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SHOWBIZ TONIGHT

Tyler Perry`s Trayvon Tirade; Oprah`s Confessions about OWN; Katie Couric Versus Sarah Palin on Morning TV; SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Exclusive with Kiss

Aired April 2, 2012 - 23:00:00   ET

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


NISCHELLE TURNER, HLN HOST: Big news breaking tonight on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT -- Tyler`s Trayvon tirade. Tyler Perry`s remarkable fired-up fury over the Trayvon Martin shooting case. Was Tyler a victim of racial profiling? Tonight, his powerful demand to the feds.

Oprah`s bombshell confessions. Oprah Winfrey`s jaw-dropping admission today about her struggling network.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OPRAH WINFREY, MEDIA MOGUL: I would say if I were writing a book about it, I could call the book "101 Mistakes."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TURNER: Is Oprah regretting she gave up her show? A SHOWBIZ March Madness exclusive. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT A.J. Hammer`s exclusive with rock legends, Kiss, at the NCAA big dance concert. Gene Simmons` startling attack on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GENE SIMMONS, LEAD SINGER, KISS: It`s become a sham, and because this is an insult to Madonna and all the disco and rappers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TURNER: Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is on location with the backstage pass to Kiss in a must-see March Madness SHOWBIZ newsmaker interview.

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

(MUSIC)

Hello. I`m Nischelle Turner in Hollywood. A.J. Hammer is on assignment tonight. And there is big news breaking tonight in the Trayvon Martin tragedy, Tyler`s tirade.

Tyler Perry has just revealed how he may have become a victim of racial profiling and is demanding justice in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Wait until you hear the disturbing story that Tyler just told and the remarkable demand he`s making tonight to stop racial profiling.

Let us not forget that Tyler is one of Hollywood`s most successful movie and television producers. There certainly has been no shortage of stars speaking out on the shooting death of Trayvon by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman.

And now, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you Tyler is adding his voice to the demands that something has to be done.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice-over) In his movie, "Madea Goes to Jail," a dress-wearing Tyler Perry`s unfortunate encounter with police is played for laughs.

But today, Tyler Perry is making news with an unfunny and horrifying real- life encounter with police. In an explosive new Facebook post, Perry reveals what he called his own encounter with racial profiling, a subject that`s getting a lot of attention after the shooting of Florida teen, Trayvon Martin.

ALAN DUKE, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: This is Tyler Perry`s outcry about racial profiling and the idea that Trayvon Martin would have been racially profiled and that is why he is now dead.

TURNER: In his Facebook post, Perry describes an incident that took place earlier this year in Atlanta.

DUKE: Two Atlanta police officers, who happened to be white, pulled him over. Quite obviously, they didn`t recognize that he`s one of Atlanta`s richest and most famous citizens.

TURNER: Perry writes, quote, "The officer came up to the driver`s door and said that I made an illegal turn. I said, `I signaled to get into the turning lane then made the turn because I have to be sure I`m not being followed.` He said, `Why do you think someone would be following you?`"

DUKE: Perry describes a very tense moment where he reached for his keys, thinking the officers wanted them. And then he realized that they were tensing up, not knowing why he was moving.

And it was that moment that he said he heard his late mother`s voice warning him to be careful whenever stopped by police because he`s a black man.

TURNER: Tyler Perry writes, "My mother would always say to me, `If you get stopped by the police, especially if they`re white policemen, you say yes, sir and no, sir, and if they want to take you in, you go with them. Don`t resist, you hear me?` It wasn`t until after I heard her voice that I realized both of these officers were white."

DUKE: He seemed, in his writing, to fear that something was about to go bad.

TURNER: Perry says the traffic stop seemed to be on the verge of going very wrong. He writes, quote, "It was so hostile. I was so confused. It was happening so fast that I could easily see how this situation could get out of hand very quickly. I didn`t feel safe at all."

But then things cooled down.

DUKE: Another officer pulled up, and this one was an African-American cop. He got out, just looked and gave that "Oh, no" look, according to Perry.

And then he quietly, in a hushed tone, explained to the other officers who that was they stopped. And then one of the officers apologized and they went on their way.

TURNER: Even though this potentially explosive encounter was diffused quickly, it`s clear this incident still weighs heavily on Perry`s mind.

He shares a growing suspicion that this shooting of Trayvon Martin by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman may have been sparked by racial profiling.

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH VOLUNTEER WHO SHOT TRAYVON MARTIN: This guy looks like he`s up to no good.

TURNER: In a direct reference to the Trayvon Martin case, Tyler Perry writes, quote, "Although we have made significant strides with racial profiling in this country, the world needs to know that we are still being racially profiled."

And he adds, quote, "Racial profiling should be a hate crime investigated by the FBI."

