Return to Transcripts main page
Housekeeper Tells Her Side of Alleged Cell Phone Assault; High Profile Divorces Announced; "Basic Instinct 2" Finally Released
Aired March 31, 2006 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: "9 to 5," 25 years later: are things any better for women at work? I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: And Tori Spelling is here live. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. TV`s only live entertainment news show starts right now.
HAMMER (voice-over): On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, supermodel behavior. Brand new details about Naomi Campbell`s arrest for allegedly smacking her housekeeper in the head with a cell phone. Tonight, for the first time, what the housekeeper is saying, and why Naomi says this is just a case of getting "all fired up."
Are black sitcoms fading to black? Tonight, the startling difference between what blacks and whites are watching on TV, and why some of the shows most-watched by black families may be in danger. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the racial divide that has Hollywood waiting and worrying.
DOLLY PARTON, SINGER: Hi, I`m Dolly Parton. And if it happened today, it`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
HAMMER: Welcome to the weekend. I`m A.J. Hammer live in New York City.
ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson live in Hollywood.
A.J., you could call this the Naomi Campbell cell phone smackdown. And today everyone was trying to find out if the supermodel really did whack her housekeeper in the head with her phone.
HAMMER: That`s right, Brooke. And as we all know, Campbell was arrested for what happened. And today, we were on alert keeping up with the latest developments in the story, including the housekeeper talking for the very first time about what happened. And what about that cell phone? Could it be the smoking gun?
HAMMER (voice-over): She`s the world`s most famous cover girl. Now, she`s on the cover of every major newspaper in the country. Naomi Campbell, the supermodel, led into a cop car wearing a poncho and quite possibly some handcuffs, sparking a media frenzy that has yet to cool down.
While no one can confirm if handcuffs were covered under that designer poncho, it can be confirmed that the supermodel was arrested and charged with second degree assault, for allegedly throwing her cell phone at her housekeeper.
SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has the court complaint filed late last night, and it`s right here in black and white.
That was yesterday. Right now, the story looms larger. And you just can`t escape it. Check out this mob scene. And that`s because the housekeeper is now telling her side of the story.
In an interview with "The New York Post," Ana Scolavino said she, quote, "couldn`t believe the pain. I had so much pain back there."
"Back there" is the three-inch gash in the back of her head she claims was caused by the cell phone sent her way.
But the supermodel is already fighting back. In a statement, Campbell says she didn`t even touch her, let alone throw any phone, saying her hired help is looking to make an easy buck by trading in Naomi`s nasty reputation.
"When I finally fired her for her erratic behavior, she screamed, `This is going to cost you a lot of money.`" But that`s not all. Campbell goes on to say, "She is sadly mistaken if she thinks she can extract money from me by concocting lies by recycling old stories."
Old stories like a 1998 assault, a 2003 temper tantrum, and a 2004 smackdown with a maid. Naomi`s even admitted to ABC`s Diane Sawyer that she`s modeled a bad behavior pattern.
DIANA SAWYER, CO-HOST, ABC`S "GOOD MORNING AMERICA": Do you feel you`re in a sort of...
NAOMI CAMPBELL, SUPERMODEL: Pattern, yes? I`m honest. I`m honest. I can be angry and mad at someone that deserves it or has done wrong to me.
HARVEY LEVIN, TMZ.COM: She`s been prosecuted once and plead guilty once to doing something like this. There was another allegation, but in that case -- in that case, she denied it and there were never any charges filed.
She clearly has a temper issue, and she`s even talked about it and admitted it. I just think it`s really a little premature to say she did it. Again, I find it really weird that each time there`s an allegation, somebody says, "She threw a cell phone at me." It just feels a little bit too convenient.
HAMMER: And convenient for late night TV. Just ask Jay Leno.
JAY LENO, HOST, NBC`S "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO": Didn`t this happen before?
KEVIN EUBANKS, BAND LEADER, NBC`S "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO": Yes.
LENO: Didn`t she beat another assistant with a cell phone?
LENO: This time it was worse, `cause as she was beating this one with a cell phone, she kept yelling, "Can you hear me now? Can you hear me now?"
HAMMER: But let`s be honest. Look at these T-shirts, selling like hot cakes. Can this she said, she said case be judged fairly? The answers could lie in that little cell phone.
LEVIN: Get that phone, and if she really is innocent, what she`s going to do is say to the police, "Here, check it for blood. Check it to see if there is any blood trace on it. Do a DNA sample to see if the maid`s blood shows up on my phone." And if it does, she`s in real trouble. If it doesn`t, she didn`t do it.
HAMMER: And in her statement to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Campbell says she has asked her lawyers to look into filing theft and extortion charges against her former employee. Naomi Campbell is due back in court on June 27.
ANDERSON: Another bombshell story SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is covering for you tonight. All of America is talking about Matt LeBlanc`s split with his wife of three years. And we`re getting word there is yet another A-list couple that`s kaput.
Let`s get the latest on the divorce fever that`s replacing spring fever, from Harvey Levin, managing editor of TMZ.com. He joins me live from the TMZ newsroom.
LEVIN: Hi, Brooke.
ANDERSON: As I mentioned, everybody talking about the split, Matt LeBlanc and his wife Melissa, just three years of marriage. The tabloid reports, Harvey, are that he admitted to groping a stripper.
