, the Holocaust. That`s right. Gibson`s television production company is developing a four-hour miniseries for ABC based on the memoir of Dutch Jew Flory van Beek and her non-Jewish boyfriend, who hid her from the Nazis.

Rabbi Marvin Hier, who has won two Academy awards and has consulted on numerous Holocaust productions, has been outspoken in his criticism of Gibson`s "Passion."

RABBI MARVIN HIER, FOUNDER, SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER: The Jews, who remain Jews and who did not accept Jesus, were portrayed in Mel Gibson`s film in a horrible manner. They have nothing intelligent to say. Their facial looks. They look like we may as well have all had horns, the way Jews who -- were portrayed in the film. And I criticized that.

Therefore, I would be naturally concerned about what will Mel Gibson do on a film on the Holocaust. But those concerns are not based on anything real, because we don`t have -- we haven`t seen the script. He hasn`t worked on the film yet.

ANDERSON: One of the biggest parts of the Gibson controversy, his father, Hutton Gibson, who`s been quoted as saying the Holocaust never happened. Mel himself has kept mum on the topic. Here`s "Newsweek`s" Marc Peyser.

MARC PEYSER, "NEWSWEEK": He`s always been evasive about whether or not he believes what his father says about the Holocaust. They have a very strong relationship. We knew that from the last go around.

He`s very respectful of his father. In fact, is on the record saying, "My father never lied to me," which led people to believe that maybe Mel believed that the Holocaust also didn`t exist.

ANDERSON: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT called Gibson`s people for comment. They weren`t talking.

But Flory van Beek, whose story the miniseries is about, told the "New York Times," "I know his father doesn`t believe in the Holocaust. But maybe when there`s money involved, maybe they don`t care."

But she did add, "I don`t know him. All I know is Gibson is a staunch Catholic, and the people who saved our lives are Catholic." And said, "I respect everybody`s beliefs."

ABC has confirmed to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that they have a development deal with Gibson.

PEYSER: Here`s a miniseries that people know about two years before it`s even supposed to be on the air. ABC has got to be thrilled. I wonder if they picked him just for the controversy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guards, open up.

ANDERSON: This certainly isn`t the first time Hollywood has taken on the Holocaust. This 1978 miniseries, "Holocaust," starred Meryl Streep and James Woods. It was criticized for trivializing the Holocaust, but it won two Golden Globes.

And who could forget Steven Spielberg`s "Schindler`s List." The film won a whopping seven Oscars, including best picture, in 1993.

And "The Pianist," another Holocaust film, won three Oscars in 2002.

And with Gibson`s "Passion" getting three Oscar nominations, taking on the Holocaust could bring him more acclaim. And as Rabbi Marvin Hier told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, it might help Gibson set the record straight.

HIER: If we want to judge him kindly, we`d say, look, he wants to make sure that he knows the controversy over "The Passion of Christ." He knows what his father said. And he`s saying to himself, "I`d like to do a film on the Holocaust to set the record straight and to show that I am sensitive to this and I do know what kind of seminal event the Holocaust was in the history of the world."


ANDERSON: The nonfiction miniseries is still in the early stages of development process. ABC tells us they have ordered a script but have not greenlighted anything just yet. Should this all come together, it won`t hit the small screen for another two years.

HAMMER: Well, tonight on the eve of the 25th anniversary of John Lennon`s death, celebrities are remembering the enormous contributions the late Beatle made. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was right there at last night`s Billboard Music Awards, which happened in Las Vegas, we asked the stars what Lennon meant to them.


MARIAH CAREY, SINGE: It was so interesting just to see how, you know, so many different sides of this incredible man. And so, you know, he`s had an enormous impact on music that we can`t even express with words.

TOM PETTY, MUSICIAN: Everybody was inspired by the Beatles music. Everything that came after them was clearly influenced by them. I`ve certainly been influenced by them. I`m sure everyone else has.


HAMMER: No question about it. Be sure to join us tomorrow for an hour of live coverage devoted to Lennon`s legacy. I`m going to be live from Strawberry Fields in New York City`s Central Park with very special guests, including the man who first brought the Beatles to America back in 1964. And Dick Cabot will join me. Dick conducted legendary interviews with John Lennon and Yoko Ono. You`ll see this and much more, only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT tomorrow at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. Eastern.

ANDERSON: Tonight a new report that Hollywood`s hottest couple, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, are paving the way to walk down the marriage aisle. Pitt is now trying to legally become the father of Jolie`s two adopted children, Maddox and Zahara.

In its new issue, "People" magazine quotes a source as saying that during the nine months it`s expected to take to get Pitt`s adoption petition approved, he and Jolie will be making arrangements to get married and become one, big happy and legal family.

