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Emmy Error?; `Hot Headlines`

Aired August 28, 2006 - 23:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: A 29-year-old virgin gets help from a magazine to find the right guy for the job.

I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: And why is Meredith Vieira calling "The View" a joke?

I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood.

TV`s most provocative entertainment news show starts right now.


HAMMER (voice over): On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, outrage over the Emmys. On the day of a deadly plane crash in Kentucky, NBC opens the Emmy broadcast with a skit about a plane crash. We are not kidding you.

Tonight, who`s angry, who`s speaking up, and was it in poor taste for NBC to show the skit?

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates.

Tonight, the "Survivor" segregation uproar erupts on the red carpet. TV`s biggest stars finding it hard to believe that "Survivor" will be dividing tribes on the show by race.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it`s a very bad idea and a crass idea.

HAMMER: Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with a star-studded "Survivor" smack-down over the show`s controversial new season.


ANDERSON: Hi there. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood.

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

And you kind of have to wonder, what the heck were they thinking at the Emmy Awards last night? Because...

ANDERSON: Good question.

HAMMER: ... there is Emmy outrage today all over a skit that may have seemed funny at first. But no one is laughing tonight.

ANDERSON: You`re right about that, A.J. I was right there last night as NBC began the show with a spoof of a plane crash on the very same day there was a terrible and deadly crash in Kentucky.


CONAN O`BRIEN, HOST, EMMYS: What could possibly go wrong?

ANDERSON (voice over): Plenty, as NBC is finding out. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on top of the controversy over what was meant to be a light and funny opening to the primetime Emmy Awards, but has turned into a nightmare for the network.

The pre-taped sketch featuring Emmy host Conan O`Brien in a mock plane crash was meant to spoof the plane crash in the hit TV show "Lost". The problem is, just hours earlier...

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: The worst domestic airline accident in several years.

ANDERSON: ... emergency crews were at the scene of a horrific, real- life plane crash. Comair Flight 5191 crashed and burned. The bodies of 49 people were pulled from the fiery wreckage. And right as the crash was generating hours worth of graphic and heartbreaking coverage on national news stations...

WHITFIELD: The crash occurred shortly after 6:00 a.m. Eastern.

ANDERSON: ... and local Kentucky stations...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s a disturbing thought to think what these 49 passengers were going through.

ANDERSON: ... a mock plane crash was being played for laughs at the Emmy Awards.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is asking, bad timing, or extremely bad taste?

HOWARD KURTZ, HOST, "RELIABLE SOURCES": Just an incredibly insensitive decision.

ANDERSON: Media critic Howard Kurtz tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT this most definitely was not must-see TV.

KURTZ: Look, you had a tragic event. To then start the Emmys with a pretty bad, by the way, skit about a plane crash, it just strikes me as insensitive, not just to the people in Kentucky, but to people all over the country.

ANDERSON: Viewers and NBC affiliates in Kentucky are furious. The general manager of the NBC station in Lexington, Kentucky, says he was "stunned" and "horrified". The "Los Angeles Times" calls the skit "cringe- inducing".

Now SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can report NBC is in damage control mode. In a statement to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, the network says, "Our hearts and prayers go out to the many families who lost loved ones in the plane crash in Kentucky on Sunday and to the entire community that has suffered this terrible loss. In no way would we ever want to make light of this terrible tragedy."

"The film`s opening during the Emmy telecast was meant to spoof some of television`s most well-known scenes. The timing was unfortunate. And we regret any unintentional pain it may have caused."

KURTZ: I guarantee you that today, in light of all the criticism, NBC wishes it had pulled that plane crash skit from the Emmys. It was a live event. This thing didn`t have to go on the air. There was plenty of time to say, you know what? This is not the day to start off the Emmy Awards with a not-so-funny skit about a plane going down.


ANDERSON: Officials at the NBC station in Lexington, Kentucky, where the crash took place, say they had no idea that NBC was going to open last night`s Emmy Awards with the plane crash spoof. And if they had known, the station officials say they would not have shown the sketch.

HAMMER: Well, the controversial plane skit is just one of the many things that people are talking about tonight about the Emmy Awards.

Joining us from Hollywood, Chris Lisotta, the senior writer for And here with me in New York, Linda Stasi, TV writer for "The New York Post".

Excellent to see you both.



HAMMER: So, Chris, you were right there. You were hanging out at the Emmy Awards backstage last night.


HAMMER: Was everybody there talking about what happened with that ill-timed plane crash skit? Because we`re certainly buzzing about it today. But was there an awareness, jaw-dropping thing going on?

LISOTTA: No. Honestly, A.J., there wasn`t that at all. I mean, it was people laughing at the skit. But there wasn`t a reaction like a cringe or anything.

I mean, I was sitting right next to the "L.A. Times" reporters, and pretty much they were reacting the way we all were. I think it wasn`t until later.

I mean, there were no questions. I mean, no one brought it up in the press room. But I don`t think anybody who was in the room there reacted that way. It wasn`t like everyone shocked.

HAMMER: Right. But we certainly are talking about it today.

The cringe, Linda, is a word you used -- I read your column today.


HAMMER: And that`s exactly how you characterized your reaction to it.

Do you think it`s kind of outrageous that they didn`t go and try to fix this thing? Because it seems that they could have.

STASI: You know, right at -- when I was watching it, I thought, "Are they out of their minds? How did they not edit this or do something?"

