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Steve Carell Movie a Hit at Sundance; Miss America Shares Views on Winning; Cops Call for Boycott of Violent Video Game; Jenna Elfman Dishes on New Show

Aired January 23, 2006 - 19:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: I`m A.J. Hammer.
SIBILA VARGAS, CO-HOST: And I`m Sibila Vargas. TV`s only live entertainment news show starts right now.


HAMMER (voice-over): On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, SHOWBIZ at Sundance. Tonight, Carell the conqueror. From "The 40-Year-Old Virgin"...

STEVE CARELL, ACTOR: Oh, yes, right.

HAMMER: ... to "The Office"...

CARELL: All right. Done deal.

HAMMER: ... Steve Carell can`t miss. So why is he thinking about suicide at the Sundance Film Festival?

CARELL: That would be me, Rich.

HAMMER: Plus...

JENNIFER ANISTON, ACTRESS: Sort of needs us to talk about it. Just needs it (ph).

HAMMER: ... we`re one-on-one with Jennifer Aniston. The stars, the breaking news, and more, because only one entertainment news show on television is live from Sundance, and that would be SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Plus, a cop killing controversy. Tonight, the battle over a new video game, where you win by murdering police officers. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the outraged cops, and the question: should cop killing games like this be banned?

And here`s the story of a lovely lady, who falls in love with a man named Brady.

ADRIANNE CURRY, PETER BRADY`S FIANCEE: I`ve never cared or loved somebody as much as I do Chris.

HAMMER: But we`ve got a shocking hunch that he`s in love with another Brady? Tonight, "Brady bunch`s" Peter Brady, Christopher Knight, and his fiancee, Adrianne Curry, answer a bunch of questions, live, in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

CARELL: Hi, I`m Steve Carell. If it happened today, it`s happening tonight on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, later on tonight. I don`t know.


VARGAS: Hello, I`m Sibila Vargas, live in Hollywood.

HAMMER: And I`m A.J. Hammer live in New York. Tonight, SHOWBIZ at Sundance. Right now, Hollywood`s biggest stars are swarming all over Park City, Utah for the Sundance Film Festival. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is the only entertainment news show on TV bringing you live, late breaking coverage all week long.

Well, the big buzz tonight is about the star of the hit movie "The 40- year-old Virgin" and the smash TV show "The Office," Steve Carell and his latest movie. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Brooke Anderson working round the clock, trying to keep up with all of this. She`s live tonight at Sundance in Park City, Utah, with the very latest.


Yes, a lot to keep up with. There`s a lot going on every day night and day here at the Sundance Film Festival, but here at Sundance, people just cannot stop talking about this movie. It`s called "Little Miss Sunshine," and it`s the first film at this year`s festival to be picked up by a major movie studio. So that`s big kudos to the movie there.

And it stars Steve Carell. He`s following up his smash hit, "The 40- Year-Old Virgin," with this quirky ensemble drama -- drama/comedy, actually. And with the auspicious debut of the movie here at Sundance. And also, his hit TV show, "The Office" on the rise. Carell is really emerging as Hollywood`s newest double threat.


CARELL: This whole year has been very surreal for me.

ANDERSON: That`s an understatement. Recent Golden Globe winner Steve Carell has gone from "Daily Show" bit player...

CARELL: So you are pro-safe?

ANDERSON: ... to Hollywood hit maker.


DEVIN GORDON, FILM CRITIC, "NEWSWEEK": The sky`s pretty much the limit for him. I mean, he`s not going to be -- you know, I don`t know if he`s going to be Eddie Murphy huge or Jim Carrey huge, but he can be a really successful guy in the right fit.

CARELL: I respect women. I love women. I respect them so much that I completely stay away from them.

ANDERSON: Fresh from the $100 million dollar success of "The 40-Year- Old Virgin," I can tell you Carell is the toast of Sundance with his new movie, "Little Miss Sunshine," a dark comedy about a dysfunctional family taking a little girl to a beauty contest.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You fell in love with a boy?

CARELL: Yes, I did, very much so.


CARELL: Right. It was silly. Very, very silly.

ALAN ARKIN, ACTOR: There`s another word for it.

ANDERSON: "Little Miss Sunshine" got a standing ovation during its weekend screening here at Sundance, and it was picked up by FOX Searchlight, reportedly for more than $10 million.

Carell and co-star Greg Kinnear told me about the overwhelming response to their new movie.

CARELL: After the premiere last night, I called my wife. She`s back in Los Angeles. And I said, "You know, I thought it went well. I thought it got a very good response. People seemed to really enjoy it." There was a pause and she said, "Oh, yes, you needed something good to happen to you."

GREG KINNEAR, ACTOR: Pretty much sums it up, I think. Yes, yes.

ANDERSON: It`s been all good for Carell. Just a week ago he won a Golden Globe award for his role as the clueless boss on the NBC show "The Office."

CARELL: Thank you very much, sir. You`re a gentleman and scholar. I`m sorry. OK. I`m sorry. My mistake. That was a woman.

ANDERSON: After a very low-rated start last season, "The Office" has become yet another Carell success story. Since NBC moved it to the network`s revamped Thursday night lineup, "The Office" has almost doubled its audience, something Carell talked about with pride after his Golden Globe win.