"People" also reports Maddox is already calling Pitt "Daddy." You can pick up a new copy of "People" magazine. It will be on newsstands starting this Friday.

HAMMER: Well, Brad Pitt`s split from Jennifer Aniston was one of the biggest breakups of the year, to be sure. And tonight, we`re starting to wonder if there`s something in the water out there in Hollywood.

Tonight, big news about several Hollywood splits that has SHOWBIZ TONIGHT asking why are so many celebrity couples having so much trouble keeping it all together?

CNN Headline News entertainment reporter Adrianna Costa, live tonight with the breakups and the makeups -- Adrianna.

ADRIANNA COSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, A.J. There`s lots of them. We`ve seen countless celebrity breakups over the past few months, and this week, certainly no exception. Not only are we seeing a pair of surprising breakups, but now we`re just hearing about a very surprising reconciliation. Let`s take a listen.


COSTA (voice-over): Stars are breaking up and making up. We`re seeing once again that staying together is drama unto itself when big names are involved.

Love wasn`t enough for actress Valerie Bertinelli and rock star Eddie Van Halen to make their 24-year marriage work. Bertinelli officially filed for divorce this week after a four-year separation.

For years, the marriage between the hard rocker and the former teen star of "One Day at a Time" seemed to be a Hollywood success story. But relationship expert Dr. Judy thinks that even the lengthiest marriages can reach their breaking point.

DR. JUDY KURIANSKY, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: It was 20 years of pain for her, because she had to put up with lot of his addictions and his constant boozing, and then his smoking that finally, I think, it`s a matter of she reaches the point where she throws in the towel and says, "I can`t stand this anymore."

COSTA: And just hours before we heard of the Van Halen divorces, we learned of another Hollywood breakup. Actress Christina Applegate and her husband actor Jonathan Schaech are ending their four-year marriage.

And just two weeks ago, we learned of the breakup of star couple Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT got the latest last night from Jessica`s famous sister, Ashlee Simpson, and their father/manager, Joe Simpson, at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas. They told us how Jessica is doing and how the family is holding up.

ASHLEE SIMPSON, SINGER: She`s home right now, and she`s doing as good as can be expected. You know, she will be good, I truly believe, and my family is all there. We`re all holding her up. We`re sticking together.

JOE SIMPSON, FATHER/MANAGER: We`re a family. We love Nick, we love Jessica. And we`re going to be all right.

COSTA (on camera): Have you spoken with Nick lately?

J. SIMPSON: Other than just, you know, in passing, instead of what the media says, I try to let them live their own life, you know. I think it`s something -- the issues here are issues between the two of them. And it`s not my place to be there. So I stay back and allow them to work out their stuff.

COSTA: During his chat with SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Joe Simpson couldn`t help but fire back at media reports that his major role in Jessica`s life and career led to their breakup.

J. SIMPSON: I`m a daddy. If I can take the heat for my baby, then you know, pour it on me, because I got big shoulders. So you know, I`d rather them say it was all my fault than my child`s. So go ahead.

COSTA: But the story is not all about breakups. Hip-hop star Eminem tells a Detroit radio station he`s back together with his ex-wife, Kimberly Mathers, whom he divorced in 2001 after a stormy 11-year relationship and two-year marriage.

He said, quote, "We have reconciled and are probably going to remarry."

Their long and troubled relationship has been one of tabloid and music legend. In 2001, Eminem was sentenced to probation after pistol whipping a man he said he saw kissing Kim outside a nightclub. It was just one of the many Kim related incidents he rapped about.

EMINEM, RAPPER: I just sold two million records. I don`t need to go to jail. I`m not about to lose my freedom over no female.

COSTA: Eminem has also rapped about his devotion to his daughter with Kim, Haley.

EMINEM: Haley, I know you miss your mom, and I know you miss your dad. But I`m gone, but I`m trying to give you the life that I never had.

COSTA: And Dr. Judy thinks it`s that devotion that may be what`s leading Eminem back to Kim.

KURIANSKY: Once in a while, you get a guy, particularly, who realizes he`s a father and he`s got a responsibility, and he wants to raise his child, as I think Eminem does, in a normal kind of relationship. And so the child will bring sometimes a star like Eminem and others back to normality to see like well, we should be a family. And let me revive my relationship with my wife.

COSTA: So while we`re awash in bleak stories of Hollywood breakups, Dr. Judy thinks we can get hopeful lessons in stories of Hollywood reconciliations.

KURIANSKY: Day by day, they have to keep proving that they`re worthy of staying in the relationship.


COSTA: A.J., believe it or not, some people don`t even make it into the altar. And this just in to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, word of another celebrity breakup, shocking news. Nicole Richie and her fiance, D.J. AM, Adam Goldstein. Their publicist tells us, quote, "They split and they mutually decided to call off their engagement." I`m shocked.