And even my boss thought, "Well, maybe you`re overreacting." And I said, "Maybe I am. And maybe I`m being crazy sensitive, but this is the worst thing I`ve ever seen. Today was the worst airline disaster in five years. How could they allow this to happen?"

I was horrified.

HAMMER: Yes. The timing did seem...

STASI: Horrified.

HAMMER: ... wrong.

But Chris, what do you think? Are we being a little oversensitive about this, you know, if it didn`t affect us directly? I can understand the general manager of the station in Lexington reacting that way.


LISOTTA: I think there was an issues from an affiliate perspective and an NBC perspective. I mean, anybody I talked to today at NBC was saying, "This was an issue we should have dealt with, we should have spoke to the people at Kentucky and let them know what was going on."

I mean, what had happened was, the Kentucky station just had come out of a package about the crash. And then they went right into the Emmys. And that was something they really should have known about.

I mean, whether this comes to the extent of a huge national tragedy, I think is still a question. But...


LISOTTA: But I think that, should have NBC been more sensitive about it? Sure.


Real quickly.

STASI: You know, I`m an ink stain rep (ph). So I don`t really know how these things work. But I can`t imagine that they couldn`t have edited out the horrible crashing part and just had them say, "What could possibly go wrong?" And then cut, he`s walking out of the water and there`s the fat guy. You know?

HAMMER: It did seem that way. OK.

Let`s move on. A couple other things we want to talk about.

Chris, NBC, the number four network, had a very bizarre part of the show last night. Of course, the Emmys airing on NBC.


HAMMER: There was this musical number where Conan O`Brien is basically bashing his own network.

Let`s take a look at this.


O`BRIEN (SINGING): Yes, we`ve got trouble.


O`BRIEN (SINGING): With a capital T, trouble. We had a lot of viewers, but now we`ve got a few. To prove things are going to hell, we`re relying on Howie Mandel!

With a capital T...


O`BRIEN (SINGING): ... and that rhymes with...


HAMMER: Yes, we`ve got trouble on NBC. It doesn`t really seem like a good idea to me, biting the hand that feeds you. I kind of cringed when I saw this.

LISOTTA: Well, but that`s -- yes, but that`s Conan O`Brien. I mean, Letterman for years talked about how bad CBS was doing in the ratings when that network wasn`t doing well. And I think if you bring on a late-night guy, they are going to make things -- make fun of things. So there is no sacred cow.

HAMMER: They`re just having a good time at their own expense.

LISOTTA: Absolutely.

HAMMER: Let me...

STASI: That begin with Johnny Carson. I mean, that -- he`s right about the late night, because that`s what -- that`s the tradition of the late night. Was the musical number necessary? I haven`t seen anything that boring since Rob Lowe danced with the chairs...

HAMMER: Exactly.

Quickly, I want to ask you about the -- in an Aaron Spelling tribute, we saw a rare reunion of Farrah Fawcett, Jacqueline Smith and Kate Jackson, the "Charlie`s Angels." They came out together on stage for the first time as long as I can remember.

What do you think people were thinking, Linda, when they saw these three ladies come out?

STASI: I think -- I think all the women were thinking, OK, who is the surgeon for Jacqueline Smith and who is the surgeon for Farrah Fawcett, because there was like a world of difference there. Jacqueline Smith truly has not made a pact with the devil. She is married to the devil, she`s had his kids.

That`s what I was thinking.

HAMMER: Pull no punches there.

We`ve got to wrap it up there.

Linda Stasi, thanks for joining us.

Chris Lisotta, out in Hollywood, we appreciate you being with us tonight for a little Emmy recap.

And certainly there were some controversial and memorable moments during the course of the Emmy Awards. A fine job hosting, I thought, by Conan O`Brien.

All that aside, the show lost about two million viewers compared to last year`s broadcast on CBS. That leaves about 16 million who actually were there to watch the show last night.

We want to hear from you on what we were speaking about earlier for our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." Airplane crash skit: Was it insensitive to show it on the Emmys?

Let us know what you think at, or e-mail us at

ANDERSON: And we have more Emmy coverage covering your way tonight. I saw a lot of great fashion on the red carpet and some, well, not so great.

Joan and Melissa Rivers will be here to talk about all the fashion hits and misses.

That`s coming up at 44 minutes past the hour.

HAMMER: So Meredith Vieira says the show that she co-hosted for nine years has become a joke. In an interview with "TIME" magazine, Vieira says that she doesn`t watch "The View" because she really needs to be thinking ahead to her upcoming gig on the "Today" show. She said the one exception was the day after Star Jones Reynolds made the announcement that she was leaving the show.

Vieira said she watched "The View" the next day and said, "I feel very sad for everything that`s happened and for everybody involved. I`m proud of the work we did there, but it`s not a good time in the history of that show. It`s hard to watch. It sort of became a joke."

Vieira starts on the "Today" show on September 13th.

ANDERSON: Well, this isn`t a joke. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is now on seven nights a week. We`re bringing TV`s most provocative entertainment news show to your weekend.

Be sure to check us out. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Saturday and Sunday, and each and every night, 11:00 p.m. Eastern. That`s 8:00 Pacific.

HAMMER: Are you ready for this? A 29-year-old virgin who doesn`t want to be a 30-year-old virgin, and she is getting help from a magazine to find her Mr. Right. She is going to be right here to tell us what the heck she is thinking.

