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SHOWBIZ TONIGHT

Britney`s Bikini Body; Jessica`s Beer Endorsement; Michael Phelps Slammed for Endorsing Frosted Flakes; Did Hollywood Pave the Way for Obama`s Candidacy?

Aired August 21, 2008 - 23:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


BROOKE ANDERSON, HOST: Now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Britney`s startling diet secrets. Tonight, the amazing new photos that reveal Britney is back in bikini shape. But how did she do it?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROB CHILTON, FEATURES EDITOR, "OK!" MAGAZINE: Britney says that she`s only taking in 1,200 calories a day.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Tonight, Britney spills her eye-opening diet secrets and why she won`t even eat fruits anymore, much less frappuccino.

Tonight, are stars selling out or cashing in? Jessica Simpson hocking a local beer. Olympic champion Michael Phelps endorsing Frosted Flakes and people freaking out over all that sugar. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the star endorsement controversy.

Plus, Hollywood`s vote. Have TV shows and movies paved the way for America to vote in its first black president? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT starts right now.

(MUSIC)

Hi there, everyone. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. And tonight, Britney`s diet secrets. Britney Spears is now revealing for the very first time how she has changed everything, including going on a strict diet that has helped turn her life around. We`ve got the amazing pictures to prove it. There`s no head-shaving in these pictures, no attacking paparazzi cars with umbrellas, no slamming into other people`s cars. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the big breaking Britney story making news right now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice over): This is the Britney we used to see, slurping down frappuccinos topped with whipped cream, indulging in late-night candy runs and let`s not forget, those late-night drive-thru trips.

Now, meet the new Britney. Spears shows off her buff new body for "OK!" magazine which caught up with the pop star on the beaches of Los Cabos, Mexico.

ROB CHILTON, FEATURES DIRECTOR, "OK!" MAGAZINE: Britney has his amazing new body. She looks fantastic. Her skin looks good. Her body looks fit and toned, and I think she`s healthy again.

ANDERSON: Now, instead of hearing about Britney`s breakdowns, the meltdowns, she`s telling the word about her intense workouts, her new diet and her overall new fitness focus. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you it`s something we never thought we`d see. Britney Spears, health fanatic?

CHILTON: Britney herself says that this is the healthiest she`s ever been in her life.

ANDERSON: At one time, "OK!" magazine covered Britney`s alleged wild drinking and topless swimming escapades. What a difference a year makes.

CHILTON: The last time "OK!" spoke to Britney, she was, you know, not in a very good place. Physically and mentally, she was pretty ill.

ANDERSON: Rob Chilton of "OK!" magazine tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that a year after she got slammed for her appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards, Britney has gotten serious about staying fit and healthy.

CHILTON: Britney has this new healthy diet that she`s been sticking to. She has gotten herself in good shape. It`s a no-sugar diet. So there`s no fruit, no fruit juice and she`s also upping the protein intake. So it`s lots of salmon, turkey burgers, avocados, egg whites.

ANDERSON: And those Frappuccinos? They`ve gone the way of K-Fed.

CHILTON: She has cut those out. She laughed and told "OK!", "Yes, no more frappuccinos."

ANDERSON: And whereas Britney used to get most of her exercise trying to dodge the paparazzi, she now has a more structured exercise routine.

CHILTON: Britney`s also incorporated a really rigorous fitness regime(ph) and she works out five times a week. She has the weekends off. It`s a little cardio and little weight stuff.

ANDERSON: The new fitness focus is just the latest step in Britney`s climb back to the top. She`s planning a triumphant return to the site of her career low-point, the MTV Video Music Awards.

RUSSELL BRAND, COMEDIAN: I`m not dreaming this, am I?

BRITNEY SPEARS, POP STAR: No, this is for real.

ANDERSON: She`s already winning raves for MTV`s commercials for the upcoming VMAs where she`s now a triple nominee. And Britney tells "OK!" we can expect to hear some new music from her pretty soon.

CHILTON: Britney`s working on a new album fans will be excited to hear, I`m sure. She said that she`s writing at the piano every day. And Britney told "OK!" she thinks it will be her best work yet.

ANDERSON: Though it looks like after the many different Britneys we`ve seen over the years, we`re now getting a brand-new version, one that comes in a new and improved package.

CHILTON: She is really trying to get her body back in shape. And I think, inevitably, that will lead to a healthy mind. She`s sticking to that adage of "healthy body, healthy mind."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Talk about a dramatic turn-around. It really is a far cry from her head-shaving days, isn`t it?

Let`s roll out that showbiz news line in January of 2007. Britney says the unthinkable, walks into a California hair salon and shaves off all her hair for everybody to see.

In August 2007, Britney puts on an embarrassingly bad performance at the MTV Video Music Awards, which was supposed to be her comeback.

