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Paris Hilton`s Jail Time Cut in Half; Best Singer Booted From `Idol`

Aired May 17, 2007 - 23:00:00   ET


A. J. HAMMER, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT ANCHOR: Britney Spears` hot new look and her very personal message for her fans. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
BROOKE ANDERSON, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT ANCHOR: And does it really matter who wins "American Idol?" I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. TV`s most provocative entertainment news show starts right now.

HAMMER: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Hilton`s half a sentence. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you, Paris Hilton`s jail time has been cut in half. And she hasn`t even started yet. Are you kidding me? So tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has got to ask, do stars get preferential treatment when it comes to doing time for crime?

Shocking new secret about Anna Nicole Smith`s assets. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the startling revelations. Why Anna Nicole`s estate may be worth much more than we ever imagined. Bank accounts, jewelry, homes, we are talking a whole lot of cash. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the battle over Anna`s mysterious millions.

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

ANDERSON: Hi there everyone. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. And I`ve got to tell you, I couldn`t believe the startling new details of how much Anna Nicole Smith might have been worth when she died. I`ll have that coming up.

HAMMER: A lot more than we thought. But first tonight, the story that all of us here at SHOWBIZ TONIGHT walking around in a daze today, asking over and over again in absolute disbelief, are you kidding me? Even before Paris Hilton could serve even one day of her 45-day jail sentence, we learn today that the amount of time has already been cut in half. And the reason, good behavior. Huh?

Did I just say Paris Hilton and good behavior in the same breath? I believe something is definitely out of whack in the world. And please do me a favor, don`t blame global warming.


HAMMER (voice-over): She hasn`t even stepped foot in jail yet, and already Paris Hilton has something to celebrate. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell that you Paris Hilton`s 45-day sentence is getting whacked nearly in half. The L.A. Sheriff`s Department says the "Simple Life" star will now serve only 23 days behind bars because of, get this, good behavior. Are they kidding?

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, COURT TV ANCHOR: Good behavior? She`s not even in the can yet. Apparently they cite that she`s just showed up for court as part of the good behavior credentials.

HAMMER: That`s good behavior? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is happy to remind you that Paris showed up for court more than ten minutes late that day. We can only imagine what would be happening if she bothered to be on time.

BANFIELD: I show up for work every day and I don`t get a break. I could use part-time status just for being here. Nope, that`s what they say. She`s on good behavior because she just showed up for court.

HAMMER: What a model citizen. And just because she`s Paris, she won`t have to worry about mingling with the masses. We have now learned that Paris is going to be separated from the general population, confined to what`s known as a special needs housing unit.

BANFIELD: For anybody who thinks the special needs housing unit means she gets her free extensions and bleach jobs done, that`s really not what it`s about. There are no manicures and pedicures there. They just tend to take the high profile inmates, celebrities or police officers or people whose safety has to be protected from the other 2,200 inmates.

HAMMER: Paris may or may not have a roommate. She will find that out when she shows up. And even though she`s in a special part of the jail, she will still go through the same routine as anybody else. That means she has an hour a day to take a shower, do some recreation time, or chit-chat on the telephone.

BANFIELD: But it won`t be the blackberry. It will be the old public phone.

HAMMER: Paris is in this mess in the first place for violating the terms of her probation for an alcohol-related reckless driving conviction and has to report to L.A. county jail by June 5th. Paris did, of course, try to get out of the whole jail thing, claiming her punishment was too harsh.

JILL DOBSON, "STAR MAGAZINE": She tried to get the governor to pardon her and the governor would never pardon any other person who violated all their different terms of probation the way she did. Everyone seems to understand that except Paris.

HAMMER: Everyone including you at home. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has never had as overwhelming of a response from our viewers as we have had when we asked whether you felt sorry for Paris, who claims this whole jail thing has traumatized her. A remarkable 98 percent of you told us no, you don`t feel sorry for her.

DAVID CAPLAN, CELEBRITY JOURNALIST: The thing with Paris Hilton is she`s an easy target. And the interesting thing here is that her celebritiness has not been created by anything artistic, like most celebrities, whether they are an actor, musician or singer or so forth. So people are really questioning why is she even a celebrity if she has nothing to back that up.

HAMMER: And our e-mail inbox is flooded, and we mean flooded, with comments from you telling us how much you actually hate the heiress and her pathetic attempts to get out of jail time.

Sara from New York wrote what so many others also expressed, saying, "Hilton now has had her pathetic sentence reduced already for `good behavior.` How can that happen when she has not served one second? There are tons of people in prison for months for doing exactly what she did. What does that say about our so-called system of justice?"