DUKE: It was pretty incredible how fast this thing spread on Facebook on Sunday. Tyler Perry posted it in the early afternoon. Five hours later, it had nearly 100,000 likes and it had 15,000 comments from Tyler Perry fans.

TURNER: But CNN`s Alan Duke tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Perry is hoping to spread a message that goes beyond Facebook.

DUKE: the bottom line on Perry`s post says, we still are being racially profiled. African-American men are still being picked out for special scrutiny by police officers and others. And he said that he would be screaming at the top of his lungs about this issue.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TURNER: So now, add Tyler Perry`s voice to the deafening demands for justice in the Trayvon Martin case. And to hear one of Hollywood`s biggest directors speak out like this is sure to be heard.

Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT brings you another big and influential director and actor, Mario Van Peebles. Mario directed everything from movies like "Lou Jack City" to TV shows like "Law and Order."

Mario`s great new movie, "We, The Party," opens on Friday. He is with us tonight from Atlanta for a SHOWBIZ newsmaker interview. Now, Mario, let`s get into this.

A powerful Facebook post by Tyler Perry about racial profiling and the Trayvon Martin tragedy. Mario, what went through your mind as you read Tyler`s words?

MARIO VAN PEEBLES, DIRECTOR AND ACTOR: I think Brother Tyler has got it absolutely right. You know, Jackie Robinson playing baseball did not mean baseball was integrated.

And having a thinking president like brother Barack Obama in the White House does not necessarily mean we are post racial. Ironically, in my movie "We The Party," I`ve got all my teenagers in it.

I`ve got three two boys and two girls, the same color, roughly the same age as brother Trayvon. And I tell them constantly that the isms are not done -- lookism, sexism, racism, classism.

The thing I think you you`ve got to do is each one teach one. What I try to do is say there`s three loves in your life. Love what you do, love who you do it with and try to love what you stay with.

And you can take a film and make entertainment. You can take a film and say something. In this case, "We The Party," there is a scene where my character talks to a young brother with a hoodie on.

And I tell them, "If the world can`t see your eyes, they`re going to make a judgment of you." And luckily, we in the film don`t make a judgment. In "We The Party," nobody gets killed, white, black, yellow or green.

And this brother lives to share his consciousness unlike Brother Trayvon, who we will never know he could have brought to the world.

TURNER: I want you to hold that thought because we are actually going to take a look at that scene from the movie. And I thought it was really powerful.

VAN PEEBLES: OK, great.

TURNER: First, I want to tell you about that Facebook post, because it`s generated more than 100,000 likes. And as of late today, close to 20,000 comments.

Now, Mario, why do you think that something like this has just touched such a chord in people?

VAN PEEBLES: Well, I think, you know, it`s still part of America. The good thing about us is, you know, you take (UNINTELLIGIBLE) spot. You take black folks and Jews and Asians and Hispanics and you mix it all up, you`re going to get sparks.

That spark is called democracy, but do you know what? Art is letting that steam out of that pot so the pot doesn`t explode. And from that, you get great music. You get great film.

And in this country, we still have a dialogue. We`ve got a long way to go. They say, what is it? Rosa Parks sat so Dr. King could walk and Dr. King walked so Obama could run, and Obama ran so that our children could fly, and it`s got to continue.

But social justice is like a car. If you take your foot off the gas, guess what? The car is going to slow down.

TURNER: Well, now, I hope this does create a dialogue. And what you said is you`re trying to reach people one person at a time. In this case, the Trayvon Martin case and Tyler`s post, has brought new attention to racial profiling.

You saw Geraldo Rivera getting into some hot water for suggesting that Trayvon may have been to blame for what happened because he was wearing a hoodie the night he was shot. And in your new movie, opening Friday, which you just talked about, there was this scene where your character chastises a young man who is wearing a hoodie. Let`s talk at what you`re talking about.

VAN PEEBLES: I would say advises him. I wouldn`t say chastises him.

TURNER: OK.

VAN PEEBLES: OK.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(on camera) They say the eyes are the windows to the soul. If you can`t look people in the eyes, they`re not going to trust you. And they sure as hell won`t hire you. Are you afraid to look me in the eye, C.C.?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TURNER: Mario, I can`t watch that scene without thinking -- go ahead. Go ahead.

VAN PEEBLES: You see there? I got the young brother to let me look in his eyes. I didn`t judge him. I didn`t prejudge him. I looked him in the eyes. I gave him advice.

There`s a lot to -- you know, the division now is not even -- it`s about race still, but it`s also about class and social justice. So there`d going to be a line between have and have-nots.

There`s a lot of kids that are growing up without guidance. I think what we need to also be said about -- keep in mind that failing schools equals successful prisons, right?

And I think there is a lot of things we should focus on. Racial profiling is still alive and well, but we know if these kids are dropping out of schoolhouse, they`re being welcomed to the jailhouse.

