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Reunited; Trump`s Hollywood Tizzy; Stealing The Royal Spotlight

Aired May 9, 2011 - 23:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, HOST: Big news breaking tonight on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


HAMMER (voice-over): Paula, Simon together again.

SIMON COWELL, BRITIS MUSIC EXECUTIVE: I loved it. It was like finding my long lost puppy.

HAMMER: Ex-American "Idol" judge, Simon Cowell hires ex-"Idol" judge Paula Abdul for his new show "X Factor." Our "Showbiz Flashpoint" today, are you happy to see them together again?

Hollywood versus Donald Trump revealed today. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the unbelievable new evidence that lots of big stars have turned on Trump.

Pippa Middleton steals the royal spotlight. Her sexy bridesmaid dress. Tons of new magazine cover, but is Pippa really upstaging her newly married sister, Catherine, today?

Bieber, the brat. Why a star of one of the biggest shows on TV says Justin Bieber was a big old brat on set.

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


HAMMER (on-camera): Hello. I`m A.J. Hammer coming to you from New York City with big news breaking today. Reunited at last. It`s the Hollywood reality TV reunion of the decade. Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell are officially getting back together again only this time as judges on Cowell`s upcoming show "X Factor." I got to tell you. Not since sonny and Cher has there been such anticipation for a TV duo to join forces yet again.

And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you, Cowell`s got a lot riding on the Paula factor, but the big debate today is can Paula and Simon rekindle that spark that led to "American Idol" magic for so many years?


HAMMER (voice-over): They`ve had their differences. They`ve had their difficulties and gosh knows they`ve had their spats.

PAULA ABDUL, SINGER: Simon, I don`t have a problem saying anything in front of your face.

HAMMER: But today, just like the end of a sappy romantic movie, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell are reunited, and it feels so good. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was there as ex-"American Idol" judges, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell reunited in Los Angeles, soon after the big announcement that thrilled TV viewers everywhere that Paula will once again sit next to Simon at the judge`s table on the new U.S. version of Simon`s singing talent show, "The X Factor."

KEN BAKER, E! NEWS: Nothing with Paula Abdul is easy. So, the fact that it took a lot from her to work out a deal with Simon Cowell and "The X Factor" is not a surprise.

COWELL: I loved it. It was like finding my long lost puppy.

HAMMER: Right before taping auditions for the "X Factor," Simon told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT he was glad all the wrangling was over and that he and Paula are back together again.

COWELL: After all we went through, after all the speculation, you know, she found it quite nerve racking, and I could just see the relief on her face, and it was just nice to see her happy.

HAMMER: During their eight seasons together on "American Idol," Simon and Paula became the stars of the show, mainly because of their occasional on- stage bickering.

ABDUL: I love hearing how your voice goes in and out of these beautiful colors.

COWELL: I don`t understand a word of what you just said.

HAMMER: But sometimes, the on-stage bickering turned into off-stage hostility.

ABDUL: I don`t have to dignify and speak so low to that of what Simon said.

HAMMER: Back in 2008 on Barbara Walter`s Sirius radio show, Abdul went off on Simon accusing him of trying to make her look bad on the show.

ABDUL: He claims to be that what he is creating is great television, and I said, well, what you`ve created is doubt in my character.

HAMMER: But today, Paula and Simon are back together again on the "X Factor" joining fellow judges superstar record exec, L.A. Reid and singer, Sharon Cole. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is asking why are Simon and Paula so eager to let bygones be bygones? For one, Paula needed a new gig.

After Paula left "American Idol" in a contract dispute in 2009, she returned to TV in a brand new competition show "Live to Dance."

ABDUL: As we all know, good is not good enough.

HAMMER: But "Live to Dance" had to left (ph) when it came to ratings, and it was cancelled by CBS. Now, Paula`s huge new gig with the "X Factor" gives her a chance to get back in the game.

BAKER: She was definitely looking for a few new opportunity, and this presented itself. It seems to make sense.

HAMMER: But Simon also benefits from bringing Paula back. With "American Idol" still on top and "The Voice" doing well on NBC, Simon Cowell`s new "X Factor" runs the risk of being lost in the singing talent show clutter, but bringing back his old sparring partner can be the x-factor that makes the "X Factor" stand out. Plus, maybe, they`ve known/hate each other as much as you might think.

BAKER: Even though these two very much seem to be always at odds when they`re on camera, off camera, I`m told that they`re really good friends. They`ve always remained close, and they both have a lot of respect for each other.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT asked Simon if the chemistry he had with Paula on "American Idol" will translate into their new gig.

COWELL: We`re going to find out, you know, because I remember the good times, driving down some of the bad times to register as well. So, we`ll have to see. But, you know, that`s Paula, you know? You never know what you`re going to get.