DOBSON: People feel very strongly about this Paris Hilton situation, and she`s come to represent everything that`s wrong with the world of celebrity culture and the idea of people who have money and who have fame getting more than the rest of us get in all aspects of life. And people really resent her for that.


HAMMER: Meanwhile, now that Paris has a shorter jail sentence and a spot in that celebrity cell, she has gone ahead and dropped her appeal. Her bull dog DUI lawyer sent a letter to the court today saying Paris will do the time. I guess he thinks she has gotten the best break she is going to get.

ANDERSON: So now we want to hear from you. It`s our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Paris Hilton`s jail time shortened; is she getting special treatment? Vote at Send us an e-mail, You can also vote on the question of the day by sending a cell phone text message to 45688. To vote yes, write SHOWBIZ Yes. To vote no, write SHOWBIZ No. Once again, send that text to 45688.

HAMMER: And Brooke, this is definitely not the first time a star has gotten off easier than they were supposed to. so I`m going to take a really good look at all this preferential treatment stuff. We will do that at 31 past the hour.

ANDERSON: Tonight, shocking new information on what Anna Nicole Smith is really worth. When Howard K. Stern filed her will earlier this week, it revealed that she only had 720,000 dollars to her name. But tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you that number might only tell a fraction of the story. On the website, investigative journalist Art Harris is blowing the lid off that paltry number and he says Anna is worth millions.

With me tonight from Atlanta, investigative journalist Art Harris. Hi there Art.


ANDERSON: Doing well, thank you. I want to go through what you found out here. Anna`s California asset, 720,000 dollars, which we knew from the petition that Stern filed earlier this week. To many it seems like a small amount for Anna Nicole Smith. You have also uncovered that her assets in the Bahamas are worth as much as two million dollars. What did you uncover?

HARRIS: That`s right, Brooke, because this was just a preliminary filing in California. If somebody lives in two places, you have two probates. So everybody rushed to judgment, thinking she died a poor little rich girl. Well, in the Bahamas, she`s got this horizons house. She`s got a high six-figure bank account. She has the yacht that was bought, you know, just at the same time she was dying, and she has jewels. She has a big ring that`s about a five, six karat diamond ring, a couple of diamond earrings of three karats, that have yet to be turned over from the Seminole Police.

So right now there`s an estimate, my sources are telling me, of about two million dollars, they believe, she may have in the Bahamas in assets.

ANDERSON: So as you say, it hardly seems she died a poor little rich girl. And you mentioned that real estate property horizons, the mansion she was living in until she died. But wait a second on this one, Art, because isn`t that mansion in dispute as to who really owns it?

HARRIS: There is a legal wrangling right now, Brooke, between Ben Thompson, the South Carolina real estate developer, Ford Shelley, son in law, who say they own it. But, in fact, right now the court is not kicking out Howard K. Stern, despite the fact these guys are calling him a squatter. In fact, I`ve got a court order from the high magistrate, her Ladyship Justice Allen, right here, Brooke, demanding that Thompson put up 100,000 dollars in cash to go to the court just to defend himself if this does not -- if he does not win, he`s got to forfeit 100,000 dollars in cash to the court and to Howard K. Stern. So Stern`s probate lawyers are telling me this is an indication that the Bohemian court does not think he`s got a very good case.

ANDERSON: Well let me ask you something about Howard K. Stern, because there was a lot of speculation after he filed the petition to validate the will earlier in the week that he was trying to hide something, that he filed in California and that he should have maybe revealed all of Anna`s assets. Is that the case, or is it simply a matter of jurisdiction?

HARRIS: Experts tell me, Brooke, that, you know, the probate was filed in California first because that`s where the bulk of her payday is expected to come through. Right now she`s got an 88 million dollar claim against the Marshall Estate, her former husband. That could be much higher, as much as a half billion dollars if she wins that case.

And so that`s why it was filed there. And then it`s going to be moved to the Bahamas. Once he`s officially named executor, he can take all the assets in both locations, account for them, put them in the estate and they will be there for Dannielynn.

ANDERSON: Let me ask you this, speaking of baby Dannielynn, Larry Birkhead, who as we know was determined to be the father, what is Birkhead`s relationship like with Howard K. Stern at this point? Are they trying to work together to get all this money for the child? Have they become allies in a sense?

HARRIS: My sources tell me they have become very close allies, Brooke. The big fear is that Virgie Arthur, the mother that Anna Nicole Smith was adamant not have access to her child, based on her own supposed abusive childhood. They have joined forces to keep that from happening and to keep the major bulk of the money in Dannielynn`s hands.

ANDERSON: OK, ten seconds. Do you think Virgie Arthur could ultimately be a factor here?