In January 2008, Britney is hospitalized in the psych ward and a judge later takes away custody of her kids.

And now, here we are, August 2008 with Britney`s stunning photo shoot for "OK!" magazine.

Joining me from New York, "VH1 News" host Janelle Snowden. And in Hollywood, Laura Saltman, correspondent for "AccessHollywood.com."

Janelle, Laura, in Britney`s interview with "OK!" magazine, she reveals her diet secrets, including a 1,200-calorie-a-day limit, no sugar - she even gave up frappuccinos. It seems she kind of went from one extreme to the other here. Laura, 1,200 calories a day, that`s a pretty restricted diet. Do you think she may have gone too extreme?

LAURA SALTMAN, CORRESPONDENT, "ACCESSHOLLYWOOD.COM": I don`t know. You`re asking the wrong person, because back in March, I actually went to a boot camp myself and that`s their calorie restriction - it`s 1,200 calories. They say that for a female, 1,200 calories is the minimum that you should have, and if you`re losing weight, that`s what you should have. So it`s really not that extreme if you are trying to get into (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

ANDERSON: Not for an extended period of time, right?

SALTMAN: No, not for an extended period of time. Most women - they would say probably you should stick in the 1,500 calorie point. And I think she`ll probably get back up to that once she gets to her goal weight.

ANDERSON: OK. Well, hopefully she remains healthy in the way she approaches this. Janelle, all of this is fantastic, but let`s face it. It wasn`t like Britney Spears ever had a serious weight problem in the first place. It infuriated me when people would criticize her for her weight.

JANELLE SNOWDEN, "VH1 NEWS" HOST: Yes. I mean, I think you have to remember though that Britney sort of helped to re-popularize the midriff. I mean, when she first came to us in her video, with the little schoolgirl outfit on and the shirt tied up, it was like, "Oh, look at her abs." And then, when she did the "Slave For You" - I`m a slave. You guys remember that, when she had like the washboard abs and she was like the white Janet Jackson. That`s what we were used to seeing. And so then when she became softer, of course, we said, "Oh, maybe not such a good look for you." And I think she broke a lot of guys` hearts, too.

ANDERSON: Well, she doesn`t have to be a hard body every single day of her life.

SALTMAN: Yes, I mean, she has to have (UNINTELLIGIBLE), too, in between. We`ve got to give her a break there.

SNOWDEN: What? I didn`t hear.

ANDERSON: I want you to take a look now at a side-by-side picture, ladies, of Britney now and Britney from a year ago at the MTV Video Music Awards that proved to be disastrous for her. As we know, a judge did take away custody of Britney`s kids and gave custody to her ex, Kevin Federline. But in a strange way, it seems to me that it may have been a blessing in disguise because that kind of gave her some time to focus on herself and pull herself together. What do you think?

SALTMAN: Oh, absolutely. I think, you know, having the kids herself, she wouldn`t have had time to get to where she needs to be. This is probably the smartest thing that has ever happened to her in the recent year. But I think what she`s working to is getting her children back. That`s why she`s doing all this. That`s why she`s going back in the studio. That`s why she`s getting back in shape. That`s why she`s doing the MTV stuff. She wants to get her kids back in, you know, whether it`s five months, whether it`s a year, however long it takes. She`s going to get them back.

ANDERSON: Yes. She`s got a goal to motivate her. Janelle, do you agree that this time, for herself, has really helped improve her well-being?

SNOWDEN: I couldn`t agree more. I think she`s taken advantage of an unfortunate situation. No mother wants to lose her kids, no matter their state, and I`d say it`s a good example. I mean, if you would have told me that a year ago, we`d be on here talking about Britney Spears` diet secrets, I would have said "Yes, right." And she`s going to perform at the VMAs again. Look, both of them are happening. She`s nominated for three awards. As Don King, the colorful boxing promoter used to say, "Only in America."

ANDERSON: Only in America. You`re right. Well, we have seen her doing ads on MTV for those MTV Video Music AWARDS. She is, like you say, nominated for three awards. And while it hasn`t been confirmed if she will perform or not, Janelle, do you think it`s an absolute must-do that she gets back on that stage, maybe knocks it out of the park?

SNOWDEN: Oh, my goodness. Can you imagine the triumph that this will be if she goes out there and nails it? I, for one, will be there. I will be rooting for her. And you know, I`ve never been, like, Britney`s number one fan. I`ve always enjoyed her music and think she`s a great performer, but I think we`re all, having been through her trials and tribulations this year, just rooting for her. I mean, this will just be the ultimate comeback.

ANDERSON: Yes.

SNOWDEN: And I can`t think of a better way to do it.

ANDERSON: She`s a natural entertainer. We all want to see her do that again. But Laura, do you think she should do it, or would that be too big a risk? Because if it were another failure, that could be devastating for her.

