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New Trayvon Fury; Tom Cruise at War; 50 Shades of Green; Emmy Nominees Announced; Sofia Vergara Beats Kim Kardashian; Batman Tops Box Office

Aired July 19, 2012 - 23:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, HOST: Tom Cruise at war. Tonight Tom is shooting down false reports in the wake of his divorce. So how far will he go to make sure the tabloids set the record straight?

Hello, I`m A.J. Hammer. Tonight the SHOWBIZ Countdown pits two unlikely competitors, "Modern Family" star Sofia Vergara and reality star/tabloid star Kim Kardashian against each other. So what`s the real story behind their multi-million dollar showdown?

But first tonight, new Trayvon fury. George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed the unarmed teen, Trayvon Martin, has unwittingly sparked a brand new firestorm of controversy. Zimmerman gave his first TV interview since the whole tragic story unfolded. But he seems to have done a lot more harm than good, igniting massive outrage from coast to coast today, from Trayvon`s parents to countless critics, and now TV legend Barbara Walters got in on the brand new frenzy over the most controversial defendant of the moment.



HAMMER (voice-over: George Zimmerman`s interview with FOX News` Sean Hannity, the first since his controversial shooting of an unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin is getting an explosive reaction today. From Trayvon Martin`s parents --

SYBRINA FULTON, TRAYVON MARTIN`S MOTHER: I just don`t believe what he says.

HAMMER: From TV legal analysts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`ve got to ask yourself why does he need to do this? How does this help him?

HAMMER: And from ABC News legend Barbara Walters who on live TV this morning announced that Zimmerman stood her up for a planned interview.

BARBARA WALTERS, ABC NEWS: Obviously I`m disappointed.

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you the man at the center of the year`s most controversial on what sure to be the year`s most controversial trial is getting the story out. Did he make his situation better or worse?

ZIMMERMAN: I`m not a racist and I`m not a murderer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Speaking to FOX`s Sean Hannity last night, Zimmerman gave his side of what happened that February night when he killed Trayvon Martin on a Florida street.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: You weren`t following him?


HAMMER: Zimmerman was firm on his claim that Trayvon Martin viciously attacked him and that he shot Trayvon out of fear for his life.

HANNITY: Do you regret getting out of the car to follow Trayvon that night?

ZIMMERMAN: No, sir. I feel that it was all God`s plan.

FULTON: I think it`s absolutely ridiculous.

HAMMER: Trayvon`s parents exploded at the "God`s plan" remark. Today they were on just about every morning news show on TV, including CNN`s "STARTING POINT."

FULTON: God did not have a plan for Trayvon to die and for George Zimmerman to shoot Trayvon for no reason.

HAMMER: And about George Zimmerman`s apology to them?

ZIMMERMAN: I would tell them that, again, I`m sorry.

HANNITY: Would you like to talk to them at some point?

ZIMMERMAN: Certainly open to it.

HAMMER: But Trayvon Martin`s parents aren`t open to it.

TRACY MARTIN, TRAYVON MARTIN`S FATHER: We`re talking about a man who regrets the fact that he took our child`s life. My conversations with him will be very limited.

HAMMER: This morning Zimmerman also got the brush-off from "The View`s"` Barbara Walters who revealed today that she was supposed to interview Zimmerman yesterday right after he was done with Hannity.

WALTERS: It is an interview that never took place.

HAMMER: Walters says she and her camera crew flew all the way down to Florida to meet with Zimmerman. Only to have him throw them a last-minute curveball.

WALTERS: And then said he would not do an interview, and no matter what we said, but he would if there were one condition.

HAMMER: Barbara wouldn`t say what that condition was, but today`s "New York Post" reports Zimmerman wanted ABC to spring for a hotel room for a month. Whatever it was, Barbara says she told him to take a walk.

WALTERS: It was a condition that being a member of ABC News I was unable to grant.

HAMMER: And later in the show when Zimmerman tried to call in to "The View" to try to make things right with Barbara, she wasn`t having it.

WALTERS: And Mr. Zimmerman, if you could not do the interview yesterday, I don`t think we should do a quick one today.

HAMMER: Then Walters broke the phone connection to Zimmerman and brought on `70s songwriter Paul Williams to sing "The Rainbow Connection."

Whether George Zimmerman`s big interview hurt or helped him is a big question today. But one thing is certain, the explosive and sometimes bizarre reaction shows that the tragedy and controversy of Trayvon Martin`s killing is still very much alive.


HAMMER: An angry reaction from Trayvon`s parents, a live TV smackdown from none other than Barbara Walters, George Zimmerman`s big interview certainly got big reaction.

With me tonight in New York, Jane Velez-Mitchell, host of course from HLN`s "JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL." Also with me in New York Jean Casarez, who`s a correspondent for truTV`s "In Session."

So of course sometime in the next few months Zimmerman will likely stand trial for second-degree murder in Trayvon Martin`s killing, our SHOWBIZ flashpoint tonight, did George Zimmerman help or hurt himself with this big TV interview?

