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SHOWBIZ TONIGHT

British actor Daniel Craig is rumored to be in the running as the next James Bond. Actor Noah Wyle announces his departure from the TV series "ER" after 11 years. Anwar Robinson is voted out of the "American Idol" competition. Has the 007 movie franchise run its course, or can it be revitalized?

Aired April 21, 2005 - 19:00:00   ET

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


KARYN BRYANT, CO-HOST: Hollywood shaken and stirred.
A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: And then there were six on "American Idol." I`m A.J. Hammer.

BRYANT: I`m Karyn Bryant. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: Hollywood seeing 007. Nothing is forever, not even diamonds. Tonight: Will there be a new James Bond? Well, Miss Moneypenny, it`s our "SHOWBIZ In Depth."

BRYANT: Dr. Carter checking out of the "ER."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NOAH WYLE, "ER": It`s really trading one family for the other.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRYANT: We`re on the set with Noah Wyle as he tells us about his emotional good-bye.

HAMMER: Sounds like a plan. Tonight, Simple Plan welcomes us into their life. We`re hanging with the breakout band backstage.

BRYANT: Teri Hatcher in style. Tonight: Her cover girl look and how you can get it for less.

HAMMER: Judging "American Idol." It`s down to the final six. We`ll look at who`s left and who got left behind.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARIO VAZQUEZ, FORMER "AMERICAN IDOL" CONTESTANT: Hi. This is Mario Vasquez. If it happened today, it`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRYANT: Hello. I`m Karyn Bryant, and you are at the top of the show.

HAMMER: I`m A.J. Hammer. We are live with you from Headline Primetime studios in New York City for the next hour.

BRYANT: Tonight: The man who would be the next 007 is finally breaking his silence. British actor Daniel Craig has been at the center of a global gossip fest ever since he was rumored to be in the running as the next James Bond.

HAMMER: Now, he hasn`t had a lot to say about it until today, when he talked to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. So we`re setting the record straight -- for your eyes only, of course.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DANIEL CRAIG, "LAYER CAKE": It`s all kind of strange for me, really.

HAMMER (voice-over): Strange doesn`t even begin to describe what Daniel Craig is going through. Just a few weeks ago, the British tabloids reported that Craig had been offered a deal to replace Pierce Brosnan as the super-suave secret agent.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PIERCE BROSNAN, JAMES BOND: My friends call me James Bond.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: So are Daniel Craig`s friends able to call him James Bond? Well, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT caught up with him today in New York City, where he was promoting his new movie, the crime drama "Layer Cake." Craig tells us he was filming in Texas when the Bond talk started in England and that it all took him by surprise.

CRAIG: It filtered through very quickly here. And I was on the set with people sort of congratulating me, and I was a bit perplexed about the whole thing because, I mean, it`s the first I heard.

HAMMER: Still, with everyone from Clive Owen to Colin Farrell to Christian Bale being mentioned as the next Bond, Craig insists that he`s just another name on the list.

CRAIG: There`s a lot of names been thrown into the mix, and my name happens to be one of them, so -- you know, I mean, I can`t (INAUDIBLE) position to be in, but I mean, there`s nothing happening at the moment. It`s all (INAUDIBLE)

HAMMER: Craig is a hot item in England, where he`s an award-winning indie film actor who`s appeared in such films as "Sylvia." He`s not as famous in the States. Here he`s probably best known as Paul Newman`s hot- headed son in "The Road to Perdition." But all that would change if Craig were given the license to kill and step into Pierce Brosnan`s Bond tuxedo. Is he ready for international stardom?

CRAIG: There`s a lot that goes with playing a part like that. There`s -- obviously, there`s a lot of money to be made in playing a part like that, but there`s also a lot to lose. I mean, if something like that were to come along, I would give it careful thought.

HAMMER: But Craig didn`t have to give careful thought when we asked him to pick the best Bond.

CRAIG: I think Sean Connery is the best. I don`t really have a favorite. I mean, they`re all sort of -- you know, they`re all great in their own way.

HAMMER: Maybe Craig will be the next great Bond and serve her majesty`s secret service.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

Among other reports that are swirling around, one that says Pierce Brosnan is in negotiations to continue as Bond. Ian Productions, the company that makes the Bond movies, insists that no decision has been made yet.

Well, in just a few minutes on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, we`re going to discuss the search for a new Bond in "SHOWBIZ In Depth."

BRYANT: Tonight, you`ll be seeing him on "ER," but not for too much longer. Noah Wyle is the only original cast member to make the rounds on NBC`s "ER" for all 11 seasons, but after this season, he is hanging up his stethoscope. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Brooke Anderson caught up with Wyle on the set of "ER," and she joins us now from Hollywood. Hey, there, Brooke.

BROOKE ANDERSON, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT: Hi, there, Karyn. Noah Wyle has spent a third of his life with "ER." He`s just 33 years old, with five Emmy nominations and three Golden Globe nods for his work. He told me in a revealing one-on-one interview that his family is what`s most important to him now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

How hard was the decision to leave the show? Or was it an easy one for you?