HAMMER: So many, like all those star-crossed couples we`ve seen in the movies, Simon and Paula realize that despite their differences, they just can`t live without each other. Now, we just have to wait to see if TV viewers will fall in love with them all over again.


HAMMER (on-camera): It`s very exciting, isn`t it? Simon and Paula back together again as judges on the "X Factor." I think this is a great matchup. I know I`m not alone. But I`ve got to state today, there are a lot more talent competitions going on on television than in the Paula- Simon-"Idol" heyday. So, it might take more than a Simon-Paula reunion to make the "X Factor" stand out.

Bringing us to our "Showbiz Flashpoint," Simon and Paula reunite. Can they bring their "Idol" magic to the "X Factor?" With me in New York, radio host, Egypt Sherrod, and from Atlanta, radio host, Jenn Hobby. I was really happy to hear that Simon and Paul were getting back together for the "X Factor." People like Simon or at least love to hate him, and people love Paula.

So, Egypt, to our "Showbiz Flashpoint," do you think that these two can bring their "Idol" magic to "X Factor?"

EGYPT SHERROD, NEW YORK RADIO HOST: I`m on the fence with this one, A.J. I`m sort of the mindset that, you know, leave the old show where the old show was. You have a new show, a new launch. It rings too much of "American Idol" now having two out of the three judges. I mean, already the premise of the show is pretty much the same. Now, it could seem a little bit like a rip-off.

HAMMER: I don`t know. I think their chemistry is lightning in a bottle. And the truth is this show is seeing success overseas. If there`s a guy is going to make it stand out here in the United States, Paula or no Paula, it`s Simon Cowell. Jenn, what do you think? Can they bring the chemistry to the "X Factor?"

JENN HOBBY, RADIO HOST, "THE BERT SHOW": Absolutely, A.J. This love-hate relationship as the two of them have together is unbeatable. You know that they love each other off camera or else they wouldn`t sign up to work together again.

HAMMER: Right.

HOBBY: But you know they`ve got that spiciness on camera together. It`s a great chemistry that we all want to watch, and they need Paula on the show. You know, outside of the music industry, we dent know L.A. Reid and nobody in the states knows Sharon Cole yet. They need Paula.

HAMMER: I think you have a good point, and I do agree with what she said, Egypt. I think there is something that will make it sort of smack of what it was like on "American Idol," but I think it`s going to be a whole new thing.

SHERROD: Well, I think this show is still going to be one to watch, particularly, because of L.A. Reid. I am very familiar with L.A. Reid and his reputation. He is a no holds barred --

HAMMER: He`s the guy who calls it. You think Simon calls it like he sees it. Wait till you see L.A. on the show.

SHERROD: Imagine having them both on the set, I doubt they will have any watered down criticism with the cherry on top.

HAMMER: Yes, that is probably true. And we caught up with Simon right before he and Paula went into tape auditions for the "X Factor" and asked him how his show is going to be different from "Idol." We might have stoned him a little bit. Listen to what he told us.


COWELL: You know what, I`ve got no idea until we shoot it. I know it will be different. I`ve got no idea what`s going to happen today, and I don`t want to know. It will either be great or an incredible train wreck.


HAMMER: And then, people want to watch it for that. So, he`s excited as everyone is about Simon and Paula being back together again. We can`t forget Paula`s dramatic departure from "American Idol." Egypt, do you see in some way that maybe this is like sweet revenge for Paula against the people on "Idol" who let her go?

SHERROD: By all means, and perhaps, this was their plan from the very beginning. Maybe that`s why she was so confident in her negotiations with "American Idol."

HAMMER: I don`t know about that, although, you know there was a phone call, and we really quizzed her about that, and she played it, you know, very close to the vest. Right now, however, I do want to move on to more big news breaking today from a big hello to really a sad goodbye. Huge announcement this morning on the "Today" show. I mean, huge.

Meredith Vieira announcing live on the air today she`s leaving the show when her contract is up next month. This was an emotional moment to be sure, but of course, it got even more emotional when Meredith revealed the reason she`s leaving. Watch this.


MEREDITH VIEIRA, HOST OF "TODAY" SHOW: I`m just humbled by what a great experience this has been for me. I really had a great time, but time is one of those weird things you can never get enough of it, and it just keeps ticking away, and I know that I want to spend more of mine with my husband, Richard and my kids, Ben, Gabe, and Lily, who are now rolling their eyes going no more time, mom.


VIEIRA: But I`m going to do it anyway, OK? But it means that I can`t be here every day.