That`s coming up.

We`ll also have this...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have very strong opinions about it. I think it`s a very bad idea. And a crass idea.


ANDERSON: It was all the buzz when I was on the red carpet at the Emmys, "Survivor`s" plan to divide tribes by race. What the biggest stars in television told me about this controversy, that`s coming up.

HAMMER: Plus, Matthew Broderick rushed to the hospital after a horse riding accident.

We`re going to have the latest on his condition coming up next.

ANDERSON: First, tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly" "Great American Pop Culture Quiz."

Lisa Marie Presley filed for divorce from Michael Jackson after how many months of marriage, 4, 7, 20, or 31?

Think about it.

We`re coming right back.


ANDERSON: So, again, tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly" "Great American Pop Culture Quiz."

Lisa Mary Presley filed for divorce from Michael Jackson after how many months of marriage, 4, 7, 20 or 31?

Well, they didn`t quite make it two years. The answer is C, 20 months.

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT for Monday night. This is TV`s most provocative entertainment news show.

I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

It`s time now for a little story that made us say "That`s ridiculous!"

So, does your cell phone ever drive you crazy?


HAMMER: What about other people`s cell phones?


HAMMER: Well, if that`s the case for you, you`re going to like this particular story.

I`d like to officially welcome you to the cell phone-throwing world championship. Yes, a cell phone is what`s being thrown there.

This all went down over the weekend. The gold medal went to somebody who threw a Nokia phone 97 yards. And, by the way, Finland has also given us the world`s sauna championship and the wife-carrying competition.

And Brooke, I have to own up to the fact that every now and then I`ll be walking down the street here in New York City and somebody will have one of those songs go off on their cell phone which I, quite frankly, find embarrassing. I do want to grab it and throw it. But...

ANDERSON: Make it a little more mobile.

Well, by the way, this was the seventh annual event, A.J. They are going to recycle the phones, so it was an environmentally friendly event.

But we say, a cell phone-throwing world championship? Now "That`s ridiculous!"

HAMMER: "That`s ridiculous!"

ANDERSON: Moving now to Gene Simmons. He`s doing a really nice thing for an Israeli soldier seriously wounded during recent fighting in Lebanon.

The KISS rocker sent Ron Weinrick (ph) a taped get well message calling him a hero. Weinrick (ph), a huge KISS fan, is still in the hospital, paralyzed from the waist down. Weinrick`s (ph) brother moved his wedding to the hospital so Ron could attend.

That`s where the Simmons surprise was played.


GENE SIMMONS, KISS: Hi Ron, this is Gene Simmons. I`m talking to you from my home. I can`t tell you how proud I am of you and how much the world and Israel holds owes you a debt of gratitude.

You`re a heal hero. You are everybody`s hero. You are my hero. And I wish I could be there with you.


So I know exactly what you are going through.


ANDERSON: What Gene Simmons says there in Hebrew is, "My name is Chaim. I was born in Haifa." Haifa is the northern Israeli city which was attacked by Hezbollah rockets during the 34-day conflict.

Simmons` birth name is Chaim Witz. He emigrated to the U.S. as a child from Haifa.

HAMMER: A top Hollywood producer slams Mel Gibson. And huge Tom Cruise news. A big backer really shows him the money.

Just a couple of tonight`s "Hot Headlines."

Let`s get the details on them now from Harvey Levin, managing editor of the entertainment Web site Harvey joining us from Glendale, California.

Hello, Harvey.


HAMMER: Let`s start off with Mel Gibson, shall we? Why not? Let`s talk about the controversy as it continues, and some pretty tough words coming from mega-producer Rob Reiner.

Basically, Rob Reiner is saying that Gibson has to do more than just apologize. He said that Gibson has to actually acknowledge that his film "Passion of the Christ" is anti-Semitic.

I want to read to you a quote, something that Rob Reiner told AP radio. He said, "When it comes to the understanding that he has done that and can come out and say, `You know, my views have been reflected in my work and I feel bad that I`ve done that,` then that will be the beginning of some reconciliation for him."

Harvey, I don`t see Mel Gibson coming out any time soon to do that. But this is really a continuation of Mel`s uphill battle since that DUI arrest, isn`t it?

LEVIN: Yes, and it`s interesting to me, A.J., because in some ways all of the criticism is kind of coming out in dribs and drabs. It`s kind of curious to me why Rob Reiner did this.

I mean, I don`t know how long it`s been, four or five weeks after the incident. So that`s curious.

And the other thing Rob Reiner is asking Mel Gibson to do is not just kind of own up to alleged anti-Semitism, but hypocrisy. I mean, what Rob Reiner is really saying is, hey, Mel, you were really being dishonest when you said that this had nothing to do with your personal views. Now tell people basically it was fraudulent.

So that`s a pretty heavy statement.

HAMMER: And interesting to your point that when this news was first breaking about his anti-Semitic comments, Hollywood was largely being either anonymous or altogether silent.

Let`s move on to our next "Hot Headline," something big in the news last week, Tom Cruise getting fired from Paramount. This week he announces he did get that financial backing for his production company, just like he said he would.

What can you tell us about this deal?

LEVIN: Well, he is saying that he got it. I`m not so sure what the timeline -- timeline is here. I mean, he`s -- he`s apparently hitched up with the owner of the Washington Redskins and somebody who owns Six Flags Magic Mountain. And it`s basically three guys who have a ton of money, and they are going to fund Tom Cruise`s movies and Paula Wagner`s movies for the next two years and maybe even longer.