SALTMAN: I don`t think that she or anybody in her camp is going to let it be a failure. I think the perfect thing for her would be not to open the show and keep everybody guessing until the end of the show. And for her to come back out the same way she did, you know, "It`s Britney (EXPLETIVE DELETED)" and do another song and just kill it. And I think that she will gain back the respect of the industry. I think she will be on the road the comeback that everybody wants for her.

ANDERSON: Let`s hope so. She`s working on new music, a new album - can`t wait for the Britney comeback. Laura Saltman, Janelle Snowden, thank you both.

All right, so when you see Jessica Simpson, does it make you want to chug beer? Believe it or not, Jessica is promoting a local Texas beer. Is her career in trouble or what?

Also some people are freaking out because Michael Phelps is going to hock Frosted Flakes, one of the most sugary cereals out there. Straight ahead, I`m asking are stars selling out or cashing in?

Also, television shows and movies had fictional black presidents way before Barack Obama came on the scene. So I`m asking, did Hollywood pave the way? I`m looking into it coming up.

And also this -

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We told 10 different stories. Everyone knew we were lying.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: The guys behind the Bigfoot hoax speak out. Why did they take a rubber costume and pretend it was the body of Bigfoot? And oh, yes, did I mention that one of them is a cop? That is coming up.

And remember, you can watch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT videos anytime you want. We are always posting new stuff for you to watch. That`s at our Web site, CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. Among the videos now playing, Amanda Beard disses fellow Olympic swimmer, Michael Phelps. Why did she question his looks?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Did you see this? This pinhead is touring the Olympics in Beijing with tiny flags from all 205 competing nations sticking out of his head. He`s an acupuncturist and he`s in the Guinness Book of World Records for once sticking almost 1,800 needles in his head and face. Wow.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Tonight, two of the world`s most famous people are caught in the middle of two big controversies over stuff they`re endorsing.

First, Jessica Simpson wants you to be smart just like her. She`s endorsing a new so-called "smart" beer that`s supposed to be enriched with vitamins. So yes, the A-list celebrity is now schilling(ph) beer.

Olympic champion Michael Phelps wants you to be strong just like him. Instead of appearing on a Wheaties cereal box, the eight-time gold medal winner is being criticized for endorsing sugar-packed Frosted Flakes.

With me here in Hollywood, founder of Fifteen Minutes Public Relations Howard Bragman; and editor-at-large for "Star" magazine, Ben Widdicombe.

Ben, Howard, I want to begin with Ms. Jessica Simpson. You know she became a household name with her MTV reality show, "Newlyweds." By the time that show ended, she had her own shoe line, her own hair extension line. And now, Jessica is the new face of Stampede Light Plus. Yes, it`s a beer that`s being produced by a company in her home state of Texas, and it`s being sold as a beer full of vitamins.

Howard, is this smart marketing? Put a hot girl like Jessica in the ad, and guys will go out and buy more vitamin-enhanced beer?

HOWARD BRAGMAN, FOUNDER, FIFTEEN MINUTES PUBLIC RELATIONS: Absolutely, Brooke. You know, 24 hours ago, we hadn`t even heard of this beer, had we? And now, it`s on everyone`s lips, so that`s pretty smart. But then, you know, this company can`t afford to buy an ad in the Super Bowl like the big boys. So by getting Jessica there, they get everyone to talk about it.

And for her credit, Jessica cut a pretty smart deal because she doesn`t just get paid for being in the commercial. She owns 15 percent of the company. So, you go, Jessica. That`s a smart girl.

ANDERSON: Yes, she`s an entrepreneur, and she says she was looking for ways to diversify her portfolio. It seems she`s done that with this.

This beer is being put out by a Dallas company. It`s worth-noting guys that Jessica is dating a Dallas Cowboy, Tony Romo. And with her new album, she really is trying to make the crossover into country music. Ben, is nutrient-rich beer exactly what she needs to make the final transition to being a country star?

BEN WIDDICOMBE, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, "STAR" MAGAZINE: I think it`s an enormously smart move on Jessica`s part. It shows that she knows who she is. She knows who her country audience is. I mean, Daisy Duke doesn`t drink (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and neither does her fans. Also, let`s not forget there`s a precedent. Joan Crawford practically ran the Pepsi Company in the 1960s. People looked down on that at that time, but it was a great success. So I don`t see why Jessica can`t have the same success with 15 percent of this beer company.

ANDERSON: Yes. And Jessica says she takes care of herself, but then, hey, she likes a cold beer once in a while just like everybody else.

All right. I want to move now to Michael Phelps. Olympic champs, you know, have traditionally graced Wheaties boxes. But Phelps has made a radical decision. He`s going with Kellogg`s and he`s going to be on boxes of cornflakes and boxes of Frosted Flakes - yes, Frosted Flakes, the sugar- coated cereal which I love. But nutritionists have slammed him for endorsing a cereal that is so full of sugar.