HAMMER: The hits just keep on coming.

COSTA: They keep coming.

HAMMER: Thanks very much, Adrianna Costa.

And remember, you can see Adrianna and Robin -- "ROBIN AND COMPANY." That`s the name of the program. It`s on weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN Headline News.

And now we want to know what you think of all of this. It is our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Hollywood marriages: is it harder for celebrities to stay together? You can vote at You can e-mail us at We`re going to read some of your thoughts later in the show.

ANDERSON: Sure we`ll get interesting e-mails on this subject.

And coming up, for the first time, Donald Trump speaks about taking his show on the road. What he tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT about "The Apprentice" heading west. That`s coming up next.

HAMMER: Plus, they`re kids` parties, but some of the most famous grown-ups are on the guest list. Tonight, is the spending out of control? It`s a "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Special Report" coming up.

ANDERSON: Plus, the emotional story of an "Office Space" star who`s using his celebrity for a very important personal cause. Gary Cole and his tireless fight for autism awareness. It`s the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, next.


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

Tonight, Donald Trump is speaking out for the very first time about "The Apprentice`s" big move out west. That`s right. For "The Apprentice 6," the show`s going to Los Angeles. It will be the first time the show will be leaving the New York area. Today, Trump told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT the reasons behind the move.


DONALD TRUMP, REAL ESTATE MOGUL: I just thought that it would be good to do one from L.A. I have big investments in Los Angeles. I`m there a lot doing different shows, largely because of "The Apprentice," whether it`s Jay Leno or anything else. And so I`m there a lot. And Mark Burnett and I got together and said it would be interesting to do a little change of pace. So we`re going to do No. 6 from L.A.


HAMMER: Also today, Trump chose the name of the winner of "In Touch" magazine`s $1 million drawing. The winner, Jennifer Richard from Pennsylvania, she says she plans to use the money to pay for her daughter`s college education and she`ll be giving some of it to charity.

ANDERSON: It`s time now for a "SHOWBIZ Sitdown" with Gary Cole. He played Bill Lumbergh, the smug boss no one could stand, in the 1999 anti- office cult hit, "Office Space."


GARY COLE, ACTOR: If you could go ahead and make sure you do that from now on, that would be great.


ANDERSON: We all remember that. Gary is now playing a cop in the series "Wanted" on TNT and is also a tireless advocate for children with autism because of his own personal experience with his daughter. Live tonight in Hollywood, Gary Cole.

Gary, welcome.

COLE: How you doing?

ANDERSON: I`m doing well. I mentioned "Office Space." Many people watching can relate to this. The relentless grind of their job every day, having a boss who just makes you miserable. You obviously love your job. You`re an actor. Can you even imagine being that miserable every single day of your life?

COLE: I had no idea the chord that this movie struck, because I never had a job in an office. I had other jobs, but I never had a boss like that who was seemingly everybody`s nightmare.

ANDERSON: Made everyone unhappy. Well, lucky for you. And also, Gary, you played Mike Brady, the dad in the "Brady Bunch" movies. I want to ask you this.

COLE: Guilty.

ANDERSON: Guilty as charged, right?

COLE: Guilty as charged.

ANDERSON: One of the original Bradys, Christopher Knight, is now in reality TV. He`s in a show called "My Fair Brady." What is it about "The Brady Bunch" that just keeps living on and on?

COLE: I don`t know. It came on in, I believe, 1969, and it really has not been off the air since then. And it`s had several incarnations, one of them including me and others. And I`m sure it may go on from there. So we`ll see what happens.

ANDERSON: And I think I`ve seen almost every episode. Guilty as charged. Right here. I`ll say it. I`ll admit it.

COLE: Guilty as charged.

ANDERSON: OK, Gary. As a father yourself, you have become a tireless advocate for childhood illness. Your daughter, she`s 12. She suffers from autism. What has she taught you about dealing with childhood illnesses and about parenting in general?

COLE: Well, autism is a pretty mysterious, for lack of a better word, condition. And I guess I would -- I wouldn`t choose to say suffer as in some cases, but Mary was diagnosed when she was 18 months. And we were lucky in that we got that news pretty early in her life when she was still developing. And she was, at least on the spectrum, pretty high functioning, at least to begin with. It was hard to tell early. But we got a lot of intervention for her early on, and she seems to be doing quite well now.

ANDERSON: That`s terrific. We`re glad to hear that.

And on your new show, "Wanted," you work with kids at times. And you`ve even said that your experience with your daughter and with this illness has taught you to deal differently with children. Is that right? How is that?

COLE: Well, I had to spend a lot of my time in order for my daughter, Mary, to be successful at things. The only way that I seemed to be able to help her was to put myself in her position and see things through her eyes, to realize how she perceived them.