What I`m kind of interested in is, when did they make this deal? Because it sounded like they were saying last week that the deal was done with somebody on Tuesday or Wednesday, but we`re not hearing about this one today. So I`m wondering if this was a lass-minute scramble or not.

HAMMER: Interesting, though, if you look at the fine print of the press release. I looked at it this afternoon. Mid-August is when they said they started first talking about these things.

I want to move on to these next two headlines real quick because they are related and kind of scary.

Matthew Broderick fell off a horse? What happened to Matthew?

LEVIN: Of course, of course. Well, he broke his collarbone. They were on vacation. He and Sarah Jessica Parker were on vacation in the U.K., and apparently he fell of a horse, broke his collarbone, went to the hospital, treated and released.

We`re told he`s in some pain but he`s getting by. But rough going there on vacation.

HAMMER: And not the only one, not just Matthew Broderick. A similar incident involving Barbara Bach. Of course the former Bond girl and wife of Beatle Ringo Star.

What happened to Barbara?

LEVIN: Kicked by a horse. Was it her leg that got broken, I think, A.J.? I think it was her leg. But bad -- bad -- bad week for the Brits in the U.K., at least.

HAMMER: Yes. And I can confirm it was her leg. And, you know, we can giggle a little bit about the horse action, but it always brings to mind the tragedy that began with Christopher Reeve...

LEVIN: Right.

HAMMER: ... with his falling off a horse some years ago.

LEVIN: Absolutely.

HAMMER: Harvey, thank you, as always, for bringing us up to speed. Appreciate you joining us tonight from Glendale, California.

LEVIN: Bye, A.J.

HAMMER: Harvey Levin, the managing editor of

ANDERSON: A friendly reminder now that SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is on seven nights a week. We are bringing TV`s most provocative entertainment show to your weekend each and every weekend. Be sure to tune in, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Saturday and Sunday and each and every night, 11:00 p.m. Eastern. That is 8:00 Pacific.

Kevin Federline gets a new gig, and it`s a first for Britney`s husband. We`re going to tell you where you`re going to see him this fall, coming up.

HAMMER: Also, Emmy fashion. Who looked the best at the Emmys on the red carpet? Joan and Melissa Rivers themselves joining us to dish about the fashion hits and misses.

That is coming up.

We`ll also have this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that`s pretty dangerous.


ANDERSON: It was all the buzz when I was on the red carpet at the Emmys, "Survivor`s" plan to divide tribes by race. What the biggest stars in TV told me about the controversy.

That`s straight ahead.

HAMMER: Well, the football saga "Invincible" lived up to its title at the movies this weekend. The film, starring Mark Wahlberg, debuted in first place. It took in about $17 million in ticket sales.

Will Ferrell in "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby," came in second place, followed by the Indy hit "Little Miss Sunshine" -- great movie.

Also, in fourth place, the lager Olympics comedy "Beerfest."

And coming in fifth place, Oliver Stone`s 9/11 drama, "World Trade Center."


ANDERSON: Tomorrow, a look back at Hurricane Katrina and what the stars have done to help. It`s been a year since Katrina destroyed the Gulf Coast. Has Hollywood done enough? What about all those star-studded fund- raisers and charities?

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates tomorrow.

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show.

I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

Sharon Stone`s family is growing. Yes, today we learned that the actress has adopted a third child, a baby boy named Quinn. Now, Stone already has two adopted sons, one name Laird (ph), the other Rome (ph).

ANDERSON: "American Idol" runner-up Katharine McPhee may have a big role ahead of her on the big screen. A source tells the entertainment Web site that McPhee is being considered for the role of "Wonder Woman". The upcoming film, directed by Josh Whedon of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" fame.

In addition to McPhee, everyone from Sandra Bullock to Kate Beckinsale has been rumored to be in the running for that role.

HAMMER: All right. Are you ready for this? A 29-year-old virgin who doesn`t want to be a 30-year-old virgin.

If that was you, what would you do? Would you get help from a magazine? Well, that`s what she is doing. Going to "Jane" magazine to try to find her Mr. Right. And she will join us coming up in just a few moments to tell us exactly what the heck she is thinking.

We`ll also have this...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have very strong opinions about it. I think it`s a very bad idea. And a crass idea.


ANDERSON: Christopher Malony (ph) there. But he wasn`t the only one talking about it. It was all the buzz when I was on the red carpet at the Emmys, "Survivor`s" plan to divide tribes by race. What the biggest stars in television told me about the controversy coming up.

HAMMER: Also, Emmy fashion, the good, the bad and the ugly. Melissa and Joan Rivers will join us to tell what they thought coming up in a few.


A.J. HAMMER, CNN HEADLINE ANCHOR, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It is 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN HEADLINE ANCHOR, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT: And I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. This is TV`s most provocative entertainment news show.

HAMMER: All right, Brooke, you saw "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" with Steve Carell, right.

ANDERSON: I did. Great film.

HAMMER: The guy was 40 years old had not yet had sex for the first time. Well, in a real-life case of that movie, sort of, I`m going to introduce you to a 29-year-old woman who finds herself still a virgin at the age of 29. Doesn`t want to be when she turns 30 in just a couple of months. What has she done? She has turned to a magazine for help.

A little odd, you might say. We`ll get to the bottom of it.