Howard, a generation has grown up eating sugared cereal and they`ve turned out OK. What`s the big whoop?

BRAGMAN: Well, the big whoop is Michael Phelps isn`t just on the Olympic gold medal pedestal. He`s on the pedestal of public opinion, and when you`re this hero, whatever you do is subject to criticism. If he wants to be a good hero, he`s going to have to develop a really thick skin because that`s what heroes do.

But I think it was a good move for him. It`s authentic to him. He likes Frosted Flakes. He consumes tens of thousands of calories a day and he needs them.

ANDERSON: Yes, he does. He`s very active. Ben, do you think that the whole hullabaloo thing is much ado about nothing here?

WIDDICOMBE: Well, I don`t know. I think Michael has to be very careful about his reputation. And I`m not sure if you can say it`s fine that we eat sugary cereal when you look at the obesity epidemic in this country and how people are eating all the wrong things. I think that Michael Phelps should be an icon of eating right, eating healthy. So I`m not sure it`s the best move for him.

ANDERSON: But Ben, don`t parents need to be involved in what their kids eat? It`s not Michael Phelps` fault if they don`t oversee what their child is choosing at the grocery store.

WIDDICOMBE: You can`t underestimate the power of marketing, especially the children. People under 10 may see Michael on the television. When they`re in the supermarket, when they see Michael on a box of Wheaties or a box of Frosted Flakes, the kids are going to reach for that box. So that`s why he`s worth so much money. And I think kids are going to make choices based on what he`s endorsing.

ANDERSON: Well, speaking of the money, you know, it is worth-noting that he`s been on the Wheaties box before. So, Howard, why do you think this happened? Is it just his cereal preference, or is it really all about the endorsement bucks?

HOWARD: Well, let`s not overlook the millions of dollars he gets for being on the Kellogg`s box. But you also have to understand he trained at the University of Michigan - go blue, we`re proud of that. And you know, he has an allegiance to Michigan and Kellogg`s is based there. And Michigan can use the help right now. The economy is not so good there. So let`s give Kellogg`s a break.

ANDERSON: Yes.

BRAGMAN: Let`s say, "Good job, Michael." Come on. Wheaties has had enough on the cover.

ANDERSON: Congratulations on what you achieved. It`s not like he`s saying, "Eat this all day, every day kids." All right. We`ll leave it there for now. Howard Bragman, Ben Widdicombe, thank you both.

Now, the presidential election is getting close to the homestretch, but can Hollywood take any of the credit for the fact that the United States may elect its first black president? After all, TV shows and movies had a black president way before we even heard of Barack Obama. I`m going to look into that, coming up.

Also this -

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MATT WHITTON, FORMER POLICE OFFICER: That`s all this was, was a big joke. It kind of - it got into something way bigger than what it was supposed to be.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Yes, that was one of the guys who claimed they found Bigfoot`s corpse. Too bad it turned out to be a rubber suit. But get this, that guy behind the hoax is a police officer. What in the world would possess him to do this? That is straight ahead.

And John Edwards mistress, Rielle Hunter, on a game show? I`m not kidding. I`ve got the video to prove it, and that is next on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Hey, be sure to check out the free ever-changing SHOWBIZ TONIGHT podcast. You can find that on our Web site, CNN.com/ShowbizTonight, or just download it on iTunes by simply typing "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" in that search box. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is back after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

Tonight, John Edwards` mistress on a game show. I`m not kidding. Yes, we all know the name Rielle Hunter now after John Edwards admitted he had an affair with her. But it turns out, even before she became known worldwide as Edwards` mistress, Rielle already had her 15 minutes of fame on a game show.

Back in 2002, Rielle and a friend of hers appeared on the Game Show Network on a show called "Lingo" hosted by Chuck Woolery. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RIELLE HUNTER, JOHN EDWARDS` FORMER MISTRESS: Hi, I`m Rielle. I`m from Florida and I`m a writing.

CHUCK WOOLERY, GAME SHOW HOST: Oh, yes? Tell me more about yourself.

HUNTER: I do a lot of yoga and chant.

WOOLERY: You guys chant and yoga together? I mean -

HUNTER: A lot.

WOOLERY: I mean, do you guys interpret your chants or do you just chant and let it go?

HUNTER: Chant and let it go?

WOOLERY: All right. Remember, chant and let it go. And Patricia, Rielle, you may be able to pick this up here as a bonus letter for you. Does it help?

HUNTER: Not yet.

PATRICIA, RIELLE HUNTER`S FRIEND: Amber. A-M-B-E-R.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: That was so weird. Coincidentally, today AOL television came out with its list of top 20 game shows of all time. Sadly, "Lingo" didn`t make the list. "The Price is Right" is number one, followed by "Jeopardy" and "Wheel of Fortune."