So part of the fun of "We The Party" is having all the dancing and the music and some nutritional value in the middle.

TURNER: Yes.

VAN PEEBLES: I agree with Brother Tyler in this case. I`m excited, because the focus that was on this case is bringing it -- you know, put a little light on things, you know. You get a different kind of justice and if not, there`s other things to care about, too.

TURNER: Yes.

VAN PEEBLES: But there`s other cases, but it does not surprise me.

TURNER: Right. All right, Mario.

VAN PEEBLES: Whatever the outcome is, we know isms continue.

TURNER: Absolutely. We`ll leave it right there.

VAN PEEBLES: Thank you for having me on.

TURNER: Powerful words from you. We appreciate you coming. Mario van Peeble`s new movie, "We The Party," opens this Friday. Mario, again, we thank you.

All right. Oprah`s shocking confessions. Oprah Winfrey reveals her jaw-dropping regrets about starting her OWN network.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WINFREY: The idea of creating a network was something I had wanted to do. Had I known it was this difficult, I might have done something else.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TURNER: I cannot believe what Oprah is saying here. Now, I have to wonder, is she regretting that she gave up her daytime talk show?

And we have Katie versus Sarah. Katie Couric`s big return to morning TV sparks an all-out morning show war. The "Today" show strikes back with guest co-anchor, Sarah Palin. So the great debate, who will win in the battle of the morning show wars?

A SHOWBIZ March Madness exclusive interview with Kiss. Why is Gene Simmons slamming the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SIMMONS: This has become a sham, and because this is an insult to Madonna and all the other disco and rappers who have been inducted in there, because now they can`t get into the Disco Hall of Fame. It`s a sham.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TURNER: Oh, boy. Tonight, Gene Simmons and Kiss reveal all in a must-see SHOWBIZ exclusive newsmaker interview. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views.

Now, the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" -- more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news tonight.

TEXT: Taylor Swift wins Entertainer of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards! SHOWBIZ first look: Whitney Houston`s last film, "Sparkle," in theaters August 17th.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC)

WHITNEY HOUSTON, SINGER AND ACTRESS: Yes, I like it.

JORDIN SPARKS, SINGER AND ACTRESS: Get it, Mama. Mama, go get it.

WHITNEY: Then you will, too. If you got it like that, (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NADYA SULEMAN, "OCTUMOM": Zero help. No food stamps, nothing. I`ve been working my butt off, and I`m still working. And you know what? If they have a problem with us doing anything to get some help temporarily, it`s exactly that. Their problem, not ours.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TURNER: Tonight, the big octu-trouble for octumom telling TMZ about her money troubles and the outrage and death threats she`s been getting since she revealed she`s on welfare.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Nischelle Turner in Hollywood. A.J. Hammer is on assignment tonight.

And there is big, brand-new octu-outrage tonight. Nadya Suleman once vowed she would never rely on welfare to help raise the octuplets she had after already having six kids.

But that was then, and well, this is now, because she is now getting $2,000 a month in food stamps to feed her family of 14.

With me tonight here in Hollywood is Rachel Zalis, contributing editor for "Life and Style Weekly." Rachel, people are so angry about this news of the octumom receiving public assistance.

And I guess I`ve got to ask why. I mean, part of me feels like, doesn`t a mother have to do whatever she needs to do to feed her family?

RACHEL ZALIS, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, "LIFE AND STYLE WEEKLY": Yes, absolutely. I mean, listen, I was as disturbed as all the other people were in the beginning when she started having all these kids.

I mean, she was a single mom. She clearly couldn`t afford it. I get that. But at this point, it`s way past that. She has 14 kids now and it`s really about them. They need to be fed.

She`s not above anything pretty much. I mean, she`s done celebrity boxing. She just did topless photos in a British magazine to make $8,000 to try to support them. So I say cut the woman a little bit of slack right now.

TURNER: You know, we just heard about this --

ZALIS: She`s probably on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

TURNER: Well, I would say, with 14 kids, things probably are rough. We just heard about this, her getting paid $8,000 to pose topless for a British magazine. And now, we`ve got the welfare.

And she tells TMZ about the possibility of becoming totally destitute pushed her to do this assistance. Take a look at this with me.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SULEMAN: We were close to becoming totally destitute and this is a temporary kind of thing. I think people like you and everyone else should be focusing on those who are taking advantage of the system, not those who desperately want to use it temporarily just until we get on our feet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you don`t feel bad about all --

SULEMAN: You know what? I think it can be used as a good resource, and that`s it. As long as you know that it`s temporary, and my ultimate goal is, hopefully, we won`t be on it for more than a month or two at the most.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TURNER: Rachel, you know, many times she said that she will not do porn. She even turned down a million-dollar porn offer in 2009. But now, she could actually lose her house. Now, are you afraid that she might get just that desperate to accept a porn offer?