Jane, let me start with you.

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST OF HLN`S "JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL": I think it could be a disaster. He has talked so much now. After he was -- after he was taken in initially, he was interviewed by police. Then he does that walk- through where we all saw that on tape. Now he`s talking again in a sit- down interview. So there are going to be discrepancies. Any little discrepancy the prosecution is going to exploit that.

It`s also going to make it riskier for him to take the stand at trial, because if he starts gabbing again and he says something inconsistent with a previous statement, they`re going to exploit that. In fact, the attorney for Trayvon Martin`s family said this was a gift to the prosecution, and I think he`s right.

HAMMER: What do you think, Jean? Because we certainly have seen it before where people who are about to go on trial get in front of the TV cameras and often said stupid things.


HAMMER: Yes. Yes.

CASAREZ: I mean that`s our latest example. I think we were shocked. I was shocked. All of a sudden you hear he`s going to do a full hour with Sean Hannity. And this whole case is credibility. It`s all about do you believe George Zimmerman, now that`s truly what it is. Because he`s saying he feared for his life, that he felt he was going to be killed.

So I was shocked by it. I think that there`s two aspects to it. I think it could help him with a large number of people, because he described what was happening to him as he`s on the ground and Trayvon is on top with him, you say to yourself, what would you do? Because it was horrible, the way he described it.

Now does it bear out with the injuries that he had, with the other evidence the prosecution will have, but I think there are people that it will help George Zimmerman, with other people and in a courtroom it may hurt him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But this is a guy who already has big credibility problems.

HAMMER: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Because he lied and his wife lied, and they deceived the court about how much money they had. So his credibility is already shot. So to sort of add insult to injury and then this whole dust-up with Barbara Walters, one thing in life you don`t want to do is make --

HAMMER: Mess with Barbara Walters.



CASAREZ: That`s shocking. That part is shocking.

HAMMER: I mean here`s the bottom line for me. He has to have been informed that it was going to be a gamble and we`re just going to have to wait and see if the gamble paid off. But right now I want to move from Trayvon fury to Tom Cruise at war.

Tom is taking back control tonight. He`s taking some pretty extraordinary measures, actually, to fight a flurry of reports that have been in the tabloids about him since his split from Katie Holmes. He made what I thought was a very bold move.

Tom Cruise`s long-time attorney Burt Fields lashing out at "Life & Style" magazine for their headline about Suri being, quote, "abandoned by Tom Cruise." Look into what the attorney said. "That, as anyone knows, who saw their photos yesterday and today is a disgusting vicious lie. Until this week, Tom was shooting a film on location, but he spoke to Suri every day. He`s with Suri right now and he was with her the day before `Life & Style` trumpeted their cruelly false accusation. Tom dealer loves Suri, and the last thing he would ever do is abandon her."

Now Tom of course is not new to the tabloid machine. He has had a lot of experience -- Jean, I`m going to start with you -- on dealing with these kinds of things. Do you think he or through his attorney should have even responded?

CASAREZ: You know, I think he had to. I think they had to for a number of reasons. I think when it comes to the aspect that his daughter is going to read these headlines later on, and that`s something he`s got to be concerned about. And then also remember, Katie Holmes filed for full custody.

HAMMER: Right.

CASAREZ: When this case initially began, and so there`s always a continuing jurisdiction, is what they call it in court, but there`s a watchful eye. I mean when he has her, is she safe?

HAMMER: Good point. And Tom`s rep also released another statement slamming yet another report that Tom and Suri were involved in some kind of a high-speed car chase. This is what they said. It was with the paparazzi in New York City allegedly the attorney telling SHOWBIZ TONIGHT or the rep saying this.

"This is false and, as usual, made up. The paparazzi were driving crazy trying to catch up with them when they left a hotel out a back way. Tom always makes very certain the drivers take it easy and drive by the rules of the road. His daughter`s safety and that of others very important to him. As with every other story out there, they, the press, are doing what they are accusing him of doing."

So it does seem like Tom doing more than protecting his image. And to Jean`s point, Jane, he really does have to be very careful that he squashes any stories like this which could have the perception of him, you know, not doing right by Suri.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, one key point, he has a driver. Unlike Justin Bieber, for example, who was in that very, very expensive car. So right there he`s doing it right. And also you can`t get a kid who is 6 years old to fake it, so they do have a good relationship, you can tell.

HAMMER: All right. Thank you, Jane and Jean, thank you both so much.

Moving now to SHOWBIZ in fever. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT right in the middle of it this morning with Jimmy Kimmel announcing the nominees for the primetime Emmy Awards. We went one-on-one with Jimmy who`s hosting the show this year.



JIMMY KIMMEL, EMMY AWARDS HOST: I am wearing a guy named Rodney. He gave me his pajamas.


HAMMER: Yes, we`ll tell you why Jimmy is wearing his P.J.s. and we`re revealing all the secrets Jimmy spilled to us about the Emmys.