Because that`s one of the -- one of the disadvantages of autism, is processing information or the inability to process information and communicate as you and I do.

ANDERSON: I`m sure it was an eye-opening experience for you. And very quickly, we have just a few moments left. But you also work with animal causes as well in something called Canine Companions. Tell us about that.

COLE: Canine Companions for Independence is an organization that my wife actually found, and we noticed early on that Mary`s -- when she had a language delay and language was not developing as it should, we noticed that when she was around animals, she became much more spontaneous. And it caused actual more spontaneous language to occur.

And so we found this organization who have specially trained animals, and it helps her in not necessarily in the traditional way, but an animal that kind of helped her along with her developmental disability.

ANDERSON: Wow. Gary, thank you so much for joining us tonight and sharing all of this with us. We appreciate it.

COLES: Thanks very much.

ANDERSON: Gary Cole. And his show, "Wanted," airs Monday nights on TNT.

HAMMER: It`s time now for the best of late night laughs in "Laughter Dark." Well, Oprah`s favorite things may sell out everywhere, but wait until you see the bizarre gifts Jay Leno has on his Christmas list -- list on "The Tonight Show."


JAY LENO, HOST, NBC`S "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO": See, you just hit the button here.

ROBOTIC VOICE: Like a band of gypsies, we went down the highway. Obviously, that was a mistake.

LENO: This is the Euro-cuisine electric peeler. If your husband comes home early, this is the electric peeler.

ROBOTIC VOICE: Since you`ve been extra good this year, Santa has got an extra special surprise for you. Ho, ho, ho, ho.


ANDERSON: Oh, no. Santa doesn`t do that.

All right, moving on. Ellen reaches out and touches someone and dances from a distance. That`s in "Talk of the Day" next.

HAMMER: Plus, the perfect 10 admits she wasn`t always perfect when it came to her outfits. Bo Derek talks fashion fabs and flops, coming up.

ANDERSON: And everything Renee Zellweger wanted to know about Christiane Amanpour but was afraid to ask until now. What the star asked one of the most well-well-respected reporters in the world. A "SHOWBIZ Sitdown" still to come.

HAMMER: First, here comes tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz." On the 80`s-era detective show "Simon & Simon," the detectives were twins, brothers, cousins, or unrelated? We`re coming right back with the answer.


HAMMER: So again, here`s tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz." On the 80`s-era detective show "Simon & Simon," the detectives were twins, brothers, cousins, or unrelated? Well, the answer is Gerald McRaney and Jameson Parker played the brothers. The answer, "B."

ANDERSON: It`s time now for the best in daytime talk, in "Talk of the Day."

Now Ellen DeGeneres is a pretty good dancer. But sometimes she needs help from the viewers at home. Let`s see if she can learn a new move over the phone.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kick, cross, touch. Kick, cross, touch.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you ready to try it?

We`re just going to repeat that for days and days.

DEGENERES: We are? I`m just wondering...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s the music.


HAMMER: I have no idea what I`m doing. Are we back?

ANDERSON: Face it, come on.

HAMMER: I`m no good.

Why Arnold Schwarzenegger checked into a hospital. We`ve got the news on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, coming up next.

ANDERSON: Plus, it`s a Renee role reversal. Renee Zellweger plays the role of interviewer. The interviewee: CNN`s Christiane Amanpour. Find out what surprising questions the "Bridget Jones" actor had for the journalist next.

HAMMER: Plus, wait until you find out about these over the top parties. To say that they`re big would be a big understatement. The outrageous money that parents are spending, coming up in a "SHOWBIZ Special Report."


SOPHIA CHOI, CNN HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: Hello. I`m Sophia Choi you`re your "Headline Prime Newsbreak."

We are now learning the man shot and killed today by federal air marshals in Miami was not caring an explosive as he had reportedly claimed. A search by authorities of his baggage found nothing of note. After allegedly making his claim, the man was confronted by marshals, but ran off the plane onto the jet way. He was shot when he appeared to reach into his bag. The man is identified as 44-year-old Rigoberto Alpizar, a U.S. citizen from central Florida.

President Bush again attacked war critics today saying the U.S. is making steady progress in Iraq. However, Democrats quickly responded. Congressman John Murtha, a decorated Vietnam veteran, says the president lacks credibility and he`s seen little progress in Iraq.

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is spending the night in a London hospital after feeling feint. Doctors say she`s in stable condition. A spokeswoman says she`s expected to go home tomorrow.

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

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

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson. You are watching TV`s only live entertainment news show.

HAMMER: And still to come, there`s this great new series on the Sundance Channel -- I don`t know if you`ve seen it yet...

ANDERSON: "Iconoclasts."