CARELL: We see ourselves as sort of that little engine that could show. And -- and I believe that the more people that see it, the more people like it.

ALI GAZAN, "TV GUIDE": I think the secret to Steve Carell`s appeal is he`s kind of like an every man who`s hysterical. He`s not particularly great looking. There` isn`t anything about him that really sets him apart from the masses, except for his humor, which is so exceptional.

ANDERSON: Carell`s new role in "Little Miss Sunshine" may be considered a bit of a departure for the actor. In it, he plays a suicidal Proust scholar.

CARELL: Barry Sugarman (ph) is perhaps the second most highly regarded Proust scholar in the U.S.

ARKIN: Who`s No. 1?

CARELL: That would be me, Rich.

Frank is a guy, he`s a scholar. He is a college professor and he`s a bit of an intellectual snob and has sort of bottomed out.

ANDERSON: Fortunately, Carell`s career is not bottoming out any time soon. He now has so much clout, he`s gotten NBC to end this season`s filming of "The Office" early in March...

CARELL: Sucker!

ANDERSON: ... so that he can shoot another movie, "Evan Almighty," where he`ll revise his babbling anchorman character from the hit Jim Carrey movie, "Bruce Almighty."

And Carell is also attached to star in the movie remake of the 1960s spy spoof series, "Get Smart." He`ll be Agent 86.

For his part, Carell is very clear about what he wants to do with his newfound star power.

CARELL: With any luck, I`ll work nonstop between now and 2010.


ANDERSON: And Carell may be getting some more good news in the coming days. Believe it or not, he`s considered a dark horse for an Oscar nomination for the screenplay for "40-Year-old Virgin." He co-wrote that screenplay. So the hits just keep on coming from him -- for him.

And coming up, we`ll talk more Sundance, including the power of Sundance, the importance of this festival within the film industry. We`ll take a look at some Sundance movies which have gone on to become major hits. And also, Jennifer Aniston. She is promoting the film, "Friends with Money" at the Sundance Film Festival. My interview with her coming up later in the show -- A.J.

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Brooke Anderson, live in Park City, Utah, where we`ll see you later in the show.

And remember, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT will be the only entertainment news show on television live from the Sundance Film Festival all week long. We`ve got the breaking news. We`ve got the one-on-one interviews with the biggest stars, and we give you the inside look at the fascinating stories and all the stuff going on behind the scenes. So join us, 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. Eastern, right here on Headline Prime.

VARGAS: From the mountains of Utah to "Brokeback Mountain." That movie has received a lot of attention for its gay cowboy plotline. And it recently won four Golden Globes. It even came up this afternoon as President Bush answered questions from students at Kansas State University. Take a look at this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re a rancher. A lot of us here in Kansas are ranchers. I was just wanting to get your opinion on "Brokeback Mountain," if you`d seen it yet. You would love it. You should check it out.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I hadn`t seen it. I`d be glad to talk about ranching, but I haven`t seen the movie. I`ve heard about it. I hope you go -- you know, I hope you go back to the ranch and the farm is what I was about to say. I hadn`t seen it.


VARGAS: Well, the president may not have seen it, but lots of other people did over the weekend. "Brokeback Mountain" made $7.8 million, up 35 percent from last weekend.

HAMMER: I don`t get the impression that President Bush will be rushing to the theater next weekend.

Well, it`s time now for a "SHOWBIZ Newsmaker" interview with the new Miss America, Jennifer Berry.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Miss America 2006 is, Miss Oklahoma, Jennifer Berry.


HAMMER: It was the very first time in the pageant`s 85-year history that the ceremony was held outside of Atlantic City, New Jersey. This year`s pageant officials told a gamble. They held the big show in Las Vegas. Thankfully, not everything that happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, and because of that, Miss Oklahoma and newly crowned Miss America, Jennifer Berry, joins us here in New York.

Lovely to meet you and congratulations.

JENNIFER BERRY, MISS AMERICA: Thank you. Lovely to be here.

HAMMER: Since you were about 6 years old, you have been aspiring to win this crown right here.

BERRY: That`s right. When I was a little girl, my sister and I used to play Miss America in the utility room every year after the pageant. And ever since then it`s always been a dream that has been there, and I finally attained it, which is incredible.

HAMMER: We just saw -- we just saw the action. But when you were standing there and they announced your name, what actually was going through your head?

BERRY: Complete disbelief. And every former Miss Oklahoma and Miss America has told me that`s what happens. You can`t believe that it`s really happening to you, but I swear it`s true. I had to go upstairs and watch the crowning all over again just to have the memory of what happened at that moment.

HAMMER: I`m sure a surreal moment. One of the terrific things about Miss America and spending the year doing it, is you`ll be able to further something that`s been very important for you, your platform and a crusade against drunk driving. And unfortunately, it was a very sad incident that led to that being something that you were working at?

BERRY: That`s right. I actually lost a friend in an alcohol-related crash when I was just 15 years old, about a couple weeks before my 16th birthday. And I never really realized how close it could happen to home. And when that happened, I realized she didn`t have to lose her life. She lost her life to a decision, and not to a disease.