Plus the Kim Kardashian and Kanye West rollercoaster. Literally. Will Kim and Kanye`s funny caught on camera moment top today`s SHOWBIZ Countdown the Biggest Buzzmakers?



HAMMER: Right now these littlest lion tamer in the world as the viral video of a 10-year-old girl facing off with a fierce lion. Watch this.




HAMMER: That`s amazing. The little girl who soothes the wild beast. All that went down at Boston`s Franklin Zoo.

Well, coming up next, could "Fifty Shades of Grey" actually overtake "Harry Potter"?


HAMMER: Right now "Fifty Shades" frenzy. It seems like everyone is buzzing about "50 Shades of Grey" and the world of erotica these days. The three books in the series have sold 20 million copies in the U.S. in about four months. It is hands down the fastest-selling book franchise in recent history.

Now think about it, a series that`s being called mommy porn could actually overtake the "Harry Potter" series someday. So what is driving this money- making erotica craze and why are so many women, and moms in particular, so willing to shell out so much cash?

CNN`s Issa Suarez reveals why "Fifty Shades of Grey" is making so much green.


ISSA SUAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It`s one of the hottest novels around in more ways than one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every time it comes in it goes right back out.

SUAREZ: And now also the biggest book juggernaut since "Harry Potter."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Except for us that such a scene (INAUDIBLE).

SUAREZ: The novel is "Fifty Shades of Grey." The romantic trilogy luring in millions of mostly female readers around the world.

AMANDA HAYWARD, THE WRITER`S COFFEESHOP: Basically moms has really taken this book on board and really get started talking about it at pools and in hushed little voices.

SUAREZ: The trilogy, which tells the story of a 27-year-old billionaire and a college student, is smashing records quicker than you can turn a page. In the U.K. and its overseas territories, it has sold more than four million copies in tradition and e-books combined. In the U.S. and Canada it sold 15 million copies in the first three months it went on sale. Reports now it is close to the 20 million mark.

MARTEL MAXWELL, AUTHOR, SCANDALOUS: There are so many critiques (ph) who are quite snobbish by it and the, you know, it`s never going to win a (INAUDIBLE), well, that`s not what E.L. James was intending to do ever. What (INAUDIBLE) to do was (INAUDIBLE) particularly to turn them on.

SUAREZ: The tantalizing page-turning plot may entice women, but its electronic readers that`s helped the more conservative readers sample the book unnoticed, and that started the trend.

SCOTT PACK, DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL, HARPER COLLINS: We decided to branch out and looked to doing a whole imprint. That just published erotic fiction. It launched with 15, 20 titles and there are several new titles being added every month. So it`s going to grow and grow.

SUAREZ: To feed demand, mainstream publishers are launching digital only erotic labels. Harper Collins in the U.K. only recently launched a Mischief Books. Its tagline, "Private pleasures with a handheld device."

E-readers are also fueling a different type of urge. Self-publishing. "Fifty Shades of Grey" became a best-seller without starting off with a traditional publisher. Now others are doing the same.

MAXWELL: Anyone can be an author, and the important thing is one person must like it, and that`s nice as an author, you just want other people to read it.

SUAREZ (on camera): Even with the racy subject matter, what`s the most shocking to the publishing industry is the word of mouth this book has generated. The clearest sign yet perhaps the business of books is no longer black and white. Perhaps a shade of grey.


HAMMER: And with the "Fifty Shades of Grey" movie in the works, I`ve got to think that this phenomenon is only going to get bigger.

That was CNN`s Issa Suarez for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Moving on now to TV`s biggest money maker. Sofia Vergara versus Kim Kardashian. Kim K. and Sofia battling it out to reign as TV`s highest paid actress. Who will come out on top? Will this battle of the divas top today`s SHOWBIZ`s countdown biggest buzzmakers?



KIMMEL: They roused me out of bed in the middle of the night last night so --

TURNER: Clearly.

KIMMEL: This could be just as good at noon, really.


HAMMER: That is the always hilarious Jimmy Kimmel coming to the rescue this morning as this year`s primetime Emmy Awards were announced. "Parks and Recreation" star Nick Offerman was supposed to be there, but I guess the 5:30 a.m. call time ended up being just a little too early. So Kimmel showed up in his pajamas as you saw and he got the job done.

I should point out actually Offerman missed the announcement this morning because of a travel delay. But Jimmy is also the host of this year`s Primetime Emmy Awards show. His own show "Jimmy Kimmel Live" even picked up a nomination for outstanding variety show and that`s his first nomination in nearly a decade.

Congratulations to you on that, Jimmy.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was on location this morning at the announcements. Nischelle Turner was right there going one-on-one with Jimmy, bringing us all the Emmy fever right now.

Nischelle, I realized he works late into the night, but I still can`t believe he was wearing his P.J.s.


TURNER: And his slippers. Yes, both of them, A.J. But you know what that fashion faux pas did not stop Jimmy from spilling all his Emmy secrets.


TURNER: I think the first question is -- Carrie asked you, I`ll ask you, too. Who are you wearing?