ANDERSON: Is nothing sacred anymore, A.J.? Nothing private?

HAMMER: No, she has good reasons I`m sure.

ANDERSON: OK, we will talk to her.

Also, A.J., I was on the red carpet yesterday at the Emmy awards.

HAMMER: Looking lovely, by the way. The crew here was saying, in New York, you looked fantastic.

ANDERSON: Ah, thank you, to all of you. I appreciate that. That`s very kind.

But I was interviewing all the stars. It was about them yesterday. And I saw a lot of great fashion, lot of terrific looks. But then I also saw some very questionable styles, shall I say. Coming up Joan and Melissa Rivers will join us to dish on the fashion hits and misses.

But first, just call it Segregated Island. CBS says the new season of "Survivor" will feature tribes of contestants divided by based on race. That`s right, 20 people will be secluded on an island and put on teams, depending on the color of their skin. As you can imagine, it has already drawn a lot of criticism. And the outrage certainly didn`t stop last night on the Emmy red carpet.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it is pandering to the lowest common denominator.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Truth is, a race is a race, we are all different too. We all want the same things.

ANDERSON: "Survivors" shocking decision to split up contestants by race in the new season was the talk of the red carpet at the Emmy awards. And I was right there with the stars getting an earful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t like it. I don`t like it. I mean, you know, I`m Jewish, and what are you going to have a nation of Shylocks? That is ridiculous. You know, that no -not for me.

ANDERSON: CBS is going for ratings gold by rocking the boat, in a big way. When season 13 starts in September, 20 people will be stranded in the South Pacific divided into four teams, whites, blacks, Latinos, and Asians. It is a concept that many stars tell me is almost too ridiculous to deal with.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it is an obvious ploy to try and shore up sinking ratings. I think it is a very bad idea and a crass idea.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that is pretty dangerous.

ANDERSON: It is not just celebrities who think CBS has gone overboard. Many critics, including some New York city officials are urging "Survivors" tribe of viewers to tune out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I ask you to boycott, boycott CBS!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The show is just plain stupid. The idea is stupid and it should be yanked immediately.

ANDERSON: The premise is so controversial it almost seems like a joke. But CBS tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, this is no laughing matter. "Survivor" host Jeff Probst told me he doesn`t think there is anything wrong with the "Survivor" ethnic twist.

JEFF PROBST, HOST, "SURVIVOR": Having this much ethnic diversity was so refreshing and so fun for us. We heard new slang. We talked about different cultural things that happen within a group. We saw people make fire in different ways. It was a completely new show.

ANDERSON: Probst says the show has been criticized for being too white. Segregating players, he says, will actually make the show more ethnically diverse.

PROBST: I`m a white guy from Wichita. I`m not an expert on ethnic diversity. So, I`m very much aware that I might be saying things right now that are offensive. All I know is that I`m on this planet I try to get along with everybody. I think the show can help foster more discussion about how we can all get along. I would simply say to people, you should give it a chance, and then if you don`t like it. Don`t watch.

ANDERSON: The problem is CBS can`t really afford for people not to watch "Survivor". Ratings have been on the decline.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For the past 12 seasons, "Survivor" has been a huge buttress to CBS` ratings. Even though they have had a bit of a drop off, this is definitely going to draw people into the show. What you have here is a really bold, brash, perhaps reckless, stunt to boost ratings. Will it work? We`ll see.

ANDERSON: If producers wanted to get people talking about the show again, well it worked. Talk radio`s Rush Limbaugh got buzz going with his nationally syndicated show with what appeared to be a tongue-in-cheek take on "Survivors" competitive swimming events.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I know what you are saying, you are saying I`m being racist, you are saying I`m being racist because I`m saying blacks can`t swim.

ANDERSON: The big concern, that comments like that will perpetuate stereotypes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s what I`m worried about. I`m sure there are other people who think just like Rush. You know, and who are looking for those things. Yeah, I want to see that Asians outwit everybody. And I want to see the blacks who can`t swim.

ANDERSON: But still, in the end, some say to lighten up, it is only show business.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is entertainment, folks. And you can`t take these things too seriously. It is a silly game, folks. I just is, don`t get too freaked out about this.


ANDERSON: Want to make your own judgment call? Well, you are going to have to wait until September 14. That is when the new season of "Survivor" kicks off on CBS.

The Emmy broadcast, itself, creating a lot of controversy, too. Earlier we told you how NBC opened the show with host Conan O`Brien spoofing the series "Lost" with a plane crash skit. This, on the same day as a deadly real-life plane crash in Kentucky, that killed 49 people. So, we have been asking you to vote on tonight`s SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Airplane crash skit, was it insensitive to show it on the Emmy`s? Keep voting at Write to us at ShowbizTonight@ We`ll read some of your e-mails tomorrow.

HAMMER: All right. So, here`s the deal. Imagine you are 29-years old. You live in New York City, but unlike the HBO show, there is no sex in the city for you. You are still a virgin. So what do you do? Well, if you are Sarah DiMuro, you turn to the popular woman`s magazine, "Jane" and its readers to help her find the right guy to help her lose her virginity by her 30th birthday, which by the way, is coming up on November 7.

Twenty-nine year old virgin Sarah DiMuro joins me here in New York.

You love being identified that way, I`m sure.

SARAH DIMURO, 29-YEAR OLD VIRGIN: Yes, it is great.

