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Alec Baldwin`s Brand-New Outrage; Simon Cowell`s Thoughts on "Idol"; Leonardo DiCaprio on His Love Scenes with Kate Winslet

Aired December 18, 2008 - 23:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: Now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Alec Baldwin`s brand-new outrage. Tonight, Alec opens up about his nasty divorce battle with Kim Basinger.

ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR: I feel like I met someone, and they were someone who was an incredibly alluring person.


HAMMER: His fight for fathers` custody rights and his fury over the obsession with stars. Tonight, it`s Alec Baldwin like you`ve never heard before.

Simon Cowell`s "American Idol" secrets. Tonight, what does he really think of the new fourth judge? Will the "Idol" judges tone their comments this season after a fan`s apparent suicide? And who are the big stars Simon would love to see on the show? Tonight, what Simon says that you`ve never heard before.

Leo DiCaprio back on screen with Kate Winslet for the first time since "Titanic" and doing steamy love scenes in front of Kate`s director husband. Huh? Leo tells all in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

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


Hello, I`m A.J. Hammer, broadcasting tonight and every night from New York City.

BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: Hi, there, everyone. I`m Brooke Anderson coming to you from Hollywood. And tonight, brace yourself for Alec`s outrage.

HAMMER: Yes, Alec Baldwin has never been shy about giving us a piece of his mind. But wait until you get a load of this. Tonight, Alec is going off on camera about his explosive divorce, his child custody battle and his outrage about the aftermath of that now-infamous nasty voicemail that he left for his young daughter, a voicemail that would lead to Alec thinking about committing suicide. That is just some of what he`s saying, and SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you it is all making big news right now.


(voice over): A bitter Hollywood divorce from actress Kim Basinger and headline-making custody battle took Alec to his lowest lows. And all of it played out under the glare of the spotlight.


JOY BEHAR, GUEST HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": I read in a book that you contemplated killing yourself. I mean, is that how bad it felt?

BALDWIN: It felt bad.

BEHAR: And have you ever gone that deep before, that low?

BALDWIN: No, never.

BEHAR: In your life?


BEHAR: And do you think you`ll ever go that low again?

BALDWIN: No. Never.

HAMMER: Joy Behar who was a guest host on "LARRY KING LIVE" grilled Baldwin about all the intimate nooks and crannies of his life.

BEHAR: Tell me about Kim. What was it about Kim Basinger that attracted you to her besides her obvious beauty?

BALDWIN: Let`s talk about something else.

HAMMER: The interview was at times prickly and tense, but Baldwin fessed up about some of his darkest moments.

BEHAR: Do you remember the moment when your marriage fell apart? Because I can almost remember mine.

BALDWIN: Tell me yours.

BEHAR: No, you tell me yours.


BALDWIN: I`ll tell you what color underwear I have on and you tell me -

BEHAR: What was the moment when you said, you know, this is not going to work?

BALDWIN: You know, I don`t really - I can`t even really remember. It`s all like a blur to me now, you know. And it doesn`t really matter to me. I feel like I met someone, and they were someone who was an incredibly alluring person. I was new in my business, and I met someone who was very interesting.

HAMMER: Baldwin and Basinger were married for nine years and in 2002, split in one of the most bitter, volatile divorces in Hollywood. Baldwin says it was one of the difficult times of his life.

BALDWIN: Let`s put it this way. So much of what I went through the last eight years, it was unnecessary. It was completely unnecessary. It cost a fortune, and more the psychic toll. I aged like 20 years in the last eight years. So really, it killed me. I was really tired.

HAMMER: Their 12-year-old daughter, Ireland, was propelled right into the middle of the battle and the spotlight, after Baldwin left an angry voicemail on her cell phone calling her a, quote, "rude, thoughtless little pig."

Joy didn`t waste any time trying to get Alec`s take on the whole fiasco.

BEHAR: Alec, here`s what I want to know - that voicemail, who do you hate the most about it? The person who gave it to the press?

BALDWIN: I don`t think about it anymore.

BEHAR: The guy who did it on TMZ or yourself? Who are you mad at the most?

BALDWIN: Right now, I`m probably angriest with the producers and writers of this show.

BEHAR: For asking the question?

BALDWIN: I thought that they had more journalistic integrity.

BEHAR: They don`t?

BALDWIN: I will tell you that the one thing that was interesting is that when people are honest, they talk about their own shortcomings and their own moments of weakness ...


BALDWIN: ... and they do things they shouldn`t do, and those people that condemn you, they never let it go. What you realize is there is a very vibrant band of people out there who are like really sanctimonious.

HAMMER: Baldwin says he felt like he was targeted and that he`s had it with a culture that loves humiliating people for sport.

BALDWIN: Why does everything about the negative and people`s problems?