All right. The presidential election is getting close to the homestretch, but can Hollywood take any of the credit for the fact that the United States may elect its first black president. After all, television shows and movies had a black president way before we even heard of Barack Obama. I`m looking into that, straight ahead.

Also this -

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We told 10 different stories. Everyone knew we were lying.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: The guys behind the Bigfoot hoax speak out. What in the world would possess them to take a rubber costume and pretend it was the body of Bigfoot? And oh, yes, did I mention one of them is a cop? You definitely want to stick around to hear this, still to come on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

But first, stay on top of the most provocative entertainment news and you can do that with our daily SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsletter. Head on over to CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. Click on the "signup for newsletter" link - it`s at the bottom of the page. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is back after this. Hang tight.

(NEWS BREAK)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Hollywood`s vote. Tonight, has Hollywood paved the way for America`s first black president? TV shows and movies have had presidents who are African-American. Can Hollywood really take credit for changing the way people vote?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WHITTON That`s all it was, it was a big joke. It got into something way bigger than what it was supposed to be.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: I`ll say. The big Bigfoot hoax. Tonight, the two guys that claimed to have found Bigfoot`s body speak out. They say it`s all a big joke, but a lot of people aren`t laughing. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT continues right now.

(MUSIC)

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It is 30 minutes past the hour. I`m Brooke Anderson, coming to you from Hollywood. Tonight, could Barack Obama become America`s first black president, thanks in part to television shows and movies?

We`ve seen black presidents in everything from the TV show "24" to the blockbuster movie "Deep Impact," and audiences had no problem with that. So do many people only approve of someone other than a white man in the Oval Office as long as it`s fantasy?

With me tonight from New York, April Woodard, senior correspondent from "Inside Edition." From Washington, D.C., Amy Argetsinger, "Reliable Source" columnist for "The Washington Post." And in New York, "VH1 News" host Janelle Snowden.

April, Amy, Janelle, as we know, at this time next week, Barack Obama will have officially the first black presidential nominee for a major party when he`s nominated at the Democratic National Convention. But we have already seen so many black presidents in pop culture, including the Dennis Haysbert who played President Palmer on the television show, "24."

Amy, what do you think? Do characters like that in recent years have anything to do with opening Americans` eyes to the possibility of a real commander-in-chief who`s black?

AMY ARGETSINGER, "RELIABLE SOURCE" COLUMNIST, "THE WASHINGTON POST": You know, it`s possible. Hollywood does have a history of being slightly a step ahead in the portrayal of some social issues. You look at the issue of gay marriage, which 10 years ago, I don`t think anyone really thought had much political hope at all. "Will and Grace" though came on the air around that time, and one could argue that it did change people`s impressions about gay couples.

You look back to the `60s and `70s, "Guess Who`s Coming to Dinner:" with Sidney Poitier as the African-American boyfriend, opened a lot of people`s eyes to the possibility of interracial couples. I have a friend who said he`s never even heard of an interracial couple until he saw one on "The Jeffersons." It`s possible that people are seeing these things on TV, and it`s allowing them to broaden their viewpoints of what`s possible.

ANDERSON: Yes, good point. Janelle, do you agree that because TV is a powerful medium, film - powerful medium. Do you think it could have an influence?

SNOWDEN: Well, I think that for the population that still feels the need to comment on a person of color being articulate or smart or as amazed when he or she is not entertaining or playing a sport, then yes, those images could be beneficial to them but maybe still not believable. But for the more enlightened, I would say that, you know, we know that there`s - we would hope that content and competency would prevail over race and gender and rhetoric.

ANDERSON: Yes. Good point. And I want to say this. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT recently spoke to Kiefer Sutherland. He plays Jack Bauer on "24." And he, too, believes powerful mediums exist in pop culture with television and film. He told us what he thought about "24"`s potential impact on the election.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KIEFER SUTHERLAND, ACTOR: From the very, very beginning of "24," I thought one of the most courageous things that they did was to have the first African-American presidential candidate, which was year one, and then he was president in year two. I loved that. I have really applauded that. Television is an incredibly powerful medium, and I think as long as you show people that things are possible, people can move forward.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: April, does Kiefer have it correct, that "24" shows it`s possible?

APRIL WOODARD, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT, "INSIDE EDITION": Yes, definitely. I mean, they say if you see it, you can achieve it. And so some people are looking to that, particularly the young people. I say never underestimate the power of pop culture on society. A lot of the people that Barack Obama is talking to are young people who are, you know, junkies of pop culture.

Now, on the flipside, you have people are happy with an actor being a president on TV and they`re not happy with the real thing. So, you know, time will tell to see what the impact will be.