HARRIS: She doesn`t have standing according to all the experts. She didn`t get the body back to Texas. Right now she`s a dark horse in this race, but Stern and Birkhead are hanging together to make sure that doesn`t happen.

ANDERSON: Very interesting. New developments, unexpected but not too surprising. Investigative journalist Art Harris, thanks so much.

HARRIS: Thanks Brooke.

HAMMER: Well, Brooke, I know you are a huge fan of the "American Idol." Melinda booted off the show last night. I think she`s still going to be a huge success.

ANDERSON: I do too. She`s got a promising future. That girl`s got pipes, A.J. I loved her.

HAMMER: Well coming up next, I`ve got a very revealing look at why winning "American Idol" may not really matter. How some of the biggest losers on the show turn out to be the biggest winners with the biggest careers.

ANDERSON: Also I`ve got more big news about Britney Spears comeback. She`s speaking out to her fans about her startling ups and downs. Also this --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What we are seeing on TV is much more graphic, much more explosive than we`ve ever seen before.


HAMMER: It seems like only yesterday family friendly shows "Cosby," "Family Ties," but oh how times have changed. Right? Tonight, I`ve got a special report, why is there so much sex and violence on TV. That`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Time now for a story that made us say, that`s ridiculous. So you might have heard of this reality show called "Tori and Dean In Love." It airs on the Oxygen network and stars the late Aaron Spelling`s daughter Tori and her husband who supposedly invest their life savings into this bed and breakfast.

Well, it seems as though Tori didn`t exactly buy the inn and she didn`t use the 800,000 dollars her father left her to do so. The show`s publicist says they are renting with an option to buy. So to this 90210, I`ve got to say, you that`s ridiculous.

HAMMER: And I`ve got to tell you something you already know. The battle to become the next "American Idol" is down to the final two. It`s Jordan Sparks and Blake Lewis, after Melinda Doolittle`s shocking booting from the show. And now let me ask you something that might seem ridiculous on the surface, but does it really matter if someone wins "American Idol?" Let me tell you, that is not such a ridiculous question.

Joining me tonight, CNN headline news entertainment reporter and huge Idol fan, there she is, Adrianna Costa, in Hollywood, it`s TV Guide consulting editor Mary Murphy. Adrianna, Mary, it`s good to see you both. Six weeks ago I`m watching the "American Idol" and I see Melinda Doolittle perform and I say she is the one to beat. She is a talent that stands out. She had the Charisma, everything, it seemed to me, it takes to win the show. I think America got it wrong last night. Adrianna, what do you think?

ADRIANNA COSTA, HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: I predicted she was going to go. I love Melinda. I think she is possibly one of the best contestants the show has ever seen, but she was predictable and consistent in a good way, just not exciting, nothing extraordinary. I was waiting to be shocked by her. You know, even slip up one week. It never happened.

HAMMER: Yes, but Adrianna, she had such charisma, which is exactly what a lot of people are saying Jordan Sparks and Blake Lewis, while they`re certainly interesting, they lack whatever that je ne sais quoi, whatever it is. What do you think, Mary?

MARY MURPHY, TV GUIDE: I think America got it wrong, especially based on her performance Tuesday night. I think she has been the most improved. I mean, for her to be sultry and sexy and for her to improve, but absolutely America got it wrong. I think that I question who the voters are, what age they are and if anybody over 20 voted for Melinda. That`s what I want to know.

HAMMER: All right, let`s get down to brass tacks though here, because we`ve been asking the question around the office and taking a look at the people who have won and lost over the years. Does winning "American Idol" really matter? As we certainly have seen with the likes of Taylor Hicks and Reuben Studdard, obviously they were very popular when they won the show, millions of people voting for them. But we see with them, Adrianna, winning Idol does not necessarily guarantee big success?

COSTA: Oh no, absolutely not. Listen, there are a lot of winners, like you just said, Taylor Hicks, for example. I think the goal is you`ve got to stay visible, but you`ve to do it in a smart way and be loyal to your fans. Give them music they want. Don`t start switching genres on them, like Reuben Studdard did, for example. He went from R&B to gospel. People were a little bit confused.

Then you have someone like Katherine McVee, who has got the whole package. She`s got tons of radio play for her music. She`s got the look. She`s got the je ne sais quoi you were talking about. And look, she`s on top of the charts right now.

HAMMER: Let`s talk about some of the other quote/unquote losers. We just saw Reuben Studdard with Clay Aiken. A lot of people thought Clay Aiken won that season when they looked back on it. No, Clay was the loser that season. He`s had massive pop success. Jennifer Hudson finished in seventh place in her season of Idol. She has an Oscar for "Dream Girls." Bucky Kovington on top of the country chart. This is a long list, Mary.