HAMMER: Wow. I mean, it takes something to do that. Meredith`s voice, obviously, cracking up there when she brought up her husband, Richard Cohen. Not only is he suffering from multiple sclerosis, he`s also battled cancer. Meredith is walking away from a lucrative deal here, too, a potential $11 million a year deal to be with her family. I got nothing but respect for her and the choice that she`s made. Jenn, we know Meredith has always been one of TV`s classiest acts, but doesn`t this make you admire her even more?

HOBBY: Absolutely. It shows that Meredith has her priorities in the right order. You know, at the end of it all, we`re not going to all look back on our paycheck. We`re going to look back on the time we spent and the memories we made with our family and the relationships that we built. So, I`m really proud of her for making that decision, and certainly, we all have fallen in love with her heart along the way, and this further proves that she has earned that love.

HAMMER: Yes. And "Today`s" viewers, obviously, are going to miss her. When she took over Katy Couric`s seat, that was huge news. I remember, I was right there for the whole thing. Now, these days, a lot of the faces on TV are changing, but Egypt, do you see this shake-up now and potential shake-ups down the road, perhaps, putting, you know, the morning`s number one show in peril?

SHERROD: Well, we`ve seen the television landscape change a lot. Think about Larry King, you know, think about Katie Couric, now, Meredith Vieira, the talk of Matt Lauer possibly leaving. It`s getting exciting for me. The show does have some concerns. Though, it`s going to have some concerns with one of the biggest television hosts leaving, but I applaud her.

I agree with both of you, guys. It is a hard decision to make to put your family over your career. And if you do that morning grind, that daily grind, it`s very tough. You start your day at three in the morning.

HAMMER: I`ll tell you what, this is going to do well for Matt Lauer`s contract re-negotiations. Egypt Sherrod, Jenn Hobby, thank you both.

Got to move on right now. Look, I know Donald Trump doesn`t really have a filter, we all know that.


HAMMER (voice-over): But I think the dude may have totally lost it here. Revealed today, listen to him on his own show "Celebrity Apprentice."

DONALD TRUMP, ENTREPRENEUR: To you, NeNe, I say you`re fired and you`re a quitter, and Star Jones kicked your ass whether you like it or not.

HAMMER: Well, wait till you see the startling evidence that Hollywood has turned on Donald Trump.

Also a Whitney Houston shocker. Whitney is back in rehab tonight. We got the latest on what happened. That is coming up.

And Justin Bieber, a brat? The star of one of TV`s hottest shows calls Bieber big ol` brat. Will this lead to an all-out war?

This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN, news and views.

Time now for the "Showbiz News Ticker," more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news tonight.





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is nothing! I`m going.

HAMMER: Captain Jack is back. I am psyched to see the new "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie. Johnny Depp once again Captain Jack Sparrow. His co- star, the lovely, Penelope Cruz. Two super sexy people. So, of course, we had to ask Johnny and Penelope what makes someone sexy to them?


HAMMER (on-camera): Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. hammer in New York. And of course, we were right there at the premiere of the "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" of Disneyland, and let me tell you, there were some good looking people there. At the top of that list, Pirates star, Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz, of course, arguably two of the sexiest people on the planet. So, we had to find out from these two what do they think makes someone sexy?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, the sexiness is interesting, because finding someone who can match Jack Sparrow or match Johnny Depp is a bit of a tough call.

JOHNNY DEPP, ACTOR: As long as you keep a warning (ph), we`re taking the shop. It`s nothing personal.


PENELOPE CRUZ, ACTRESS: You can get that feeling from someone, it`s always something that comes from their confidence. It`s just a feeling, it`s just an energy.

DEPP: You know what I find sexy is someone who sticks to the very essence of who they are, you know. It doesn`t -- looks or any of that stuff doesn`t really come into play.

CRUZ: How do you think we can never need without you pointing something on me.

STEVE TYLER, SINGER: Hey, I figured I might as well just join the set now so that way when he sees me, he`ll say that he want me to be his brother in Pirates 5 or whatever.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Making movies is not my usual game, but it`s great fun to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But how did they get you to be in the movie?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Twist my arm, pay me a lot of money, you know? See you, pal.


HAMMER: I don`t know why Richard didn`t have on his puppy shirt. Well, tonight, I can tell you that the "Pirates of the Carribean" fan, that is the biggest among all of them out there, is none other than Michael Bolton. You don`t believe me? Well, I can arms with proof right now. Check out Michael on "Saturday Night Live."



HAMMER (voice-over): That is fantastic. Very, very funny. That was SNL digital short, but, Michael, how are you supposed to live without Captain Jack if Johnny Depp doesn`t do another pirates movie?


HAMMER (on-camera): All right. Sarah Palin is back tonight. Actually, it`s Tina Fey doing her very hysterical Palin impression.