HAMMER: "Iconoclasts," it`s terrific. And for tomorrow night`s show, one of the most respected journalists in television, CNN`s Christiane Amanpour, gets together and spends a day just hanging out, walking around in New York City, here at CNN and at Ground Zero, among other places, with Renee Zellweger, one of the most respected actresses in the world. It`s fascinating.

ANDERSON: The tables are turned.

HAMMER: They are. And my conversation with Christiane is fascinating. You`ll hear that coming up in just a few moments.

ANDERSON: All right, A.J., can you imagine having 50 Cent or Ashanti perform at your birthday party?

HAMMER: Sure. Well...

ANDERSON: Yeah, right. Well, many children as young as 12, 13, 14, 15 years old, are having these extravagant parties with these guys performing, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. A SHOWBIZ TONIGHT special report coming up on these unbelievable birthday bashes. Pretty interesting.

But first, let`s get tonight`s "Hot Headlines." For that, we go to CNN Headline News entertainment correspondent Adrianna Costa. She joins us once again live from Atlanta.

Hi, Adrianna.


Yes, tonight, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is back at work after spending some time in the hospital. Schwarzenegger had the stomach flu and went to a California hospital late last night with a rapid heartbeat. Now, he spent several hours there and was then released. Schwarzenegger had heart surgery back in 1997, and an occasional rapid heartbeat is said to be common after that type of operation.

Some celebrity baby news tonight. Musician Art Garfunkel and his wife, Kim, have welcomed a baby boy named Beau. The baby was born through a surrogate mother and is eight weeks old. Now, Garfunkel, who is 64 years old, says being a dad is, quote, "intoxicating."

Rod Stewart announced the name of his 10-day-old -- I was going to say 10-year -- 10-day-old baby today. Stewart and his fiancee, Penny Lancaster, have named their son Alastair Wallace Stewart. This is Lancaster`s first child. And at the age of 60, Stewart has five children from previous relationships.

Eminem says he`s back together with his ex-wife. Back in 2001, Eminem and Kimberly Mathers went through an ugly divorce -- you might remember -- and custody battle over their daughter. Today, Eminem told a Detroit radio station that he and Kim have reconciled and will probably get married again.

And those, Brooke, are tonight`s "Hot Headlines." Back on over to you.

ANDERSON: And we will probably see an Eminem song down the road about this reconciliation.

COSTA: Oh, and a music video. You can expect that, too, right.

ANDERSON: We do wish them well. Absolutely. Adrianna Costa, thank you so much.

And, remember, you can see Adrianna on "ROBIN AND COMPANY" weekdays from 6:00 to 10:00 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN Headline News.

Well, Eminem may be reconciling with his ex-wife. But as we reported earlier, from Christina Applegate to Valerie Bertinelli to Jessica Simpson, there`s no shortage of Hollywood divorces. And that leads us, again, to the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." Hollywood marriages: Is it harder for celebrities to stay together?

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

HAMMER: Tonight in a "Showbiz Sitdown," renowned international journalist Christiane Amanpour. She gets all the big interviews for CNN, of course, but in a new Sundance TV series, "Iconoclasts," she became the interviewee. Academy Award-winning actress Renee Zellweger went one-on-one with the seasoned journalist.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A lot of our bosses (INAUDIBLE) are, you know, people are too stupid to understand this that or the other. All they want is, you know, sensationalism and tabloidism.

And I always used to fight against that. I said, "No, it`s not true." You know, we`re talking about, you know, the powerful, richest country in the world. And the people are smart. And, as I say, if you give them a good, compelling story, they`ll listen. But I`m wondering whether I may have been kidding myself.

RENEE ZELLWEGER, ACTRESS: No, I think so at all. I think there`s a lot of things that play into that. What I can`t understand is, when the information is provided and is available, why is takes a back seat to, say, "American Idol."


HAMMER: I sat down with Christiane to talk about the special, her passion for international news, and her take on the entertainment business.


HAMMER: It`s nice to meet you. It really, you know -- I`ve been watching you on television for so long, and I saw the special, so it`s just terrific to have to sit in here.

AMANPOUR: Thank you. It`s nice to be here.

HAMMER: And you are truly the consummate journalist. The story is never about you. That`s very clear anytime we see you report. So how do you feel being referred to or considered a cultural icon?

AMANPOUR: You know, I don`t actually think about that. The series that you`re talking about is "Iconoclasts." And I think -- you know, if I`m pleased about anything I`ve done, it`s about sticking to foreign correspondence, sticking to doing foreign news, which I think is getting a sort of endangered species right now.

So, you know, if CNN or me or whatever is recognized for that, I`m really delighted.

HAMMER: We see Renee Zellweger as this amazing actor. She`s become iconic in her own way over the years through her many roles, from "Cold Mountain" to "Chicago."

AMANPOUR: "Bridget Jones."