And by the time I started working with Miss Oklahoma organization, I was just 17, but I knew that that had to be my platform, that had to be what I devoted my community service towards. And it`s been five years now, and now I`m able to take it to a national level, which is just thrilling for me.

HAMMER: There can never be too much of getting that message out.

Now we learned a lot about you through the course of the pageant and from being Miss Oklahoma. For those who are familiar with you doing that, as a ballet aficionado, and someone who loves to dance and with great honors. But what`s something about you we didn`t learn that would surprise us to know?

BERRY: Something that you didn`t learn is I can -- I can eat more than most of my male friends at any given time.

HAMMER: Really?

BERRY: Shocking, I know.

HAMMER: And that would include, as you now announced, I believe, last night that you like fries with ranch dressing. But we won`t go into that.

BERRY: Nobody ever believes me. But my traveling companion is learning that already. She says, "Wow, you eat all the time."

HAMMER: I`ve got to wrap it up, but if you want to put the crown on me, I`ll let you.

BERRY: Can I do the honors? Oh, my gosh. OK, are you ready?

HAMMER: All right.

BERRY: You`ve got to give me the reaction.

HAMMER: I can`t believe I`m submitting to this.

BERRY: You have to give me the reaction.

HAMMER: I don`t know.

BERRY: This is huge.

HAMMER: You got to sing.

BERRY (singing): There he is...

HAMMER: No, maybe not. All right. Jennifer Berry, congratulations again. Thanks for joining us.

BERRY: Thank you for having me.

HAMMER: I tried.

VARGAS: Coming up the controversy surrounding a new video game where players are rewarded for gunning down police officers in cold blood.

HAMMER: Plus, more "SHOWBIZ at Sundance" coverage. Coming up, how some of your favorite films went from small screenings to big block busters. Also, we sit down with the lovely Jennifer Aniston, who`s got a much talked about premiere at the film festival.

VARGAS: And Dharma does it again. "Dharma and Greg`s" Jenna Elfman is back with a brand new sitcom. Tonight we go one-on-one with her and get her revealing thoughts on stars and Scientology. It`s the interview you`ll only see on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York City. You`re watching TV`s only live entertainment news show.

Well, tonight, a brand new video game called 25 to Life, that allows players to kill police officers, has law enforcement up in arms. In the past, the Grand Theft Auto series of video games has caused outrage for its story lines which involved cop killings.

Tonight, CNN`s Brian Todd joins me live from Washington, D.C. He has more on the very latest game to come under fire.

Brian, what is this all about?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is about the game 25 to Life, A.J. The makers of 25 to Life say this is all a First Amendment rights issue. And they say there are plenty of other games out there that have more violent content than theirs. But the fact remains their game already has a reputation, and it`s barely hit store shares.


TODD (voice-over): The new video game, 25 to Life, is a surge of dangerous characters, edgy hip-hop and eye-popping violence. Players choose sides: thugs or cops. The objective, surviving. To do it, blast away at your enemies.

I played the role of a drug dealer. In one sequence, I had to fight my way into a warehouse. I`m certainly not a good player, but after a few tries, killing police wasn`t hard.

(on camera) In this round I`ve killed three cops.

(voice-over) That part of 25 to Life, and other scenarios, like taking human shields, have police groups outraged. One of them, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, is calling for a boycott of 25 to Life.

BRUCE MENDELSOHN, NATIONAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS MEMORIAL FUND: It is not a game when law enforcement officers are killed in the line of duty, when random civilians are gunned down on our streets.

TODD: Contacted by CNN, the manufacturer, Idos Incorporated, issued a statement reading in part, "25 to Life was specifically created for adults, as the average age of gamers is currently 30 years old."

The company says the game is, quote, "well within the standards and boundaries set by today`s contemporary media."

The game is rated "M" for mature and Idos says it encourages parents to consult the ratings system. But the mature rating has a minimum age of only 17. The Officers Memorial Fund says the company`s hiding behind the ratings system and draws a direct correlation between violence against cops and games like 25 to Life. But recent studies on that are inconclusive, and this release does not raise eyebrows among game reviewers.

SCOTT STEINBERG, VIDEO GAME REVIEWER: I would say it`s no more violent than the standard video game, which amusingly speaks to the state of the industry. However, it`s not particularly gruesome or gratuitous.


TODD: Still, the company did delay the release of 25 to Life for a few months, partly to polish up game play but also, according to company spokeswoman Michelle Curran, to tone down what she called kill moves.

Now, it`s not clear what effect the boycott will have, since the company says it`s only marketing 25 to Life in adult publications, with no TV ads -- A.J.

HAMMER: Brian, still it`s clear why police enforcement would be up in arms about this. Thanks very much. CNN`s Brian Todd for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

And coming up later in the show, we`re going to have a live "SHOWBIZ Newsmaker" interview with the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. That is the group that`s leading a boycott of 25 to Life.

VARGAS: And now we want to hear from you. It`s our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Cop killer video games: should they be banned? Go to Tonight, and send us e-mail at We`ll read some of your thoughts later in the show.