BEHAR: That`s what they like.

BALDWIN: This person`s butt is too big. We snuck some shots of this woman on vacation at the beach.

BEHAR: I know, but isn`t this a distraction from the real problems of life? You`re losing your job. Your kids are driving ...

BALDWIN: Well, that`s what is criminal about it. We need to focus on what`s wrong. We need to keep our minds on the things that matter and not what doesn`t matter. Entertainment has become like this opiate that keeps us from focusing on what`s real. Who cares if some actress` ass is too big?

HAMMER: Whether it`s a woman`s looks or an actor`s bitter battle, in the spotlight, apparently, everything is magnified. And that`s at least part of the reason Baldwin has threatened to quit the biz altogether.

BEHAR: Why do you want to quit?

BALDWIN: I think you just can`t do the same thing all the time.

BEHAR: But it`s different all the time. You do theater.


BEHAR: You do movies.

BALDWIN: Maybe I would do that.

BEHAR: Television. Ah.

BALDWIN: Well, I think that doing things that are very public gets to be tough.


HAMMER: All right. Wow. A lot of ground covered there. So let`s recap. Alec possibly quitting the business, on a rant about child custody and his divorce, talking about suicide. Yikes.

Joining tonight in New York, Lisa Bloom, who is the host of "Lisa Bloom: Open Court" and an anchor for "In Session." And in Hollywood tonight is Ken Baker, the executive news editor for "E!"

All right. Ken, Lisa, I would like to begin again by listening to what Alec told Joy Behar, filling in on "LARRY KING LIVE" about his never- ending battle with his ex-wife, Kim Basinger. Let`s watch this.


BALDWIN: Let`s put it this way. So much of what I went through the last eight years, it was unnecessary. It was completely unnecessary. It cost a fortune, and more the psychic toll. I aged like 20 years in the last eight years. So really, it killed me. I was really tired.


HAMMER: Yes. And that really comes across as he`s talking. Lisa, here`s a guy truly bearing his pain. This, to me, goes well beyond just promoting a book. You?

LISA BLOOM, HOST, "LISA BLOOM: OPEN COURT": I don`t know. I`m not convinced. I think he comes across as very self-absorbed, frankly. It`s about "what I went through and what I did," even though he`s got a daughter in the middle of this, a daughter that he was caught on tape calling a pig when she was 12 years old.

You know, maybe the reason why this divorce battle raged on for so long was because of his own behavior. It takes two to tango.

HAMMER: He is getting interviewed about his feelings, though, and what he went through. So, I don`t know - is that really fair to say?

BLOOM: He`s written a book about his divorce. He`s got a child who is still a child. I mean, many of us who have been through divorce would never do such a thing because we wouldn`t want our children to have to hear about we were suicidal, we were fighting with their other parent. I think that`s terribly inconsiderate to his daughter.

HAMMER: Ken, what do you think? Do you think that he`s being so open about how he felt when he was going through his divorce because Alec is desperately seeking some closure, or do you think it really is just publicity here? I don`t know. It comes across to me like he`s still looking for therapy in it all?

KEN BAKER, EXECUTIVE NEWS EDITOR, "E!": I agree. I think he`s kind of lost. I mean, look, the best way to close the book on a chapter in your life is not to open it back up all the time. Look, this was a year and a half ago that that tape was leaked of him doing that horrible rant, calling his daughter - 11-year-old daughter, by the way, these horrible names.

Now, this was a year and a half ago. It`s my business to remember these things, and I pretty much forgot about it. Now, he`s reminding us about it and he`s blaming us for harping and focusing too much on it.

Hey, Dude, we wouldn`t even be talking about it if you didn`t bring it up again. I really do think he`s promoting this book. And by the way, don`t write a book about this whole thing if you want to get some closure and move on. It`s just the wrong way to go.

HAMMER: It actually surprised me that he kind of went after Joy and the writers and the people, the producers involved with "LARRY KING LIVE" for the fact that she brought it up. Of course, she`s going to bring it up.

BLOOM: Right.

HAMMER: You know, he`s on talking about a book about his life. And that was certainly one of the key elements of it. Alec, as we heard, also says he considered committing suicide after that voicemail fiasco involving his young daughter. But he blames his sudden emotional downfall on the public`s fascination with his very personal mistake. Let`s watch that.


BALDWIN: When that happened, it was at a time when I believed that the worst was behind me. I actually had a couple of months of everything being very pleasant. I really felt that life was good. We live in a culture in which humiliating people and bringing people down for sport is a big part of it.

BEHAR: I know.


HAMMER: All right. Lisa, so what do you think about what he`s coming from in that situation? Is Alec right that, you know, he was so humiliated because he says we live in this culture that likes to humiliate celebrities?