ZALIS: I really hope there`s someone out there who would be willing to actually give her $1.5 million to not be in a porn movie. I`m not sure any of us want to see that. So, keeping our fingers crossed, Nischelle.

TURNER: Let`s not forget that Kate Gosselin made a fortune from raising her eight kids on a reality show. She also wrote all these books about it. Do you think that`s an avenue that`s even an option for Nadya right now?

ZALIS: You know what? I don`t really think so. When Kate Gosselin had all the kids, she was married. People were kind of rooting for her. They were interested in seeing what was going on in the family dynamic.

But I don`t think that anyone is really that supportive of octomom or really is that sympathetic to her. So I`m not sure people are that interested in seeing her books or reality show. It`s a little bit of desperate times. It`s unfortunate.

TURNER: Yes, she became a little bit of a side show while people were rooting for Kate Gosselin.

ZALIS: I don`t think "Dancing with the Stars" will have her.

TURNER: Oh, gosh. Rachel Zalis --

(CROSS TALK)

Yes. Thanks a lot, Rachel. It`s a tough time for her. We appreciate it. Thanks.

Oprah`s big confession. Oprah Winfrey`s startling admission this morning about her struggling network.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WINFREY: The idea of creating a network was something that I wanted to do. Had I known that it was this difficult, I might have done something else.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TURNER: Tonight, does Oprah regret giving up her daytime time talk show?

The Situation`s drinking situation. Tonight, a brand-new report says MTV threatened to give the "Jersey Shore" star the boot for years over a drinking problem. Should The Sitch be ditched from "Jersey Shore"? This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views.

Now, the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" -- more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news tonight.

TEXT: Bruce Willis and wife, Emma, welcome baby girl, Mabel Ray. Chris Colfer talks to SHOWBIZ about "Glee" tackling bullying, suicide and other tough topics.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS COLFER, ACTOR AND SINGER: A lot of people are glad we`re talking about those things. I think this was the suicide episode.

So many kids wrote in and said, "Wow, I was there. I found myself on that road and "Glee" kind of helped me take a detour from it. It`s incredibly rewarding but it`s a lot of pressure to make sure that those kids are taken care of.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(MUSIC)

TURNER: Tonight, a SHOWBIZ viral video. Now, we know Mike Tyson can box, and we know he can wrestle. Did you know Iron Mike could dance?

The former heavyweight boxing champ and WWE Hall of Famer got down with the divas at "Wrestlemania 28" to lead a giant flash mob. Tyson later called himself the world`s worst dancer, but come on, look at him.

He`s trying. I actually think Mike did a pretty good job. He kind of knocked it out.

Now, there is more big news breaking tonight. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT confirmed today that Ashton Kutcher has got a new job as Steve Jobs. No, we`re not punking you.

And Adam Sandler hits the jackpot at the Razzie awards and that`s not necessarily a good thing. It`s all making big news in "The Buzz Today."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice-over) Ashton`s Apple gig. Ashton Kutcher will play late Apple co- founder and CEO, Steve Jobs, in a new film. Kutcher was tapped to play Jobs in the picture aptly titled, "Jobs." The film will chronicle jobs from his hippie days to becoming one of the biggest entrepreneurs of our time.

Adam`s worst nightmare. Adam Sandler won 10 RAZZIES SUNDAY night at the Razzy Awards, the celebration of the worst in filmmaking. Sandler`s film, "Jack and Jill," which co-starred Katie Holmes, won every single Golden Raspberry Award handed out, making it the first time in Razzy history when one film won every single award.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

And now, the SHOWBIZ lineup -- here`s what`s coming up at the bottom of the hour on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Katie Couric`s return to morning TV and has her competition shaking in their boots. So who better to fight fire with fire than Sarah Palin?

The "Today" show brings in the former vice presidential candidate as a guest co-anchor. Tonight, the great debate -- who will win in the battle of the morning show wars?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

A.J. HAMMER, HOST: I`m back stage with -- you can figure it out. We`re hanging out at the big dance of the NCAA Final Four exclusively with Kiss, coming up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TURNER: Who are those guys? Never seen them before. A.J., I am so jealous. And I cannot wait to see your SHOWBIZ newsmaker exclusive with Kiss. It`s SHOWBIZ at March Madness. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views.

And now, the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" -- more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news tonight.

TEXT: "American Idol`s" Scotty McCreery reveals he`s planning to attend college this fall. SHOWBIZ first look: Aaron Sorkin`s new HBO drama, "The Newsroom."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: We`re trying to do a good new show and make it popular at the same.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: What could possibly go wrong?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Good evening. I`m Will McAvoy(ph).