HAMMER: It`s time now for a "SHOWBIZ Sitdown" with Jenna Elfman. From the small screen`s "Dharma and Greg" to the big screen in films like "Ed TV," actress Jenna Elfman has collected multiple Golden Globes for her TV work. And now she is back to a sitcom TV and a new show called "Courting Alex."

I asked Jenna whether she ever thought she was actually done with doing TV for good.


JENNA ELFMAN, ACTRESS: Mainly thought I was done. But I think in the back of my mind I knew I`d be back. Because once we finished "Dharma and Greg," I was ready for a bit of a break. And "Dharma and Greg" was such a huge experience for me, I wanted to digest it and orient myself. And -- but the networks have been calling the whole time.

And you know, I never told them I`m not coming back. I always would write a letter back, saying, "Thank you so much. Maybe later. Not just right now."

So I think I did know that would ultimately come back, but at the time I was like, "OK, I`m done."

HAMMER: So you have a new sitcom now that`s debuting alongside a couple of other new shows, and the competition is very fierce. Why do you think the business is so tough right now?

ELFMAN: You know, I think television, particularly the sitcom aspect of television, is ready for a renaissance, because with the influx of reality programming becomes what it is, we haven`t had that many new great sitcoms. And the sitcom era, you know, with "Raymond" -- "Everybody Loves Raymond" going off the air, "Friends," "Seinfeld," this will be "Will and Grace`s" last year, there`s a bit of transition. And there hasn`t been that many new ones. Ad it`s kind of, that`s when the reality explosion happened.

And I think that the situation comedy is a very timeless, workable institution. Very difficult to do right and well, but when it works, it`s just so great to watch. And -- and I really wanted to be part of bringing that back to television.

HAMMER: You`re clearly very passionate, have a great work ethic. Something else you`ve been very passionate, very vocal about is Scientology and what it`s done to your life. And there are several other prominent figures in showbiz, from Tom Cruise to Isaac Hayes to John Travolta...

ELFMAN: Yes, yes.

HAMMER: ... who have been, as well. The press, the media never been shy about writing about celebrities and Scientology. Do you think the media has been unfair in covering celebrity scientologists?

ELFMAN: All I care about is that people educate themselves for themselves. And I think people should educate themselves from the source, not just hearsay. And that`s with anything. If someone were to research about changing their diet or nutrition, or going to a country and what hotel they`re going to stay in, you know, they`re going to go to the source. And I think that`s just more of a common sense thing to do anyway. So if they`re going to want to know about Scientology, read a book.


HAMMER: And that book Jenna recommends, of course, is Church of Scientology`s founder L. Ron Hubbard`s "Dianetics." Her new show, "Courting Alex," premieres tonight on CBS.

VARGAS: Well, coming up, which star`s case of the chicken pox shuts down production of one of the season`s most popular sitcoms? Find out next.

HAMMER: Also, a beauty and Brady. Tonight, two reality stars hook up, but one of them might actually have a thing for his Brady bunch brother, Christopher "Peter Brady" Knight and fiancee Adrianne Curry, live in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

VARGAS: Plus an artist who`s still making records after his death, and an encore from "American Idol`s" Simon Cowell. That`s on the "SHOWBIZ Guide to New Music." That`s coming up next.


HAMMER: it`s 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. Tonight in "People`s Picks and Pans," what`s new in music. We`re talking about new albums from Duncan Sheik, pop-opera quartet Il Divo, and a posthumous release from rapper Notorious B.I.G.

Joining us live in New York to tell us all about them, "People" magazine`s senior writer, Anne Marie Cruz.

Let`s get into your critic`s choice, Notorious B.I.G., "Duets: The Final Chapter." Let`s give a quick listen to "Just a Memory."




HAMMER: All right. This was produced, of course, by his good friend and collaborator, Diddy. A lot of appearances on this album, everybody from Eminem to Bob Marley.

ANNA MARIE CRUZ, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: Yes. Ludacris, Nelly, Naz (ph) and even -- you know, you can insert your joke about turning over in their graves, but Tupak is even on one of the tracks, called "Living in Pain." I`m recommending this album to all my friends. It`s like one of those things where, if you listen to it, a trip to the store to buy toilet paper sounds epic. It`s like Charmin or Scottie`s is a life or death decision when you listen.

HAMMER: So you think it`s stiff we haven`t heard stuff before from B.I.G.?

CRUZ: Yes, it`s amazing how he manages to still be relevant when some of the people whoa re alive are desperately trying to get a piece of that. So yes.

HAMMER: All right. Check that one off. And move on to Duncan Sheik. Of course, nine years ago he was put on the map with a song called "Barely Breathing." Brand new album, his fifth one, called "White Limousine." This is the title track.




HAMMER: Duncan`s always been on the mellower side of things. This album continues in that pattern. Also has a bit of a political message, doesn`t it?

CRUZ: Yes, the title track that we were just listening to was sort of like his "Born in the USA," because it`s about American excess and how they think that we want all these material goods. But if you haven`t caught up with him since "Barely Breathing," I would check this out. I mean, there`s four albums since then. And he`s still one of the top song writers in the business right now.

HAMMER: Always liked everything Duncan Sheik did. It`s glad to have him back. Let`s move on to Simon Cowell`s Il Divo. He`s the guy who put these guys together, sort of an operatic boy band, which I always wondered if they were the real deal or not. They were here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, charming guys and very nice. What about this album, "Ancora"?