LEVIN: Well, you know, I`ve heard at least three other reports about what happened here. And I have to tell you, Brooke, these things can be so incredibly unreliable...
LEVIN: ... when these reports come out that more often than not they`re wrong. And I`m telling you there are three different stories going around now. And clearly two of them aren`t true.
So, you know, I think you got to be really slow when you start hearing this stuff come out, because everybody, frankly, is trying it sell newspapers and they`re look for an angle, and they`re looking for a reason. And frankly, the publicist for Matt LeBlanc came out, and it sounds like this -- this one is really amicable. And the key sign here is they`re going for joint custody of their child, and that usually suggests there`s not a heck of a lot of animosity.
ANDERSON: OK. Very young child, 2-year-old daughter together in fact.
And we`re hearing of another high profile bus stop, Harvey. Russell Simmons and Kimora Lee. Now, Russell is a music mogul responsible for the careers of L.L. Cool J, The Beastie Boys, Jay-Z, Ludacris. He sold his stake in Def Jam for $100 million. Could Kimora get a chunk of that?
LEVIN: Well, I don`t know what kind of a deal they had. I can also guarantee you there was a prenuptial agreement in this case, and that would ultimately govern who gets what.
I think what`s really interesting about this case, we happened to be out last night with a TMZ camera at a club. And Russell Simmons was there, sans Kimora, looking very much single. And now we`re learning through his own people that, even though they`ve been living in the same house, they`ve been, quote, "separated for a very long time." So, you know, if he`s living in the same house with her, and they`re separated, it sounds like they`ve already come to some kind of an understanding here.
ANDERSON: And it sounds like it probably is a big house.
ANDERSON: OK, Harvey.
ANDERSON: Last one, the David Hasselhoff divorce. Now this is one of the nastiest divorces we`ve seen in awhile. Allegations of domestic violence, of drunkenness. What`s going on here and have they settled yet?
LEVIN: Yes. There`s something really crazy that happened. We were down at the court yesterday, and we found an e-mail in the court file. There was an e-mail that was submitted to the judge, saying that David and Pamela Hasselhoff are really close right now in hammering out a custody and visitation agreement.
And what`s bizarre about that is they were in court just a couple of days ago. And they were really, really fighting over this. And -- and it sounds like they might have just kind of looked at all the bad publicity that was coming out about them, and they finally realized, hey, we`ve just got to deal with this thing now, because it`s going to get so ugly, it`s going to hurt the kids. But suddenly, it sounds like they`re on the brink of settling their differences, at least when it comes to child custody.
ANDERSON: Hopefully, for the sake of the kids. OK, Harvey Levin, as always, thanks so much for your insight.
LEVIN: See you, Brooke.
ANDERSON: Harvey Levin of TMZ.com joining us live.
HAMMER: Well, I`ve got another tale of love gone awry. It`s our "hey did you see this?" video of the night. You have got to see this particular piece of tape we got ahold of.
It`s a little tale of boy meets girl, boy cheats on girl, boy stands on the side of the highway begging for forgiveness.
Look at this. Here comes Joey. That guy is a 22-year-old man in San Diego. He found himself in hot water after his girlfriend found some pictures of him and another woman -- can you believe it -- on the Internet.
So this morning he stood holding a sign that says, as you saw, "I cheated on my girl and this is my punishment." He`s right there at an intersection that his ex drives through every single day.
Now Brooke, there`s no word yet on if she`s actually going to forgive the guy. I like this. Self-imposed justice. I`m not exactly sure if she sent him out there or if he`s just so darn guilty.
ANDERSON: You know, I think he deserves a bit of humiliation that he`s getting on that street corner. And it probably will take a little bit more than that, don`t you think, for her to forgive him?
HAMMER: Probably, yes. And the real lesson here is if you`re going to be cheating, don`t be taking pictures.
ANDERSON: That`s right.
OK, A.J. Moving on now. When it comes to what people watch on TV, there seems to be a big -- a big racial divide. We will look into the differences, coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s bad.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s very bad. Forget about it. That`s very bad. We don`t talk like that to each other unless we hate you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: What`s in a gesture? A Supreme Court justice lends a hand, that some people are calling obscene. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates.
ANDERSON: And Hal Sparks hosts a new reality show that`s being called a cross between "The Simple Life" and "Survivor." Hal joins us live, coming up in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
But first, tonight`s "`Entertainment Weekly` Great American Pop Culture Quiz." Jeremy Piven -- you know this guy from "Entourage". Jeremy has appeared in all but one of these John Cusack films: "Say Anything", "The Grifters", "Identity", "Grosse Point Blank". Which one is it? Think about it, and we will be right back with your answer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fade up on "SHOWBIZ Sit-down" with Hal Sparks, just minutes away. But first, to Los Angeles for the quiz answer. Dissolve (ph).
ANDERSON: So again, tonight`s "`Entertainment Weekly` Great American Pop Culture Quiz." Jeremy Piven has appeared in all but one of these John Cusack films: "Say Anything", "The Grifters", "Identity", or "Grosse Point Blank". The answer is C, "Identity."
HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT for a Friday night. We are TV`s only live entertainment news shows. I`m A.J. Hammer.