ANDERSON: Yes, if it really does make a difference. Well, I`ve got to tell you, President Palmer not only led the country on "24," but did a darn good job while in office. Amy, should Barack Obama, I don`t know, give a shout-out to Dennis Haysbert when he accepts the Democratic nomination for president at next week`s convention?

ARGETSINGER: I don`t know. I mean, personally, Dennis Haysburt -President Palmer - he was a really great president. Barack Obama is certainly very charismatic, but I would be worried about being overshadowed by President David Palmer.

ANDERSON: Yes, he did a great job. He has such presence about him. Other examples of black actors playing presidents, Morgan Freeman in the movie "Deep Impact," Chris Rock was commander-in-chief in "Head of State." But one is a sci-fi movie and the other is a comedy after all.

Janelle, I hate to say it, but are people more comfortable with a black president when it`s just a fantasy?

SNOWDEN: I think time will tell, as April said, but I would hope not. I mean, for Barack to even look to these guys - you know, I`ve heard people saying, "Oh, if he could just model himself after Dennis Haysburt, then everything would be OK." But we live in the real world and I think there are a lot of people in this country that think Barack is really competent in dealing with our real world issues. So, again, time will tell, but I certainly hope that people are not that superficial.

ANDERSON: April, do you hope that people are not that superficial? And you know, when they see it on television, a certain issue and see black presidents, it makes it seem like, "Oh, it`s more likely that something like this could possibly happen in real life." But do you think people are still just more comfortable if it doesn`t happen in real life? It`s a hard question, I know.

WOODARD: yes. You have people across the board really. You have people who are going to go in there and watch TV and be easily influenced and say, "Hey, this can happen. I`m going to make it happen." And then you have more educated people who are really going to pay attention to the issues, what are they saying and not just the person who is playing a character but a real live person.

The benefit of having a president on TV is their sound bites are perfect. They have no problems. They answer the question perfectly. They have character development. But unfortunately, this is the real world, and you have to be able to answer and give the right answers and be able to appeal to the public. So when they go into that booth, no one knows what`s going to happen.

ANDERSON: Exactly. And if elected, Barack Obama may be under a lot of pressure as the first black president. Amy, you know, we`ve said that President Palmer was an ideal example. Should Barack be a little worried about having to live up to the standards of all of these other diverse fictional presidents we`ve seen?

ARGETSINGER: You know, I don`t know about that. I think, you know, something like this is going to have an influence on a small number of people, the people who maybe for a while had a small psychological subliminal hurdle to the idea of having an African-American president. And now, having seen one on TV may not have that so much anymore. They`re not going to tell you, "Oh, I voted for him because of David Palmer." It`s more of a subconscious thing, perhaps.

But, you know, I think if there is an African-American president, I think that storyline will take over and probably overshadow anything that Hollywood could present.

ANDERSON: And you know, it`s not just fictional black presidents. There have also been - you know, there`s also been a lot of diversity in other ways. Jimmy Smits on "The West Wing," the first Latino president and Gina Davis in "Commander-In-Chief" the first female head of state.

Janelle, I would think that all these diverse characters have made a difference in the way people think, maybe even if it`s in a small way.

SNOWDEN: Absolutely. I was just reading something where Spike Lee spoke at a film convention overseas. And he said you cannot underestimate the power of pop culture and that part of the reason that America is so powerful is not because we have certain war tactics or any kind of machinery that makes us so. But really, it`s because we are controlling how people think, how people live, and all of that is through pop culture.

So while the country is still very divided along so many lines, socially, racially, economically, I think that we will be able to prevail and just sort of put all of those things aside, I`m hoping, and elect somebody not on the basis, again, of race or of gender but just on competency and addressing the issues and just -

ANDERSON: Exactly.

SNOWDEN: I think we can live in the real world.

ANDERSON: Look past the skin color and look past the gender, and you know, vote based on issues. You`re right. Amy Argetsinger, Janelle Snowden, April Woodard, we will leave it there for now. Thank you all for your insight.

And now, we want to hear from you. It`s our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of day - "TV Shows and Movies: Have they made the idea of a black president acceptable?" Vote at CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. E-mail us at showbiztonight@cnn.com.

All right. A lot of people found it unacceptable when "Grey`s Anatomy" star Katherine Heigl took her name out of this year`s Emmy competition because she said she wasn`t given the material to deserve a nomination.

Tonight, I go one on one with her husband, talented singer, Josh Kelley. He`s got a lot to say about that controversy, next.

So did you hear about those guys who claim that they found Bigfoot and now they say they made it all up? Tonight, they`re speaking out for the very first time. We`ve got it.