KIMMEL: I am wearing -- a guy named Rodney gave me his pajamas. It`s nice. So last night I said, you know, it might be funny if I showed up in pajamas, and we had to get some, which is hard to do at 7:00 at night, but luckily we have everything in our show.

TURNER: Yes, because they had to pull you in the service very quickly. What happened with Nick Offerman? Did he just say, I want to make Jimmy Kimmel upset this morning?

KIMMEL: You know, I think he had some travel problems because he was in New York, but I really -- I realized now when you mention that that I am a hero here and I`ve come and saved the day and should be applauded.

TURNER: Yes, Avengers, no. Jimmy Kimmel, superhero.

KIMMEL: That is right. Fireman? Me, yes.

TURNER: And you`re going to be the host this year, so with the Emmys, I mean, have you started formalizing it in your head yet? I mean it`s still off September, but do you start thinking maybe this is going to work, maybe this going to work?

KIMMEL: Yes, definitely. I mean I started thinking about it a couple of months ago, and you really don`t know whether any of those bits will work until after they`ve happened, but I think I have some good ideas. I think -- I think it will be good.

TURNER: And congratulations are in order.

KIMMEL: Thank you.

TURNER: Because "Jimmy Kimmel Live" was nominated today.

KIMMEL: Our first nomination. And we`ve been on almost 10 years. So one out of 10 isn`t bad.

TURNER: You know what, that`s pretty good. You know, you`re kind of downplaying it. The first nomination for "Jimmy Kimmel Live." What do you say on the show tonight?

KIMMEL: I probably won`t mention it on the show tonight because I think it`s embarrassing to congratulate yourself, but it will be a fun day at the office. Everybody will be excited.

TURNER: All right. Thank you, sir.


HAMMER: I think he was more excited than he was letting on there. Nischelle Turner, thanks so much. Great job.


HAMMER: And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has more Emmy fever for you tonight, so many incredible nominees. And tonight we`ve got a nominee right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT who was also a star on the new hit reboot of "Dallas." I`m talking about Brenda Strong. She`s nominated for her role as the voice of "Desperate Housewives" Mary Alice Young, the woman who of course narrates the show.

There she is, Brenda, it`s great to have you here with us from Hollywood tonight. And I have to point out, and I`m so thrilled you`re here. I actually walk around, and I`m not kidding, sometimes narrating my life in Mary Alice`s voice.

May I try that out on you please?

BRENDA STRONG, ACTRESS: Please. Please. Go ahead.

HAMMER: Sometimes, the words come at the strangest and most opportune moments. That`s not bad, right?


HAMMER: I don`t know.

STRONG: That`s good, A.J. I think you have a future.

HAMMER: Yes, well, congratulations. Thank you for that. I`m not getting an Emmy nomination. You did, however. Your second time nominated. It`s a pretty big deal, isn`t it?

STRONG: It is a big deal. And I was -- I was so excited to see Jimmy Kimmel, you know, say after 10 years, because you know we`ve been on for eight years and this is the second one. And it`s really more special because, you know, there is no Mary Alice voiceover. That was the end and so to be nominated for the final episode was really exciting and such a treat.

HAMMER: Well, everybody is still buzzing about the last season, of course, of "Desperate Housewives," and of course about your role on the new reboot of "Dallas." You`re playing oil mogul Bobby Ewing`s wife. What is it like being part of such a huge pop culture hit in the reboot?

STRONG: You know, I`m having the time of my life. I`m so happy to be part of the Ewing family. They`ve made us, you know, the older generation of the Ewings, Bobby and J.R. and so on, have made us all feel so welcomed. And we`ve already shot, you know, one season and we`re about ready to start shooting another, and it`s so fun for the fans now to be catching up with what we did last year.

And I love this role. Anne Ewing is a tough cookie. You know, she carries a shotgun, she can ride horses, she loves her family, she is devoted to Bobby, and I`m having a ball.

HAMMER: Sometimes being married to an oil mogul can be a terrific, terrific thing.


HAMMER: Brenda Strong, it is so great to meet you --

STRONG: I`m telling you, A.J., you have a future in voiceovers.

HAMMER: Well, I think -- listen, if they do a reboot of "Desperate Housewives" I`m going to try out. So great to have you here. Congratulations again.

STRONG: Thanks so much.

HAMMER: My pleasure. And Julie Louis-Dreyfus will be joining us later talking about her Emmy nomination for her brand new show on HBO, "Veep."

Here now is what`s coming up at the bottom of the hour on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Stealing Hasselhoff. Who is stealing these life-sized cutout ads of David Hasselhoff from convenience stores all over the East Coast? This has people yelling stop hassling the Hoff. So will this Hasselhoff mystery actually top the "SHOWBIZ Countdown, Biggest Buzzmakers" of the day?



HAMMER: Right now on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Sofia Vergara versus Kim Kardashian. Yes, TV sirens battle for the biggest bet on TV. Tonight why Kim should be watching her back.