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Can you move black (UNINTELLIGIBLE) off the desk.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Make sure everybody knows what (UNINTELLIGIBLE) looks like.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Get it together now.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: He`s trying to do good and he`s risking a lot to do it.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: We`ve come (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Why is this happening?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: He`s going to tone it down or I`m going to fire him.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TURNER: Big news breaking tonight on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT -- Oprah`s own regret. Oprah Winfrey`s stunning revelations about her network.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WINFREY: The thing I`m most worried about is who is going to lead this train, because I can`t do it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TURNER: Tonight, Oprah`s new confessions about her worries before OWN ever got off the ground. Now, does she regret even getting started?

Katie versus Sarah. Katie Couric returns to morning news and goes up against Sarah Palin on Katie`s old network. Who will win this head-to-head TV battle?

A rock and roll exclusive with Kiss. A.J. Hammer gets this rock legends all fired up. Tonight, Gene Simmons` tongue-lashing over the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SIMMONS: It`s become a sham, and because this is an insult to Madonna and all the other disco and rappers who have been inducted in there because now they can`t get into the Disco Hall of Fame. It`s a sham.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TURNER: Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is on location with a backstage pass to Kiss and a must-see March Madness SHOWBIZ newsmaker interview.

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

(MUSIC)

TURNER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It`s 30 minutes past the hour. I`m Nischelle Turner in Hollywood. A.J. Hammer is on assignment tonight.

Oprah`s own regrets on the launching of OWN, her troubled TV network. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you that Oprah made a startling confession today about what she`s gone through. Get a load of this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WINFREY: The idea of creating a network was something I had wanted to do. Had I known that it was this difficult, I might have done something else.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TURNER: Oprah having second thoughts? Well, that`s what she said today in a rare interview on CBS this morning, admitting she made a lot of mistakes.

With me in Hollywood tonight is Rachel Zalis who is a contributing editor to "Life and Style Weekly." And in New York, Brian Balthazar, who is a TV programming executive and former supervising producer on the "Today" show.

OK, guys. Oprah is not used to failing, we know that. For years, if she summoned stars to her studio, they were there. If she told viewers to buy a book, it hit number one on the list. If she endorsed a product, it flew off store shelves.

So it has to come as quite a blow to her that people just aren`t supporting her network. Today, her best friend Gayle King, who co-hosts "CBS This Morning" asked her if she thought this would be an easy transition. Let`s watch what Oprah said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WINFREY: I didn`t think it was going to be easy, but did not know -- if I knew then what I knew now, I might have made some different choices. I would say, if I were writing a book about it, I could call the book "101 Mistakes."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TURNER: Rachel, did you hear that? Oprah confessing to 101 mistakes. Are you shocked that she`s just putting it out there like this?

ZALIS: I`m shocked but I`m also impressed that she would be so honest. I mean, clearly, things aren`t so rosy at OWN anymore. And you know, she`s facing the facts like she really needs to overhaul the whole network.

But I think the funny thing is she went on and said she felt like a bride walking down the aisle realizing she wasn`t ready. I didn`t realize she had so much in common with Kim Kardashian, did you?

TURNER: I knew you were going to say that. Brian, give me your take. What do you think?

BRIAN BALTHAZAR, TV PRODUCTION EXECUTIVE: Well, I think, as you said, everything has Oprah touched has turned to gold, so I think no one banked on the fact that this wasn`t going to be a hit right out of the gate.

You know, many networks have trouble starting out, but everyone kind of thought this was a sure thing. And I think that`s why she`s saying maybe this wasn`t the right thing to do because she`s just not used to failure.

TURNER: Yes. And you know what? She also said in that interview, "I was telling everybody, let`s not do this big splash. Let`s quietly roll this out so everyone`s expectations aren`t so high."

But you know, it`s been 15 months since this network has been on the air, and it just seems like there has been one blow after the other.

Let`s look. Discovery backing the network prompting a $300 million investment. But from the start, it`s just been plagued by low ratings. Just last month, Oprah canceled Rosie`s talk show. Then 20 percent of the network`s staff was laid off.

Rachel, what do you think? Do you think Oprah is also sending the message that she regrets now giving up her daily talk show?

ZALIS: I don`t know if she regrets that, but I`m kind of thinking she should have just kicked back with Steadman in the Montecito mansion and just enjoy her life. I mean, this is going to be a major project for her.

TURNER: Yes, I could hang in the $50 million house. I don`t think that would be a problem for me.

ZALIS: Right.

TURNER: You know, I have to say --

ZALIS: Not so bad.

TURNER: It was really surprising, though, guys, to see Oprah so brutally honest. "CBS This Morning" host, Charlie Rose, asked her if she realized the mistake she had made by launching the network. Let`s watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHARLIE ROSE, HOST, "CBS THIS MORNING": The top five?

WINFREY: The top five was launching when we really weren`t ready to launch, and doing that because you`d announced you were going to do it.