It is certainly one of the most notorious scenes in recent cinematic history: Sharon Stone crossing her legs in "Basic Instinct." Well, now, 14 years later, the question is, is the world ready for more? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas joins us live from Hollywood to answer that very question -- Sibila.
SIBILA VARGAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That`s right, A.J. She`s back. And better than ever, or maybe not. That`s up to you to decide. In "Basic Instinct 2," Sharon Stone reprising her role. It`s a sequel that`s been many years and a few lawsuits in the making.
SHARON STONE, ACTRESS: Do I make you uncomfortable?
VARGAS: Fourteen years after Sharon Stone made more than a few people uncomfortable with her scandalous leg crossing scene in "Basic Instinct"...
STONE: It`s nice.
VARGAS: ... the actress is hoping you`ll find her hotter than ever as the psychopathic seductress Catherine Tramell in "Basic Instinct 2."
STONE: Is this where we`re going to do it?
VARGAS (on camera): And with more than a decade since Stone`s show- stopping moment, the question is, are fans ready for round two?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is she going to cross her legs or uncross her legs? That`s really the big question.
VARGAS: Are you curious to see that leg crossing scene or...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is all right. I`ll pass.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s like 60, 70 now? So little past my age range.
VARGAS (voice-over): Well, for the record, Stone is actually 48 years old.
STONES: This is what the 40s looks like, and it ain`t so bad.
VARGAS: "Newsweek`s" Sean Smith told me Stone`s cinematic follow-up comes with a history as dramatic as the movie itself.
STONE: How do you picture it? Talk (ph).
VARGAS: In 2001, the actress sued the producers because they had failed to make the sequel by an established deadline.
SEAN SMITH, "NEWSWEEK" MAGAZINE: She sued them for $100 million saying in addition to the money that she wasn`t paid, that she had -- that she had gotten in shape and had done costume fittings and had turned down other roles, and so she had lost all this potential income.
VARGAS: Ultimately, they settled out of court, but not before a hand full of leading men like Viggo Mortensen had turned the role down.
SMITH: Aaron Eckhart was offered $6 million and still didn`t want to do it. The studio wanted Benjamin Bratt. But Sharon was concerned that he was too young and that he would make her look too old.
VARGAS: Earlier reviews have panned the sequel, and Smith jokingly refers to Stone`s performance as being so over the top that it elevates a bad movie into a must see diva extravaganza.
SMITH: She makes "Mommy Dearest" look small. At 48 to look like that and to move like that, and to act like that is pretty remarkable.
VARGAS: Of course, for skeptics who think otherwise, there`s always this alternative.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Want to see sexy? All right.
VARGAS: More over, Sharon, or maybe not.
And you can make up your own mind about Sharon Stone reprising her role as Catherine Tramell. Of course, it is out in theaters right now, "Basic Instinct 2".
And A.J., I have to tell you, I`m not going to tell a lot, but I saw it. And I never laughed as much at a thriller.
HAMMER: They weren`t sending you in to laugh. That may be the problem, Sibila.
HAMMER: But coming up in just a little bit, we`re going to get a review of "Basic Instinct 2" and other new movies in "Picks and Pans." So we`ll hear what the professionals have to say about this movie.
ANDERSON: All right. So I`ve got to ask you. Doesn`t it really bug you when you see kids who are fabulously wealthy because they have Mommy and Daddy`s money but have never worked a day in their life and are totally clueless. And they walk around with chips on their shoulders the size of Montana?
Well, watch what happens when those kind of kids are paired with the not so wealthy in a new WB reality show "Survival of the Richest". Actor and comedian Hal Sparks is the host, and he`s here live with me tonight in Hollywood.
Great to see you, Hal.
HAL SPARKS, HOST, "SURVIVAL OF THE RICHEST": I`m so glad you were talking about the show. I thought you were talking about me.
ANDERSON: Of course not. We know better than that.
SPARKS: Yes, exactly.
ANDERSON: But the premise of the show -- what is it, you`ve got a rich kid paired with a not so fortunate kid, shall we say?
SPARKS: Yes. A kid who`s drastically in debt. And the comparisons, interestingly enough, are a lot thinner than you would think. You know, you would think they come from totally different roles, they`ll have nothing in common.
SPARKS: And the truth is, in my opinion, in watching them kind of interact, you find out that they are basically slaves to the same master. That the rich kids think all their worth comes from the money. And the poor kids think that if -- they only have worth if they can get some.
ANDERSON: But do the rich kids -- do they strike you as unbelievably clueless?
SPARKS: Oh, absolutely. It is shocking.
ANDERSON: Because it kind of reminds me of when Paris Hilton asked the question "what is Wal-Mart" in "The simple Life". Is it just -- does it stun you?
SPARKS: Right. Or when George Bush Sr. didn`t know about the laser thing at the grocery store. Remember that? They have these? Yes, for 15 years. Yes.
But it`s amazing in the beginning how little of a clue these kids have. Just about their -- the impact of their behavior on other people.
SPARKS: And what we were trying to do is get them to kind of confront that and recognize that they`re -- you know, that their own personal importance goes beyond their money, and that`s true of everyone else, too.
ANDERSON: So kind of a message here with this.
SPARKS: Yes, absolutely. That`s why I took it, because it had, actually, the opportunity for moral growth on the part of the people involved.
ANDERSON: Well, the grand prize for the winning team is $200,000 which, $100,000 to each person.