TINA FEY, COMEDIENNE: Well, first, I want to acknowledge that this week we finally vanquished one of the world`s great villains, and I, for one, am thrilled to say good riddance to Katie Couric.

HAMMER (voice-over): There you go. Very funny. And wait until you see Palin and Trump go at it. That`s coming up.

Speaking of trump, it`s Hollywood versus Donald Trump revealed today. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has the unbelievable new evidence that lots of big stars have turned on Trump.

Pippa Middleton steals the royal spotlight. Her sexy bridesmaid dress, tons of new magazine covers, but is Pippa really upstaging her newly married sister, Catherine, today?

This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN, news and views.


HAMMER (on-camera): And this is the "Showbiz News Ticker," more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news tonight.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where did he come from?





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re going to need a bigger boat.

HAMMER (voice-over): One of the most classic lines in movie history, "Jaws." Today, I can tell you some fishermen off the coast of Martha`s Vineyard, Massachusetts say they might be needing a bigger boat after they spotted a huge great white shark. Tonight, the captain of that fishing boat right here to tell his real life "Jaws" story.

Captain Jeff Lynch snapped these pictures this weekend, and what makes this story have even more teeth, Martha`s Vineyard is where "Jaws" was originally filmed all the way back in 1974. Captain Jeff joins me on the phone right now from the Vineyard and the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsmaker interview.


HAMMER (on-camera): Cap, I appreciate you being here. Tell me exactly how you came upon this shark.

VOICE OF CAPT. JEFF LYNCH, SAW GREAT WHITE SHARK WHILE FISHING: Well, I was out fishing for Mackerel actually so I could load up for some shark bait later in the season, and I spotted a tangled up Minke whale, and I went to take a picture and noticed, you know, an 18, 20-foot great white swimming around the carcass.

HAMMER: I mean, that is just unbelievable. I`d be freaked if you saw that, and I`m a boater. So, I know what it`s like being out there in the water, but I also know it`s not uncommon to see sharks around the vineyard. Even with that in mind, did you immediately think of "Jaws" when you saw this enormous beast?

LYNCH: I mean, yes, I mean, there`s -- I mean, pretty much every day, you got a few "Jaws" quotes going through your head, and (INAUDIBLE) pretty entangled with the "Jaws" movie.

HAMMER: Did you have a whole plan in case things got ugly as to exactly what you`d do and how you`d get out of the situation?

LYNCH: Yes, I wasn`t too worried. You know, I commercial fish, so I`m used to shark fishing. I`ve just never seen a shark that big and almost the size of my boat. It was pretty awesome.

HAMMER: Yes. So, I guess, that begs the question, look, every boater thinks they need a bigger boat. I got to ask you, do you think you need a bigger boat?

LYNCH: Yes. I have two boats. That was one of my smaller one, but --

HAMMER: Bring out the big one next time. Capt. Jeff Lynch, thank you so much. What a cool story.

And I want to tell everybody that the shark was gone by the time researchers went looking for it. So, no need to panic if you`re out in those waters. These shark sightings do happen to be pretty common.

Time now for the "Showbiz Lineup." Here`s what`s coming up at the bottom of the hour on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


HAMMER (voice-over): Breaking news tonight, Whitney Houston back in rehab.

And, oh, boy. A brand new "Jersey Shore" problem tonight. I`m panicked. Has the cast been banned in Italy?

Bieber the brat. Why one of the stars of TV`s biggest shows says Justin Bieber was a big ol` brat on set.

This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN, news and views.


HAMMER (on-camera): Here comes the "Showbiz News Ticker," more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news tonight.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People are still file inside the abbey. Watch the prince and princess of Canada exchange their vows.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, here she comes.




HAMMER (voice-over): Big news breaking today on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Has the Donald finally lost it on his own show?

TRUMP: To you, Nene, I say you`re fired, and you`re a quitter, and Star Jones kicked your ass whether you liked it or not.

Plus, the startling new evidence that Hollywood`s biggest stars are turning on the Donald.

A Whitney Houston shocker today. Whitney back in treatment today for drugs and alcohol. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the startling details of her rehab repeat.

And Catherine`s sister, Pippa Middleton. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the great debate today, is Pippa now a bigger celebrity than Kate?

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


HAMMER (on-camera): Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It`s 30 minutes past the hour, and I`m A.J. Hammer coming to you from New York City with big news breaking today. It`s trump`s Hollywood tizzy. Yes. There is brand new evidence today that Donald Trump is losing ground with Hollywood`s biggest stars in the wake of his attacks on President Obama. Trump may even be sticking his own foot in his mouth on his hit show "Celebrity Apprentice."