CRUZ: Well, you know, I mean, you have to give them credit for having the voices, as you said, and the style. And they`re getting grandmas and kids to listen to opera.

But you know, let`s just let this sink in for a second. They go more overboard than Celene Dion.


CRUZ: So if that`s your cup of tea, then I recommend it. But if you want something less cloying, perhaps maybe a Carrie Underwood or a Bo Bice.

HAMMER: More than Celine Dion. We`ll take that for what it`s worth. Anna Marie Cruz, thanks for joining us on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, as always.

And for more "Picks and Pans," grab a copy of "People" magazine, on newsstands now.

For more SHOWBIZ Sundance live coverage, how about some of your favorite films and how they got their start at the festival? And a revealing interview with Jennifer Aniston coming up.

VARGAS: Plus, "Brady Bunch`s" Peter Brady, Christopher Knight. He`s engaged. So why might he soon be locking lips with his "Brady Bunch" brother, Greg? Christopher Knight and Adrianne Curry, live in the interview you`ll only see on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, coming up.

HAMMER: And, more on the new video game where cops are killed in cold blood. We will speak live with the group boycotting the game, coming up in a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsmaker interview. That is coming up next.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT for a Monday night, we`ll be right back.


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

VARGAS: And I`m Sibila Vargas in Hollywood. You`re watching TV`s only live entertainment show. Here are tonight`s "Hot Headlines."

"The West Wing" is being clipped. NBC has announced that the Emmy- winning show will end this spring. The show has been on the air for seven seasons, but has been sinking in the ratings, especially after it moved to Sunday nights. The series finale will include the inauguration of a new president. Producers say they know who that will be, but for the rest of us, we`ll have to wait until May 14th.

At another NBC show, "My Name is Earl," there`s a pox on the cast, or at least it`s on the main star. The show is shutting down temporarily because Jason Lee has chicken pox. NBC says the hiatus should last about three weeks. The good news? The network has picked up "My Name is Earl" for another full season.

Ron Howard`s highly-anticipated movie, "The Da Vinci Code," is set to open the Cannes Film Festival. The film will be screened at Cannes May 17th, two days before its release in theaters worldwide. But it will not be part of the competition.

And those are tonight`s "Hot Headlines."

HAMMER: Tonight, the Sundance Film Festival. Over the years, it has grown from a small, independent film festival to the place where major studio execs go to find their next big hit. Well, you may not realize just how powerful Sundance is, but SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Brooke Anderson is live in Park City, Utah, tonight with the story for us.

ANDERSON: Hi there, A.J.

Well, it is one of the biggest and most celebrated film festivals in America and, as you said, one of the most powerful. Listen to this: Films such "Reservoir Dogs," "Sex, Lies and Videotape," and one of my favorites, "Garden State," all got their big starts here. And for that very reason, everyone is here in Park City, Utah, because you never know what the big hit will be.


ANDERSON (voice-over): What started out as a small, independent film festival 20 years ago can claim success for a slew of movies the world now knows and loves, like "March of the Penguins," an icy journey of emperor penguins, a story of love and survival, or "Napoleon Dynamite," the tale of an odd, tater tot-obsessed outcast who devises a plan to become the hit of his high school class, or "Hustle and Flow," about a Memphis drug-dealing pimp who yearns to make something of himself by becoming a rap star. All these movies shot on modest budgets made their big debut at the Sundance Film Festival.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the allure of Sundance is creative freedom. That`s what Sundance is about.

ANDERSON: It`s also about the dream of making it big. Headed by Hollywood heavyweight Robert Redford, Sundance became a beacon for filmmakers with low budgets and big dreams.

ROBERT REDFORD, PRESIDENT, SUNDANCE INSTITUTE: Sundance is sort of committed to not only growing the opportunity for artists, but also for audiences, because they`re going to come and see things they may not get a chance to see in the marketplace.

ANDERSON: For filmmakers big and small, this is a place where dreams are made. Here, independent films like "Garden State," "Sex, Lies and Videotape," and "Reservoir Dogs" find their place in the mainstream. Studio bigwigs flock to the festival looking for the ones with the buzz, the brightest and the best in the industry.

PAUL DERGARABEDIAN, PRESIDENT, EXHIBITOR RELATIONS: Studio executives can go to Sundance, find a film, give it distribution, and make big money off of it.

ANDERSON: Just take a look at the films that came out of Sundance last year: "Mad Hot Ballroom," a documentary about elementary school children competing at a dance competition made $8 million. "March of the Penguins" topped the charts, bringing in $77 million, the second-highest grossing documentary of all time, behind "Fahrenheit 9/11." And last year`s critical darling, "Hustle and Flow," has already raked in more than $22 million and cost only about $8 million to make.

DERGARABEDIAN: The Sundance name, actually, is a brand that people associate with quality films, but also it`s become mainstreamed in such a way that now it`s used as a marketing tool, to say that a film has won at Sundance or was recognized at Sundance.

ANDERSON: "The Blair Witch Project," a low-budget thriller that hit Sundance back in 1999, was shot on a shoestring budget of just $35,000. Over the years, it made its money back and then some, taking it a total of $140 million.