NOAH WYLE, "ER": It`s very difficult. I think it`s a decision that`s been coming for some time. And I think the clock started ticking the day my son was born two-and-a-half years ago, where I started thinking 80 hours on a sound stage is probably not the best way to parent.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - "ER")

For 11 years I`ve been here, patching up these people who fall through the cracks, and it hasn`t been enough. I want to do more.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN WELLS, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, "ER": I think what we all have to wait for now is the next thing that he`s going to do because it`ll be wonderful and interesting, exciting and different, and I think probably very provocative.

ANDERSON: Well, tell us about what you`re going to do next.

WYLE: It`s none of those things!

(LAUGHTER)

WYLE: Thanks for setting a beautiful table that I can`t deliver the food to. I`m going to do a sequel to the TNT film I did last year, "The Librarian." (INAUDIBLE) this summer, I believe, in South Africa.

ANDERSON: How does your wife feel about this? How does your son -- is your son aware enough to know that Daddy`s coming home for a little more time with him?

WYLE: Yes. Yes, I think he definitely is aware that I`m going to be spending more time at home. He increasingly doesn`t like it when I leave. I think my wife is going to also be excited to have me home, but I think she knows me well enough to know that I have to stay a little bit busy, otherwise, I go a little stir crazy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - "ER")

Everybody shut up! We are going to evacuate the entire ER!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: If you were in a public place, somebody strokes out, passes out, heaven forbid, do you think you could you manage things until the...

WYLE: I believe I could dial 911.

(LAUGHTER)

WYLE: That has happened to me. I`ve been on airplanes where someone had chest pain, and they`d make a PA address, If there`s a doctor on the flight, please contact the flight crew. And I`ve had every head turn to me, and I`ve broken out into flop sweat and...

ANDERSON: You`re, like, No, not me.

WYLE: ... prayed to God that somebody had more medical knowledge than me on the flight, and thank God, they have.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Give me (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For what?

WYLE: To rule out any brain injury.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: So you don`t just throw out the medical jargon and just hope for the best?

WYLE: No, no. But at the same time, you can`t really underestimate how much we do pick up on the day-to-day over 11 years now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Well, Wyle is leaving the show as a regular cast member, but he will make return appearances four times a year for the next two seasons. He also told me he`s planning to take a little time off after he films that TNT movie, Karyn, a much-needed break after 11 busy years.

BRYANT: That is for sure. Thank you, Brooke, out in Hollywood -- A.J.

HAMMER: All right, Karyn. Time for more "SHOWBIZ Shorts," a look at more stories that are making news tonight. Gavin DeGraw`s brand-new video debuts on AOL Music in just a few hours. Garden State director Zach Braff directed the video for DeGraw`s song, "Chariot," and fans can access the video at one minute after midnight Eastern time.

"Idol" expose. We learned today that ABC News "Primetime Live" is producing a potentially explosive show on "American Idol." "Variety" says the report may investigate the relationship between the contestants and the judges.

BRYANT: Although he was said to be technically the best singer in the group, America didn`t care. The votes were counted, and Anwar Robinson`s "Idol" fate was sealed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Scot, step forward. Anthony, step forward. You may cross Anwar back to the couches. You`re both safe tonight. That means Anwar leaves "American Idol" this evening.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRYANT: Now we are down to six, and this year, unlike last, it`s the men getting all the attention. Joining us live from LA, as she does every Thursday night to judge "American Idol," is former finalist and TV Guide channel host Kimberly Caldwell.

KIMBERLY CALDWELL, TV GUIDE CHANNEL HOST: Hey, Karyn.

BRYANT: Hey, Kimberly. Good to see you.

CALDWELL: How are you?

BRYANT: Do you think it was Anwar`s time to go?

CALDWELL: I don`t know if it was Anwar`s time to go, but I do know that the audience loves to see growth in the contestants, and Anwar was very, very consistent, very good, but very consistent through all of his performances and every time that he`s been on the show. And I think the one big note -- and the judges have said this before. His one big note has really, I think, saved him through the competition this far.

BRYANT: I agree with you on that one. He has just kind of just saved it for the big finish.

CALDWELL: Right.

BRYANT: But I have to say, I think he`s better than Scot, by far, and Scot is still there. And also, Anthony Federov, I think also was very fortunate this week to be still there.

CALDWELL: I definitely agree with you there. I think that Scot -- you know, I do support him and I do believe in his voice. I think that he has a beautiful voice. But I don`t think that he has the star quality, as Anwar does.

BRYANT: Right.

CALDWELL: And I don`t think that he has, you know, the drive that all the other contestants do. And I think he`s very lucky to still be there. But you know, it is America that decides and, you know, whatever they think goes.

BRYANT: So are you feeling that, this year, America wants a male "Idol"?

CALDWELL: I don`t know. You know what? OK, last year -- the difference between this year and last year was that last year, it was all about the guys. This year, it`s about -- or, I`m sorry, last year was about the girls...

BRYANT: Right.

CALDWELL: ... and this year, it`s about the guys. And I really think that Carrie and Vonzell are very strong competitors in this competition, and I could see either one of them being with a guy in the finale. So we`ll just have to see what happens.

BRYANT: Well, I definitely thought this past week that Carrie -- she -- she didn`t move very much when she was singing. She seemed like she was trying so hard in the vocals. She didn`t seem that comfortable with her performance, whereas somebody like Constantine and Bo felt very comfortable. And I thought, finally, Constantine really looked like he was in it to win it.