ANDERSON: That`s chump change to...
SPARKS: To the rich kids, absolutely.
ANDERSON: A weekend out spending money.
SPARKS: I mean, these kids -- these kids are collectively worth $9 billion.
SPARKS: Something along that line. And that`s crazy.
ANDERSON: It`s unfathomable.
SPARKS: That`s just nuts money. And the poor kids are all in debt, $50,000, $60,000. And to them it would make a world of difference. It would turn everything around.
ANDERSON: Change their lives.
SPARKS: The rich kids, yes, it`s like a weekend wardrobe or a trip to Vegas.
ANDERSON: They just wanted to do it for the experience?
SPARKS: Well, and I think there`s a little bit of, you know, the desire for fame and recognition. You know, that`s the one thing they don`t have is...
SPARKS: And yes, absolutely. It`s a new thrill. I mean, these kids are numb to pleasure. There is nothing their money can`t buy that they haven`t experienced. So what`s important anymore?
ANDERSON: So try something new?
SPARKS: Absolutely. And that`s what drew, I think, Paris into that thing, you know, with just wanting people to like you and...
ANDERSON: It`s more and more successful with...
ANDERSON: ... for more and more people. And you`ve done so many things throughout your career. Many know you from the VH1 series...
ANDERSON: ... "I Love the `70s", "`80s", "`90s". Are you loving the 2000s?
SPARKS: I am. You know, it`s funny. When they ask me to do the `90s, I was like how in the world can we talk about it? It just happened.
SPARKS: But doesn`t it seem like the `90s with, you know, the Clinton era is, like, 100 years ago? I`m nostalgic for it already, you know. I think in, you know -- by, you know, 2011 we`ll be looking back on 2006, and it will feel like a million years has passed. And you know?
ANDERSON: What specifically will we see in your show, "I Love the..."?
SPARKS: Ironically enough, the arc of reality television, which I think will kind of -- it`s starting to teeter and will just of level out at a certain point. And I think the...
ANDERSON: Many say it`s cyclical.
SPARKS: Absolutely. Well, if you look at it back in the early `80s, late `70s, "Real People" came on and "That`s Incredible". And "In Search Of". That was the original reality wave. And it came with country music and wrestling. And the same -- it happens every time, that whenever wrestling and country music comes up, there`s some reality TV. If there`s one of the two, the other three will come up.
ANDERSON: So you see there will be a...
SPARKS: Absolutely. And I`m looking forward to when we don`t have to deal with wrestling and country music.
ANDERSON: Well, we will look forward to the "I Love 2000" special eventually from you.
ANDERSON: Hal Sparks, thanks for being here. Congratulations on this new show to add to your resume.
SPARKS: Glad to be here. Thanks.
ANDERSON: "Survival of the Richest" premieres tonight on the WB.
HAMMER: Well, there`s a call to arms from George Clooney. We`re going to tell you his plan to fight Gawker.com. That`s coming up.
ANDERSON: Plus, you know her and loved her as Donna Martin from "90210." Now Tori Spelling is back in her own new show, and it`s getting rave reviews. Tori Spelling joins us live. It`s coming up in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
HAMMER: And stumble into your kitchen and pour yourself a cup of ambition, because get this, the movie "9 to 5" is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The stars reunite and reminisce. That`s coming up.
ANDERSON: Twenty-five years.
So now we want to hear from you. It is our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. "9 to 5" 25 years later: are things better for women at work? Vote at CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. Send us an e-mail. That`s at ShowbizTonight@CNN.com. We will read some of your thoughts later on the show. Stick around.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Weekend movie picks, next on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Roll it. Dissolve black (ph).
HAMMER: Coming up Monday on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT: candlelight, soft music, and "American Idol" blaring in the background? TVs are starting to pop up in restaurants. Will diners say "check please"? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates this trend on Monday.
So which movies might be worth your hard earned dollars this weekend? We are here to help. In tonight`s SHOWBIZ GUIDE, we`re taking a look at "People`s Picks and Pans" for new movies. Talking about two sequels: "Basic Instinct 2" tonight and "Ice Age: The Meltdown." Plus, a coming of age film called "ATL" is also in theaters this weekend.
And joining us in New York, Leah Rozen, film critic for "People" magazine.
Welcome to Friday, Leah.
LEAH ROZEN, FILM CRITIC, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: Thank you, A.J.
HAMMER: Let`s get into a film that has been in anticipated for 14 years since the original came out, "Basic Instinct 2." You and I were in the same theater when we screened this film. I`m just going to hand this over to you.
ROZEN: Let`s just say the wait wasn`t worth it. No way, no how.
You want to see Sharon Stone naked? OK. Go to this movie. You get to see top, bottom and parts in between again and again and again.
HAMMER: And she looks lovely.
ROZEN: Just lovely. And that`s pretty much all I have nice to say about this movie because it`s really boring, bad and just kind of incomprehensible mess.
I mean, you just sit there and you`re going why? There was obviously no great need to make it. They`re regurgitating the story that they had last time. She`s a woman who, again, possibly has murdered someone. She comes on to the shrink who`s supposed to evaluate her. He merely looks miserable the entire time. Played by an actress -- an actor named David Morrissey, British actor.
You know, Sharon Stone, I`m glad she got a really big payday for this one. But if you go, you and the audience will not have a similar payday.