Plus, Kim K.`s midair meltdown. The glamorous star has her ugly cry caught on tape.

David Hasselhoff and Batman had some caught-on-tape drama of their own today but which buzz-worthy story will come out on top tonight when the "SHOWBIZ Countdown, Biggest Buzzmakers"?

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT continues right now.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Thanks for watching. I`m A.J. Hammer, and tonight in the "SHOWBIZ Countdown, Biggest Buzzmakers." Yes, we are counting down the top five buzziest stories making big news today, but which one is going to be number one tonight?

Well, kicking off our countdown, Sofia is cashing in. It`s the lovely "Modern Family" star Sofia Vergara versus reality diva Kim Kardashian. They`re battling it out to be the highest paid woman on television. Well, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you "Forbes" magazine has just revealed Sofia wins. Sorry, Kim. Second place is not so bad, though, and to top it off, just today Sofia was nominated for an Emmy in the outstanding supporting actress category.

Let`s take a look at her in action.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`ll sell it cheap for $200.

SOFIA VERGARA, ACTRESS: I said, give me my dog. Really? The little girl thinks because she can scream, she can get away with everything? I can scream, too.


HAMMER: Love that show, love her. Joining me now from Hollywood, I love her as well, Kim Coles, co-host of "Are You Normal, America?" on OWN. With me in New York, the great comedian and TV personality John Fugelsang. He`s going to be appearing on his "Sexy Liberal" tour. It`s going to be at the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles on July 28th.

All right, hit the number, Charles, let`s begin the SHOWBIZ buzzmaker countdown. Number five on our list is Sofia, 19 million bucks is what she made in the past 12 months according to "Forbes." Thanks to her work on the ABC comedy, her three movie roles, her own K-Mart clothing line. She`s also the co-owner of Latin World Entertainment, and, of course, multiple endorsement deals like this one that I love from Pepsi. Let`s see that.


VERGARA: I`ve been looking for you all night. Thank you.


HAMMER: Yes, I bet Pepsi is pretty pleased with us right now that she`s doing so well. So there you have it, Sofia beat out Kim Kardashian. Now Kim says -- "Forbes" says, rather, that said Kim made 18 million bucks in the past year.

Kim Coles, let me go to you, it seems to me, and it`s about time in this age of reality, talent finally counts for something. Are you surprised at all that Sofia beat Kim?

KIM COLES, CO-HOST, "ARE YOU NORMAL, AMERICA?": I am -- delighted is what I am, because in the end, I do think that talent wins the day, and Kim is beautiful, and I wish her well, and she has her empire, but I do love that an actress in the end is winning out. So yay, Sofia. Fantastico, fantastico.

HAMMER: Yes. John, it seems unattainable in this world that we live in today, but there you have it, a real actress, a real beauty on top of this list.

JOHN FUGELSANG, COMEDIAN: Absolutely. And I`m not generally a huge fan of actors doing Pepsi commercials, but you know what, to see a Latina be the highest paid actress in television is wonderful. Kim Kardashian is a great inspiration and proves to all women you can grow up to do anything as long as you`re born really rich and make a sex tape with Ray Jay.

HAMMER: Yes. Exactly.

FUGELSANG: So they both win.

HAMMER: Everything could work out.



HAMMER: Precisely. But wait, there is more Kim in the countdown. You`ll be pleased about this, John. Kim Kardashian may have come in second on the "Forbes" list for earning that 18 million bucks over the last year, but tonight Kim comes in at number four on our SHOWBIZ big buzz countdown. Kim Kardashian`s ugly cry. Kim certainly knows how to pose for magazine covers. She always puts on her best face to walk red carpets, but roller coasters, that`s a whole other story for Kim.

Look at this picture. She just tweeted this of herself crying and looking terrified. No, Kim is not looking at her divorce legal fees that she`s got inevitably at her. In this picture here, she`s riding a roller coaster at an amusement park, and along with the photo she writes this, "Kendall screaming, Kanye laughing, and me, crying. Another ugly infamous cry face for the records."

Kim Coles, I`ve got to ask you, would you ever tweet an ugly cry face picture of yourself? I know she loves to put her face out there, but --

COLES: Well, yes, I -- listen, she`s promoting herself. I don`t think the cry is all that ugly. What`s amazing about that photo is the fact that Kanye is actually smiling, and you almost never see him smiling. That`s what`s remarkable about that photo.

HAMMER: Yes, shocking, shocking indeed. And of course right now --

COLES: Shocking.

HAMMER: Kim with Kanye smiling, and he appears to be having a great time on this roller coaster.

But John, I have to ask you this, because it strikes me as well just a bit obvious. Kim and Kanye on a roller coaster? Are you sensing any symbolism here for the relationship?

FUGELSANG: I guess so. I mean I`m happy about that relationship because I imagine at the moment of climax they cry out their own names. But I`m so glad --


FUGELSANG: A.J., how many times, how many times have I called you late at night, A.J., worrying about Kim Kardashian finding happiness in this life, and you`re talking off the ledge so many times.