CALDWELL: Yes. I think that, actually, Constantine did better than Bo last week, and I think -- personally, I believe that Bo did better than Constantine this week. So I think the rocker rivalry is kind of back.

BRYANT: Yes.

CALDWELL: And I think it`s going to be a good asset to the show, as well.

BRYANT: I agree. I think -- I think -- the heat is on, baby!

CALDWELL: Yes, let`s get it!

BRYANT: All right. Well, Kimberly, thanks for joining us. And again, we will...

CALDWELL: Thank you, Karyn.

BRYANT: ... see you next Thursday, as we judge "American Idol."

CALDWELL: And watch "Idol Chat" tonight.

BRYANT: All right.

CALDWELL: At 8:00 o`clock Thursday.

HAMMER: Taking it easy with Simple Plan. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is on the guest list, and we are getting you backstage. We`re going to check in with the band at a concert in LA. That`s coming up.

BRYANT: Plus, we have more Bond, James Bond. There have been five 007s already. Is the franchise played out? We`ll take a look coming up in "SHOWBIZ In Depth."

First, tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz. Which James Bond never ordered a vodka martini shaken, not stirred, in any of the Bond films? Was it Sean Connery, Timothy Dalton, Roger Moore or Pierce Brosnan? We`ll be right back with the answer.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BRYANT: So again, tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz." You know it. You love it. It`s fun to play along at home. Which James Bond never ordered a vodka martini shaken, not stirred, in any of the Bond films? Was it A, Sean Connery, B, Timothy Dalton, C, Roger Moore or D, Pierce Brosnan? Well, the answer is C, Roger Moore.

HAMMER: It is 14 past the hour and time now for "SHOWBIZ In Depth," the search for a new James Bond. Well, just a few minutes ago, you heard Daniel Craig, who has been rumored to be the next Bond, tell SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that nobody has approached him yet about taking on this role, the role of 007, and that his favorite Bond of all time was Sean Connery. Connery, of course, was the very first James Bond. He introduced the 007 character in the 1962 movie "Dr. No." A total of five actors have played the suave Bond. Besides Connery, of course, there has been George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan.

Joining us live on "SHOWBIZ In Depth," from Los Angeles, Sean Smith. He`s from "Newsweek" magazine. Here in the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT studio in New York City, Neil Rosen from NY 1 news and Randee Dawn -- it`s Randee Dawn Cullen (ph) from "The Hollywood Reporter." Thanks for joining us.

And Randee Dawn Cullen, let`s start with you.

RANDEE DAWN, "THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER": Sure.

HAMMER: A lot of names are being thrown around, in addition to Daniel Craig, Clive Owen, Colin Farrell. I`ve even heard George Clooney`s name in the mix. What is it going to take? What type of an actor is it going to take to keep this franchise alive?

DAWN: I think it`s really a fine line. You`ve got -- you`ve got the suave thing. Everybody knows must be suave, just look good in a tuxedo. But there`s got to be a dark side, too. I mean, you can`t be too jokey. It`s -- people who love the Bond films know what they want when they see it. Having -- getting a casting director to then find that person before they show it to the Bond fans is something of a trial.

HAMMER: Your thoughts on that, Neil? This is a pretty tough gig, trying to cast the next Bond.

NEIL ROSEN, NY 1: Well, I think the most successful James Bonds have been the ones that audiences are a little bit familiar with already. I mean, when they brought Pierce in, people knew him from television, from "Remington Steele." When they brought in Roger Moore, he was in "The Saint." So I think Clive Owen would be a great choice because, you know, he was nominated for an Academy Award for "Closer," and he has that dark edge to him.

I don`t think, you know, Daniel -- I don`t think many people know Daniel Craig.

HAMMER: Right.

ROSEN: So I think this familiarity that people want to -- like, I know him to some extent. I liked him in "Closer." He was kind of, like -- you know, he had the classy aspect, but he was also a little, like, evil, to some extent, as well.

HAMMER: Right.

ROSEN: And I think that`s perfect for Bond.

HAMMER: Well, Sean, let me ask you about that familiarity aspect because some people would say, you know, not being too familiar is a good thing because then they`re not playing against some type that they may have been cast into before.

SEAN SMITH, "NEWSWEEK": Exactly. They`re also less expensive if they`re not well known already. And the James Bond franchise already -- that name alone is really what should be the star. But I agree that Clive Owen would be a great choice, although, you know, years ago, when his name first came up after "Croupier," there were people within MGM that said he - - they didn`t think he wasn`t pretty enough, quote, unquote. And he is a little sort of tougher-looking than the sort of typical sort of high-boned Connery figure...

HAMMER: Right.

SMITH: ... excuse me -- the James Bond figure that`s been there before.

HAMMER: Right. Now, Randee, do you think the next Bond has to be a white British male?

DAWN: Well, I think that -- again, you`re playing with a formula. I have no problem with going outside of that formula. I love the fact that people were speculating, Oh, Halle Berry was so great as Jinx, let`s make a female Bond series about her. But when you`re talking about James Bond, you`ve got to think about the guy`s history, what we already know about him, the fact that he`s been in all these films already, had all these adventures. So I would kind of want to stick to the sort of white male formula.