It was like having the wedding when you know you`re not ready and you`re walking down the aisle and you`re saying, "I don`t know if we should be walking down the aisle. Maybe we should have postponed this." But the invitations are out, so you go ahead.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TURNER: She`s confessing that they launched too soon. So Brian, is Oprah now going to have to get back in the seat, in the hot seat, and host a show every day to help save her network?

BALTHAZAR: Well, I don`t know that she`s going to want to do it every day because it`s never going to compare to her original series. And I understand the intention at the time. It was her final year.

The buzz about Oprah was bigger than ever at the time, and so they wanted to capitalize on that buzz. But unfortunately, you can`t have Oprah on 24 hours a day, so I don`t think even one show even is going to rescue a network.

And they`re already finding that if you look at this network the day -- they`re airing 48-hour mysteries -- not exactly what you would think was on the OWN network.

So she`s already inserting herself more. Her interview with Bobbi Kristina and Houston`s family was a big ratings getter for her, but it`s not going to turn it around by itself.

So they really have to take a step back and look at the programming.

TURNER: Personally, I would like 24 hours of Oprah, I`m just saying.

BALTHAZAR: That`s true.

TURNER: Exactly. Her interview on CBS this morning kicked off what`s being called the morning show wars this week. And tomorrow, Sarah Palin is going head-to-head with her one-time nemesis, Katie Couric.

Katie is filling in on "Good Morning America" this week. Sarah Palin will be guest-hosting the "Today" show tomorrow morning. That takes us right to our SHOWBIZ flashpoint -- Katie versus Sarah -- who are you more excited to see? Rachel?

ZALIS: Man, I love a good catfight. It reminds me of the "Dynasty" days. I mean, listen, Katie took her down once, but Palin is a powerhouse, too. I think this is Sarah`s way of kind of getting back in there and saying, "I`m going to take you back." See what happens.

TURNER: OK. Well, I`m sure Katie`s morning show fans will be thrilled to see her again even if she`s on another network. This morning, Matt Lauer had a little fun with Sarah Palin counting down to the big showdown. Let`s watch this together, guys.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MATT LAUER, CO-HOST, THE "TODAY" SHOW: What are you doing to prepare? Are you reading some newspapers?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh!

LAUER: And it begins.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TURNER: Matt, wow! All right. Brian, is the "Today" show getting it right by bringing in Sarah Palin to go head-to-head with Katie Couric?

BALTHAZAR: Well, it`s certainly getting buzz. Here we are, talking about it. And the ratings haven`t been this close between these shows in six years. It`s about 147,000 viewers from "GMA" taking the spot.

So "GMA" wants this, obviously, and that`s one of the reasons they brought Katie in. So it`s very interesting, and today, obviously, they know how to create buzz, and they got Sarah Palin in there.

People are going to be talking about it, but they`re only going to have Sarah in the 8:00 hour hosting, so we`re still going to need neck-and-neck at 7:00.

So I think it`s a great move. But they want to win for the week, so it`s going to be jam-packed week for both these shows. I`m loving it.

TURNER: Yes. Me, too. Rachel, what do you think, Rachel? Is it the right move?

ZALIS: I`m loving it. I think morning television suddenly got really exciting.

TURNER: Yes.

ZALIS: So I`ll be tuning in definitely tomorrow to see how those ladies go head-to-head.

TURNER: Yes, I was glued to my tube this morning watching, definitely watching Katie Couric and Oprah. And tomorrow, I`m going to be splitting all the TVs, trying to watch all three. All right. Rachel Zalis and Brian Balthazar, thank you guys, very, very much.

TURNER: So from one head-to-head faceoff to another. Tonight, A.J. Hammer is taking on some rock and roll legends.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: I`m backstage with -- you can figure it out. We`re hanging out at the big dance at the NCAA Final Four exclusively with Kiss, coming up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TURNER: A.J. got Gene Simmons all fired up. So why is Gene slamming the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? It`s a SHOWBIZ March Madness exclusive.

The Situation phased out? Stunning new reports that MTV is getting ready to fade out Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino not long after the Sitch checked into rehab. Could "The Jersey Shore" really survive without the Sitch? This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views.

Now, the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" -- more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news tonight.

TEXT: Alec Baldwin engaged to 28-year-old girlfriend Hilaria Thomas. One Direction tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT how crazy their rise to fame in the U.S. has been.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re still just kind of getting used to it all. We`re just five normal lads from U.K., so we`re having a great time nonetheless.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m so surprised at the way that people make sense over here and trying to make sense of our music and get it to number one. I mean, we couldn`t believe it. We would have been happy with a top 10 record. We`re ecstatic to have made it to number one. We can`t believe it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(MUSIC)

TURNER: Tonight, a SHOWBIZ March Madness exclusive with rock legends, Kiss. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s A.J. Hammer brings you exclusive access to Kiss in New Orleans at the NCAA Big Dance Concert series.