HAMMER: All right. We know how you feel about "Basic Instinct 2."
Let`s move on to "Ice Age 2: The Meltdown." Ray Romano is back. Big all-star cast in this one.
ROZEN: Yes and the first film did really well and was charming. You know, huge hit with kids. This one feels in many ways like a recycling. I mean, they clearly had no great reason to make it other than you can mop up so much money with a sequel.
The little squirrel rat character named Scrat who is in constant search of an acorn -- he can never quite get it -- he`s a great character. It`s like watching classic Road Runner cartoons. The rest of it, though, has a pro forma feel. Kids will like it, but kids like every movie they see. Adults are going to be doing a little of this.
HAMMER: All right. Well, something original coming out this weekend. Just a few moments for "ATL".
ROZEN: "ATL", coming of age film, set among sort of kids in the inner city in Atlanta, stars Tip Harris (ph), the rap star, Evan Ross, Diana Ross` son, has some nice moments but very uneven.
HAMMER: All right. Well, thank you, Leah. We know you will not be in a theater seeing "Basic Instinct 2" again this weekend.
ROZEN: You won`t catch me there.
HAMMER: Figured that out in the course of this little segment.
For more "Picks and Pans," get your copy of "People" magazine on newsstands now.
ANDERSON: It has been 25 years, if you can believe it, since Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda were working "9 to 5." The stars celebrated with a reunion, and we will take you there, coming up.
HAMMER: Plus Justice Scalia lets his hands do the talking, but what was he trying to say? Jeanne Moos goes to little Italy to look for the truth.
ANDERSON: And the difference between what blacks and whites are watching on TV. We will check out who`s watching what. That`s also ahead.
SHOWBIZ TONIGHT will continue after the break. Stay with us.
HAMMER: And welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT for a Friday night. It is 31 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York City.
ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. And you are watching TV`s only -- it is the only one -- it`s a live entertainment news show.
HAMMER: It`s true. We`re live. Anything is liable to happen, and maybe it will with our next guest coming up in just a couple of moments. For 10 years, she played the loveable Donna Martin on "Beverly Hills 90210." Her dad arguably the most successful television producer in history.
And now, thankfully, we have Tori Spelling back on TV on a regular basis. She`s going to join us live in just a moment to talk about playing herself, sort of.
ANDERSON: Interesting. And the drama of Donna and David`s relationship, I remember it all too well, A.J.
HAMMER: I saw every episode. Not ashamed to admit it.
ANDERSON: Also, me too, as well. Also, we were there as Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin, and Jane Fonda celebrated -- if you can believe it -- 25 years since their 1980 hit comedy "9 to 5" was released. They even hit the stage to perform that song, and we will have all of that coming up in just a few minutes.
HAMMER: You have to stick around to see just how terrific these ladies look.
But first, there is not a lot to laugh about when it comes to the state of network sitcoms these days. Many in Hollywood are saying that the TV comedy is dead or dying. And here`s an even bigger warning sign: the news especially bad for comedies that are aimed at black audiences. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas joins us live again from Hollywood to tell us why.
Sibila, a fascinating story.
SIBILA VARGAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It certainly is. Now, the days of the "Cosby Show" definitely long behind us. Right now, there are relative few black sitcoms on the air, and none of them are big breakout hits. And now that six broadcast TV networks are about to become five, African- American sitcoms could get squeezed out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now those white kids, they get an education.
CHRIS ROCK, ANNOUNCER, "EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS": Not a Harvard-type education, just a not-sticking-up-a-liquor-store-type education.
VARGAS (voice-over): "Everybody Hates Chris," the UPN sitcom about Chris Rock`s childhood may soon become part of an endangered TV species: the black sitcom.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bye, baby.
VARGAS: This fall, UPN, the network that airs "Everybody Hates Chris" and other African-American sitcoms like "Girlfriends" and "One on One" is merging with the WB Network to form a new network, the CW.
SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was there when the merger was announced.
LES MOONVES, PRESIDENT CBS TELEVISION: Audiences will be served with 30 hours a week of quality programming that reaches all kinds of young and minority viewers.
VARGAS: But some fear the CW may be too optimistic about its minority programming.
LYNETTE RICE, "ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY": Most of the black comedies are on UPN. And what happens to those shows is obviously a cause for concern with the black community.
VARGAS: Lynette Rice has an article in this week`s "Entertainment Weekly" which asks: Is the black sitcom dying? She tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that "Chris" and "Girlfriends" probably are safe, but many black sitcoms currently on UPN probably won`t survive the merger.
RICE: When the CW begins in September, they`re going to be programming six nights a week, most of the nights two hours a night. You know, we`re talking about roughly 13 hours of programming. There`s simply just not enough space to transfer all of those black comedies over to CW. The black show is going to be dying because of this merger.
VARGAS: Really? Is Lynette being paranoid? Maybe not. Here`s why. Between them, the big four broadcast networks have only one -- yes, one -- sitcom with an African-American lead, "The Bernie Mac Show."
BERNIE MAC, COMEDIAN: You`re 15 years old. You ain`t got no privacy.
VARGAS: So if the CW starts axing some of the black sitcoms currently on the WB or UPN, the number of black shows on broadcast TV could hit an all-time low.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Help me.
VARGAS: Let`s go back in time.