There are still some guys out there who could be very interesting. They don`t have to be British.

HAMMER: Right.

DAWN: I think George Clooney would be amazing. There`s been some speculation about whether or not, you know, Idris Elba, who, you know, has done...

SMITH: That would be (INAUDIBLE)

DAWN: ... so much wonderful work, would be a little bit odd, but he might be able to pull it off, and he`s British.

HAMMER: Now, Neil, what about evolving the character to sort of, you know, keep up with the times? Could the new James Bond be a real playa (ph), like James has been in the past?

ROSEN: Well, you know, if you want to update the character, why not have an African-American James Bond? Sean "Puffy" Combs is a person that expressed interest in doing it. And if you really want to bring this into, like, the 21st century, that would really update the series and make it interesting. But if you want to -- something that I think would work is instead of maybe trying to keep it up to date, maybe set it back in the `60s. You know, have a -- you know, put the -- you could set it at any time period you want, have the old vintage Astin Martin...

SMITH: Give it a retro spin.

ROSEN: You know, put in a -- yes, a retro-James Bond, bring it to back to the "From Russia With Love"-"Goldfinger" era. And that could kind of be interesting, too.

HAMMER: That is interesting. And Sean, one of the problems I think it may be facing as a franchise -- of course, the early Bond movies always known for the big explosions and their special effects. Every movie has the big explosions and special effects now. So what should they do? That was some great ideas from Neil. What could it do to set itself apart and continue to thrive?

SMITH: I think that -- I mean, I will say, we in the media all say that`s a problem, although those movies keep making more money each time. The last one made more money than any one before, $430 million. So maybe the American public is more tolerant for sort of the same thing than we are.

But I do think -- I think something like "The Bourne Supremacy," or "The Bourne Identity," that kind of -- giving it a slightly rougher edge, and getting more into who Bond is as a character -- I mean, even comic book heroes have a dark side or an angst now. And I kind of feel like James Bond is sort of -- he doesn`t seem too bothered by what he`s doing, ever, or conflicted in any way.

HAMMER: Right.

SMITH: And I don`t even really think we have a sense anymore of what his back story is. He`s always just, you know, James Bond.

HAMMER: All right. Well, it`s going to be interesting to see how this unfolds. All these names have been tossed around, and who knows who it`s going to wind up being.

ROSEN: You want a great idea?

HAMMER: Real quickly.

ROSEN: My colleague, Bill McCuddy, has the best idea. You bring Sean Connery back, but you make him the villain this time around. Then you`re going to get even more people to come into the box office.

HAMMER: Start negotiating that deal!

DAWN: I like it.

HAMMER: Randee Dawn, Neil and Sean, thanks very much for joining us, as well.

And of course, now we would like to know what you think of all of this. Our "SHOWBIZ In Depth" discussion leads us to our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day, which is, James Bond: Is the franchise played out? Let us know what you think by taking our poll at cnn.com/showbiztonight. Or e-mail us at showbiztonight@cnn.com. And we`ll share some of your feedback later on in the show.

BRYANT: We have this story just in to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Sources are telling "People" magazine that Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams are expecting a baby. Williams is one of the stars of "Dawson`s Creek." She has been spotted taking pre-natal yoga classes in Ledger`s native Australia. Now, Ledger used to date fellow Aussie Naomi Watts. Ledger will next be seen in the upcoming skateboard movie "Lords of Dog Town." You can stay tuned to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. We have more celebrity baby news coming up in just a moment.

Well, pretty as a picture. We do have the inside scoop on Teri Hatcher`s recent photo shoot. That is coming up in "Thursday In Style."

HAMMER: Plus: T&A on the PSP? Find out the Playstation`s "Playboy" connection, what the heck I`m talking about, coming up on the "Buzz Bench."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Plan for the future. Simple Plan tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT how they got where they are and where they`re going. We are hanging with the Plan coming up.

BRYANT: Time for more "SHOWBIZ Shorts." The Rock and Sean William Scott are teaming up in a new movie called "Southland Tales." The two also appeared together in 2003`s "The Rundown." "The Hollywood Reporter" says Sarah Michelle Gellar has also signed on to "Southland Tales." Filming is expected to start this summer.

Baby bop. Taylor Hanson, the middle brother from Hanson from bop fame, has a new baby. We got word today that the 22-year-old Hanson`s wife gave birth to a girl on Tuesday. The couple also has a son.

HAMMER: They`ve been talking all day, and we have been listening. Now, as we do every night on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, the best from today`s talk shows. It`s the baby news that never made the news. On "Live With Regis and Kelly," Regis thought he had an exclusive when he revealed that his good friend, Jerry Seinfeld, and wife, Jessica, are expecting their third baby.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REGIS PHILBIN, CO-HOST: The Jerry Seinfelds are expecting number three.

KELLY RIPA, CO-HOST: Oh, I knew that. That was in the paper.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, that`s been in the papers for months.

KELLY: I mean, oh, my gosh, what a scoop!

(LAUGHTER)

PHILBIN: Well, excuse me, but I thought it was worthy of bringing up. And why didn`t you two, who read the paper, know it and bring it up to me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was in the paper months ago, Rege.