And wait until you hear Gene Simmons` big diss of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Nischelle Turner. And tonight the big Kiss exclusive and the big Kiss diss of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Only SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s A.J. Hammer got incredible access to the rock legends in New Orleans where the March Madness brought out more than 100,000 fans for the Big Dance concert series. A.J.?

HAMMER: Well, Nischelle, I have truly had an unbelievable time hanging out here backstage at the Big Dance concert series at the Final Four weekend. And make no mistake about it, I am backstage.

There is the stage right there. You can`t get much closer or more in the backstage acts and all the vibe going on where all the stars hang out. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is the only show that was back here.

I had exclusive access to all the headliners of this amazing concert series all weekend long -- Kiss, The Black Keys, Jimmy Buffett. And I was so looking forward to seeing the guys from Kiss.

It`s been a few years since I hung out with Gene Simmons and the boys. And before I got into talking to them about what it means to them to play a major sports even weekend event like this, we had to do a little reminiscing and talk about the first time we met all the way back in 1996.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(on camera) Would you care to reminisce a little bit?

SIMMONS: About?

HAMMER: Let`s just fire up the old iPad and see what we got here. Let`s see.

SIMMONS: Look at that.

HAMMER: Huh? He was harassing me way back then.

SIMMONS: Oh, my god, it`s Ryan Seacrest.

HAMMER: Thanks so much.

SIMMONS: What a handsome young man. Look at this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gene tried to Kiss him then, too.

HAMMER: Look at that. That was the closest Gene Simmons` tongue ever came to my cheek until right now. Do you remember this? Now, it touched me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do.

HAMMER: This was 1996.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was the reunion. This was the tour that started back into the glory of Kiss in all its makeup and fine haberdashery.

HAMMER: Let`s just talk a moment about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And induction ceremonies happening in a couple of weeks. For some unknown reason, you guys aren`t there yet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It doesn`t matter.

HAMMER: You`ve been eligible since `99. Why doesn`t it matter?

SIMMONS: It doesn`t matter because it`s become a sham and because this is an insult for Madonna and the other disco and rappers who have been inducted in there, because, now, they can`t get into the Disco Hall of Fame. It`s a sham. We`re thinking of buying it and firing everybody.

HAMMER: Would you burn the place down?

SIMMONS: No. Leave the Elvis stuff. You leave the Stones. You leave the Beatles. There`s a lot of bands that shouldn`t be in there and you know it.

HAMMER: But there is a chance you will be inducted? Your fans certainly hope you are.

SIMMONS: Gladly, because it means something to the fans. The fans want us in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame so, of course, we`ll do it for them.

But when you don`t even know who is voting for these people -- it`s a great marketing ploy. You have a bunch of people who came up with this title, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Who are these people who do the voting? It`s obviously not the people because when you look at some of the nominees, you don`t even know who they are.

When you get to Patty Smith -- no fault of hers. But when Patty Smith is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Pete Seger`s next. And they`re both great, but they don`t belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

HAMMER: Well, all right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kiss is really the people`s band, you know. You`ll see that tonight when you see everybody out there. It`s like the circus has come to town and nobody is excluded.

HAMMER: Do you have the discussion about the time where it might be time to call it quits?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. When you`re in the middle of a party and somebody walks up and says when are you guys going to walk out of the party, you`re too busy having a great time.

There is no place on earth you can walk on the stage and feel like the living gods that we are.

HAMMER: So things are obviously a lot different now than when you guys got started. The way people get noticed is different. We`re talking about "American Idol." That is certainly one of the ways.

Do you guys think you would have perhaps considered competing on a show like that? Or would you be putting your videos up on YouTube from the very start when nobody knew who you were?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, it`s such a different time now to try to have these hypothetical discussions of what we would have been like. Would we have survived? Would we have come into existence today?

You know, we`re fortunate that we are mighty dinosaurs who still rule the earth.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: And rule they do. Their show on Friday night was unbelievable. But I can`t wait to show you of my exclusive interviews with all of the big headliners from the big dance weekend.

They Black Keys are the current rock gods in America. They stole that Madison Square Garden in like 15 minutes. You`ll see that show tomorrow night on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

And on Wednesday night, you will see me exclusively sitting down with the great Jimmy Buffett who took everybody down to Margaritaville.

Nischelle, doesn`t that sound nice? For now, I`m going to play a little backstage Ping-Pong if I could just find somebody to play with.

TURNER: OK. Margarita and some Ping-Pong. I hear you. A.J. has got it going on in New Orleans. Again, you don`t want to miss Mr. Hammer`s exclusive this week.

Tomorrow, it`s the Black Keys. Wednesday, the legendary Jimmy Buffett. On Thursday -- call me -- it`s Blondie. And on Friday, yet another legend, Sammy Hagar. That is just cool.