HAMMER: "Bridget Jones" and the second "Bridget Jones" movie. Where you surprised to find that she was so passionate about the news? And what did you really learn about her in the course of the...

AMANPOUR: Well, I really liked her. We clicked very well. She`s a tiny bundle of energy and talent and passion. She has so much passion. And I do, too, for what I do. And I think we really sort of connected on that level.

She`s incredibly interested in not just her job and acting and being the best actress that she can be, but also in the world, and in her country, and in politics, and in humanitarian affairs. And I found that really very gratifying.

I hadn`t known what to expect. And I think we really hit it off, because we share some of the same passions and joys and outrages at the same time.

HAMMER: It was, to some degree, a co-interview. You were sort of interviewing each other throughout the course of the day. Right here, I saw you guys hanging out in the CNN news room. How`d she do as an interviewer, first of all?

AMANPOUR: Well, great, really, really well. Because I`m not used to being interviewed, first of all. So to be asked questions by somebody`s who`s clearly interested and had her own views on it, it was really invigorating, and it was different, because I wasn`t trying to be sort of cold and objective and neutral. I was trying to be as open as possible. And it`s an unusual position for me to be in.

HAMMER: Certainly. Was there something that she asked you that surprised you?

AMANPOUR: I think she was very determined and very disappointed in the way journalists had behaved over the last four years. She seemed to think that we hadn`t done our job properly, that we hadn`t done the kind of rigorous questioning that we should have done of officials. And I think, to an extent, she was right.

HAMMER: A lot has been made over the last couple of years of the lines being blurred between news and entertainment. It`s just a matter of fact. They`re both out there and they sort of cross.

And it seems sort of almost ironic. You know, here we have one of the most respected journalists in the world with one of the most respected actresses in the world hanging out together. What`s your take on those lines being blurred?

AMANPOUR: Well, I fight against it. I mean, I don`t like those lines being blurred. I don`t think that`s a good trend.

But what I think is really true is that people like Renee Zellweger or George Clooney, who just did the film "Good Night, and Good Luck," about the icon of broadcast journalism, Edward R. Murrow, I think that`s fantastic.

When people in the acting profession or people who really are cultural icons and who have an influence on people, when they choose as their themes, as their, you know, something to work on, a serious journalist, like Edward R. Murrow and do a film about it, I just think that`s really tremendous.

HAMMER: You certainly have been to some of the grittiest places in the world, some of the scariest places in the world. One of the things that Renee points out is she is so impressed by you and your ability to maintain a positive attitude, and to not let it beat you down, and to look forward, particularly when you visited Ground Zero.

How do you manage to do that? Is it your family? Is it just who you are?

AMANPOUR: Well, I`ll tell you, A.J. It`s not easy. And it gets more and more difficult, because the weight of all that sorrow, all that grief, all that pain, you know, it hurts. It does hurt.

I put my energy into my work so that, instead of falling apart, I try to tell the story of everything I`m seeing -- as horrible as it may be, as sad as it may be, and sometimes as happy as it may be -- I try to tell the story so that perhaps it will make a difference.

HAMMER: Well, the special is terrific. It`s so terrific seeing you and Renee sort of out of your respective elements, just hanging out and having conversations about these things. And, Christiane, it`s a pleasure to have you on.

AMANPOUR: Thank you. Very nice to be with you.


HAMMER: Really, really lovely lady. "Iconoclasts" with Christiane Amanpour and Renee Zellweger will air tomorrow night on the Sundance Channel.

Well, it was 25 years ago tomorrow that the world was shocked by the news that John Lennon was shot to death by Mark David Chapman. On the anniversary of the former Beatle`s death, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT will be bringing you a very special event. Make sure you join us for an hour of live coverage devoted to Lennon`s legacy.

I`m going to be all bundled up and live from Strawberry Fields in New York City`s Central Park, featuring special guests. I`ll have special reports on Lennon`s life and tributes from the biggest stars in the world that you`ll only see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. We do it tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. Eastern on CNN Headline Prime.

ANDERSON: Well, Bo Derek is having a fashion flashback, and it isn`t pretty. The perfect "10" sits down with SHOWBIZ TONIGHT to tell us about the not-so-perfect outfit she can`t believe she wore, coming up.

HAMMER: Plus, parties for teenagers and the money that some parents are willing to spend. Trust us. It`s a long way from pin the tail on the donkey and Chuck-e-Cheese. That`s next in a "Showbiz Special Report."


FREDDIE PRINZE, JR., ACTOR: How you doing? I`m Freddie Prinze, Jr. I`m listening to Arturo Sandoval, because, if I didn`t, I`d be beaten daily, and Hezekiah (ph), which is sort of hip-hop and R&B. And I`ve always loved that, too.