RIPA: It was in the paper a while back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Probably when you were on vacation.

PHILBIN: I thought I had a scoop!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

PHILBIN: Like a moron, I said to them last night, Can I mention this? And they said, yes, why not?

(LAUGHTER)

PHILBIN: What a dope I am! I`m so embarrassed!

KELLY: Do they have a girl?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: You`re not a dope. They shouldn`t have given you such a hard time, Regis. It was news to us, as well. We checked the papers, everything, and we ended up called Seinfeld`s people just to make sure. They told us Jessica is, indeed, pregnant and that the whole Seinfeld clan is thrilled..

Well, tomorrow Broadway`s "Sweet Charity" star, Christina Applegate, will visit with Regis and Kelly.

On "The View" today, the intensely private Nicole Kidman introduced a childhood friend to the ladies. Her friend talked about how Kidman showed star quality early in life.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NICOLE KIDMAN, "THE INTERPRETER": At 3 years old, we were next-door neighbors, and we`ve been friends...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s her name?

KIDMAN: Annette (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Annette. Welcome.

(CROSSTALK)

KIDMAN: And I used to call over the fence, going, Nette! Nette! Have you finished dinner yet?

BARBARA WALTERS, "THE VIEW": Annette, did you ever think she`d be a big star and a great actress, or did you think, Well, you know, just...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

WALTERS: You did? You knew at 4 years old?

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We used to put on little plays in the garden and we...

(CROSSTALK)

KIDMAN: No more information!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was the queen, and I was either the princess or the servant.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Well, tomorrow, "8 Simple Rules" star Kaley Cuoco continues her guest host duties, and "A Lot Like Love" co-stars Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet stop by "The View."

BRYANT: Whether on Wisteria Lane or the cover of a magazine, Teri Hatcher is always in style, and she`s the subject of our "Thursday In Style" coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

BRYANT: Desperate housewife, dashing dress. Find out what Teri Hatcher (ph) and Sean Connery have in common. It`s Thursday in style.

HAMMER: And the men with a plan, Simple Plan, a showbiz sitdown.

SIMPLE PLAN: What`s up? We`re simple plan. If it happened today, it`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: Welcome back to showbiz to the. It is 30 minutes past the hour. I`m AJ Hammer.

BRYANT: I`m Karyn Bryant. Here are tonight`s hot headlines. Idol exposed, "Variety" reports today that ABC`s primetime live is working on a revealing report about AMERICAN IDOL. Details are sketchy but "Variety" says the report could look at the relationship between IDOL judges and contestants. When we called ABC they said no comment.

HAMMER: Taking stock of Bond. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT caught up with Daniel Craig today and his name has been out there as the next possible 007. But the English man who is in New York today probably is best known to U.S. audiences from the "Road to Perdition" told us that, even though his name has been tossed around, quote, nothing is happening at the moment. We want to know what you have to say about James Bond. The SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day, James Bond, is the franchise played out? You can keep voting by going to cnn.com/showbiztonight. Want to send us an e-mail, do it, showbiztonight@cnn.com is the address. We`re going to share your feedback at 55 past the hour.

BRYANT: Time for the show`s biz, a look at what`s making news on the business side of entertainment. A big change coming to the Pax network. "Broadcasting and Cable" magazine reported this afternoon that Pax TV will stop airing entertainment programs. It will replace those shows with infomercials and other programs. Pax has a stable of game shows like FAMILY FEUD and PYRAMID and runs repeats of DIAGNOSIS MURDER and AMERICA`S FUNNIEST. NBC universal owns 32 percent of Pax.

HAMMER: Simple Plan, the five-manpower pop band from Montreal has sold millions of albums around the world. They recently played to a packed audience at L.A.`s legendary Troubadour Club and broadcast the concert on AOL music`s live website. We were on the guest list, too and SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`S Brooke Anderson joins us again from Hollywood, live with all those backstage behind the scenes details. Brooke.

BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely AJ. Every week AOL brings people concerts from some of the hottest acts around the world via the Internet. But lucky for us we got to see the Canadian rockers Simple Plan live and in the flesh.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s really cool because it`s a very small club, very intimate, like it`s totally sweaty and like the kids are going to be very, very close and there`s no crazy productions. Like a bare bones show, just a small stage and us rocking out.

ANDERSON: And rocking out is what Simple Plan did. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was right there at the Troubadour Club in LA. This is after all, the rock band often compared to blink-182 and Good Charlotte. Ever since its breakthrough 2002 rock album "No Pads, No Helmets" just (INAUDIBLE). The gold album was heard on TV and a following was born.

The Canadian punkers, Jeff, David, Chuck, Sebastian and Pierre played for more than an hour while fans logged on to the Internet to see it live at aolmusic.com.

PIERRE BOUVIER, VOCALS, SIMPLE PLAN: I would like to be able to offer more and this is an opportunity that I think people would love. And it`s like -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A free show.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, it`s a free concert.

ANDERSON: "Shut Up" and "Welcome to My Life" were just some of the songs they played from the newly released sophomore album. The group`s album "Still Not Getting Any" have gotten some praise. In just a matter of months, it`s already sold more than one million copies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re really proud of the songs off the new records. We`re going to play a few of those songs.