HAMMER: It is following you around. I think I have this right, Sarah.


HAMMER: You are a virgin, you are about to turn 30, you want to lose your virginity before that happens, so you when to "Jane" the readers are submitting pictures of themselves. They are answering questionnaires and basically applying for the job to help you lose your virginity. Here is my question. You are doing this in a very public forum. This is what I would consider kind of a private matter. Why in the world would you do that?

DIMURO: I know. I`m a little crazy. But no, seriously, it started off, as like my sort of comic routine. That I do this thing about virginity, how even like a 26-year-old virgin, 27, 28, 29. And then I decided that when I turned 29 that I kind of wanted to you know, socially, you know, integrate into society more. Like see what all the kids are talking about. So, I sort of approached "Jane" magazine as sort of a column idea. And let them know that it was sort of my 29th year, and then is sort of grew into this sort of thing, which I thought was really fun.

And so, yes, and the bottom line is dating is a numbers game, and my numbers are really low. I have not dated, let see, six, maybe guys?

HAMMER: Well, see, that is kind of strange, though, because I -you know, we are having a nice conversation. You seem socially adjusted.

DIMURO: Yes, that`s true.

HAMMER: You are a lovely young woman. So, are people doubting you and saying there is no way. She`s not a virgin.

DIMURO: Oh, yeah. I was on a very popular New York radio show the other day, and they were like, no way you are a virgin. You, like, no way! Do you have any evidence? You want to show us now? I was like, no!

HAMMER: So you say low dating numbers, but what`s the truth? I mean, has it been by choice, because often if somebody is 29, not married, they`re a virgin, because they chose to be abstinent. Is that the case with you?

DIMURO: No, no, this is not like -this wasn`t like, it is a choice. I don`t date a lot. Like I had my first kiss at 23. I had severe acne, like, jaw surgery. I went to all women`s institution, schools. So it has been a lot of time in the non-men sequitor (ph) sort of situation. And that was fine. It was great. I had a really good time. I`m kind of looking to sort of kick it up a notch.

HAMMER: OK, well, you are certainly kicking it up a notch, by going to the magazine and just looking at the web site. And I`m scrolling through all the guys on there that are submitting to help you in your quest to lose your virginity. Are you getting flack for doing this?

DIMURO: Oh, yeah, I`m getting lots of flack. In fact, they -

HAMMER: What kinds of things do they say?

DIMURO: Let`s see, NYCblog, this is a great one. Do not, attention all men in New York, do not date Sarah DiMuro. Do not have sex with her. That was great. It is really good an you know -

HAMMER: I`m looking at some of the guys who have applied for the job, by the way.

DIMURO: Yeah, that was a date I actually had, that guy, right there. I have not met him yet. There is actually a really cute guy that I`m going out with on Wednesday, that I think is going to be really fun. But I want to make one thing clear.

HAMMER: Yes, please.

DIMURO: First off, that I am not definitely going to lose my virginity on the 7th. It was, it was -this is not like at five to midnight, November 6, I`m like grabbing the first guy, all of a sudden we`re all -at the end of the day.

HAMMER: Got it. So, it is like if you are hanging out in a bar celebrating your birthday and it hasn`t happened yet.


HAMMER: You are not going to run out, grab somebody, go home and take care of business?

DIMURO: No, Dad. That is not going to happen. No, I was just looking at this as an opportunity to sort of date a lot, see what might happen. And actually look for a connection with someone. And I think that is kind of like what all women are -all people, are looking for.

HAMMER: That makes sense. So, you are having a good time?

DIMURO: Exactly.

HAMMER: You feel good about the fact that you are going to make this happen, by your birthday?

DIMURO: I feel good that I`m going to try my hardest to have fun.

HAMMER: We wish you the best of luck.

DIMURO: Thank you so much.

HAMMER: Find that guy, Sarah.

DIMURO: Great, thank you.

HAMMER: Sarah DiMuro, I appreciate you joining us.

And you can read all about Sarah`s adventures. I guess it is an adventure. It is a quest, trying to lose her virginity. Check out this, the current issue of "Jane" magazine. Or you can actually help her choose a guy by going to the web site,

ANDERSON: His singing, not so good. But that is not keeping Britney Spears` husband from acting. Yes, you heard right. That`s ridiculous. And that`s next.

HAMMER: Also, who looked ridiculous? And who looked ravishing on the Emmy`s red carpet. The mother daughter duo, everybody loves, with all the fashion, fabulous and flops. Joan and Melissa Rivers coming up.

Plus, we`ve got this:


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m very boring in person, by the way. People are like, bring Ari on, you are ridiculous.


ANDERSON: Coming up, I find out if there really is any obnoxious Ari Golden. "Entourage`s" Jeremy Piven, and a whole bunch of other secrets. My favorite back stage one-on-one Emmy moment. That`s next.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And dissolve three, pull out on three. Standby NASA control, and roll your break, effect to black, please.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three, stand by, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT continues. Here`s A.J., dissolve two. Go, A.J.

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. It is time now for yet another story that just made us say, "That`s Ridiculous."

Of course, we all heard him rap, at the Teen Choice Awards, which was really kind of a mess. Now, apparently he`s trying to act. We`re talking about Britney Spear`s husband, Kevin Federline. This guy is often criticized for doing nothing, except, well, sitting on the couch.