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

And it`s time now for a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT special report, outrageous star-studded parties for kids and the parents who spend a fortune to throw them. Well, if you wanted to catch rapper 50 Cent`s latest performance, you needed an invitation to a certain 13-year-old girl`s Bat Mitzvah here in New York City.

Whether street cred takes a hit or not, it seems 50 and other major artists are willing to play just about anywhere, if the price is right. Here`s CNN`s Jason Carroll for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It`s a whole new venue for old-school rockers like Aerosmith and a-list R&B talent like Ashanti. And it`s all been created by parents willing to spend whatever it takes to make their child`s party untoppable.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re a great kid. And be nice to mommy tonight if things aren`t perfect.

CARROLL: Why shouldn`t she be nice? Amber Ridinger parents flew Ashanti and rapper Ja-Rule to perform at their 13-year-old daughter`s half- a-million-dollar party.

JA RULE, MUSICIAN: I`m really only here, like, to scare away all the little boys.

CARROLL: MTV helped set the trend.


CARROLL: Building a reality series, "My Super Sweet 16," showcasing extravagant teen parties. Then Bravo got into the act with its own reality show, "Party/Party."

ANDREW COHEN, BRAVO POP CULTURE PUNDIT: I think kids today are taking a cue from the culture around them. And they are seeing a lot of Hollywood, and excess, and celebrity on TV. And they want to be a part of it.

CARROLL: "Party/Party" profiles 16 families planning, you guessed it, parties. One episode features the Schwartz`s.

CAROL-ANN ROSS, ANNABEL`S MOTHER: You know, in the long run, I think both of us would agree that it`s been an amazing bonding experience for us. It`s been actually fantastic.

CARROLL: That`s the long run. But in the short term, planning Annabel`s coming-of-age celebration, her Bat Mitzvah, hasn`t been easy, even for Carol-Ann Schwartz, who happens to be a professional party planner.

ROSS: I`m just busy in a meeting.

CARROLL: She says her daughter has been her toughest client.

ROSS: Very demanding, very frustrating, impossible.

ANNABEL SCHWARTZ, RECIPIENT OF $200,000 BAT MITVAH: I`m her daughter. I`m just supposed to be.

CARROLL: Annabel`s plan: Transform Manhattan`s swanky Hammerstein Ballroom into a nightclub.

A. SCHWARTZ: It`s been quite hard, because she is my mother. She`s not my employee.


So it`s not like I can just say, "Go do this or that." You know, I have to have a little bit of respect, just a little.

CARROLL: Respect comes as a high price. The cost for Annabel`s bash: $200,000.

ROSS: It`s a god-awful amount of money to spend. It is a lifetime of memories, I hope.

CARROLL: Annabel`s 17-year-old sister doesn`t understand the need for it all.

KATHERINE-ANNE SCHWARTZ, ANNABEL`S SISTER: I have never been really a part of, like, this huge deal kind of thing.

CARROLL: That includes the drama over wardrobe.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is mom`s dress.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you mean I`m kidding?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re not wearing that shirt.







UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think my outfit is terribly appropriate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There you go, "terribly appropriate."

CARROLL: Much less drama surrounding Annabel`s dress.

A. SCHWARTZ: This is the party dress. I have another dress that`s not here. It`s with the stylist.

CARROLL: Stylist at 12? That`s just the beginning. Two-hundred grand also gets you a hip-hop dance ensemble, a singing drag queen, neon roller bladers, a black light club section for Annabel, and a ton of hugs and kisses from grateful kids and adults lucky enough to be invited.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the most beautiful, exquisite party I have been to.

A. SCHWARTZ: Everyone told me it was an amazing party. I was so happy that everyone came over to me said, "I had such a great time at your party."

CARROLL: The party turns out to be a hit. But some psychologists say the real cost might be measured in more than money.

KENNETH CONDRELL, CHILD PSYCHOLOGIST: I think it`s wonderful to celebrate. But when you go to such extravagant means, it`s a false value about what life`s all about.

CARROLL (on-screen): What is all worth it?

ROSS: Yes, it was totally worth it. Yes, I would do it again next week.

CARROLL (voice-over): Maybe not next week, but Annabel`s sweet 16 is just four years away.

SCHWARTZ: I don`t think it will be as good as my (INAUDIBLE) lot of fun doing.

CARROLL: Thirteen, going on $200,000.


ANDERSON: That was CNN`s Jason Carroll for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. A.J., whatever happened to kids` parties at McDonald`s or a skating rink...

HAMMER: Just something nice and simple.

ANDERSON: ... or at home in the backyard?

HAMMER: But the question is, will Annabel, years from now, look back at those pictures and say, "What was I wearing?"

ANDERSON: She`ll have moved on to her wedding.