MURPHY: This is a long list and included in it is Chris Daughtry, and included in it is Elliot Yamin. Jennifer Hudson is the best example. And you know that Melinda will have a long career, and so many people who haven`t won Idol are absolutely riveted into stardom because this is the biggest stage in the world. Already people are signing them up. If you can sing, you`re going to have a career if you are in the top ten.

HAMMER: So Adrianna, why do some of the biggest losers become the biggest winners?

COSTA: I think it`s all about who you surround yourself with, the people behind you, make yourself accessible, be loyal to your fans, be out there providing the music they want. I hate to tell you, but a lot of it is image. Make sure you`ve got the right look. A lot of these stars, as you know, they start off on the show and then they go through these massive transformations. But it works because you need to appeal to the public. And again, lots of radio play. It`s all about having the catchy songs.

HAMMER: Speaking of having the catchy songs, Chris Daughtry was not an idiot when he recorded the song "Home," probably thinking this would be a good song for them to play the losers off with. Probably the biggest success story in "American Idol" has been first season winner Kelly Clarkson. You are going to see my interview with Kelly coming up in just a bit.

What is it that she has, Mary, that other winners like Taylor and Reuben don`t have.

MURPHY: Well Kelly has all the things we were talking about. First of all, she has the voice. She has the look. She has the image. She stuck faithful to her image. Kerry Underwood is just right behind her, beautiful country roots, just growing in terms of her talent and her amazing voice. The people who really stand out are those women who have the amazing voices, and I have to say, it usually doesn`t hurt to be from the south.

HAMMER: That`s true. We have seen that repeatedly. Who is going to win, Mary? Jordan or Blake?

MURPHY: Jordan is going to win.

HAMMER: Adrianna, who`s going to win.

COSTA: I`d probably say Jordan, although I like both.

HAMMER: Adrianna Costa, Mary Murphy, I thank you both.

MURPHY: Thank you, A.J.

COSTA: Thank you.

HAMMER: You can see Adrianna`s entertainment reports from 6:00 to 10:00 a.m. She`s up early every morning with Robin and company right here on CNN Headline News.

All right, Brooke, Kelly Clarkson, certainly one of the super successful Idols, as we just said. And I know you love her music, don`t you?

ANDERSON: Yes, it`s great. She`s extremely talented. She is.

HAMMER: Well, I get her to set the record straight on this shocking rumor that has been floating around that legendary music producer Clyde Davis actually hated her new album so much he wanted to scrap it. We will do that at 46 past the hour. Also this --


HARVEY LEVIN, TMZ.COM: The reality is that sometimes stars are treated preferentially because authorities are star struck.


HAMMER: I told you earlier how Paris Hilton got her sentence cut. Naomi Campbell, Mel Gibson, they all seemed like they were handled in a special way. So I`ve got to ask, do stars get preferential treatment when they get in trouble with the law. I`ve got that coming up.

ANDERSON: And, A.J., I`ll bet you never saw Jerry Seinfeld in a bee suit. Yes, that`s really him. He`s got everybody buzzing. Well, maybe not the soup Nazi. I`ve got that coming up next.


ANDERSON: Well, I don`t know, I guess those Seinfeld DVDs aren`t doing so hot. I mean, why would Jerry Seinfeld put on a bee suit and fly off a roof?


JERRY SEINFELD, COMEDIAN: They told me Scorsese did the same thing last year for "Departed." Was that true?


ANDERSON: All right. We`re joking. Jerry`s got plenty of passion. He`s doing just fine. But he did agree to this wild stunt for a movie that everyone is, um, buzzing about. "Bee Movie" is premiering this week`s Canne film festival in France. Jerry plays, what else, a bee, Berry Bee Benson, who dreams of life beyond his hive. A real honey of a cast here, Chris Rock, Rene Zelwegger, Matthew Brodrick. Jerry also produced the animated flick, which stings in theaters in November. I think that`s enough bee humor for now, A.J. I will just bee going.

HAMMER: All right, buzz along now. Britney Spears has been trying to make a comeback, Brooke.

ANDERSON: Yes, she has. You know, I don`t think the lip-synching is the best approach to doing that. But coming up, I`ve got Britney speaking to her fans about all the things she`s been through, all her head shaving, getting her act together, her very personal message, in a bit. Also this - -


LEVIN: The reality is that sometimes stars are treated preferentially because authorities are star struck.


HAMMER: I told you earlier how Paris Hilton got her sentence cut. Naomi Campbell, Mel Gibson, they all seemed like they were handled in a special way. So I`ve got to ask, do stars get preferential treatment when they get in trouble with the law. I`ve got that coming up.

And it seems like only yesterday family-friendly shows like "Cosby," "Family Ties" all dominating prime time. But oh how times have changed, right? Coming up tonight, a special report, why is there so much sex and violence on TV. That`s next.



HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It`s 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. You are watching TV`s most provocative entertainment news show.

HAMMER: Still to come tonight, where have all the wholesome family TV shows gone?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What we are seeing on TV is much more graphic. Is much more explicit than we have ever seen before.

HAMMER: You know, it wasn`t that long ago that families could break out the vanilla ice cream and safely turn on the TV at 8:0 at night for some good, clean family entertainment. "The Cosby Show," "Family Ties," you know what I`m talking about. Now it really seems the airwaves are jam packed with sex and violence during what used to be called the family TV hour. What`s up with the raunch? The language, the blood, the gore? And I`m not talking Al Gore. We`re looking into that in just a few minutes.

ANDERSON: And A.J., we also have some Britney Spears news tonight. Britney is reaching out to her fans with a very personal letter. We are going to tell you exactly what she said and tell you about plans for a more so-called "secret show" straight ahead.

But first, here are two things you usually don`t hear in the same sentence: Paris Hilton and good behavior. You know, before she has even stepped foot into a jail cell, Paris`s time has already been reduced from 45 days to about 23 days. Jail officials have given her credit for good behavior, like showing up for court. I want to mention she was late for court.

But today we also learn that Paris will be in a special needs housing unit away from the general inmate population. Another new development, she is dropping her appeal of the sentence.

HAMMER: Well, with the shocking revelation that Paris Hilton`s jail sentence has been cut in half, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT started wondering if she is, in fact, getting preferential treatment. And she`s not the only one. There`s Naomi Campbell; she has an arrest record but has she ever served time behind bars? What about Mel Gibson`s arrest for DUI? And Paris` BFF, Nicole Richie? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with this special report.


HAMMER (voice over): When Nicole Richie was pulled over for driving the wrong way on a California freeway last December cops say she admitted she had been smoking pot and taking some Vicodin, and arrested her. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you Richie got no special treatment, and could be doing time.

HARVEY LEVIN, MANAGING EDITOR, TMZ.COM: Nicole Richie is in trouble. Nicole Richie has a prior DUI, and she will get mandatory jail time if she is convicted this time around.

HAMMER: The arrest of Richie, the reduction of Paris Hilton`s jail sentence for violating probation, and cops grabbing everyone, from Mel Gibson to Naomi Campbell has SHOWBIZ TONIGHT asking, do stars get special treatment when they get in trouble, or do they get treated like any other Joe?

NICKI GOSTIN, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, "NEWSWEEK": No, they definitely don`t get treated like any other Joe when they are arrested. They definitely get kid gloves when they`re arrested, because our culture worships celebrities, so law enforcement isn`t any different. They get off easier.

LEVIN: The reality is that sometimes stars are treated preferentially because authorities are star struck. But a lot of times they are scrutinized more because when a police department or a D.A.`s office gets a celebrity`s case, they feel everybody is watching so they have to be extra hard.

HAMMER: Let`s take a look at what happened to supermodel Naomi Campbell who admitted to slapping her maid upside the head with a cell phone.

GOSTIN: I think Naomi Campbell is a prime example of someone who is completely worked the legal system in their favor.

HAMMER: Campbell plead guilty to assault and did five days of community service cleaning at the New York City Sanitation Department. But it was the sight of a police officer carrying Naomi`s bag for her, on her way to her very first day of service that made everyone say, are you kidding me?

GOSTIN: She also paraded in a Dolche Gabana (ph) dress at the end of the day of her last day of service and managed to con some police official to carry her bag when she walks in for service. So she clearly didn`t serve it like a regular person.

HAMMER: Campbell pled guilty to assault once before, in Toronto, for assaulting one of her assistants with a hotel phone. And last year she was arrested in London on suspicion of assault, but later released on bail. Lots of assault charges for one supermodel, but no jail sentences so far.

GOSTIN: She clearly has this insane temper and I think she probably would be really, really scary to be around.

HAMMER: And even scarier, Paris Hilton arrested for DUI, her license suspended. Yet, she had the nerve to get behind the wheel anyway and got stopped again. While the cops didn`t give her special treatment, Paris clearly thinks she deserves to be treated special.

What a day it`s been. Today Mel Gibson released an apology. It`s amazing.

The cops cut Mel Gibson no slack when they first arrested him on DUI, or so it seemed at first, until broke the news that Gibson went on a drunken anti-Semitic tirade after his arrest, that police tried to sweep under the carpet.

LEVIN: It was only after we turned up this arrest report, that they changed their story. So they were trying to protect him.

Ultimately, the truth got out and made many wonder, if it were anyone else, would his comments have been kept so secret? And in the end, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you this, the perception that all stars are treated special when they get into trouble is just not true. But it happens often enough that the perception becomes the reality.