He`s landed his very first speaking role in an upcoming episode of, of all things, CBS` "CSI". K-Fed is going to be playing an arrogant teenager who harasses the CSI team as they investigate a series of beatings in the Las Vegas area. Now "People" magazine says the show is supposed to be on the air in October.

Brooke, what I don`t understand is here you have "CSI" which is the top-rated drama on television, hiring this guy?

ANDERSON: Right. And hiring this guy, Kevin Federline. And he`s not playing a corpse, we now know. He has got a speaking role. But he started shooting this week in Los Angeles. And we say, K-Fed on "CSI" now "That`s Ridiculous".

And talk about ridiculous, A.J., you should have seen some of the things I saw on the Emmy red carpet last night. Who better to dish on the fashion fabulous and all the faux pas, the mother daughter duo, Joan and Melissa Rivers? They are right here with me in Hollywood.

Thank you both for being here. Welcome back.


ANDERSON: Good to see you again.


ANDERSON: Now, I saw a lot of interesting colors on the red carpet. In addition to a lot of black, a lot of purple, is that a new trend that we`re seeing.

M. RIVERS: A lot of purple.

J. RIVERS: We were told purple is the new black.


J. RIVERS: Black is the new black, this year, but purple is also the new black.

ANDERSON: OK, so now I know, purple is the new black.


J. RIVERS: Purple is the new black.

M. RIVERS: Right behind, it being the new black.

ANDERSON: The new black, first, and foremost.


ANDERSON: Let`s talk about some of the women that you are really loved. First is Debra Messing, right?

J. RIVERS: Gorgeous. Short, mini looked good, too thin, though. I thought a lot of them it looked like a reunion of "Schindler`s List". But once you got past that.



J. RIVERS: They were gorgeous. Debra Messing, it was her thousandth interview, and she looked the star. You know, the show is over and here I am. And the dress was white, and beautiful summer kind of a dress.

M. RIVERS: Yes, it looked amazing. Another one, Sandra Oh (ph).

J. RIVERS: Sandra, oh, she should be known as, "Oh my, God!"

M. RIVERS: That was a very controversial dress. A lot of people today haven`t like it. They said too much with the jewelry. And my thing is if that had been an editorial in a magazine, we all would have been -

ANDERSON: Blown away.

M. RIVERS: Blown away.

ANDERSON: Very glamorous, a stand alone (ph).

M. RIVERS: And she has great personal style.


M. RIVERS: Don`t try that at home.

ANDERSON: She is an individual.


ANDERSON: You can tell.

And let`s talk about someone that you thought was a miss. Candice Bergen, who in the past has looked so elegant on occasion, but .

M. RIVERS: American icon, beautiful.


M. RIVERS: But in the past.

J. RIVERS: Well, I think she got her designers wrong. She meant to go to Stella McCartney and she went to Charlie McCarthy.


J. RIVERS: I think she just blew it.

M. RIVERS: Yes, big miss.

ANDERSON: It wasn`t flattering. I agree with you. It just -

J. RIVERS: Anything but. And she`s a gorgeous woman.

ANDERSON: What about Ellen Pompeo?

M. RIVERS: Again, another controversial dress, John Galliano for Dior.


M. RIVERS: But here`s the thing, everybody -all the designers are trying to push everyone into their fall clothes. So she wore a velvet dress. It was 90 something degrees. It was August.

ANDERSON: It was blazing yesterday. Everyone was sweating.

J. RIVERS: In that dress all she needed was mittens an a cup of cocoa. I mean, she was gorgeous in it, but.

M. RIVERS: But, you have to call it a miss. At one point, you have to say, it is August, and you are going to have to face up to your stylist and designer and say, I`m not wearing velvet. You are killing me out here.

ANDERSON: Stand up to your stylist.


ANDERSON: If you don`t agree, who knows if she didn`t agree, but stand up.

J. RIVERS: You have got to stand up to your stylist.

ANDERSON: There is the lesson there, everybody, stand up to the stylist.

J. RIVERS: Maybe she had a straight stylist.

ANDERSON: There`s the problem!

J. RIVERS: There`s the problem.

M. RIVERS: Great idea, yeah.

ANDERSON: Julia Louise Dreyfus, I thought she looked so cute.

M. RIVERS: So, great. So, great. The black and white still a big story, especially coming out of summer. And a little bit of beading, again, a big story that we`re seeing in all the magazines.

J. RIVERS: And she kept saying, and I loved, on camera, and I was interviewing her, "I`m back! I`m back! I`m back!" She was so happy to be there. Not one of these bitches that just goes, "Well, I`m doing America a favor here. I am.

ANDERSON: I`m a star gracing you with my presence.

J. RIVERS: Yes. She was so happy.

ANDERSON: Yes, genuinely happy. No "Seinfeld" curse for her.

J. RIVERS: No "Seinfeld" curse.

ANDERSON: Kyra Sedgwick, I want to ask you about her.

J. RIVERS: Ah, the dress, and she looked gorgeous. They are all gorgeous. But the dress had every damn thing on it except a police radio and Margaret Thatcher.

M. RIVERS: It was like every trend shoved on to one dress.

ANDERSON: But her jewels were understated. So, I thought it was going -

M. RIVERS: Well, thank God!

ANDERSON: I thought she looked lovely.

J. RIVERS: The dress was a ball gown. Come on, it`s the Emmys. It just was wrong. You wondered who was under there, maybe she was sneaking the kids in.