With me right now in New York is Bonnie Fuller who`s the president and editor-in-chief of, also in New York, Rob Shuter who`s a columnist with Guys, I got to say, last night on "Celebrity Apprentice," Trump, I don`t think the Donald did himself any favors when he questioned Star Jones over why she was so offended when Meatloaf called her sweetie. You got to see what happen.



TRUMP: is that terrible?

STAR JONES, TELEVISION PERSONALITY: But it is in the context of what he was said. If he had said sweetie to me when we were talking about lunch, I would have had no problem, but you don`t say sweetie to a professional woman when you`re having a disagreement with her. It diminishes her, and it tends to say I think you`re inferior, and I don`t think --

TRUMP: Would you say that over the years, you have been called worse than sweetie?

JONES: Yes, but when I`m in the middle of the debate, then treat me simply as your equal.


HAMMER: I can`t believe I`m saying this, but I actually agree with Star Jones. Now, if she is telling Donald and Meatloaf that she was offended, because Meatloaf referred to her as sweetie, you know what, Donald, just accept it and move on. It`s not your place to tell Star Jones how she should feel. Bonnie, I think the last thing that Donald needs to do right now is alienate women, and I think he did it right there.

BONNIE FULLER, PRES. & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, HOLLYWOODLIFE.COM: He absolutely did. I mean, you know, I think that a lot of women have been concerned about his behavior all along. I mean, I think that he had said something to Lisa Rinna about her lips another time. And, he shouldn`t be tolerating sexist behavior, especially when he has so many women starring on the show. And, you know what, a lot of women are so angry with him over the whole birther issue with President Obama and the Harvard issue. I mean, he`s already turned them off like a thousand times.

HAMMER: Yes. It doesn`t help his reputation with women or really with anybody at all, because I just think it was not a sensible thing to say or a way to think, but I don`t think anyone can deny today that Trump has just been digging his own grave in Hollywood since he first began to slam President Obama and the president`s birth certificate. So, here`s evidence now that Donald Trump`s got Hollywood in a tizzy.

And I want to start with Jerry Seinfeld because it really begins with Jerry. Jerry dropped out of Trump`s son`s charity fundraiser over the whole Trump-Obama birth certificate fiasco. Trump lashed out at Jerry. He insulted him. He released the confidential details of Jerry`s contract for the fundraiser.

Rob, I think that Trump really played dirty by making Jerry`s list of demands public the way he did. Trump lost the respect of arguably the biggest comedian, one of the biggest comedians, in the country for sure. It`s a pretty big deal to lose Seinfeld and potentially Seinfeld`s whole fan base, isn`t it?

ROB SHUTER, COLUMNIST, POPEATER.COM: Oh, it`s a huge deal. What he`s done here is he has alienated many, many celebrities to the point where several casting directors told me it`s going to be very hard to cast a "Celebrity Apprentice" ever again. People are going to think twice before signing up for the show.

HAMMER: Yes. No question about it. In fact, Trump even got another beloved comedian, the great Bill Cosby in a tizzy about whether or not Trump is really going to run for president. Watch what Bill said on the "Today" show about Donald Trump.


VIEIRA: We`re about to have another election in a year, and Donald Trump is --

BILL COSBY, COMEDIAN: Oh, please with Donald Trump. Take him home with you.

VIEIRA: Now, why do you say that?

COSBY: Because he`s full of it.

VIEIRA: Based on what?

COSBY: Based on what I just heard. You kept saying or somebody kept saying are you going to run, are you going run? He jumped. You run or shut up.


HAMMER: Yes. I think Bill Cosby spoke for a whole lot of people who thinks that Donald is just making a whole lot of noises, not actually going to end up running. Bonnie, with Trump losing all the star power, are you quickly and clearly hearing evidence that Trump is now becoming Hollywood`s public enemy number one?


FULLER: Well, I don`t know if he`s public enemy number one, but he`s certainly very high on their enemy list. You know, I think that when they -- I mean, it is true that Hollywood does tend to be more liberal, and he`s taking his jabs at liberals many times. And in fact, I mean, he said that he`s a traditionalist. He compared gay marriage to golfing, and I think that was another insult that won`t go over well with Hollywood.

HAMMER: Yes. And it doesn`t stop with those two. Oh, no, in the Hollywood tizzy over Trump, we have iconic Cher. I mean, you don`t want to mess with Cher. She tweeted a couple of insults directed squarely at Donald Trump. I want to show you what she wrote. "Donald Trump is a pompous" -- you know what she said there. "Saw him in aspen with one D-cup chick after another." Everyone up there thought he was a complete idiot."

And on top of all of this, during an interview with Brian Williams back in film festival, even the great Robert De Niro, who really never says much to begin with, took a not-so thinly veiled swipe at Donald Trump when he said this.