FUGELSANG: So I`m just so glad. After all the struggles she`s had.

HAMMER: The last tweet has been pretty good.


HAMMER: Yes, I appreciate the fact that you kind of laid off the late- night calls.

FUGELSANG: Well, you know, I`m feeling better about it. Things look good for her and Kanye.

HAMMER: Happy to help in any way.

FUGELSANG: Thanks, A.J. It means a lot to me. You`re that kind of guy.

HAMMER: Yes. All right. From an ugly cry to a red-headed Republican? Could it possibly be? It`s actually another "Modern Family" star making our SHOWBIZ countdown tonight.

Our third buzziest story as we count down to number one is the great Jesse Tyler Ferguson. I love this guy. He`s a terrific actor. You`ve got to check out a brand new Funny or Die video where Jesse plays Republican congressional candidate Frank Jenkowski. And he has a secret that`s about to come out. And this is one that is sure to cause quite a controversy among conservatives. He`s a redhead. Imagine the horror. An openly red- headed GOP candidate. Watch this. It`s very funny.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Congressional candidate Frank Jenkowski sounds like most Republican candidates.

JESSE TYLER FERGUSON, COMEDIAN: I`m a fiscal and a social conservative. Ronald Reagan is my political idol.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But it`s not Jenkowski`s policy position sparking controversy on the right.

FERGUSON: I shouldn`t have to hide who I am because I`m really no different than any other Republican.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But some conservatives claim Jenkowski isn`t just another GOP candidate because he is openly red-headed.

FERGUSON: I`m a live-and-let-live Republican. You know? I think that government should get off of your backs, out of your wallet and far away from your barber shops.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jenkowski says he was born red-headed. A belief still challenged by many in his party.

FERGUSON: I don`t want to be known as a red-headed Republican. I just want to be known as a Republican who happens to have red hair.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But that may be easier said than done.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The bible says that God created Adam and Eve, not Ron Howard and Marcia Cross. Hair color is a choice.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Even Jenkowski admits he hasn`t always been open about his hair color.

FERGUSON: When I first ran for city council, I hid my hair color.


HAMMER: Yes, now, John, I mean, let`s be honest. This is just a spoof, but it really brings to light something that one must ponder. Could a political candidate ever survive such a scandal?

FUGELSANG: Yes, is the GOP big tent big enough for gingers, I understand. It`s actually a brilliant piece because he`s talking about homophobia in the party, and we see more and more of our Republican brothers and sisters who are dropping bigotry towards our gay friends. So I actually applaud him for doing such a funny piece about that kind of narrow-mindedness.

HAMMER: Kim Coles, would you vote for a red-headed politician? I certainly would, and my eyes have been opened by this piece.

COLES: I would -- I would vote for him, and as someone who covers up their own hair color, I applaud his authenticity.


HAMMER: What is it usually, chartreuse? I`m trying to see under the follicles there.

COLES: It`s way more gray than I`d like to tell you.


FUGELSANG: I would vote for him in a second --

COLES: There I`m telling the truth, too. I`m telling the truth, too. There you have it.

HAMMER: We have our own scandal right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. OK. Well, there you have it.

FUGELSANG: It`s the drapes match the carpet kind of (INAUDIBLE). So --

HAMMER: All right, John, I was afraid -- I was trying to cut you off before you said that.

Listen, only one story can be number one in our SHOWBIZ countdown of today`s biggest buzzmakers. I can tell you David Hasselhoff being kidnapped is in the running. "The Hoff" kidnapped? Sort of. I will fill you in and I`ll have the big reveal in just a minute.

Well, life is golden today for the incomparable Julia Louis-Dreyfus. This morning she found out that she`s up for an Emmy for a title role on "Veep." Great show. And tonight SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has very first reaction at possibly picking up her third golden statuette, and you`re going to find out the bizarre way that Julia is going to be celebrating.



HAMMER: Tonight on the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT countdown, today`s biggest buzzmakers. Let me recap where we are so far. Number five, "Forbes" says Sophia Vergara is the highest paid actress on TV, just beating out Kim Kardashian. Kim is at number four in the countdown tonight after tweeting an ugly face picture which was taken on a roller coaster. And at number three, "Modern Family`s" Jesse Tyler Ferguson runs as an openly red-headed Republican in a new Funny or Die video.

And that takes us to number two on the countdown. Hands off the Hoff, people. Come on. Now check this out. It is a sign of an ad of David Hasselhoff pitching iced coffee for Cumberland Farms. People in New England are actually stealing them. I`m not talking about a couple of them, they are being ripped off by the hundreds. More than 500, according to Cumberland Farms.

Back with me now from Hollywood Kim Coles who is co-host of "Are You Normal, America?" on OWN. In New York, comedian John Fugelsang, "The Sexy Liberal" tour is in L.A. on July 28th at the Pantages Theater.

John, for the sake of humanity, why would anybody do such a crime?

FUGELSANG: A.J., this is why I love you because you carry the stories that Nancy Grace is afraid to talk about.