Also this -

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A pizza the size of six football fields designed to make the mouths of Democratic delegates water as they touch down at Denver`s airport.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Yes, a six-football-field-pizza will be on the menu at the Democratic National Convention. You have got to see this. I hope they can agree on the toppings though, but the Democrats have even had a hard time agreeing on a presidential nominee. That is coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Hey, did you see this totally tuber story? It`s a potato that looks like Mickey Mouse. Yes, a farmer in Maryland found it. And good news, this special spud is not going to end up as French fries. The guy says he will probably freeze it.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. And if the Mickey Mouse potato didn`t whet your appetite, try this one for size. All right, it is kind or cheesy, but it made me look twice. It`s the unique crop circle in the shape of a huge pepperoni pizza. The Papa John`s ad is perfectly placed so people flying into Denver for the Democratic National Convention will get a bird`s-eye view. Here`s CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MOOS (voice over): You know how everyone is always trying to decipher those allegedly real crop circles?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can`t use the inexplicable.

MOOS: And here, the inedible.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Twenty-two foot wide pepperoni.

MOOS: A pizza the size of six football fields designed to make the mouths of Democratic delegates water as they touch down at Denver`s airport.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These planes land right over the field.

MOOS: That`s Kansas crop artist, Stan Herd. You may have heard of his Indian portrait, or his sunflower or his Absolut Vodka bottle. And now, he`s done this Papa John`s pizza crop ad.

By the way, Papa John`s pizza, no relation to that other John, the one who is not the guest of honor at the Democratic convention.

We can`t just toss some dough to make this pizza that took a team of a dozen or so a-month-and-a-half to create this out of a wheat field. Pepperonis consist of red mulch, lots of fiber for health-conscious Democrats, the one blogger complaining about advertising sprawl called this "mutant cousin of billboards." We`ve seen crop arts featuring Larry King -

LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": I`ve always wanted to be a crop circle.

MOOS: We`ve seen Elvis. We`ve seen Einstein -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Einstein`s hair.

MOOS: We`ve seen Homer Simpson - sorry, but you can`t see the really giant part of a figure sometimes called the rude giant made out of trenches dug at least 400 years ago in England.

And now, we see a giant pizza. And just like when you order a regular pizza, you never seem to get all the toppings you asked for.

STAN HERD, CROP ARTIST: They wanted anchovies on there. I just couldn`t figure it out the anchovy angle and I talked them out of that.

MOOS: Maybe it would have been more fitting to have this piece greeting the Democratic delegates. Stan is a big Obama supporter and used rocky materials to make this in Dallas back at the time of the Texas primary.

(on camera): Did you include the mole?

HERD: Include the what?

MOOS: The mole. He`s got a mole.

(voice over): There it is, next to his nose, but on the rock art, you see a couple of white Labradors but no mole. As for the missing slice of pizza, that`s crushed limestone.

(on camera): Who ate that slice?

HERD: The Jolly Green Giant.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Made me hungry. Smart advertising there. That was CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Now, my one-on-one with "Grey`s Anatomy" star Katherine Heigl`s rock star husband, Josh Kelley. Josh opens up about all the controversy surrounding his wife and how they`ve handled it.

For his part, Kelley has got a lot going on. He`s touring with Rod Stewart and promoting his new album, "Backwoods." He also just wrote a song for the Olympics. But first, I had to ask Josh how he dealt with hearing his wife get slammed for taking her name out of the Emmy race.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSH KELLEY, ROCK STAR: You know, I mean, really, to tell you the truth in those kinds of situations, I mean, you know, they usually keep those kinds of things just basically, you know, between her and her people. I don`t really - we don`t really talk about that much. We really don`t talk about each other`s careers that much other than really love each other`s work.

What I do believe, though, is that people make a big stink out of nothing, and there`s a lot bigger issues in the world going on that could be focused on. And it just seems a little bizarre to me. That`s about all I got on that.

ANDERSON (voice over): So when she got the backlash, were you guys sitting at home saying just that? This is bizarre. This is crazy? What`s going on here?

KELLEY: Totally. I mean, well, in any situation like that, you know, you`re just kind of like, are you serious? OK, cool. Thanks.

ANDERSON: Yes.

KELLEY: You know, it`s not a big deal. I mean, look, it`s her decision, it`s her decision, you know. That`s it. You know, I stand by whatever she wants to do with herself.

ANDERSON: Josh, besides having a new album, there`s some really other cool things going on in your life. In fact, you wrote one of the songs that is part of the official Olympics soundtrack called "To Remember."

KELLEY: Yes.

ANDERSON: This Olympics, of course, has been one of the most watched in history. When you hear your songs played, do you just have to pinch yourself? Can you even believe it?

KELLEY: Oh, totally. I think they played "To Remember" the other day when the U.S. set a record. I can`t remember what it was. It was a relay race or something like that and they set the record, and I just turned it on and heard it. I started kind of freaking out a little bit. It was awesome.