BLOOM: You know, what an appalling thing for him to say, he who apparently intentionally tried to humiliate his own 11-year-old daughter. And all we know is what`s on that tape, by the way. A guy who would say something like that on a tape, calling his daughter a pig - you can only imagine what he would say in person when he didn`t know he was being taped.

And he`s blaming our culture for humiliating him because that tape was public and his divorce? You know, I`m tired of celebrities who make a lot of money off of being celebrities and then complaining that their personal life is under scrutiny.

He signed up for it. He profits from it. If he doesn`t like it, he doesn`t have to be a celebrity.

HAMMER: And that`s what he`s talking about. He`s talking about getting out, you know. And he has certainly made a lot of money.

What do you think, Ken? All the talk that he would actually stop being a least a star in the sense - he is a star now. Maybe he would do smaller things, not so much in the public eye. He was just nominated for a SAG award today for his role on "30 Rock." Do you really see him leaving show business?

BAKER: Well, first of all, he is great on "30 Rock." I mean, he`s universally regarded as just doing great work on that show.


BAKER: And we all agree with that. He can have as long of a career as he wants. But I do think he`s tired and I do think it has taken a toll. And part of it is because he keeps bringing it up and won`t give up on it. That divorce was bitter in part because he made it that bitter. If you look back through the history of it, all the court filings and all the media statements, blasting his ex-wife, it was ugly for a lot reasons because he chose for it to be that ugly.

HAMMER: I`ve got to end it there, Ken. But I agree with what you said earlier. Time to close the book by just closing the book and moving on. Lisa Bloom, Ken Baker, I thank you both.

Well, there`s some really personal stuff coming from Simon Cowell right now, too, Brooke.

ANDERSON: Yes, A.J. You know, I wouldn`t exactly describe Simon as shy, but wait until you hear some of what he told me. Tonight, Simon`s secrets - what does the "American Idol" judge think of the new fourth judge on the show. And will the judges tone it down after a fan and former contestant`s apparent suicide.

HAMMER: Scarlett`s snot.


HAMMER: Scarlett Johansson sneezes into a tissue and puts it on eBay to sell. Gross. Can somebody give Scarlett some Purell? Maybe some for me, too? Also, I wonder if Scarlett would enjoy the scent of burgers on her man.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Would you want your man to smell like a burger?



ANDERSON: The brand new cologne that`s creating a whopper of a controversy, coming up.

HAMMER: And now, the SHOWBIZ news ticker, more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news right now.

(CAPTION READS: "Doubt" tops Screen Actors Guild Award nominations with a total of five. Kat e Winslet nominated for two SAG Awards for "Revolutionary Road" and "The Reader.")



WILL SMITH, ACTOR: I think he`s enticed by the ears. You know, that`s what it is. You know, we`ve got these matching elements here - these matching elephants. We`ve got these matching elements and, you know, I think it would be fantastic. He`s just written a wonderful end to the first part of his story.


ANDERSON: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT caught up with Will Smith at the "Seven Pounds" premiere in Hollywood. Why Will thinks Barack Obama wants him to play him in a movie if they ever do one.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson. Will and Barack may get to compare their ears sooner rather than later. Will and his wife, Jada, are just a couple of the many stars heading to Washington next month for Barack Obama`s presidential inauguration.

And you have got to hear more of the big names going to and performing at this huge party. But let me tell you, to get tickets, these stars had to open up their pocketbooks. Here`s CNN`s Samantha Hayes for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


SAMANTHA HAYES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It promises to be a premier like no other, marked by performances by Aretha Franklin, Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman and the Hollywood A-list is snapping up top dollar tickets. In the audience for a change, Halle Berry, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jamie Fox, Sharon Stone, Samuel L. Jackson.

GARRETT GRAFF, EDITOR AT LARGE, WASHINGTON: What we`ve certainly seen in this inauguration I think is just unprecedented levels of entertainment industry interest and Hollywood interest.

HAYES: For red carpet treatment, all those stars have paid $50,000 to Obama`s inaugural committee. So what does $50,000 get you? Four tickets to the swearing in. Plum spots on the parade route and four tickets to the ball of their choice. It`s a measure of the excitement around Obama that the stars are themselves star-struck.

GRAFF: We`ve never seen this before, especially coming off eight years of President Bush where there just hasn`t been that much interest in Hollywood, in Washington and the Bush administration.

HAYES (on camera): It may sound like a velvet rope sweet deal for the stars, but the truth is, the Obama inauguration has dramatically cut the ability of the rich and famous to get insider access.

(voice-over): Linda Douglass, the top spokesperson for the inauguration committee tell CNN, "We have placed stringent restrictions on fund-raising. No funds from lobbyists, corporations, unions or pacts, and a $50,000 limit on individual donations, far below some limits in the past."