ANDERSON: And Simple Plan plans to keep giving their fans more of what they want by hitting the road.

We`ve had fans request like that we got together and played a show forever. So finally it`s happening. We`re coming with Good Charlotte.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: As they said, Simple Plan is about to hit the road with punk pop group Good Charlotte. Their tour "Noise to the World" kicks off May 3rd in Tulsa, October. AJ.

HAMMER: All right. Brooke, thanks very much and of course, you can still catch the Simple Plan LA concert online at AOL music. Karyn.

BRYANT: It`s time now for Thursday "In Style." Tonight DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES star Teri Hatcher. Vibrant, fun and sexy, "In Style" chose her as the face of the May issue.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "In Style" is extremely fortunate to have Teri Hatcher on our May cover. Everybody is buzzing about her. She`s on the smash success show DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES. We shot Teri Hatcher in Palm Springs, California at actually a house that has a lot of Hollywood history. The James bond movie "Diamonds Are Forever" was filmed there. And actually where Sean Connery tussled with two femme fatales, that`s exactly where Teri Hatcher modeled some amazing couture dresses.

Teri Hatcher wears an absolutely beautiful, very, very sexy peach plush colored Versace dress on our May cover. It costs upwards of $4600. If you want to get a similar look, Fular (ph) makes a great peach silk chiffon halter dress for $380 that, while although not quite the same is a really close match. Teri Hatcher is wearing this beautiful jewelry by Graf. It`s a pair of pearl and diamond earrings and an 18 carat gold bangle. RJ Graciano makes this great bangle for only $125, which compared to all the Bling that Teri wears is a pretty reasonable price point. And then (INAUDIBLE) makes very similar, really beautiful earrings for $40.

In our opening spread in the May issue of "In Style," she wears a lacy confection by Isaac (INAUDIBLE) and Isaac is known for his sort of black and while punch. This one sort of reminds me of Audrey Hepburn. And lastly, she wears a grapefruit-inspired, very carnivalesque Christian Lacroix couture gown with this really, really sexy back that ties right by the shoulder blade.

Teri Hatcher was amazingly candid in our May cover story. She`s really funny. She`s brassy. She`s sassy and very open about her life, from her divorce to her sex life, to being a single mom and what it all means. Although she`s recently divorced and is, as she says, legally available, she doesn`t want to just have sex. She really wants to find someone special. But being that she is divorced and is a single mom, she definitely makes her child her number one priority.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRYANT: If you want to read more about Teri Hatcher and her thoughts on love and career, pick up a copy of May`s "In Style" magazine which hits newsstands Friday.

HAMMER: OK, so you don`t just read it for the articles, right? Now you`ll have "Playboy`s" photos to go. And "Star Wars" fans are also getting on their feet. Our buzz bench is sitting on this one.

BRYANT: And music and fashion go for a walk in the park and we join them. That`s coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Well, Robert De Niro gave the word today. Literally gave the word and it made this reporter who came to New York all the way from Spain very, very happy. You see, at a news conference earlier today kicking of the Tribecca film festival in New York, a reporter from Barcelona asked De Niro to say the word abugado (ph), which is Spanish for lawyer. It seems that the reporter`s boss is a big fan of De Niro`s performance in "Cape Fear." In the movie he plays a rapist who stalks his defense lawyer. So De Niro came to the podium, said the word abugado and got a rousing ovation.

BRYANT: The thing about that it is that because Bobby barely talks and that`s why he got such a great round of applause. Just said abugado, hit it and quit it. All right. Well, it is time now for the buzz bench where we chat about hot topics. Tonight, "Playboy" to go, inside IDOL and standing up for "Stars Wars."

HAMMER: Hit and quit it, huh? On the buzz bench tonight, Sirius satellite radio host Frank Decaro, VH1 classic host Amy Scott, and celebrity stylist Phillip Bloch. We`re going to start of with the PSP for the PSP. "Playboy" is offering "Playboy" station portable for somebody`s playstation portable gaming device. This is coming from the adult magazine of course, "Playboy." And they`re going to offer both a free and a subscription-based content service and yes you won`t have to bother with the articles. Philip, I imagine we`re going to see people on the New York City subway with their playstations and they`re not going to be playing games.

PHILLIP BLOCH, CELEBRITY STYLIST: They get all kinds of things they could be doing on there. It`s really scary. But actually, some of the pictures are non-nudes.

BRYANT: Those are the free ones.

BLOCH: Yeah, those are the free ones.

FRANK DECARO, SIRIUS SATELLITE RADIO HOST: Because nobody wants a non- nude picture. It`s free.

(CROSSTALK)

BLOCH: I don`t want to see people doing that on the subway. It`s really bizarre as a concept.

AMY SCOTT, VH1: And I don`t want to sound like my mother here, although I love her. She`s watching. But aren`t kids the ones who use playstations?

BLOCH: This is for kids of all ages.

SCOTT: I don`t think you should have to monitor your kids` playstations.

BRYANT: The truth of it is is that more men I think between the ages of 18 and 35 buy playstations and Xboxes and things like that. But it is, the idea of this capability of having naked pictures on something that is for children at the same time. I mean, children do obviously play with these as well.

SCOTT: And it`s also portable. And pornography should be a private thing.