Redford tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT he realizes what his festival has become for big studios trying to make big money.

REDFORD: We program it for people just to come and see the work, but it became a market for the success of "Sex, Lies and Videotape," and other films that came through, you know, "Boys Don`t Cry," and so forth. So that`s fine. I mean, whatever -- the more the merrier. And whatever opportunity for the filmmakers exists, great.

ANDERSON: And with big money comes big celebrities. In recent years, Sundance has come under fire as critics ask, how can a movie with a-list celebrities or a budget in the tens of millions of dollars be called an indie? Redford said it`s something he`s worried about in the past.

REDFORD: I thought, "I wonder if we`re going to judged by whether people who have too many cell phones or whether wearing black or whether Paris Hilton`s out there somewhere," which doesn`t have anything to do with anything. But I don`t worry about that so much anymore, because I think the festival does speak for itself.


ANDERSON: And it`s the 22nd year of the Sundance Film Festival. And one of the films this year getting a lot of buzz is "Friends with Money." I actually had the chance to sit down with Jennifer Aniston, one of the stars of the film, to see how she felt about working on this indie.

Sibila, back to you.

VARGAS: Brooke Anderson, live in Park City, Utah, at the Sundance Film Festival. It looks like you`re having lots of fun. Thank you.

Remember, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT will be the only entertainment news show on the television live from the Sundance Film Festival all week long. We`ll bring you breaking news, one-on-one interviews with the biggest stars, and an inside look at the fascinating stories behind the scenes. Join us at 7:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. Eastern right here on Headline Prime.

HAMMER: Tonight, in a "Showbiz Newsmaker Interview," a controversial video game in which players kill police officers, which has some people in law enforcement calling for a boycott of the game. "25 to Life" is its name. It lets players assume the role of drug dealers, criminals and thugs, who are able to shoot police officers at will.

Joining me live from Washington, D.C. Craig W. Floyd. He`s the chairman of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Craig, thanks for being with us tonight.


HAMMER: I do want to point out, we did invite Eidos -- that`s the manufacturer of this game -- to join us. They declined, but they did point out to us that the game is not intended for kids, it`s not marketed for kids, and is, in fact, intended for adults. So what is the problem that you guys have with it?

FLOYD: Well, our message is really quite simple. You should never glorify violent acts and killing police officers, plain and simple. On average in this country, we`re loosing one police officer in the line of duty every 53 hours. An over the last 10 years alone, there have been 54 cop killers under the age of 18.

I think you look last week in Ft. Lauderdale, when we saw those scenes of young teenagers beating homeless people over the head with baseball bats, tells us that there are young people who are easily impressionable, who are prone to violence. They don`t need any further encouragement, and this game, "25 to Life," appears to be the worst of the worst.

HAMMER: And in the game, you are offered the chance to either play a thug or play a police officer, so it does give people that kind of a choice. But what you`re saying is that the problem is not necessarily the violence specifically against police officers that you guys have, it`s violence in general?

FLOYD: Violence in general. I mean, if you take the role of the police officer in this came, you`re going to be killing gangsters, all right? The average police officer will go their entire career without ever having to fire their weapon at a criminal suspect. In New York City, you`d have to serve 694 years before you ever shot a criminal suspect, on average.

Police do not use force normally to do their job. And I think this game helps to feed that stereotype that police officers are out there committing violent acts against the citizens of our nation.

HAMMER: And, Craig...

FLOYD: And that`s not true.

HAMMER: ... we`ve seen it before. There was the similar controversy in the "Grand Theft Auto" games. One of the problems that happens though is here we are talking about it and we`re bringing more attention to the game than perhaps if it wasn`t in the news. Are you fearing that that maybe the case here, because you`re calling for this boycott, it`s going to get lots and lots of attention?

FLOYD: Not at all. The video gamers who want this game are going to find ways to get it no matter how old they are. Our message is directed at responsible parents who care about how they raise their kids and want their kids to grow up with good values, of right and wrong. Also, the retailers out there that are responsible and who don`t want to have games that glorify the killing of police officers on their shelves.

And if you`re one of those responsible parents out there or one of those retailers, go to our Web site at, and sign our petition protesting this very violent game.

HAMMER: Craig W. Floyd`s from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. I want to thank you for joining us tonight.

FLOYD: Thank you.

HAMMER: The game`s maker, Eidos, did provide SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with this statement: "`25 to Life` was specifically created for adults, as the average age of gamers is currently 30 years old. `25 to Life` will have an ESRB rating of M for mature. And it will be marketed and distributed only to those over the age of 17."

All of this leads us to our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." We`re asking: Cop-killer video games: Should they be banned?

Keep voting at or write Your e-mails at 55 past the hour.

VARGAS: "Friends with Money" is a hit at Sundance. The film stars Jennifer Aniston, who says she was honored to get the role. Brooke Anderson sits down with Jennifer to find out more, next.

HAMMER: And here`s the story of a lovely lady who never watched the "Brady Bunch." Now she`s engaged to one of them. Adrianne Curry and Christopher Knight are a match made in reality TV heaven. They`re joining us live, coming up in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Make no mistake about it; we are TV`s only live entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer.