HAYES: The last time around, for example, the Bush Inaugural Committee took donations of up to $250,000 and corporate money was welcome. This time, the privately-raised funds will also buy things like JumboTrons and sound systems so people without tickets can see and hear what`s happening.


ANDERSON: That was CNN`s Samantha Hayes for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: Well, Brooke, the "Showbiz On Call" phone lines have been ringing and ringing with people calling in, all fired-up about a call that we got.

ANDERSON: No kidding, A.J. Cindy called in, disgusted by the reported $76 million or more Madonna may have to pay Guy Ritchie as part of their divorce settlement. She says Madonna and other stars who split should donate some of their settlement cash to the poor.

And we got a ton of calls that agree with this. Here`s Billy calling from California.


BILLY, CALLER FROM CALIFORNIA: I just wanted to say that I agree with the woman that called earlier, that the money that these celebrities have, maybe they should help other people. There`s a lot of people out there that need help.


ANDERSON: Thank you for that, Billy.

HAMMER: We also heard from Nancy in Georgia -


NANCY, CALLER FROM GEORGIA: I agree with the lady that just called in and said some of these celebrities who are always talking about how much money they make, they`ve got millions - $525 million and they`re always talking about the poor, poor people. Do something about the poor people. Why don`t they do something about the poor people? Why don`t they give some of those millions to the poor people?


HAMMER: Thank you for your call, Nancy.

ANDERSON: And here`s Gail from Florida -


GAIL, CALLER FROM FLORIDA: I`m just calling in regards to Madonna. I`m so sick like the caller I just heard played of all these movie stars that claim they want this and that, and they want change. I think it`s time for the Hollywood to put their money where their mouth is. And instead of insulting the way things are, try to help. Everybody ought to be helping at a time like this.


HAMMER: Thanks a lot for calling, Gail. Now, if you`ve got something on your mind, remember, you can call to "Showbiz On Call" to let us know what you think about this or anything else. The "Showbiz On Call" phone lines, always open at 1-888-SBT-BUZZ; that is 1-888-728-2899. Leave us a voicemail. We`re playing your calls right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Your calls to "Showbiz On Call" are also now online. Just surf on over to our homepage which is

So Brooke, the new season of "American Idol," still a few weeks away, but already there`s plenty of drama, isn`t there?

ANDERSON: Always drama, A.J. And tonight, Judge Simon Cowell is revealing the big star he would like to see on the show this season.


SIMON COWELL, JUDGE, "AMERICAN IDOL": She would be literally first on the list as far as I`m concerned in any capacity. I would love to see her mentor the contestants.


ANDERSON: Who could Simon be talking about? I`ve been talking to Simon. Plus, what does he really think of the new fourth judge?

And oh, this is so gross. Scarlett Johansson sneezes into a tissue, and does she throw it out? No. She puts it on eBay to sell. Yuck. The startling story behind Scarlett`s snot.

HAMMER: Gets inside there, Brooke. Also, what Leo DiCaprio told me about doing a sex scene with Kate Winslet while Kate`s husband was watching. Yikes! It`s the interview only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

ANDERSON: Now, the SHOWBIZ news ticker - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news right now.

(CAPTION READS: TMZ: Ed McMahon sets up deal with mortgage company, won`t get kicked out of his house. Country singer Mindy McCready hospitalized after apparent suicide attempt.)


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer.

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson with some more stories making news right now.

Tonight, Mickey Rourke`s dramatic comeback. Now, Mickey was a big star in the `80s, movies like "Diner," "Angel Heart" and of course, "Nine and a Half Weeks" with Kim Basinger. Critics loved him, but he got a reputation of being difficult to work with and fell off the face of the map.

Now, Mickey`s back in "The Wrestler" which could be the best role of his career. He`s got both Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations for the story about a washed up wrestler who turns his life around.

So on this morning`s "Today" show, Matt Lauer had to ask the question, is art imitating life here for Mickey?


MATT LAUER, HOST, THE "TODAY" SHOW: This is a guy in this movie who`s looking for resurrection after glory days. And in some ways, it has been to be something you identify with.

MICKEY ROURKE, ACTOR: Yes. This question is asked quite often.


ROURKE: And this is a question that deserves an answer. Yes, I kind of put myself out of the business for about 15 years. And I thought, maybe after a year or two, you know, I could get back in. And that wasn`t happening. I mean, I didn`t handle it very well the first time around. I didn`t really have a grasp of what it was to be accountable or to realize that the repercussions would be severe, and that I didn`t have the tools to really handle myself as a professional.


ANDERSON: Mickey`s still got plenty of confidence, though. He also told Matt that he wasn`t surprised by his Golden Globe nomination.