GOSTIN: The rule of thumb is that celebrities do get special treatment. But just like this, exceptions to the English language, I think there`s certain exceptions with celebrities who do wrong and sort of made examples of.


ANDERSON: We`ve been asking you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. It is this: Paris Hilton`s jail time shortened, is she getting special treatment? Keep voting at Write to us, We are going to read some of your thoughts tomorrow. You can also vote on the question of the day by sending a cell phone text message to 45688. To vote yes, write SHOWBIZ yes. To vote no, write SHOWBIZ no. Once again, that text is 45688.

HAMMER: Gruesome killings, steamy sex scenes, and the occasional naughty words, just the things you don`t want to see when you are sitting down for a night of TV watching with the kids. It seems like during the prime time hour of 8:00 to 9:00 p.m., it is becoming harder and harder to find something on broadcast TV that the whole family can watch. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates what happened to the family viewing hour?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No offense, daddy, but you and mom are getting up there.

HAMMER (voice over): It seems like only yesterday, shows like "The Cosby Show", "Family Ties" and "Full House" dispensed wholesome comedy and warm life lessons that mom, dad and the kids could gather in front of the TV at 8:00 p.m. to enjoy together.

MARY MURPHY, "TV GUIDE": The family viewing hour became a time when you could laugh together, sit together, and learn something about family values.

HAMMER: Well, those days are over. Now if a family watches TV together at 8:00 p.m., this is what they will likely see.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t have sex on our kitchen floor.


HAMMER: Raunchy talk on sitcoms like "How I Met Your Mother." Disturbing images in shows like "The Ghost Whisper" and just plain gross stuff on shows like "Bones".

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somebody was dismembered and fed to a bear?

HAMMER: Not exactly Winnie-the-Pooh type stuff.

The so called family hour, the 8:00 p.m. time slot, when networks traditionally aired shows suitable for family viewing is disappearing.

MELISSA CALDWELL, PARENTS TELEVISION COUNCIL: What we are seeing on TV is much more graphic; it`s much more explicit than we have ever before.

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT asks, what has happened to the family hour? Has it become tawdry TV?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you chickened out like a little bitch.

HAMMER: Like no other entertainment news show, we will show you what TV stars like Tom Selleck tells us should be done about the problem.

(On camera): Does the government need to step in here?

TOM SELLECK, ACTOR: No. Actually, I -- I`m -- I kind of believe in the First Amendment. I also believe in responsibility.

MURPHY: The network had to move to racier fare in order to get the demographic they need.

HAMMER: "TV Guide`s" Mary Murphy tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT pressure to keep up with the edgy cable shows like "The Sopranos" led networks to order a hit on the family hour.

MURPHY: Now, what you face is kind of gruesome, darkness, lots of blood and gore.

HAMMER: That`s how an occasionally violent show, like "Prison Break", ended up at 8:00 p.m. But let`s not blame it all on the "Prison Break" boys, they have enough problems.

In fact, violence across all the network`s 8:00 p.m. shows is up 45 percent according to the Parent`s Television Council. And the PTC`s Melissa Caldwell tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that is a dangerous trend.

CALDWELL: We have had over 1,000 studies conducted over the last 50 years that have pointed to a causal relationship between exposure to violent media and aggressive behavior in children. There is nothing that has been done to address it.

HAMMER: The networks, though, dispute studies showing a link between TV violence and aggression in kids. But Washington is looking to step in anyway. The FCC is recommending networks impose their own violence-free family hour or Congress just might have to step in. When TV legend Tom Selleck told me that is not the answer.

SELLECK: Violence is not pretty, it is an essential element of drama, if you don`t like it, don`t watch it.

HAMMER: Another TV vet, John Stamos, told me the same thing.

(On camera): There`s a big push right now to get as much sex and violence off TV, particularly outside of the 8 o`clock hour, keep it away from the kids. Do you think there`s too much?

JOHN STAMOS, ACTOR: I think parents have got to watch their kids, you know, and make sure find out what they watch.

HAMMER (voice over): But Melissa Caldwell, of the Parents Television Council, tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT parents need help.

CALDWELL: It is, I believe, a shared responsibility. After all, broadcasters use a public resource, and that is the broadcast air waves, and as long as they are using that public resource, I don`t think it`s asking too much for them to use it responsibly.

HAMMER: But the family hour is not completely dead.

MURPHY: It is no accident that the No. 1 show on TV, "American Idol" is a family friendly show. I believe that there is a movement to put more family friendly shows at the 8:00 hour. And I think it`s a good movement, and also I think that it will bring viewers back to network television.