Our coverage of the Sundance Film Festival continues now with a look at Jennifer Aniston`s independent film, "Friends with Money," getting a lot of buzz. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Brooke Anderson is live in Park City, Utah. And Brooke had the chance to speak with Aniston and one of her co-stars.

Hi, Brooke.

ANDERSON: Hi, there, A.J. How are you doing?

Yes, "Friends with Money" is getting really positive reviews. It was the opening film of the Sundance Film Festival, and it played to a packed theater on Thursday night. The movie, "Friends with Money," stars Jennifer Aniston. She plays an unmarried pothead who basically quits her job as a teacher to become a housekeeper. She has three married friends in the movie, played by -- there you see -- Frances McDormand, also Catherine Keener and Joan Cusack. And all four of these ladies are entering new phases in their lives, new stages. Basically, they`re turning their lives upside-down.

I did have the chance to speak with writer-director Nicole Holofcener, also co-stars Catherine Keener and Jennifer Aniston. And Aniston told me she was honored to get this script and very honored to play this part.


JENNIFER ANISTON, ACTRESS: I couldn`t believe that I was getting that script.

ANDERSON: Surprised?

ANISTON: Yes, I was surprised.


ANISTON: Because I just see -- you know, that that world is sort of a world -- it`s a hard club to get into, you know?




CATHERINE KEENER, ACTRESS: Your club is hard to get into.

ANISTON: It is, or you get seen in a certain light, you know, you get put into a box, or seen with an image that`s too hard to shake, shed, then people won`t put you in -- you know, and that`s why...

HOLOFCENER: Oh, yes, sure.

ANISTON: ... I really loved that Nicole said, "I don`t care about any of that. I`m going to -- and it was a great part, and you`re an actor, and you can go for it."

ANDERSON: And how do you choose what roles you want to play? I know you`ve both been very busy, "Capote," recently, and then with you, "Derailed," "Rumor Has It," coming up with "The Breakup." Do scripts just come at you all the time? Are directors knocking down your door? How does the whole thing work?


KEENER: No, I think, you know, it just hopefully works out. And if it doesn`t, then you just go on about your life, try and make money to keep going. That`s all.

ANDERSON: How about you?

ANISTON: Sometimes -- I mean, scripts come, and they -- there are some that are great and some that aren`t, and some that you do that aren`t great, but you have to, you know, have some of those, too.

HOLOFCENER: Thanks, Jen.

KEENER: Not this one.

ANDERSON: Not this one?



ANISTON: Oh, no, not this one. Trust me.


ANDERSON: She could possibly be referring to her past two movies, who haven`t exactly been -- which haven`t been box office blockbusters, "Derailed" and "Rumor Has It," as well. But "Friends with Money" getting rave reviews, and it hits theaters in April -- A.J.?

HAMMER: And she seems generally excited about it. Brooke, thanks so much for joining us, live from the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Get some rest, because we`re going to be seeing a lot of you this week.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT the only entertainment news show on television live from the Sundance Film Festival all week long. We`re bringing you breaking news, the one-on-one interviews with the biggest stars, and taking you behind the scenes with all the fascinating stories and everything going on at Sundance, at 7:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. Eastern right here on Headline Prime.

VARGAS: Well, time now for a "Showbiz Sitdown" reality-show style. "America`s Next Top Model" winner Adrianne Curry and Christopher Knight, who played Peter on "The Brady Bunch," are here with me live in Hollywood. The two fell in love and got engaged right before our eyes on two different reality shows, "The Surreal Life" and "My Fair Brady." Adrianne is also striking some un-Brady-like poses on the cover of "Playboy."

Welcome to you both.



VARGAS: First of all, congratulations.

CURRY: Thank you very much.

VARGAS: You guys got engaged on "My Fair Brady," on the show.


VARGAS: And you met on "The Surreal Life."

CURRY: Isn`t that kind of disturbing?


VARGAS: I mean, but how does it feel to live your love life, you know, to this playing out on television in front of millions of people?

CURRY: It`s really stressful. And in fact, I can now relate to Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey, and that`s why we`re really hoping that this is the last of it, and that we`re allowed and permitted to go live our lives happily without cameras documenting them.

KNIGHT: It`s really not traditional. But you know, it`s the way that it happened. I mean, I was a little reluctant at the attention that Adrianne was showing me, but ultimately...

CURRY: He broke up with Barry for me.

KNIGHT: It all worked. And then, though I was reluctant to surrender with her desire to stay living with me, I decided that she was right and I just needed to, you know, get engaged. And it`s all good. It`s all a gift. It`s just odd. It`s just very strange.

VARGAS: I know, you were reluctant to -- I mean, is it part of the age difference, though? I mean, you`re 23. You`re 48. How has that been?

CURRY: He knows everything. I absolutely have no knowledge on anything in my life, and I can`t do anything on my own.

KNIGHT: That`s so unfair. That`s so unfair.


CURRY: No, it`s true.

KNIGHT: I just -- she`s a little bitter, because she hasn`t lived the life I have, so that she doesn`t have sort of all of the -- that journey under her belt already, so there`s some things I can`t...