HAMMER: Tonight Kate Hudson`s brand new confessions about swearing off men. Kate was married to Chris Robinson and has been linked to Owen Wilson and Lance Armstrong. But Hudson says she`s done with relationships for now. She tells her good friend and fashion designer Stella McCartney who interviewed her for "In Style" magazine, quote, "I`m actually enjoying being single right now because I really never have been, I feel, good in relationships. I enjoy them so I feel my best when I`m in something solid. But it`s also the first time I`ve ever taken a step back and gotten a new perspective. So I`ve made a conscious decision to try to stay single as long as possible."

Be sure to check out the new "In Style" magazine on newsstands, Friday.

ANDERSON: I`ve been speaking with "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell about a number of things.

HAMMER: Yes, Brooke. I hear Simon is revealing a whole lot of secrets.

ANDERSON: Yes, like which stars he`d love to get on "Idol" this season. And what does Simon really think of the new fourth judge and will the show tone it down after the tragic death of an obsessed fan who apparently killed herself?

HAMMER: Also, my revealing interview with Leo DiCaprio, you will see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Leo opening up to me about his 11-year-in-the-making reunion with "Titanic" co-star, Kate Winslet.

And a brand-new cologne causing a whopper of a controversy.


MOOS: Would you want your man to smell like a burger?




HAMMER: A cologne that smells like burgers? Will this actually sell? I bet Homer Simpson would certainly buy a case. Stay tuned for some flame- broiled fun.



COWELL: She would be literally first on the list, as far as I`m concerned, in any capacity. I would love to see her mentor the contestants.


HAMMER: Now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Simon`s "Idol" secrets. His all-star wish list for the next season of "Idol." His real thoughts on the new fourth judge. And for the first time, Simon is speaking out about toning things down after the death of a contestant. Simon`s secrets revealed.

Leonardo DiCaprio back on screen with Kate Winslet for the first time since "Titanic." Steamy love scenes, all under the watchful eye of Kate`s husband. What`s that all about? Tonight Leo tells all in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

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


Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It`s 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer, broadcasting tonight and every night from New York City.

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson, coming to you tonight from Hollywood. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with Simon Cowell`s brand-new "American Idol" secrets. Simon telling me and other reporters how "Idol" could be affected by the apparent suicide of an obsessed Paula Abdul fan who auditioned for the show. And does Simon think adding a fourth judge on "Idol" is a big mistake? You won`t believe what he`s got to say about that.

Also new right now, is Paula Abdul essential to "American Idol?" SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the fiery reaction and your phone calls to "Showbiz On Call."

Joining me in New York, Lisa Bloom who is the host of "Lisa Bloom: Open Court" and an anchor for "In Session." Also joining me tonight from Hollywood, Ken Baker who is the executive news editor for "E!" Welcome Lisa, welcome Ken.

BLOOM: Thank you.

ANDERSON: As we have seen, when the woman, who apparently killed her outside Paula`s home, auditioned for "American Idol," the judges didn`t go easy on her. So does Simon think the judges might pull their punches this season? Listen to what he said.


COWELL: I think that we will continue in the way that we`ve always done, which is in the main, we try to have a sense of humor over the whole process. The show is not an inherently mean show. It is an American Dream show. Something like this happens, it does make you take a step back.

But as I said to somebody earlier on, you assume that everyone who enters "American Idol" kind of knows the score. But if you`re not great, you`re going to get, you know, some criticism.


ANDERSON: So Simon apparently believes this was an isolated incident - let`s all hope so. But still, Lisa Bloom, do you think the judges might go a bit easier in their nastiness?

BLOOM: I think they should, and I think Simon is being unrealistic. These are people who often have nothing. This is the biggest dream of their life to be on "American Idol." You know, Simon Cowell, who is a multi- zillionaire says some very cruel and harsh things to people. And this show makes probably billions of dollars as a result. It`s the number one show on TV.

They should be a little more courteous to people. They can reject people. They can criticize, but they can do it in a much kinder way so we can avoid this kind of result in the future.

ANDERSON: Yes. I think that`s a good idea. Ken, do you buy what Simon said, though? Do you think that people need to go into these auditions knowing that, hey, there really is a possibility they could get slammed?

BAKER: Well, in that conference call, Simon said that it`s a show about the American Dream. But really, for a lot of people who have gone to that show, particularly in the early weeks, it`s the "American nightmare" because they really do make fun of them. You know, they do.

And I don`t know - I don`t know about you guys, but I`ve watched that show oftentimes in the early rounds. And I feel bad watching it.


BAKER: You know, you feel really bad for these people. And I think when you jump over that line where your viewers are feeling bad about watching it, you`ve gone too far. And this was just a wake-up call for them. They probably should have made this change earlier.