ROBERT DE NIRO, ACTOR: If they`re talking about it, making statements about people that they don`t even back up, go get the facts before you start saying things about people.


HAMMER: OK. So, there you have two of the biggest comedians, a music icon, an acting legend, in a tizzy and dumping on Trump. He hasn`t even announced that he`s running yet. You know, Trump does fashion himself as a political expert, but he`s also a TV star. I really do believe that he needs Hollywood if he does decide to run, don`t you, Rob?

SHUTER: I think he need a lot of Hollywood behind him if he runs, but this is where he`s been genius. He`s only attacked these huge stars that would never, ever go on his show to begin with. De Niro is never doing the "Celebrity Apprentice." Who Donald hasn`t offended are the B list, C-list reality-type stars who love one thing more than anything, and if the same as Donald does, it`s attention.

HAMMER: Yes. Have you noticed that about Donald Trump, it`s attention? No! All right. Let`s put the Donald to the side for a moment, because right now, I have to move on to even more big news breaking tonight. Some serious news about Whitney Houston. Now, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has confirmed that Whitney is currently in an outpatient rehab program for drugs and alcohol treatment.

Whitney`s spokesperson told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT late today this, "Whitney voluntarily entered the program to support her longstanding recovery process." I got to say, I think it`s terrific that Whitney is taking charge of her treatment here. Bonnie, I think, this is such a positive step for her. Very good news. Whitney is such an icon, and I`m rooting for her. I`m sure you are, too.

FULLER: Oh, absolutely. I applaud her for dealing with her demons, going back into rehab. There`s been an awful lot of speculation that she was having problems still with drugs and alcohol while she was on tour. I think when she was in Australia, people were complaining and booing her in the crowds because she couldn`t sing properly. And so, you know, good for her, deal with it.

HAMMER: TMZ reporting today, by the way, that Whitney has been going to rehab for ten days now. Rob, are you surprised that she was able to keep this under wraps and off the radar for so long?

SHUTER: I am surprised. We know an awful lot about celebrities. There are a lot of people out there who are willing to tell their secrets. I`m actually kind of happy that she did have a couple of weeks, ten days, when she could deal with this privately. I`m glad that now she has admitted this because I think many people out there do suffer with some of her problems can take some inspiration and get some help.

HAMMER: Yes, yes. Good for her. Absolutely. You know, despite all the troubles, her rollercoaster ride, she is still a beloved star. Bonnie Fuller, Rob Shuter, I thank you both.

FULLER: Thank you.

HAMMER: All right. Well, moving on tonight, we all know Katie Couric is leaving CBS evening news, but I got to wonder, what does Sarah Palin think about it?


FEY: Well, first, I want to acknowledge that this week we finally vanquished one of the world`s great villains, and I, for one, am thrilled to say good riddance to Katie Couric.

HAMMER (voice-over): Tina Fey dusting off her Sarah Palin impression on "Saturday Night Live." Funny as always. Wait till you see her take on Donald Trump.

The Bieb, a big old brat? Huh? Now, the star of one of TV`s hottest shows just called Justin Bieber a brat. Is this going to be all out war?

And the breakout star of the royal wedding tonight, the brand new evidence that Pippa Middleton has stolen the spotlight from her royal sister, Catherine.

This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN, news and views.

It is time now for the "Showbiz News Ticker," more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news tonight.




HAMMER: David Beckham`s car crash scare. The soccer superstar was involved in a minor fender bender on a California freeway. Beckham reportedly rear ended a stalled car. Though, he wasn`t injured in the accident. The driver of the other car was taken to the hospital complaining of neck pain.


HAMMER (on-camera): Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Tonight, stealing the royal spotlight. There is brand new Pippa mania today. She`s only given one interview. she`s barely uttered a word in public, but Pippa Middleton, younger sister of the new duchess of Cambridge, Catherine Middleton, is shooting into stardom today. It all started when she stun the world with that sexy bridesmaid dress at the royal wedding. And now, she seems to be grabbing more magazine newspaper covers than her sister and Prince William.

That leads us to our "Showbiz Flashpoint," is Pippa upstaging her sister? With me in New York, Egypt Sherrod who`s New York radio host and editor of Look, nobody was really talking about Pippa before she became a star at the royal wedding. And now, she`s getting so much attention, you`d think she was the one who married the prince. Egypt, to our "Showbiz Flashpoint," is pippa upstaging her sister, Catherine?

SHERROD: I don`t think purposely. She`s beautiful naturally. You are the sister of the princess. So, naturally, she`s going to get some press, especially because guess what, the princess is on a honeymoon. When she comes back, she`ll get her own publicity. What I don`t appreciate is how the press is pitting sister against sister now.