VARGAS: She`s a little risque, I would say.

KNIGHT: A little risque.

VARGAS: And the show has been a little risque, too. I mean, you know, bubble baths. You guys have been naked on the show.

KNIGHT: I`ve been naked on the show?

CURRY: Yes, you were. In the bubble bath.

KNIGHT: I was naked?


KNIGHT: I was in the bubble bath. I mean, I`m not naked.

VARGAS: I know that`s easy for you.

KNIGHT: She gets blurred. She gets blurred.

VARGAS: And you have no problem showing it all?

CURRY: I do it just for the simple fact that the producers told me, "This time, we really ask you to make sure you`re clothed all the time. It costs us money to blur you." And I said, "Oh yeah?" So...


KNIGHT: She was very uncooperative.

VARGAS: That must have been a little hard for you?

KNIGHT: You know, yes. I don`t think I should be naked, you know, not on camera. But the bubble bath, I just surrendered to that. And, you know, I`m not sure I`ll be doing much more of that.

VARGAS: Well, speak about getting naked, I know you`re going to be in the February issue on newsstands actually now.


VARGAS: You know, on the cover and you`re also, you know, out there. How do you feel about that? That`s what I`m curious about.

KNIGHT: You know, I`m....

VARGAS: Millions of men watching.

KNIGHT: When I met Adrianne, she was naked. I mean, the first night I met Adrianne, I was eating sushi off her nearly naked body. So it comes with the territory. I mean, and there`s some people that should be naked or been seen naked and others that shouldn`t. And Adrianne is definitely one that could be appreciated naked.

And I really, frankly, I don`t have any problem with that. We`re born without clothes. I think it`s entirely natural. And I`m proud of her.

VARGAS: Yes. Do you have any inhibitions?

CURRY: No, not really. I mean, I`m -- I pride my life knowing that I`m walking around with absolutely no skeletons in my closet. There is nothing anybody could come up to me and say that they know about me that`s true, because -- I mean, that`s secretive. Everything is out there on the table. And I`m very proud of that. There`s a lot of people who get their -- slowly have their very soul and essence eaten away because they keep their skeletons in their closet. I have none.

KNIGHT: But do you have any inhibitions?

VARGAS: Speaking about losing inhibitions, I heard that you may be kissing your brother, Greg Brady? What`s up with that, on "That `70s Show"? Tell me about this.

KNIGHT: I think it`s -- kissing your brother is little bit weirder than kissing your sister. Yes, Barry and I were both asked to guest star on "That `70s Show" as new neighbors of the Foremans. And there`s an assumption that they`re two guys that moved in -- or one guy that moves in and he`s going to bring over his, well -- anyway.

Yes, so it`s not the first time that Barry and I have been in a lip lock, though. I mean, there was an episode of "The Brady`s" in which -- I can`t even remember who was choking, and the other was -- no, I was choking. He`s the doctor, and he was giving me the Heimlich maneuver, I believe, is way it goes down in the show.

VARGAS: Very, very interesting.

KNIGHT: Yes. I had mouth-to-mouth resuscitation with him already.

VARGAS: We kind of have to go. But thank you so much, both of you.

CURRY: Thank you.

VARGAS: Congratulations again.

CURRY: Thank you very much.


KNIGHT: Thank you, Sibila.

VARGAS: All right. Thanks so much. Thanks again Adrianne Curry and Christopher Knight. "Playboy," with Adrianne on the cover, is on newsstands now.

HAMMER: Still time for you to sound off in our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." Cop-killer video games: Should they be banned? You can vote at You can also write to us at We`re going to read some of your e-mails live, coming up next.


HAMMER: We`ve been asking you to vote online on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." We`re asking: Cop-killer video games: Should they be banned?

We`ve gotten a huge response tonight, and so far here is how the vote`s going: 70 percent of you say yes; 30 percent of you say no.

A lot of e-mails on the subject, and we appreciate you writing in. We heard from Ronald in Texas who writes, "Cop-killers, violence and car chases should be totally done away with and illegal to make or own."

We also heard from Jonathan in West Virginia, who has a different thought on the manner. "If I want to play a violent game, I should be able to without someone on the other side of the country saying I shouldn`t."

And we heard from Tim in Maryland. He writes, "Cop-killer games should be banned because they support illegal activities and total disregard for human life."

If you`d like to continue to vote, you can simply by going to

VARGAS: Time now 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, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT catching up with the best and the brightest at Sundance, including Kevin Smith. The creator of "Clerks" has some new quirks up his sleeve. He`ll tell us what film he brought to the festival this time, revealing it tomorrow.

Also tomorrow, Paul Giamatti! The star of "Sideways" going from red wine to a red-tailed hawk. What? We`ll find out why his new movie is for the birds, and that`s OK by him. Paul Giamatti on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, tomorrow.

This is the Marquee Guy, soon starring in that new hit TV show, "Sundancing with the Stars."

HAMMER: I`m not exactly sure that that show has been picked up yet, Sibila.

VARGAS: I don`t think so.

HAMMER: All right. We`re going to wrap it up. That is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

VARGAS: And I`m Sibila Vargas in Hollywood. Stay tuned for the latest from CNN Headline News.


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