Look, ratings were down last year about seven percent. Now, it`s still the number one show. It`s still very popular, of course. But at the same time, they should get back to their roots which Simon said is Kelly Clarkson, the girl from the heartland making it big and realizing her dream. That is really at the core and the essence of "American Idol" is all about, and that`s what they should be sticking to.

ANDERSON: You know, and sometimes when they`re harsh, it`s not about maybe people`s voices or their singing. It may be about their appearance or something else. So it does get a little uncomfortable at times. But according to Simon, the judging will be the same. But the number of judges is going to different this time.

Singer songwriter Kara Dioguardi will join Simon, Paula and Randy as the fourth judge on "Idol," that for this upcoming eighth season. Now, in the conference call to promote the season, Simon sounded off about whether he thought a fourth judge was a good or bad idea. Listen to this.


COWELL: I have been very, very happy with this panel for years, because we did have a unique chemistry. And like I said, I genuinely don`t know until I watch the show or you guys watch the show whether this is a good thing or bad thing. You know, I`m in two minds about this, because part of me goes, "If it ain`t broke, don`t fix it." And the other part of me goes, "But it has worked in the U.K." So we`ll have to wait and see.


ANDERSON: All right, Lisa. So Simon doesn`t seem all that enthused or convinced that a fourth judge is a good idea. What do you think?

BLOOM: Yes, way to sell it, Simon. I mean, look, I frankly think the judges are the weakest part of the show. I think the show is beautifully produced. The performances are terrific, watching the people with hopes and dreams and you start to cheer for them, and you get connected to them. That`s the best parts of the show. Look, four judges means a little bit of less air time for Simon Cowell, so I`m for it.

ANDERSON: Ken, what do you think? Do you think Kara will be a great addition to the show?

BAKER: Well, first of all, I`ll get to what I think in a second. But as far as Simon not having an opinion on whether it is a good or bad thing, that is the biggest bunch of hogwash. He`s the most opinionated guy in the world, and he doesn`t have an opinion on whether it`s a good or bad thing? I don`t believe so.

I do think it`s a good thing. Kara is a very respected song writer and producer. She`s very talented. She`s worked with "Idol" behind the scenes for years. They know she`s good, and Simon, by saying he doesn`t have an opinion - well, we`re going to have to see. He`s wanting us to view it. He wants us to check it and watch the premiere.

ANDERSON: That`s right. You know he has an opinion about this. And yes, Kara, I agree, is very experienced. But, you know, if the fourth judge doesn`t spice things up for the new season for some reason, how about some big name stars?

Simon reveals his number one choice to appear on the show - Britney Spears, who was actually a smash hit on his X Factor show in the U.K. Listen to this.


COWELL: She would be literally first on the list as far as I`m concerned in any capacity. I would love to see her mentor the contestants. But if she doesn`t want to do that and she wants to come on the show to perform, I would welcome her anytime. I mean, the buzz we had on our show when she came on was extraordinary.

And even with all the stuff that`s gone on with her over the past two years, there was more excitement and interest in her than I`ve seen in anyone in years. So she would be very, very welcome.


ANDERSON: Lisa, what do you think? Do you think "Idol" needs a little bit of Britney Spears on the show?

BLOOM: I think it`s a good idea because let`s remember that Britney Spears is required by law to be connected to every entertainment news story. So now, we have her connected to "American Idol," and we all want to watch her.

We don`t know if she`s going to slip and fall or she`s going to be fat, she`s going to be thin. She`s going to smile. She`s going to dazed. You know, we all want to watch - we all root for Britney. It`s the American pastime.

ANDERSON: You`re right. You`re right. We may see it happen in this upcoming eighth season. And you know, with all the controversies, there`s been a lot of speculation that this might be Paula Abdul`s last year on "Idol."

So in the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day, we asked on air and online - "Paula Abdul: Is she essential to `American Idol.`" Thirty-two percent of you said yes, but a whopping 68 percent said no, not essential.

And you know, our "Showbiz On Call" have been ringing off the hook about this. I want you to take a listen to what Kelly from Florida had to say.


KELLY, CALLER FROM FLORIDA: "American Idol" would be much better without Paula. She adds nothing to the show and just sounds stupid. Her comments regarding the contestants` performances usually don`t even make any sense. At least Randy knows talent when he sees it. And Simon just tells it like he sees it.


ANDERSON: All right. Obviously, Kelly doesn`t love Paula. But Ken, isn`t part of Paula`s appeal that the fact that people are always waiting to see what says, what does next?

BAKER: Yes, I disagree with her statement. I mean, in fact, I look at Paula Abdul this way. When you go back home for the holidays, you`re going to be with your family and there`s going to be a crazy kooky aunt.

And she`s not essential to be there. But you know what? She`s part of the whole, and we accept her.

ANDERSON: Oh, be nice.