They love you, they hate you. They love you, they hate you, but they couldn`t dig up any dirt on Kate Middleton, what did they do? Go dig up dirty pictures on her sister, the next best thing. And what`s the harm in sun bathing with your boyfriend? What is the harm in getting a little bra action on in the party when she`s younger?

HAMMER: Maybe when your sister is a duchess, you know, you got to be careful about these things. Let me go to Jenn Hobby from Atlanta, co-host of "The Bert Show." Jenn, to our "Showbiz Flashpoint," is Pippa upstaging her sister, even if it`s not intentional?

HOBBY: Absolutely, and it`s because her name is Pippa, which is really cool.

HAMMER: That`s right.

HOBBY: And it`s also because she`s single. You know, her story isn`t over yet. Her fairy tale doesn`t have that chapter at the end quite yet. Everybody wants to know what she going to do next, and it`s a little bit more exciting to follow her right now.

HAMMER: And you know, the photos that you mentioned, by the way, all vanished in a couple of days when her family threatened legal action.

SHERROD: I`m sure.

HAMMER: So, those went away. Do you think, perhaps, that Catherine is actually thanking Pippa, which really is fun to say, Pippa, but do you think she`s thanking her for taking some of the spotlight and the scrutiny off of her right now?

SHERROD: Or the heat off of her right now because, you know, everyone was trying to dig up dirt wherever they can find it to sell a story. You know, these sisters seem extremely loving from what I`ve heard. They have a wonderful relationship. I doubt this little bit of news is going to cause anything between the sisters. You know, she`s probably thanking her right about now saying go, girl, you do you.

HAMMER: Whatever you want (ph). Take the attention. That`s right.


HAMMER: And all the attention, of course, is putting the spotlight directly on her love life. She took her reported boyfriend, Alex Loudon, a young banker, to the royal wedding, but a lot of people are really saying that she`d be a great match for Prince Harry, William`s brother. I don`t know.

SHERROD: That`s disgusting.

HAMMER: You know, well, I don`t know if it`s disgusting.

SHERROD: There`s nothing more disgusting than a sister and brother --

HAMMER: Shutting it down.

SHERROD: I don`t felt like it is.

HAMMER: Then let`s move on because there is big Justin Bieber news. Tonight, after a big CSI star is talking some smack about Justin Bieber, you`re not going to believe who just called the Biebs a brat. Plus, the "Amazing Race" duo who raced for the second time and won. And has Italy rejected "Jersey Shore"? Well, no fist pumping in Florence right now. All that making big news in the buzz today.


HAMMER (voice-over): Gym, tan, banned? "Jersey Shore`s" season four trip to Italy has just hit another roadblock. Producers have reportedly put off shooting for a week while they work out problems with permits in Florence. Radar Online reports Italian officials yanked the show`s permits to film at Florence`s famous landmarks, including the Palazzo Vecchio the Uffizi Gallery. MTV tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT the holdup is due to an official presidential visit to Florence.

"Amazing Race" revelation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keisha and Jen, you are the official winners of the "Amazing Race."

HAMMER: The "Amazing Race" has just finished its 18th season. And after 40,000 miles, five continents and 23 cities, sisters Keisha and Jen Hoffman have just been crowned the surprise winners. Keisha and Jen were one of 11 teams from past seasons trying for a second chance at the $1 million prize in the race around the world. The sisters beat out three other teams who still remain at the star of the two-hour finale episode. They are only the second all-female team to win the contest.

Bieber`s big CSI smack down. Justin Bieber has just been blasted for being bratty on the set of CSI while guest starring on the show. CSI, Marg Helgenberger opened up when asked about him during a radio interview in France saying, quote, "I shouldn`t be saying this, but he was kind of a brat." Marg said Justin locks one of the producers in the closet and put his fist through a cake on a cast table. But Marg did praise Justin`s acting talent saying, he`s never acted before, he`s better than you think.


HAMMER (on-camera): Saying aint so Marg. Is America`s teen heartthrob really a brat? Well, Justin Bieber himself doesn`t think so. I want you to listen to what he just tweeted about CSI star, Marg Helgenberger, slam. He tweeted, "It`s kind of lame when someone you met briefly and never worked with comments on you. I will continue to wish them luck and be kind."

Look, I hope this isn`t true, because Justin is going to learn some hard and fast lessons if he really is acting like a brat like CIS`s Marg Helgenberger said. Egypt, you know, this is a case of he said-she said, but it seems to me the last thing Biebs would want at this early stage of his career is the rep of being a brat or a diva.

SHERROD: Well, he really still is a child, and so, he has a lot of growing up to do, bottom line. I wasn`t there, you weren`t there, but the talk is he that locked a producer in a closet and smashed a cake.

HAMMER: Smashed the cake.