HAMMER: Well, that leads me to a fashion faux pas flashback. Yes, to help us out in this scenario, actress Bo Derek -- you`re seeing her right here -- best known, of course, from the 1979 film "10." Well, now she`s co-hosting a new TV show called "I Can`t Believe I Wore That." She came by SHOWBIZ TONIGHT to talk about some of her least favorite fashion trends and the one outfit she still can`t believe she wore.


BO DEREK, HOST, "I CAN`T BELIEVE I WORE THAT": I wore a poncho to the Academy Awards in 1980. It was my first experience at the Academy Awards, and I was being so pressured to wear the sparkly dress, and the big hair, and the big boobs, and everything. And I just rebelled.

HAMMER: You wanted to go a different route?

DEREK: I just -- I don`t know what got into me. Where did I have the guts to do something like that?

HAMMER: Well, 15 years later, of course, Martha Stewart has made the poncho fashionable once again.

DEREK: You know, if you live long enough, it will all come back.

HAMMER: It all cycles around. Why don`t we take a look at some pictures, actually, take a look at some of the things that you guys are featuring on your show? Let`s go to the 1970s. Now, platform shoes...

DEREK: You know, sometimes form doesn`t follow function. And that`s one of them.

HAMMER: Were you ever a victim in that?

DEREK: No. Now, these are exaggerations, but people wore them.

HAMMER: And you mention the hair. And I believe we`re going to pull up some hair.

DEREK: Here we go.

HAMMER: Here we go. There it is. You mentioned...

DEREK: Oh, that was my co-host.

HAMMER: That`s just not a good look. And I don`t want to say that, because it`s still around.

DEREK: People are still wearing it. We, actually, on the show do closet raids, find people on the street, go home to their closets. It`s funny.

HAMMER: Well, another hair fashion statement that you mentioned from the 1980s, can we throw up the next photo? The big hair, big hair was everywhere.



HAMMER: I mean, it was on the biggest celebrities...

DEREK: It`s so much fun. We laugh at ourselves. And we`ll find ourselves in these people in these photos. It`s a great show. It`s called "I Can`t Believe I Wore That." And we all have those experiences.

HAMMER: How can we talk to you, possibly -- I think it`s actually one of the rules -- without showing this? Now, this is 26 years ago that the look with the braids and the slow motion came into play. And then, I believe, it was in the mid-1990s when you actually spoofed it all in "Tommy Boy." So it`s something that has certainly stayed with you and for a long, long time. Blessing or curse, in the long run?

DEREK: Oh, blessing. If you take yourself seriously, then you cringe. It`s terrible. I never have. I never have. So it`s fun. It was a part I played. And it opened up so many wonderful doors in my life. I never thought the hairdo would catch on though. It takes 10 hours to do, so I never thought anybody else would go threw the torture.

HAMMER: And it didn`t make the fashion faux pas list of your things from the 1970s?

DEREK: No, it hasn`t, although I did do it recently for another film. And you shouldn`t -- it`s a young person`s hairdo.


HAMMER: Well, it`s nice that she didn`t run from that character, which was kind of nice. You can see this show. It`s called "I Can`t Believe I Wore That." It`s tonight and tomorrow night on the Women`s Entertainment Network.

ANDERSON: There is still time for you to sound off in our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." Hollywood marriages: Is it harder for celebrities to stay together? Vote at or write us at We`ll read some of your e-mails live, next.


ANDERSON: We`ve been asking you to vote online on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." Hollywood marriages: Is it harder for celebrities to stay together?

The vote so far: 81 percent of you say, yes, it is; 19 percent of you say no. Some of the e-mails we`ve received. Gene from Virginia writes, "I believe Hollywood finds it very easy to walk out of a marriage rather than working it out. Vows don`t mean a thing to them."

And Nancy from Florida writes, "Hollywood marriages are doomed, because stars marry for the wrong reasons, to promote a movie or TV show."

HAMMER: Big anniversary tomorrow. It was 25 years ago tomorrow that the world was shocked by the news that John Lennon was shot to death by Mark David Chapman. Well, on the anniversary of the former Beatle`s death, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT will be bringing you a very special event. Make sure you join us for an hour of live coverage devoted to Lennon`s legacy.

I`m going to be live from Strawberry Fields in New York City`s Central Park. I`ll have special guests along for the ride. We`ll have special reports on Lennon`s life and tributes from the biggest stars in the world, that you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It all happens tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. Eastern on CNN Headline Prime. I try to stop by Strawberry Fields every year on the anniversary of his death. Tomorrow, for the quarter-century mark, it`s going to be a big deal.

ANDERSON: Many, many people will be there. It will be a very special show.

All right. That is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson.

HAMMER: I`m A.J. Hammer. Stay tuned for the latest from CNN Headline News.



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