I mean, you know, because I`ve listening to my songs on the radio now for years. But there`s something different about having this very sort of passionate, uplifting song come on during a big moment, you know, in the Olympics. And it`s like you almost feel like you`re scratching your little mark in history or something. I was like kind of got scared.

ANDERSON: A new album, a song for the Olympics and you`re on tour now, opening for Rod Stewart.

KELLEY: Yes.

ANDERSON: That`s got to be really cool. How does it feel to be on tour with such a rock icon?

KELLEY: It`s unbelievable. You know, the first day we kind of got all the bugs out. You know, we were a little bit nervous because it`s about 19,000 people every night. And now, we`ve kind of caught our stride with it, and you know we walk out there, man. We walk on stage in front of all those people like we`re ready to own it. And it`s a lot of fun. We learned a lot from Rod. He`s really been a really nice guy. He gives us a shout-out every night from the stage, and he`s got great fans.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: It was great speaking with Josh, and you can find Josh`s new album, "Backwoods" in stores and online. Check it out.

Well, a couple of guys went into their backwoods and claimed they found Bigfoot`s body.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WHITTON: It was all this was. It was a big joke. It got into something way bigger than what it was supposed to be.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Yes, big joke. But a lot of people aren`t laughing including this guy`s boss who fired him. Tonight, the duo that pulled off this big Bigfoot hoax speaks out for the first time. That`s next.

But first, a look at what`s new at the movies this week. This is brought to you by Fiber One yogurt - Fiber One yogurt from YoPlait. Card board, no, delicious, yes.

Amy Poehler and David Arquette stage a very un-PC version of the classic Shakespeare play "Hamlet" in "Hamlet II."

Rapper Ice Cube stars in "The Longshots." It`s about an 11-year-old girl who becomes a quarterback (UNINTELLIGIBLE) football team.

And Anna Faris is a house bunny tossed out of the Playboy Mansion who shacks up at a college sorority house. "American Idol`s" Katherine McPhee also in this one. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is back after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Hey there, welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson. So you might have heard about these two guys who claim to have found the body of Bigfoot, the ginormous(ph) half man, half ape that a lot of people still think is real. Well, now, those two guys are saying, "Oh, we were just kidding." The problem is, not everybody is laughing. Here`s WSB Atlanta`s Mark Winne for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATT WHITTON, FORMER POLICE OFFICER: It`s that all it was - it was a big joke. It kind of - it got into something way bigger than what it was supposed to be.

MARK WINNE, WSB ATLANTA REPORTER: Matt Whitton and Rick Dyer say when they concocted their Bigfoot hoax, they had no idea Bigfoot would get legs like it did.

WHITTON: It started off with YouTube videos and the Web sites.

RICK DYER, CAR SALESMAN: It got legs and ran. It got crazy now.

WHITTON: We were all about having fun.

JEFF TURNER, CHIEF OF POLICE, CLAYTON COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT: I did not find it funny.

WINNE: Chief Jeff Turner says he`s not laughing and has fired Whitton from the Clayton County Police Department. he said he is not laughing and fired whiten from the police department.

TURNER: He lied on national TV. So the defense attorney now just said, "So how do we know you are not lying now?"

WHITTON: I don`t believe it does affect my credibility at all because this is Bigfoot. It would be one thing if I came out and said that I had something else that is tangible or real. But right now, as far as I`m concerned, there is no Bigfoot.

WINNE: Whitton and Dyer say Bigfoot was a sasquatch costume they bought off the Web and filled with possum kill and slaughter house leftovers.

DYER: We never intended it to go this far.

WINNE: Criminal defense lawyer Steve Lister says Dyer and Whitton have committed no crime, but they retained him.

STEVE LISTER, ATTORNEY: There has been some threats made to them for both civil and criminal prosecution.

WINNE: Did you start thinking, "Whoops, I`m lying. This isn`t just a joke?"

DYER: We told 10 different stories. Everyone knew it was a lie.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: And that was WSB`s Mark Winne for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

On Wednesday, we asked you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. It was this - Olympic swimming superstar Michael Phelps, the new face of Kellogg`s cereal. So, "Michael Phelps: Would you buy something because he endorsed it?" Only 17 percent of you say yes. Eighty-three percent say no.

The E-mails - Nancy from Iowa writes, "Don`t get me wrong. Michael Phelps holds a lot of credibility and is an American icon. However, the only products I might buy if he endorsed them would be a pool, swimsuit, goggles and well, hiring a swimming coach."

And Kailee from British Columbia agrees, "Michael Phelps is a great swimmer, but I am not a big fan of Corn Flakes."

And that`s a wrap for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Thank you so much for watching. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Remember, you can always catch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on the 11:00s - 11:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, and in the morning, 11:00 a.m. Eastern.

END