HAMMER: Exactly.

FUGELSANG: This Hasselhoff cardboard abductions are an epidemic, and until the authorities do something and pass "Hoff`s" law, it will continue. I actually think it`s Cumberland Farms stealing them to get publicity.

HAMMER: I think that --

FUGELSANG: And that`s why we`re talking about it now on TV.


HAMMER: It`d be a pretty good conspiracy theory. Listen, Boston affiliate WHDH talked to one of the fans of Hoff who explained why the Hoff`s cutout was such a hot commodity for her friend who, I guess, ripped one off. Let`s watch.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One of my friends who`s (INAUDIBLE) at school as Hasselhoff, so we saw this sign and my roommate took it for him. It`s in her house right now. When we go back to school, it will be in my friend`s room.


HAMMER: Well, there you have it, the Hoff, I mean his fans generations, Kim, he rates with college kids. I`m thinking that the Hoff should get cracking and perhaps put his own line of coffee out and sell it on college campuses.

COLES: Sure. The Hoff is still hot, and what I want to know is how -- when do they steal it? Why don`t they just take the cutout and put them inside at night or something? How are people getting them? When are they getting them? Put a security camera on. We must stop the Hoff stealings. We must stop them.

HAMMER: What should be done, John? Do we need to take a picture of the Hoff cutout and put it on a cereal box or carton of milk or something?

FUGELSANG: Well, a lot of folks don`t know, but a cardboard cutout, I mean, of David Hasselhoff actually played his role for the last three seasons of "Baywatch." That`s true.


FUGELSANG: I think what David need to do right now is go on the road touring and singing again because this man could save the German economy.

HAMMER: You know, Kelly Ripa had a cutout of herself this week, all week long, on "Live with Kelly." I think they should get together and co-host the show.

FUGELSANG: This is stone college kids (INAUDIBLE) in their dorm rooms. That`s all it is. These are all in dorm rooms right now or Cumberland Farm executive offices.

HAMMER: Well, that leaves us to number on the SHOWBIZ countdown. Here it is. "Dark Knight" rising. The hot debate over the new movie, "The Dark Knight Rises" which opens tonight at midnight. It has already racked up a whopping 25 million bucks in advance ticket sales. Some box office analyst predicting a $185 million opening weekend which will be an all-time record for a movie not in 3-D.

The question tonight is this. Is Rush Limbaugh`s wacky conspiracy theory that the movie`s villain Bane could be influencing the presidential election, actually spiking sales even more?

Here`s SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Nischelle Turner with our number one story on the SHOWBIZ countdown.


TOM HARDY, "THE DARK KNIGHT RISES": Your punishment must be more severe.

TURNER: He`s the villain in the finale to the booming box off Batman franchise, "The Dark Knight Rises." And he`s suddenly in the national political debate. Bane, played by Tom Hardy, is a hulking man with a cage- like gas mask engulfing his face, and he`s drawing a lot of fire from Rush Limbaugh.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: The villain in "The Dark Knight Rises" is named Bane. B-A-N-E. What is the name of the venture capital firm that Romney ran and around which there is now this make-believe controversy? Bain. Do you think that it is accidental that the name of the really vicious, fire-breathing, four-eyed, whatever villain in this movie is names Bane?

TURNER: Many are calling this theory a stretch. At best. D.C. Comics which develops the Batman series first introduced Bane in January of 1993 nearly 10 years before Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, was elected governor of Massachusetts. Furthermore, Bane was announced as the film`s villain in January of 2011, months before Romney officially announced his candidacy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You should be as afraid of him as I am.

TURNER: But Limbaugh`s comments fall within a larger debate about "The Dark Knight Rises" which touches on themes of terrorism, economic turmoil, and political strife, all relevant today. Potentially making the movie more than just a summer popcorn clip.

Some reviews are quick to draw the comparison. The "L.A. Times" says "The Dark Knight Rises" brings a whiff of contemporary societal trends, or what director Christopher Nolan has called the things that worry us these days, into play. And Roger Ebert writes that the movie portrays an apocalyptic future that seems uncomfortably close to today`s headlines.

Early box office projections indicate that "The Dark Knight Rises" will clean up when it opens Friday with some reports saying it could make between $160 and $180 million. The film is produced by Warner Brothers which is owned by CNN`s parent company, Time Warner.

ANNE HATCHWAY, "THE DARK KNIGHT RISES": A storm is coming, Mr. Wayne.

TURNER: Whether the relevant themes or even Limbaugh`s comments will have any impact on moviegoers remains to be seen. But Morgan Freeman who apprises his role as weapons specialist (INAUDIBLE) says despite the chaos and violence in the Batman movies, one message is clear.

MORGAN FREEMAN, "THE DARK KNIGHT RISES": I think they all have the same basic theme, but this one hits it a little harder. Basically it`s hope things can and will get better.

TURNER: Yet another theme that might sound familiar to politically savvy audiences.