UNIDENTIFIED GROUP (singing): Well, we`re moving on up, to the east side...
VARGAS: Once upon a time, in the land of three networks, mostly black sitcoms, like "The Jeffersons," "Good Times" and later "The Cosby Show" were all over TV.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to watch TV now.
VARGAS: And they were monster hits watched by people of all races, but that was then. Nowadays, sitcoms with mostly black casts are pretty much relegated to UPN or the WB. And while some of these shows may be popular in African-American households, they may not have enough crossover appeal to survive.
SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has the numbers to prove this. In a recent week, Nielsen ranked "Girlfriends" the fifth most popular show among African- Americans, but in ratings overall, the show came in -- get this -- a lowly 113th place.
As for "Everybody Hates Chris," it`s a critical success and it`s the seventh most popular show among black households. But overall, it`s 101st in the ratings, not at all "Cosby" numbers. But not everyone is crying about the state of affairs.
REGINALD HUDLIN, PRESIDENT OF ENTERTAINMENT, BET: Now that I`m president of entertainment at BET, I welcome these changes because it means more viewers for us.
VARGAS: Television and film director and Black Entertainment Television exec Reginald Hudlin tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT he smells opportunity.
HUDLIN: We`re going to be creating a lot of new shows, including sitcoms, and dramas, and all kinds of shows for that audience that may be abandoned by other networks.
VARGAS: But still, he`s not writing obituaries for black sitcoms just yet. Remember, before the "Cosby Show" came along, black sitcoms and sitcoms in general were considered dead.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If she doesn`t want the funeral, maybe we shouldn`t have it.
BILL COSBY, COMEDIAN: We got dressed up for this!
HUDLIN: I think declaring something dead almost guarantees it`s going to come back stronger than ever.
VARGAS: And Lynette Rice of "Entertainment Weekly" says TV networks may move away from shows with all African-American casts and towards shows with more multicultural casts, like "CSI," "24" and "Grey`s Anatomy."
At least they`re keeping it multicultural, I hope at least.
HAMMER: We`ll have to see what happens with all of them. Thanks very much, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas.
ANDERSON: Tonight, "9 to 5" at 25. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was right there in Hollywood as stars Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda celebrated the 25th anniversary and DVD release of the movie. "9 to 5" was a comedy smash about a sexist boss and how three women dealt with him in the office.
Then, of course, there was that super-catchy number one Dolly Parton song.
DOLLY PARTON, ACTRESS-SINGER (singing): Well, I tumble out of bed and stumbled in the kitchen. I poured myself a cup of ambition. Yawning, stretching, trying to come to life.
I jump in the shower and the blood starts pumping. Out on the street, the traffic starts jumping, with folks like me on the job from 9:00 to 5:00.
Workin` 9:00 to 5:00, what a way to make a living. Better than getting by, it`s all taking and no giving.
(speaking): It feels good. I`ll tell you, Jane Fonda had a great idea back 25 years ago when she came up with the movie idea, and then getting Jane, and me, and Dabney involved. So she did a good thing. And it`s really served me well through the years.
(singing): You would think that I would deserve a big promotion. I want to move ahead, but the boss won`t seem to let me. I swear sometimes that man is out to get me.
LILY TOMLIN, ACTRESS: We had a big hit. That was really great. I mean, there were so many things that were good about it, because we had -- we developed a friendship that lasted. And it was fun to make the movie.
And I got to know both of these women, you know, more personally and really on a friend`s basis.
PARTON (singing): ... waitin` for the day your ship will come in. Tide`s going to turn and it`s all going roll you away. Workin` 9:00 to 5:00, what a way to make a livin`, barely getting by. It`s all taking and no giving. They just use your mind, and they never give you credit.
JANE FONDA, ACTRESS: The fact that it was done in the context of a comedy makes me feel really good. You know, it could have been pretty dour, because the issues are kind of dour. And it was going to be a serious movie in the beginning.
But then we were getting a script written. And then I went and saw Lily in her one-woman show, and I was just smitten. And I said, "She has to be a secretary."
On the way back from the theater, I turned the radio on, and Dolly was singing. And I thought, "Oh, my god, that`s perfect. Dolly, Lilly and Jane."
PARTON (singing): Gettin` by, it`s all takin` and no givin`. They use your mind and they never give you credit...
How you doing back there, girls? It`s enough to drive you crazy if you let it. 9:00 to 5:00, they got you where they want you. There`s a better life. You all dream about it, don`t you? It`s a rich man`s game, and I don`t care what they call it.
ANDERSON: Twenty five years later, they all still look and sound fantastic. That was a lot of fun.
And what you to think about it? We`ve been asking you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." "9 to 5," 25 years later: Are things better for women at work? Keep voting, CNN.com/showbiztonight. And write us, showbiztonight@CNN.com. Your e-mails coming up in a bit.
HAMMER: Well, she was the long-time virginal Donna Martin on "Beverly Hills 90210." Now Tori Spelling making a little fun of herself on a new TV show. Tori Spelling joins us live next in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
Plus, we`ve got this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s bad. That`s very bad. Forget about it. That`s very bad. No Italians -- we don`t talk like that to each other, unless we hate you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: That`s Supreme Court justice lends a hand, but some are calling it obscene. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates.
ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood, and this is TV`s only live entertainment news show.