BLOCH: There`s another instance where magazines are just becoming more and more obsolete because things are coming to you so quickly. You don`t have to wait once a month.

HAMMER: Put the nude pictures aside. Such a great example of technology and commerce.

BRYANT: We couldn`t have used it for something better?

DECARO: If you were a guy and you were alone in a hotel room, you wouldn`t be saying that, OK? You would be happy to have your little playstation there.

(CROSSTALK)

BRYANT: OK. Let`s move on to our second topic. ABC`s PRIMETIME LIVE is reportedly - this is from "Variety" magazine --reportedly working on a potentially explosive report about AMERICAN IDOL and they`re saying it could have to deal with the relationship between the judges and the contestants. We called ABC. They wouldn`t say anything, no comment. Amy.

SCOTT: There better be a scandal involved because otherwise this is a big one hour commercial for the direct competition, which means television is in a very sad state these days. It`s like we`re feeding off each other, feeding of each other which is what I guess we`re doing right here right now.

BLOCH: A week later talking about AMERICAN IDOL again, because we had last week there was an AMERICAN IDOL scandal and they`re still milking some kind of little scandal to get attention for the show.

BRYANT: But do you think there is something potentially askew in that relationship between the judges and the contestants?

DECARO: I`d rather watch that than watch AMERICAN IDOL. I know I`m the only person in America that will say that, but I would rather watch a scathing report or something.

BLOCH: There were rumors about Justin and Paula a year or two ago.

SCOTT: I always thought it was Ruben and Paula.

HAMMER: You sat down with Paula and Randy just last week.

SCOTT: I did.

HAMMER: And it really seems that Paula certainly is very genuine about the contest and Randy seems the same way.

BRYANT: But they definitely are very supportive of the contestants. I think there might be a sort of mentor relationship going on with some -- beyond the ones who win. You know what I mean?

BLOCH: You want to see that -- oh, my goodness! Oh, am I a bad boy. It`s ringing.

BRYANT: Answer it. [cell phone ringing ]

BLOCH: It`s ring. That is so bad. I`m so sad.

BRYANT: Unbelievable!

BLOCH: That was bad.

BRYANT: Who was it?

BLOCH: I can`t even say. I didn`t even look.

DECARO: I think it might have been Simon Cowell.

(CROSSTALK)

HAMMER: I think the bottom line for ABC, though, it makes sense for them during sweeps to do something on one of the biggest shows on television because people are going to tune in.

SCOTT: It`s tacky. It`s ABC and Fox. And it`s tacky.

BLOCH: They want some of Fox ratings.

HAMMER: We`ll do topic three and then you can call back whoever that was Phillip. We know that there are a lot of hard core "Star Wars" fans out there, but this is a little ridiculous, what`s being planned in New York. And this will really determine the hardest of the hard core. Beginning April 30th, there`s going to be a 19-day stand-a-thon planned outside the Ziegfield (ph) Theater until the movie opens on May 19th and people are going to line up and hang.

BRYANT: They`re already in line in Los Angeles.

DECARO: Not even in front of the right theater. In front of Grauman`s (ph) or Mann`s (ph), the Chinese theater. It`s not opening there. It`s going to open at (INAUDIBLE) down the block.

HAMMER: What do you think of the New York thing?

DECARO: The New York thing, at least they`ll do where they`re going to do it as a fund-raising thing and they`re going to raise some money, so that will be a good thing. Why don`t you spend this time trying to meet somebody who can hook you up with like some press screening tickets? (INAUDIBLE) like the rest of us do. I don`t want to be Jabba the Hut sitting there but I`ll see it before they will and I won`t have to stand in line.

SCOTT: Are they actually standing?

BLOCH: Last time they did it, too. What are these weird people on line here for?

SCOTT: Are they in costume?

BRYANT: Many of them are.

DECARO: You know they`ll have a better time online than they will at the movie.

SCOTT: They`ll fall asleep at the movie because they`ve been standing.

BRYANT: But it is for charity.

BLOCH: That`s a great thing.

SCOTT: I just hope it doesn`t rain because Chewbacca in the rain.

BRYANT: Not good.

BLOCH: In 19 days, it`s going to rain.

HAMMER: We`ve got to wrap it up.

BRYANT: Thank you very much. Frank, Amy and Phillip for joining us.

HAMMER: Your phone is so confiscated after this broadcast is over.

BRYANT: Well, a big fashion company throws a really big fashion show and Kande West and John Legend are there. So are we.

HAMMER: And tow is the line on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Tow the line on THE TONIGHT SHOW. I got confused. I`m easily confused. That`s coming up in laughter dark.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BRYANT: It is time for more "showbiz shorts." Adam Sandler golfed in happy Gilmore. He`s been the water boy for a football team and now he`s trying car racing. Sandler will be the grand marshal for the Aaron`s (ph) 499 NASCAR race in Talladega, Alabama. He`s also get to say "gentlemen start your engines." The race takes play May 1st.

Shirley Maclaine finds CNN endearing. The Oscar winning "Terms of Endearment" actress tells "Entertainment Weekly" she`s gotten real good at multi-tasking. She tells EW, quote, I`ve gotten to the point where I can meditate and watch CNN at the same time, unquote. The latest issue of "Entertainment Weekly" hits newsstands tomorrow.