HAMMER: And if TV networks see more family friendly shows, like "American Idol", as the secret to getting their viewers back, who knows, maybe some day network TV will look a little more like Ward Cleaver.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How`s the homework coming, Wally?

HAMMER: And a little less like Jack Bauer.


HAMMER: Family friendly shows do make up a healthy portion of next season`s network TV schedules that were released just this week. Shows like "Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?" "Kid Nation" and of course, "American Idol", will all air at 8 p.m. next season.

We just mentioned Jack Bauer. I`ve got to say, Brooke, I am absolutely giddy with anticipation about this upcoming episode of "The Simpsons" spoofing "24".


BART SIMPSON: Who is this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m Jack Bauer. Who the hell are you?

SIMPSON: Me? I`m Atta Dudi (ph).


HAMMER: I can`t wait. Bart is such a mischievous devil. Coming up, your very first look at "The Simpson`s" "24" spoof.

ANDERSON: Well, a lot of people are giddy about this one, too, A.J. As Britney Spears gets ready to hit the stage for some more not so secret shows, she`s also reaching out to fans with a very personal letter. We`re going to tell you exactly what it said, next.

HAMMER: And the one, the only, the original "American Idol", Kelly Clarkson is here. She will tell me all about some drama surrounding her upcoming album and label boss Clive Davis. Kelly, setting the record straight, coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood.

The Britney Spears comeback tour is chugging right along. And Britney has taken time to reach out to her fans. Britney is reportedly heading to Florida for some not-so-secret shows this weekend in Orlando and South Beach.

The shows are being billed as the M&Ms, the same names she used for her 15-minute lip-synch shows in California and in Vegas. Her web site has also gotten a little bit of a redesign. There`s a new picture of Britney, naked, except for some elbow-length gloves. Interesting. Brit posted a letter on the site thanking fans for sticking by her during the whole head- shaving, rehab hopping phrase.

She writes, quote, "I am so blessed that you care enough about me to be concerned and will continue to live in brighter state with all of you by my side during this trying time."

HAMMER: Well, the original "American Idol" Kelly Clarkson has not shaved her head, she is not checking into rehab. That is for sure.

In fact, Grammy winner Kelly Clarkson is going strong. She is releasing her album at the end of July, and she`s about to go on tour. I asked Kelly how she has managed to avoid all the pitfalls of the fame that hit her so fast and furious after she won "American Idol."

I also asked her to set the record straight about rumors concerning her boss at Aristar Records, the music legend Clive Davis. Because rumor had it Clive had actually pushed her record back because he wasn`t happy with it. Well, Kelly set the record straight.


KELLY CLARKSON, SINGER: Every record has been a test of patience and strength. Not just this record, every record. And I don`t mind that. That`s why you have never heard me complain about it. I`m not even complaining about it now.

I like working hard for something you believe it. That`s what makes you work hard, I think. But every time, you know, there`s a lot of cooks in the kitchen. Obviously everybody wants this to be successful, as every album. But it`s always a test, every single time that we do a project together.

But at the end of the day, I`d rather have someone that`s fighting me on something than being a yes person. You know? Because all it does is build my character, and it makes me really work hard for something. So I don`t mind it. But it is a test every time.

HAMMER (on camera): Sure, but did it actually happen where Clive said, you know what, we`re not going to release this thing as scheduled?

CLARKSON: There was talk of that happening. So, yeah. But at the end of the day, I`m not concerned about being the most famous person on the planet. I just want to make music that people like. I planned the tour before I even knew I had a release date just because I`d rather have the fans get the music. I`m not worried about anything else.

HAMMER: So this really wasn`t some kind of strange rumor that turned into a story out of control? This is actually something that genuinely happened.

CLARKSON: You can say that.

HAMMER: All right. Hey, just want to be clear on that.

CLARKSON: Hey, that was clear. You`re good.

HAMMER: Obviously, you have to come on here and set the record straight, right?

CLARKSON: No. That was pretty good. Once again, no one`s mad at anyone.


CLARKSON: I think that`s what`s getting blown out of proportion.

HAMMER: OK. You are certainly one of the few Hollywood stars these days who avoided gets themselves into trouble. And I think I understand a lot of it from you is because you are so focused on your work, but you know the deal. You flip on the TV, you flip through the newspapers, and you are seeing all about the problems that Britney is having or Lindsey is having or Paris is having.

But not you, Kelly Clarkson. But it is easy to be lured into that kind of a crazy lifestyle as we all have seen. How have you avoided that?

CLARKSON: I`m -- just I think I`m different. I just don`t care about being famous. I live in Texas. So I don`t live around paparazzi. I don`t know. And I mean, there are paparazzi places where I go sometimes, especially when I`m working in L.A. But, I mean, you pose for them and then get it over with.