M. RIVERS: It had the pleating and the empire (ph), and the flower, and the ruffle, it just needed to be toned down a step.

ANDERSON: Yes, and the kids may not have had a ticket to the show. So, that would be OK.


ANDERSON: Also, the "Charlie`s Angels", the original "Charlie`s Angels", made an appearance for a tribute to Aaron Spelling last night. Yes, Farah Fawcett, Kate Jackson, Jacqueline Smith, you say they looked fabulous, but they had a little help, right, Joan?

J. RIVERS: Oh, of course, they had help. And I think we should tell the women in the world, you would look gorgeous too, if you have a stylist, and make up, and nip and a tuck.

M. RIVERS: And hair.


M. RIVERS: And you know, people literally fussing on you as you walk out. They look gorgeous.

ANDERSON: So, it is attainable - but it is hours, and lots of money, and -

J. RIVERS: But it is attainable. Any woman over 55, if she doesn`t go cluck, cluck with a turkey neck, is because she`s had something done. And that`s great.

ANDERSON: And you say it was obvious with them.

Well, what were you to fashion mavens wearing?

J. RIVERS: I wore, I loved it, I wore a Michael Bobreck (ph) black, Michael Bobreck for Bill Blass. I loved my dress.

M. RIVERS: And I wore a gold Luca Luca (ph).

ANDERSON: You both-there you are. You both looked stunning.

J. RIVERS: She looked fabulous.

ANDERSON: And as always, thanks for being here and sharing your unique perspective on the fashion.

M. RIVERS: Thank you for having us.

ANDERSON: We always have fun with you.

Joan and Melissa Rivers. And Joan Rivers celebrated a milestone at the Emmys last night, as she said. Her 1,000ths red carpet interview and that was with Debra Messing.

OK, while I was backstage at the Emmys, just moments after the winners heard their names called and they got their statues. I got a chance to ask them about some stuff they didn`t get to mention on stage before the music cut them off, of course. So, here are some of my favorite one-on-one chats.


ANDERSON (On camera): Second Emmy win for you.


ANDERSON: For "Will & Grace".


ANDERSON: For the swan song.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, my first nomination and my last nomination. So that was really nice.

ANDERSON: Yes, nice bookends, that you have now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you said they were bookends, just then, I didn`t think that at the time, but when I got back to my seat I remember that when I was about 20 or 21, and I lived in Chicago, I saw a psychic, one of probably three psychics I ever saw in my life. He came over to my apartment and the only thing I remember, and it just came to me, afterward. He told me that I someday was going to win two Emmys that would be like bookends. Hello, you just said it.

ANDERSON: Your first Emmy win?


ANDERSON: You won a Golden Globe for your performance.


ANDERSON: But what does the Emmy mean to you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To be on a show that sheds light on a very dark subject, and to be on a show that gives people a voice who are scared to speak out, so I say a little shout out to all those people. Speak up and speak out, and I`m honored to be on the show that I`m so very proud of.

ANDERSON: How do you channel Ari? Because he is such an intricate, complex, hilarious guy?


ANDERSON: But how do you channel Ari? And is it fun to have these outrageous scenes, these meltdowns?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The biggest misconception about me and the show is that I`m improvising. The reality is Doug Ellen is writing these shows so brilliantly and specifically. And it is an honor to go and play this character. I`m very boring, in person, by the way.

ANDERSON: I don`t believe it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are like bring Ari on, you are ridiculous. You are too, Koom-by-ya (ph) for me. But I love playing this character because he is, he gets to really go crazy. Throwing computers, fire people, I think everyone should have this. I think it should be a release form of therapy for people.


ANDERSON: And guess what, Jeremy Piven took a very special date to the Emmys. He took his mother.

And, A.J., at the Golden Globes, earlier this year, he also took his mother to that award show.

HAMMER: What a guy!

ANDERSON: What a guy. What a nice guy. But I have to tell you something that really stood out to me. A secret formula to winning.


ANDERSON: If your show is cancelled, you have a pretty good chance. Because early on in the show you had Blythe Danner winning for Hop (ph), it was her second Emmy for that role. And that show was cancelled. Megan Mullaly (ph) for "Will & Grace" that show is now off the air. And Alan Alda, wins for the "West Wing".

HAMMER: Seems like the way to go.

ANDERSON: So if your show is cancelled, there you have it.

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. We`ll be right back.


ANDERSON: On Friday we asked you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. It was about a "Forbes" magazine article which suggested women with careers can`t really have a good marriage. So we asked you, writer ignites firestorm, can career women have a successful marriage? 83 percent of you said yes, 17 percent of you said no. Here are some of the e-mails we got.

Karen writes, "For a marriage to work a career as a housewife is when it works best."

But Adam, from Maine, disagrees. "I hypothesize that the unsuccessful marriage is due to insecure men not, not women with careers."

HAMMER: Here`s what`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with your SHOWBIZ marquee. Tomorrow, we`re taking a look back and a look ahead at Katrina. Nearly a year since the deadly hurricane destroyed the Gulf Coast. Has Hollywood done enough? What about the star-studded benefits? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates, tomorrow.

Also, Spike Lee, his controversial documentary about the hurricane. He even goes so far as to suggest there might have been a conspiracy by the Bush administration to wipe out the poor black population of New Orleans. Spike Lee, always outspoken, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

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

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Thanks for watching. "Glenn Beck" is next, right after the latest headlines from CNN Headline News. Keep it here.