HAMMER: Well, Karyn, I`m hanging out behind the set right now because this is where we keep the snacks and because I want to tell you about what was billed as the largest fashion show ever held in New York right here in the backyard of the "headline prime" studios. The models were there, all the celebrities, the singers, you name it. So was SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s David Haffenreffer with all the action.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVID HAFFENREFFER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The worlds of hip- hop and fashion came together last night in New York central park and SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was right there. Three-time Grammy award winning rapper Kanye West headlined H&M`s fashion show in the heart of New York city, performing his biggest hits in front of an intimate group -- yes, 800 is intimate -- of fashion VIPs and celebrities.

Check this out. 15,000 square feet transformed into a complex of tents, home to the big budget celebration. H&M throws the fashion show somewhere in the world every five years, but this was the first time it was held in the United States.

It was billed as the largest fashion show in central park history. On an intersecting runway, 150 models gave the audience a sneak peek at what the H&M fall collection looks like before it gets to its 1,000 stores around the world. And Oscar nominated actress Catalina Sandino Moreno (ph) told me even Hollywood types like to go retail chic.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who doesn`t love H&M? I have tons of clothes of H&M.

HAFFENREFFER: By the end of the night, H&M`s live from central park event was as much about fashion as it was about music.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s David Haffenreffer reporting. H&M has been around for 50 years all over the world, but they didn`t open their first store in America until just five years ago.

BRYANT: Ashton Kutcher puts his foot down on THE TONIGHT SHOW. Laughter dark is coming up and there`s still time for you to sound out in the showbiz showdown question of the day.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Now get your laugh on in "laughter dark." As we do every night, we bring you the late night laughs you might have missed.

BRYANT: On the DAILY SHOW, Jon Stewart attempts to explain the well- defined levels of friendship between the president and Senate Majority Leader Tom Delay.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: He considers Tom Delay a friend?

SCOTT MCCLELLAN, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think there are different levels of friendship in everybody. Well, no, you referred to social friends and -- but, no, he certainly is a friend.

JON STEWART: Pressed further, McClellan explained that Delay was not quite a social friend, not a talk to the hand friend either. What he said was Delay was level blue, a guy Bush sword fights with in the bathroom.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRYANT: Well, pretty funny.

HAMMER: (INAUDIBLE)

BRYANT: Well, tonight, author Reesa Aslin (ph) will join Stewart on the DAILY SHOW. On the TONIGHT SHOW, "A Lot Like Love" star Ashton Kutcher exposed a part of him rarely seen on television. It`s a physical feature that has left him looking a lot like a duck.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY LENO: Someone said you have webbed feet. Is that true?

ASHTON KUTCHER: I have two toes that are connected. Look, here it is. I shouldn`t -- now, this made like headline news, people. I showed this in like London on a show. But these two toes are like connected a little further up than -- I don`t -- here. There. You can`t see it. It`s -- they`re just a little connected. Look, the girls are going aah! Like oh, my God, he`s not cute anymore!

LENO: I see why you wear socks now.

KUTCHER: No, it`s actually --.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: All right. Well, tonight they`re going to do something totally different on THE TONIGHT SHOW." They`re going to prepare for Passover as the jib jab brothers are going to stop by to debut their Internet cartoon matso. The cartoon of course celebrates the holiday which kicks off this weekend.

BRYANT: Well, throughout the show, we`ve been asking you to vote online on our showbiz question of the day. James Bond, is the franchise played out? Let`s take a look at how the vote is going so far. Pretty close, 56 percent of you say, yes, the franchise is played out, 44 percent of you say, no, 007 is not played out. You`ve also been sending e-mails.

Rahul from West Orange, New Jersey, says it would be impossible to play out 007. Bond movies have a certain cool that can be tough to emulate. But Brian from Pennsylvania adds, it`s been over for a while. No good actor would risk his name in a declining movie series.

Now remember, you can continue to vote at cnn.com/showbiztonight or send your e-mails our way at showbiztonight@cnn.com.

HAMMER: I`m going to get you a glass of water while the marquee guy does (ph) his thing.

BRYANT: It`s a little parched.

HAMMER: Time to see what`s playing on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT tomorrow.

BRYANT: So that means we`ve got to give it to the marquee guy. Take it away.

ANNOUNCER: Julia Roberts, Paul Newman, Tony Bennett and more. All together? Well, yeah! And there are more stars, too, at a very special event we`re at. Reach for your remote and click to see it tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Hey, you talking to me? Actor Robert De Niro there talking to us. They are (ph) Judi Dench (ph) and Maggie Smith and they are debuting their new flick at your film festival. It`s called "Ladies in Lavender." And we`re tickled purple they`re joining us. Judi Dench and Maggie Smith tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. This is the marquee guy saying you can tickle me anywhere but never tickle me pink.

HAMMER: I feel like we have royalty coming in with Maggie Smith and Judi Dench.

BRYANT: Big time.

HAMMER: You`re a little freaked out by the whole webbed feet thing with Ashton Kutcher, aren`t you?

BRYANT: No, he`s still adorable. Are you kidding me? That`s it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. We`re going to see you here tomorrow.

HAMMER: Nancy Grace coming up next, right after the very latest from headline news.

END


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