OK, I will admit it. I`m a fan of "The Sopranos." And sometimes the characters on the HBO show talk with their hands. Now, I can`t do those hand gestures right now, because some of them are said to be offensive. And tonight, some are saying the same thing about Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
He set off a firestorm after he made a hand gesture to a reporter. So is it obscene? Here`s CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is an Italian gesture...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Like that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who cares?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Like that.
MOOS: ... not normally associated with the Supreme Court, but there he is.
MOOS (on camera): This is the Supreme Court Justice Scalia.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, geez.
MOOS (voice-over): On the front page of "The Boston Herald."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Call it obscene? I think that`s kind of strong. I would say it was being rude.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I think he was just scratching his chin.
MOOS: Unfortunately, there is no videotape, just this one still picture. Justice Scalia was coming out of mass when a reporter asked him how he responds to critics who might question his impartiality as a judge, given his public worship. That`s when Justice Scalia fanned his hand away from his chin.
(on camera): He supposedly said this word.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
MOOS: The photographer says he said this word, and he says he didn`t.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Photographer said that he said that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s bad. That`s very bad. Forget about it. That`s very bad. No Italian -- we don`t talk like that to each other, unless we hate you.
MOOS (voice-over): But Justice Scalia cited a book called "The Italians." The extended fingers of one hand, moving slowly back and forth under the raised chin means, "I couldn`t care less. It`s no business of mine."
The conflicting interpretations call for expert analysis.
(on camera): Are you guys Italian? Are you Italian?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I used to be Italian. Now, I`m American.
MOOS (voice-over): We headed for Little Italy in the Bronx. For some, the gesture was too delicate, even to discuss.
(on camera): What do you mean you don`t know?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t know. I don`t know what he means, that guy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s not really bad, but it`s not quite like the finger.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It could be obscene, or it could be like, "Don`t bother me. I don`t want to be bothered."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t take that as being anything bad, because in my family they did it all the time and they still do it.
MOOS (voice-over): In a letter to the "Boston Herald," Justice Scalia accused staffers of having watched too many episodes of "The Sopranos."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anti-Italian discrimination.
MOOS: So the "Herald" ran the gesture past "Sopranos" cast members. The guy who plays Vito said, "It`s not like grabbing your crotch, not that bad an obscenity, but it`s an obscenity." Even if you can`t define it, you know it when you see it or you can see what you want in it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love you. I love you!
ANDERSON: That was CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. And Justice Scalia better watch out. There`s a bill in the Senate now to open the Supreme Court to cameras. You never know what you`ll see Justice Scalia do there.
HAMMER: Well, there may not be cameras in the courtroom, but there will be cameras in Tori Spelling`s not-so-modest home -- well, at least the make-believe TV version of it, anyway.
We all know Tori, of course, as Donna Martin from "Beverly Hills 90210." Yes, I`ve seen every episode. She also is the daughter of one of the most successful TV producers in history, Aaron Spelling. "Charlie`s Angels," "The Love Boat," "Dynasty," you know all his shows.
Well, Tori`s life growing up Spelling has inspired her new VH-1 sitcom called "So NoTORIous."
Joining me live here in New York for a Friday night, Tori Spelling, it`s a pleasure to have you on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
TORI SPELLING, "SO NOTORIOUS": Thank you.
HAMMER: "So NoTORIous," how in the world did you come up with that name?
SPELLING: That was a hard title to think of.
HAMMER: Why are you so notorious? What makes you notorious?
SPELLING: Well, I was just trying to find a title with my name in it.
HAMMER: That was pretty much it.
SPELLING: That was pretty much it, and that worked.
HAMMER: So you`re personally not notorious at all?
SPELLING: I mean ish, I guess.
HAMMER: Ish, OK.
SPELLING: It`s kind of like so notorious, so...
HAMMER: I get it. I get it.
HAMMER: Well, certainly growing up -- and I`m sure you got into little bits of trouble, you know, growing up in the lifestyle you did. And to say it was extravagant would be a little bit of an understatement. And people are always pretty quick to sort of latch on to that material side of things.
I mean, your folks do have a 123-room mansion with the Olympic-sized swimming pool...
SPELLING: But who`s counting?
HAMMER: ... and the ice hockey rink, and all of that.
SPELLING: But it`s warm and intimate. That`s all that matters.
HAMMER: It is, right. You can spend days, I`m sure, without running into another person. What was the best part of growing up Spelling?
SPELLING: Best part, well, I got to grow up on sets, and that`s what I wanted to do, was be an actress. And actually the best part about it -- I got to, during my summer vacations, I got to go to the office with my father every day.
And I was actually more intrigued by that. I would say I was his assistant. And I would go to rough cuts, and editing, and hear him on phone calls with the network. And, you know, here I am producing my own show.
HAMMER: Yes, so you were all up in the `biz early on?
SPELLING: What can I say?
HAMMER: And it may seem shallow, but I`m curious, from a materialistic standpoint, because basically you could have anything you wanted, what was...
SPELLING: What was my favorite room in the house?
HAMMER: What was an advantage? Sure, what was your favorite room in the house?
SPELLING: Well, I didn`t actually grow up in what we call the mansion.
HAMMER: Right, it was built in the `90s.
SPELLING: Yes. I moved there when I was 17. I moved out when I was 19.
HAMMER: Did you make full use of the skating rink?