SHERROD: And guess what, if it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, in the U.S. of A, it`s a duck. So, if she was to call him a brat and he really did those things, I have to agree with him.

HAMMER: I`m a little surprised that she would speak out about this personally, and I like Marg a lot. I would say, though, if you`ve ever been on the set of a movie or a television show, you don`t mess with the sweets. OK? That`s a lesson you learn very quickly. Bieber tweeted more about the scandal. Just went up on his Tweeter page. Let me read this.

"I know who I am, and sometimes, people are just going to say what they want. Keep your head up and be the man your mama raised." Look, Jenn, I think, at least, he`s handling it the right way by taking the high road here and not getting into one of these all-popular celebrity feuds with Marg Helgenberger, but do you think he should be more aggressive about how he`s responding to something that, again, I`m a little surprised she went out (INAUDIBLE).

HOBBY: You know, I say leave the Biebs alone. He`s doing just fine and responding on Twitter in a nice way is his way of saying, hey, I`ve heard what you have to say. I disagree, but I`m going to be cool about it. I mean, if this is the worst that Justin Bieber is doing right now, we should be thankful that he`s playing pranks on the set and maybe misbehaving a little bit. I mean, this kid could be underage drinking. He could be doing all kinds of terrible things. And he`s not doing that.

HAMMER: Yes, we don`t want to see him go down that road.

HOBBY: No, he`s fine.

SHERROD: Be careful not to endorse bad behavior or give him a pass for it either, otherwise, he can turn out to be an adult wreck like a --

HAMMER: Jenn Hobby, Egypt Sherrod, thank you both.

Got to move on to Sarah Palin. She`s back on SNL. Tina Fay is Sarah Palin.


FEY: First, I want to acknowledge that this week, we finally vanquished one of the world`s great villains. And I, for one, am thrilled to say good riddance to Katie Couric.

HAMMER (voice-over): Tina Fey getting her Palin on in a debate of presidential proportions. She`s also facing off the Donald Trump. You got to see this, next.

This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN, news and views.

Time for the "Showbiz News Ticker," more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news tonight.




FEY: I just hope that tonight the lame stream media won`t twist my words by repeating them verbatim.

HAMMER: Did you see this? Tina Fey returning as Sarah Palin to go head- to-head with Donald Trump on "Saturday Night Live" in a debate of undeclared presidential candidates.


HAMMER (on-camera): This is just so brilliant. So, obviously, we don`t know yet if Donald Trump is running for president, but since Tina Fey hosted "Saturday Night Live," hey, why not pit Sarah Palin against Donald Trump in a hysterical debate of possible soon to be candidate. Watch this.


FEY: First, I want to acknowledge that this week, we finally vanquished one of the world`s great villains, and I, for one, am thrilled to say good riddance to Katie Couric.


FEY: I also recently purchased Rosetta Stone English.


FEY: But the important thing for people to know is that I`m going to be running for president every four years for the rest of my life.


FEY: It`s my Olympics, and I intend to win a whole bunch of silvers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sarah Palin, I like you.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you want to be my vice president, all you have to do is sell more chilly than NeNe licks (ph) over the course of a hot summer day in Times Square. To conclude, this is the great time for the station`s greatest man, me, on "Celebrity Apprentice" Sundays at 9:00 p.m. only on NBC, bing, bong, boom, you`re fired, I`m hired. As president, you`re fired. The apprentice.



HAMMER: I mean, can you imagine what a real debate between these two would be like? I`d pay money to see that. I think that would be huge.

All right. Moving on to Gaga`s new "Judas" video which has people really fired up tonight. The video shows Jesus leading all gang of bikers where the apostles dressed in leather. A lot of controversy over this, so we asked in our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT exclusive poll, Lady Gaga`s new video for "Judas," is her controversy overshadowing her talent.

The results just in tonight with 46 percent of you saying yes, she needs to focus on her music. So, 54 percent say, no. Controversy is what she does. Pretty even split there. Among the e-mails were from A Great Fan of Minnesota who writes, "I don`t see anything wrong with her music. They like to pick on her. And my opinion as a fan, she is still number one."

Earle from Alberto, Canada writes, "Please, Lady "Gag me" Gaga is using her music as a tool to attack religion. Lady Gaga is anything but a lady."

And we also asked you about Gaga`s "Judas" video in our Facebook page, the whole Gaga-Madonna smack down going on there. We have Matt A. writing, "I think Madonna is more talented. If you look at Gaga`s career, she`s always copied Madonna. Lady Gaga has a better voice. She hides behind the costumes to try to distract us all from that."

We thank you for posting and writing, and we thank you for watching. That is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Remember, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is now seeing exclusively Monday through Friday at 11:00 p.m. eastern and pacific right here on HLN.