OK. From rock legends to reality TV`s breakout star. There are brand-new reports that MTV threatened to replace Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino if he didn`t get help for his extensive drinking.

"The Jersey Shore" producers reportedly spoke to The Situation many times over the past two years about cleaning up his act. And even now that the Sitch is in rehab, there is talk that the show may be looking to phase him out completely.

Back with us tonight is Rachel Zalis who is a contributing editor for "Life and Style Weekly." Rachel, do you think it would be unfair for MTV to phase him out of the show that he actually helped make a hit?

ZALIS: Well, listen, I`m obviously supportive if someone needs to be in rehab, but I will not watch the show without The Situation. Come on, he makes it.

Sending girls home late at night in a taxi. T-shirt time. GTL. I mean, that`s what brings in all the viewers. He was instrumental in making that show such a hit.

And now, with Snooki pregnant, you know he`s going to make a big showdown over who is the daddy, him or Johnny, like it`s too good.

TURNER: Yes. You know -- and you`re right. We do obviously wish him the best with all of this while he deals with his issues. Snooki is pregnant, like you mentioned. What do you think? Is "Jersey Shore" done or can it just totally be reinvented?

ZALIS: I never get sick of watching. I never thought I would say that, but somehow their shenanigans and the late night and the craziness always keep me really into the show.

And I think it`s going to have a new twist now that a little Snooker is on the way, right?

TURNER: Yew. You know, I think it will be interesting to see how they work this storyline in. Some people were saying, well, they`re not drinking so it`s not going to be as good.

But I think it`s just as interesting to see how Snooki does as a mother. I love that.

ZALIS: Oh, yes, that is definitely going to be like an "I love Lucy" episode in the making for sure.

TURNER: I love that. I love Snooki. Rachel Zalis, thank you very much.

ZALIS: Yes.

TURNER: Now, the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" -- more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news tonight.

TEXT: Maroon 5 front man and "The Voice" coach Adam Levin splits from girlfriend, model Anne V. Katy Perry announces 3D concert film will debut on 4th of July.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KATY PERRY, SINGER: The place where I grew up in was 100 percent Christian. Started singing in church. I never really had another plan. It`s all in my head. It`s in my heart, actually.

(MUSIC)

PERRY: If you have a dream, you`ve got to go on a journey to fulfill that dream.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re in this together.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is my first new friend in L.A.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You saved my (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If I`ve learned one thing, it`s like everybody and trust no one.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TURNER: Tonight, former star of "The Hills," Lauren Conrad in "The Fame Game." We watched her grow up on reality TV first on "Laguna Beach" and the "The Hills." Well, tonight, her fascinating take on the fame game.

Lauren became an incredibly bestselling author with her first three novels, "L.A. Candy." And now comes her fourth book titled "The Fame Game."

And yes, it`s about reality television stars and everything they have to deal with, including backstabbing friends, relentless paparazzi and tabloid scandals.

Lauren, you know, in this new novel, you`re the character, Madison, from the "L.A. Candy" series, has to share her reality TV spotlight with three other girls.

And I`ve got to think that sounds a lot like what you went through on "The Hills" and "Laguna Beach." Am I right?

LAUREN CONRAD, REALITY TV STAR AND AUTHOR: Yes. Well, I think you write what you know.

TURNER: Yes. We kind of saw all that play out in front of us, so yes, probably all right. OK. So we all know that, you know, it can be tough for somebody to move on from being a reality TV star.

And you know, in other things, you have succeeded where so many other people have failed. So how did you ultimately survive what`s being called the fame game?

CONRAD: I think I was really fortunate to have really great friends around me, so that definitely helped a lot. But I think I was just lucky.

TURNER: Lucky and a little bit grounded, I have to say that, because you did come across like that on the screen as well. So I have to ask you, could you ever see yourself doing, like, another reality show?

CONRAD: I`m not looking to get back into reality right now. I think you never say never, but no current plans to.

TURNER: You know, so what do you think now of all of the reality shows out there? It`s like there`s one on every channel at every point in the day, 24 hours a day.

CONRAD: There`s a lot. I only watch a couple of them, but I think they`re fun. I think that, you know, it`s such accessible TV and people want to see other people like themselves on TV. So, yes.

TURNER: I call it my guilty pleasure TV. I admit I loved it. I watched "Laguna Beach," I watched "The Hills." I rooted for you. I was rooting against Kirsten, I won`t lie.

Lauren Conrad, thank you very much. Again, your book is entitled "The Fame Game." And if you`re in New York tomorrow night, go see Lauren at the Barnes & Noble Union Square where she`ll be signing copies of her new book. Thanks a lot, Lauren.

And that is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Nischelle Turner. Remember, you can catch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT exclusively weeknights at 11:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific right here on HLN.

END