HAMMER: There you go, "The Dark Knight Rises" number one on the SHOWBIZ countdown for tonight`s biggest buzzmakers. Already Fandango says the blockbuster is accounting for 91 percent of ticket sales.

Tough times right now for a former "Batman Begins" star, Katie Holmes. Katie`s secret divorce plans blindsided her ex, Tom Cruise. This week, he`s reunited with their daughter, Suri. So has the very public daddy- daughter reunion been a good thing for Tom or is his reputation taking a hit?

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT reveals all, next.


HAMMER: It is time now the SHOWBIZ reputation rap. Your exclusive look at`s weekly scorecard of who`s up and who`s down. It`s all determined by online and social media buzz.

This week, Tom Cruise seems a bit up against the ropes as he battles to hold onto his good name since his split from Katie Holmes.

With me tonight from Hollywood, for the reputation rap is`s vice chairman, Howard Bragman.

So, Howard, Tom`s version of the sudden split is on the cover of "People" magazine. He has been seen all over New York City this week doing his big daddy-daughter reunion with Suri.

Now, Howard, last week you and I spoke about the fact that Tom wasn`t having a great week. Are all of these public displays helping his rep this week?

HOWARD BRAGMAN, VICE CHAIRMAN, REPUTATION.COM: They`re helping a little, A.J. I think last week he was 55 percent negative. Now it`s about 50-50. But 50 percent negative for Tom Cruise is a really low number. It`s helping, but there are still some basic questions, and I don`t think the number is going to go way up until he has a big movie, A.J.

HAMMER: All right. Let`s move on then to Sofia`s shocker. This grabbed our attention today. "Modern Family`s" Sofia Vergara topping the "Forbes`" list of the highest paid TV actresses. She made 19 million bucks in the last year. She got another Emmy nomination today. She is just having a stellar week, isn`t she, Howard?

BRAGMAN: It`s amazing. She`s trending at between 75 and 80 percent positive. I think a lot of people are happy that she made more money than Kim Kardashian. I think that was a big factor out there, A.J.

HAMMER: Yes, count me among those people.

BRAGMAN: Believe it or not.

HAMMER: Lady Gaga gets naked and strategically covered, Howard, by miniature men in this ad for her new perfume, and I understand her movement on the scorecard was a bit of a surprise this week.

BRAGMAN: It was. You would have thought the little monsters would like the little people, but she was actually down and trending 55 percent negative, A.J., which is quite a shocker. But she will do something interesting. She`ll be back in the -- in the high 80s like she usually is within a few weeks, I promise you.

HAMMER: Yes. Maybe she -- they wanted fewer miniature men on her or something like that. All right, Howard Bragman --

BRAGMAN: They wanted monsters.

HAMMER: Yes, exactly. Thanks so much, Howard.

BRAGMAN: Thanks, A.J.

HAMMER: As we move on tonight, "Seinfeld," "The New Adventures of Old Christine," now "Veep." Will it be three for three for Julia Louis- Dreyfus. She woke up to an Emmy nomination today. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT speaks with Julia about how this show is different from all the other shows she`s done, and she`ll tell us about the bizarre way she`s celebrating her nomination, next.


HAMMER: It`s official. Emmy fever is in full effect in Hollywood tonight. The nominations were just announced this morning. One of my favorite comedic actresses of all time, Julia Louis-Dreyfus up for best lead actress in a comedy series.

Julia spoke with SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Nischelle Turner mere moments after Emmy nominations this morning. Nischelle is back with me now and Julia has got to be over the moon, Nischelle.

TURNER: Yes, A.J. She is. And you`re right, she is fantastic. Now you`ll remember Julia won the Emmy for "Seinfeld." She won for "The New Adventures of Old Christine" and now she could win again for the HBO hit "Veep." And I spoke to her right after she got the news.


TURNER: So I guess I should just say happy Emmy nomination morning to you.

JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS, COMEDIAN: Thank you so very, very much. I`m glad to be celebrating this morning. My god.

TURNER: This is really -- this is really neat. I mean, you know, you`ve been in the business for so long, but when you find out that you`re recognized once again for your work, I can imagine it never gets old, right?

LOUIS-DREYFUS: Well, you know what, it really doesn`t get old. I mean, you know, it`s sort of like, you know, sex doesn`t get old, either. It`s just -- it`s just good, man.


TURNER: Good news is always -- yes, you`re right, it never gets old. I wanted to ask you, I think I read where you said you really love this role in particular because you wanted to do something -- I mean, you`re so good at comedy, but you also wanted to do something that really kind of stretches you and takes you to a different place. Is that -- is that true?

LOUIS-DREYFUS: You bet, yes. I mean, I definitely wanted to do something that was entirely different from what I`ve done before. The style of the show is definitely different from what I`ve done before. Obviously the part is. I don`t know, it just -- it also feels like the time is -- that the timing of this felt right for me.


HAMMER: Perfect. Congrats to Julia and thank you, Nischelle.

Well, tonight former senator and recovering addict Patrick Kennedy speaks candidly to Dr. Drew about his troubled past with drugs, starting right now.