BAKER: We accept Paula as part of the family. I mean this in the most positive way as well. The great thing about having Paula is Simon doesn`t need Britney because he already has a train wreck. You have a train wreck already.

ANDERSON: And another thing - I do have to end it there. But another thing - she does have a lot of experience, I want to add. But another thing, you know, she knows how to handle Simon, and not all that many people do.

We`ll leave it there for now for now. Lisa Bloom, Ken Baker, thank you both. Good to see you.

BLOOM: Thank you.

BAKER: Thanks.

ANDERSON: We`ve been asking you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day - "`American Idol` Judges: Who is more essential to the show, Paula Abdul or Simon Cowell?" Keep voting, E-mail us

HAMMER: Crazy, kooky aunt. Nice, Ken.

All right, moving on, Brooke, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet are teaming up for a steamy, new onscreen reunion.

ANDERSON: Yes. And it is the first time they`re together since "Titanic" except one big thing that has changed the in the set, A.J.

HAMMER: That is right, Brooke. This time, Kate`s husband was right there watching the entire time. You`ve got to hear what Leo told me about that. It is the headline-making interview and you`ll see it only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. That`s coming right up.

ANDERSON: And how about this - Scarlett Johansson sneezes into a tissue and puts it up for sale on eBay. I`m not kidding. Scarlett`s snot is for sale.

And here`s something else for sale -


MOOS: Would you want your man smell like a burger?




ANDERSON: Eau de burger? Yes, the home of the whopper is grilling up something new for your prime (UNINTELLIGIBLE). The cologne that smells like a whopper.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is coming right back.

HAMMER: Grab your shakes and fries, because here comes the SHOWBIZ news ticker - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news rights now.

(CAPTION READS: Heath Ledger gets posthumous SAG nod for his role in "The Dark Knight." Alec Baldwin gets Screen Actors Guild nomination for best comedy actor in "30 Rock.")


ANDERSON: We welcome you back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood.

Well, celebrities like Charlize Theron and Kate Winslet are the faces of some of the most beautiful fragrances in the world. Britney Spears and Mariah Carey have their very own perfumes.

But did you see this? There may soon be a new king of fragrance. It`s a whopper of a new scent that`s sure to make the man in your life drool.

Here`s CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


MOOS (voice over): We`ve all heard of (UNINTELLIGIBLE) - And maybe even -


MOOS: But now, this is flame. Flame from Burger King.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on, baby. Give it a spray.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Flame? The scent of seduction with a hint of flame- broiled meat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t think smelling like a burger is too cool.

MOOS: On the other hand, while other men`s cologne costs $3.99, less than the price of a Whopper Value Meal, Burger King`s Flame sold at "" where you meet the Burger King king creepily beckoning you to his bear rug. But let`s see if Flame passes the smell test.

(on camera): Well, you smell (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

(voice over): We drenched CNN associate producer Ian (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in Flame.

(on camera): Smell Ian if you would.

(voice over): Though Flame got OK reviews, the hint of flame-broiled meat seemed lost on folks.

(on camera): Does Ian smell like this?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It doesn`t smell like that.

MOOS (on camera): Does it smell like this?


MOOS (voice over): Only a few people detected anything remotely resembling the charbroiled scent.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my god. A little. That is sick, almost like a gasoline-y edge which probably makes it smell like the charcoal broiled.

MOOS (on camera): A little gasoline-y. That smell has less calories.

MOOS (voice over): Flame seems to be a whopper of an advertising gimmick. McDonald`s joked about the same concept in a Super Bowl ad featuring a distracted husband looking for those dryer fresheners and popping in a McDonald`s wrapper by mistake. The result? But seriously folks -

(on camera) Would you want your man to smell like a burger?



(voice over) He does? Maybe the only one who wanted to smell like a burger would be, say, the dog catchers. Misunderstood Flame`s purpose.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They spray this on the burgers?

MOOS: How do you expect to survive eating them? That wouldn`t be Flame, that would be -



ANDERSON: That was CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: All right. Well, the idea of a burger cologne may gross you out, but I`m guessing and maybe it`s just me - Scarlett Johansson might be OK with it seeing how she`s not grossed out by the snot she left in the tissue which is now being sold on eBay.

Yes, let me just say it, OK? Scarlet Johansson`s snot is for sale.

CREW: Eew!

HAMMER: Everybody loves the idea. I have three words for it - hideous. Scarlett says she caught a cold from Samuel Jackson and felt the cold was valuable because, well, it was passed from one star to another. So she blew some snot into a tissue and put it online to raise money for the Hunger Relief Charity USA Harvest. That`s a good thing.

Well, we checked late today, bidding for Scarlett`s snot was up to more than $2,100. By the way, free shipping included with that.