SPELLING: There`s no skating rink.
HAMMER: Why does it say there`s a skating rink?
SPELLING: Or a petting zoo.
HAMMER: Oh, sure, there`s not a petting zoo. What was the worst part about growing up Spelling, would you say?
SPELLING: It was probably the catty remarks I heard from people day in and day out, because it wasn`t -- now I`m so proud of my father. But when I was younger, it`s unfortunate, because I couldn`t really see past that, because I just had kids, you know, being a famous producer meant I was a rich girl. It wasn`t like, "Wow, look at his accomplishments." So, unfortunately, I just had to hear that all of the time.
HAMMER: And I imagine a difficult part, also, just being in the public eye and always having things splashed all over the magazines. You did have a very publicized million-dollar wedding and then a very publicized split with your husband that you announced last year. But you`re engaged. Congratulations on that.
SPELLING: I am. Thank you.
HAMMER: And now, you know, you have this new TV show starting. So I`m just curious: Where`s your head at these days? Are you doing all right? Are you feeling good about life?
SPELLING: Well, I mean, the show, since its conception, since I had the idea, has been about two years. And it`s been a long hurdle, marathon run for me, because we -- I had the idea. We made it NBC. NBC passed. VH-1 bought it.
We did 10 episodes, airing Sunday nights. So I`m just excited that it`s finally on. And I`m excited because I`m engaged. I`m going to get married.
HAMMER: And no messing up your name on the show. You are Tori Spelling on the show. I know it`s a glimpse into your life. But what is the biggest similarity between what we`ll see of your Tori Spelling character on the show and your real life as Tori Spelling?
SPELLING: The roots.
HAMMER: The roots. You can`t fake those?
SPELLING: No, they`re always there. Probably my personality. I think a lot of the storylines are, you know, semi-based on my reality. Some are just made up for a comedic effect. But the personality that you see on screen...
HAMMER: That`s really...
SPELLING: ... the girl that`s there, that`s me.
HAMMER: Well, you look good, and best of luck with the show.
SPELLING: Thank you.
HAMMER: We`re happy for you.
And you can catch Tori in "So NoTORIous" when it makes its debut this Sunday on VH-1.
ANDERSON: It is time now for tonight`s "Hot Headlines."
Tonight, George Clooney is stalking a celebrity stalking Web site. The Oscar-winning actor wants other stars to flood the Gawker Stalker Web site with made-up celebrity sightings.
SHOWBIZ TONIGHT first told you about Gawker Stalker a couple of weeks ago. It`s a site where people can write in where they spot celebrities, and that information is posted soon after for everyone to read.
No charges will be filed against Yanni. Court documents obtained this afternoon by SHOWBIZ TONIGHT say, even though there was probable cause for his arrest, Florida prosecutors will not go ahead with domestic battery charges against the new age musician. Yanni`s girlfriend told police earlier this month that he threw her on a bed and slapped her in the face. Yanni says the allegations are without merit.
And no "Brokeback" in the Bahamas. The Bahamas government board has banned "Brokeback Mountain" from theaters. The Bahamas` Christian Council requested the ban. "Brokeback" is a story of a gay cowboy romance.
And those are tonight`s "Hot Headlines."
HAMMER: Well, throughout our show tonight, we`ve been asking you to vote online on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." "9 to 5," 25 years later: Are things better for women at work?
Here`s how the vote`s been going so far tonight: 67 percent of you say yes; 33 percent of you say, no, things are not better for women at the office.
Among the e-mail we`ve received, we got one from anonymous in South Carolina who doesn`t think things have really changed. "I live 9:00 to 5:00 everyday, limited opportunities, lower pay, and no respect."
Certainly, that`s a piece of it, but certainly there is a lot that has gotten better. And if you`d like to chime in, vote at CNN.com/showbiztonight.
SHOWBIZ TONIGHT will be right back.
ANDERSON: It is time for this week`s "Entertainment Weekly" must- list. Here are five things "EW" says you just got to check out.
Spike Lee`s got game again in his new hostage thriller, "Inside Man," starring Denzel Washington and Jodie Foster.
Next, "EW" says to check out the end of March Madness. This weekend, the Final Four competes for the NCAA basketball title.
Then, pick up a copy of the book "Rip it Up and Start Again" by Simon Reynolds. It will take you back to the days of early `80s rock.
"EW" also says to check out FX`s new series "Thief." It`s starring Andre Braugher. He leads a double life as a mastermind thief and family man.
And finally, pick up a copy of the newly released 1980 mob classic "The Long Good Friday" on DVD.
For more on the must-list, pick up a copy of "Entertainment Weekly." It`s on newsstands now.
HAMMER: It is time now to see what`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT next week. Here comes your "Showbiz Marquee."
On Monday, candlelight, soft music, and "American Idol" blaring in the background? Yes, TVs in restaurants are popping up everywhere. Will diners tune out and start saying "check please"? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates this trend that is bringing new meaning to TV dinner.
Also next week, big stars stopping by SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. We`ve got Whoopi Goldberg talking about body image in Hollywood, Danny Glover about his new movie, Kate Walsh, who is on "Grey`s Anatomy," all that and more next week, right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
Have an excellent weekend. That is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York City.
ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Thanks for watching, everyone, and keep it here for more from CNN Headline News.