I think that -- I don`t know, I think sometimes people make a big deal about it, and that`s why it ends up becoming a big deal. But for the most part I`m not concerned.

HAMMER: But obviously, we`re not -- like I said, we`re seeing you getting into trouble. We`re not seeing you getting busted for drunk driving. We`re not seeing you, you know, dancing naked on the bars at night.

CLARKSON: Well, I don`t drive drunk, so that would be why.

HAMMER: OK. After you won "American Idol," and then, of course, you did the movie that you have very publicly said, they kind of made me do it. I wasn`t really thrilled about it.

CLARKSON: It was not "kind of" made me.

HAMMER: Yes, but they said you`re doing this movie, or they made you sign the piece of paper. But when all that fame was happening so fast and furious, did you sort of get a sense, at that moment, how you could have gotten sucked into that whole living life on the edge sort of scene? Did you sort of gain an understanding as to what does go on out there in Hollywood?

CLARKSON: No. I come from a very colorful background, so I pretty much learned from others around me, what I shouldn`t do and should do. So I learned well from others` mistakes. And I`ve never had a desire to do anything that gets me into that kind of trouble.

Yeah, I don`t know. I think I`ve got a good head on my shoulders. I`m a little boring. Maybe that`s why they don`t follow me, too.

HAMMER: Kelly Clarkson, let me just say for the record myself, I don`t think you`re boring one bit.


CLARKSON: I`m not really boring. I just say that so people leave me alone.


HAMMER: Casey Kasem always said keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars. Kelly Clarkson has definitely kept her feet on the ground. Her new album is called "My December." It will be released on July 24. Kelly will be kicking off her nationwide tour, 35 cities, on July 11th in Portland, Oregon.

ANDERSON: Lots of people on the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT staff are psyched for this. A.J. is actually giddy with anticipation. An upcoming episode of "The Simpson`s" is a spoof of "24". And here`s a sneak peak.


BART SIMPSON: Who is this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m Jack Bauer. Who the hell are you?

SIMPSON: Me? Uh, I`m Ametta Dudi.


ANDERSON: Very funny. Keefer Sutherland is even doing the voice of the animated Jack Bauer. We will show you more of "The Simpsons" "24" spoof, coming up next. Stay with us.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

There are a lot of "Simpsons" fans here on the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT staff. A lot of us also religiously watch the show "24." So, this next story kind of a dream come true for us. "The Simpsons" are doing a spoof on "24." Kiefer Sutherland, himself, is doing the voice for the animated version of Jack Bauer.

Now, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT got a description of the episode. It involves a different kind of CTU, a Counter Truancy Unit, at Springfield Elementary School, a toxic container of yogurt, and plan to build the ultimate stink bomb, all involved. Sounds very funny. We are giving you a "24" second sneak peek.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chloe, I need those schematics now.

B. SIMPSON: What? Who is this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m Jack Bauer. Who the hell are you?

B. SIMPSON: I`m Ametta Dudi.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chloe, find out all you can about Ametta Dudi,

Does anyone there know Ametta Dudi?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ametta Dudi, wealthy Saudi financier, disappeared into Afghanistan in the late 90s.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, jack. It`s a joke name. You`re being set up.




HAMMER: "Simpson`s" "24 Minutes" episode will air on May 20, on FOX at 8 o`clock. And at 8:30 "The Simpsons" will celebrate a milestone, with their 400th episode.


Yesterday we asked you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. It was this: Paris Hilton claims trauma. Do you feel sorry for her? We`ve got a ton of votes. You`ve got to check this out, just 2 percent of you say yes. And 98 percent of you say no. Here are a couple e-mails we received.

Mary from California doesn`t hold back. "Why should I have any empathy for such a self-centered, self-absorbed, over-indulged spoiled, uneducated, narcissistic individual?"

Judi from Texas writes: "If Paris had been born to anyone other than a millionaire, she would probably be working at Wal-Mart or Dairy Queen."

Your honesty is refreshing, guys.

HAMMER: Isn`t that a doozie? That`s funny to me.

Time to see what`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Well, tomorrow, Hollywood family feuds from Angelina and her dad, Jon Voight, to Jennifer Aniston`s feud with her mom. We are taking a look at stars who are fighting with family members.

Why can`t they all get along? Celebrity family feuds, tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Also tomorrow, Hollywood love stories -- outside of Hollywood. For some couples it seems like the secret to their success is not living in La- La Land. We will see why for some famous lovebirds it`s all about location, location, location. Making it work outside of Hollywood tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

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

ANDERSON: I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Glenn Beck is coming up next right after the latest headlines from "CNN Headline News."


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