Tonight, Leonardo DiCaprio`s "Titanic" reunion and what he told me about his sex scene with Kate Winslet while her husband watched. Well, it has been 11 years since Leo made us all feel like kings of the world, after falling in love with "Titanic." Hard to believe.

Now, Leo and Kate are lighting up the big screen in their new film "Revolutionary Road." And when I spoke with Leo, I had to ask him after all this time, what it was like for them when the director Sam Mendes, Kate Winslet`s husband, yelled, "Action!" for the very first time?


DICAPRIO: Well, it was interesting in the sense that we`ve grown up a lot, you know. We`ve grown up and we`ve been sort of shepherded projects since that film experience. We`re different types of actors. I think we have the same kind of passion that we had at a very young age for doing what we do, the same kind o commitment.

But it was amazing to see sort of a different woman in that regard, a much more mature woman that`s so in control of what she does professionally. But still, you know, she remains kind of unchanged and our relationship has remained unchanged. And we still have that desire to do the best job that we can as actors.

HAMMER (on camera): She`s characterized that relationship as you being, in your case, kind of like a brother to her. So with that in mind - and Leo, keeping in mind that you`re both professionals, when you have to do the love scenes with her, especially given how long you`ve known each other. And now, particularly given that her husband, Sam Mendes, is directing and yelling "action," do you kind of laugh your way through the first couple of takes? I`m realizing your job.

DICAPRIO: We`ve done it so much in the past, those types of sequences that I was - it was kind of like -

HAMMER: Here we go again?

DICAPRIO: No, it wasn`t, "Here we go again." But it was just an exercise that we had done before. So to me, it was just like, "All right. Action."

HAMMER: You figured it out.

DICAPRIO: It`s kind of an automatic response. I selfishly didn`t really think about what it would be like for Sam Mendes, her husband, or her to be in the middle of this struggle. I kind of just -

HAMMER: That`s probably best -

DICAPRIO: Yes, I mean - but for me, it was kind of not a big deal and something that I felt really comfortable doing. That`s all.

HAMMER: Now, she said you talk about the time you guys, you know, have spent since you did "Titanic" together some 11, 12 years ago, since you actually shot it. And she said in one interview she liked seeing your wrinkles, Leo. Now, how do you feel about that? I mean, as guys, you know, I think we`re maybe pretty comfortable with that. But are you comfortable with the aging thing, what`s going on?

DICAPRIO: I don`t think anyone will ever be comfortable with that. I don`t think anyone`s who`s ever truly happy about aging, no. But thus is life.

HAMMER: Yes, thus is life. So what did you notice about her? She notices your wrinkles. You notice what about her after all these years?

DICAPRIO: What do I notice about her? You know, what`s interesting about Kate is she`s such a professional. She`s such a great actress. Her public image, you know, is of this perfect girl and she is that.

But underneath all that, she`s remained one of the most down-to-earth, kind of real pals that I have. And that`s an amazing thing after all these years to still - to see her after all these years. And it`s almost like no time has passed.


HAMMER: Well, "Revolutionary Road" in theaters the day after Christmas.

ANDERSON: Hugh Jackman has just been tapped to breathe some new life into the Oscars. But now, does he have to save the entire world, too? Well, maybe only on the big screen. Jackman is back as "Wolverine" in the latest installment "X Men" franchise. Stick around, we`ve got your first look at "X Men Origins: Wolverine." Next on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

And now, the SHOWBIZ news ticker - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom, making news right now -

(CAPTION READS: Brad Pitt gets best actor nod from Screen Actors Guild for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." Angelina Jolie gets best actress nomination from the Screen Actors Guild fro "Changeling.")


HAMMER: Thank you, wacky Charlie. And welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It`s time now for our SHOWBIZ first look at "X Men Origins: Wolverine." Hugh Jackman returns as the mutant Wolverine in this prequel to the "X Men" franchise.


HUGH JACKMAN, ACTOR: All the horrible things in your life. Your father. The wars. Knowing that the woman you loved was hunted down. I can make all this go away.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Bring together a special team. Special privileges. Join me. You will have your revenge.

JACKMAN: I want new ones.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: What do you want it to say?

JACKMAN: Wolverine.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Become the animal. Embrace the other side.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I think he heard you.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Don`t worry we`ll stop him.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I just (UNINTELLIGIBLE), making him indestructible.

JACKMAN: I know who you are. I`m coming for blood. No code of conduct. No law.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Do you even know how to kill me?

JACKMAN: I`m going to cut your head off, see if that works.


HAMMER: That looks awesome. "X Men Origins: Wolverine," out in theaters next May.

And that is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Thanks for watching. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Remember you can catch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN on the 11:00s - 11:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, and in the morning, 11:00 a.m. Eastern. Take care.