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Showbiz This Week

'M:I2' Explodes on the Big Screen; Fox Holds Premiere Party for Fall Lineup; Matchbox 20 Stays Hot with New CD

Aired May 27, 2000 - 10:00 a.m. ET


BILL TUSH, HOST: Coming up on SHOWBIZ THIS WEEKEND, Tom Cruise explodes on the big screen in "Mission: Impossible 2."

If you've been paying attention to showbiz lately, this is the big week where everybody, all the networks, are unveiling their new shows. And this week, we're at the Fox premiere party. Robert Schimmel we talked to at the Russian Tea Room, when you were going -- you were going out on tour or something.

ROBERT SCHIMMEL, ACTOR: That's right, that's right.

TUSH: No, you had an HBO special.

SCHIMMEL: HBO special that was premiering, that's right.

TUSH: But now he's with us because he has a show on Fox co- starring this lady...

SCHIMMEL: Talia Balsam, who plays my TV wife.

TUSH: And the show is called...

SCHIMMEL: Schimmel.

TUSH: And how hard did they work on that name?

SCHIMMEL: The name was easy. The rest of it was hard.

TUSH: So it's, what, a family sitcom, I imagine?

SCHIMMEL: A family sitcom. Married, we have two daughters, and I basically am the type of father that is -- who may be a little too honest with his children, with our neighbors and everything.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Ever smoked pot?

SCHIMMEL: Honestly?

No and I resent the question.

(END VIDEO CLIP) TUSH: Good luck with the show.

SCHIMMEL: Thanks very much.

TUSH: Good to see you again, Robert. Thank you. And good luck to you. We'll see watching.

OK, we're going to meet some of the other people that are here tonight from Fox. And before we do that, Tom Cruise has "Mission: Impossible 2." If you didn't understand "Mission: Impossible 1," maybe "M:I-2" will straighten the whole thing out for you.


TOM CRUISE, ACTOR: I never thought of it in terms of number two.

JIM MORET, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The assignment for Tom Cruise: make "Mission Impossible 2" feel like an original film, not a sequel.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: This is not mission difficult, Mr. Hunt, it's mission impossible.


MORET: Cruise reprises his role as super spy Ethan Hunt, but only his name remains the same.

CRUISE: He's different. He's a different character.

THANDIE NEWTON, ACTRESS: I don't know. I think that he's more three-dimensional than James Bond. He's more soulful than James Bond. And also, James Bond sticks very closely to his mission.

MORET: Cruise's mission: enlist the help of a sensual thief, played by Thandie Newton.

NEWTON: And in this one, interestingly, Ethan Hunt departs from his mission in order to do -- in order to follow his heart, to follow his gut.

JOHN WOO, DIRECTOR: In this one we try to make a real person, a real guy, a real hero, have a great hart, and we intend to make a classic romantic spy movie.


NEWTON: Do you mind if I'm on top?


MORET: Romance mixed with plenty of action, courtesy of director John Woo and actor-turned-stuntman Tom Cruise.

(on camera): I still can't believe -- I've heard over and over that's you on the cliff.

CRUISE: That's CGI -- that's me, that's me.

MORET: How do you get insured? You're the producer of the film?

CRUISE: You just tell them you've got to do it. You've got to do it. We've got to figure it out.

MORET: The leaping part is you?

CRUISE: Yes, yes that's me.

WOO: Some of the shots were planned for the stunt double, but Tom still insisted on doing it by myself, because he wanted to do the real thing. He likes to take a challenge.

MORET: So what does your wife say?

CRUISE: Nick said "be careful," and John was very nervous before I was doing this stunt, but it's also we have, you know, my stunt guy, Keith, and Brian Smurz (ph), my stunt coordinator -- these guys are fantastic. I mean, they are the top in their field, and I trust them, and I've worked with them very carefully. And just the way we've orchestrated it and the way it works, I've got kind of a system down that by the time I get to it, of course there's going to be danger, but it's safe danger.

MORET (on camera): With the first "Mission Impossible" generating nearly $450 million worldwide, Cruise seems to know exactly what he's doing.


TUSH: Last year, we talked to James Cameron at this party about "Dark Angel." And it was going to come to Fox last year, but now it's actually coming this year. This is Jessica Alba...


TUSH: Hello -- and Michael Weatherly.


TUSH: And you guys are in the show -- or why else am I talking to you?

WEATHERLY: That's correct.

TUSH: What's it -- I'm trying to remember what he told us it was about last year. It's a sci-fi thing?

WEATHERLY: I've got it in a nutshell. It's about a genetically engineered girl who joins forces with a underground cyber...

ALBA: Journalist.

WEATHERLY: ... journalist, and they together fight an apathetic and corrupt government.

TUSH: All right, so am I to assume this is the genetically engineered girl?

ALBA: Yes.

TUSH: I'd like to know how that works, genetic engineering.


WEATHERLY: You are a thief?

ALBA: Girl's got to make a living.

WEATHERLY: Thank god.

ALBA: First time I ever heard that one.

WEATHERLY: I was expecting someone else.

ALBA: Guess it wasn't the pizza delivery guy.


TUSH: All right, Michael, thank you -- and Jessica, thanks. Good luck on the show. Good talking to you.

Dance has been around forever -- boy, what kind of intro was that? Anyway, Jodi Ross is going to tell us about the history of dance, not only in theater but in films, in television, and it's going to be a lot of fun -- so I'm told.


UNIDENTIFIED SINGER (singer): Two in love can make it, take my heart and please don't break it.

JODI ROSS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Drew does it. The Gap kids do it. It seems everybody's got to...

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP (singing): ... dance, dance, dance, dance

ROB MARSHALL, CHOREOGRAPHER, "CABARET": All of a sudden, dance is back in.

ROSS: In like Flint, from TV, to film, to the Great White Way, the old song and dance has been given new life.

MARSHALL: You can feel the sweat, you can feel the excitement. You can -- it's the most thrilling thing on stage.

ROSS: High-kicking and sexy showgirls are nothing new to Broadway. But in the '80s, words spoke louder than action.

(MUSIC) ROSS: Operas like "Les Mis" were all the rage. Now, dance dominates in more than half a dozen musicals, including "Contact," "Footloose," "Saturday Night Fever," "Kiss Me Kate," and "The Music Man."


SUSAN STROMAN, CHOREOGRAPHER, "THE MUSIC MAN": The idea of dance propelling a plot forward, dance telling a story, and dance carrying a character along is really the only way to do theater now because that's what an audience wants.

ROSS: And they're getting it on the big screen as well.

STROMAN: You can be more aggressive with her on that flip when you flip her.


STROMAN: You know.

ROSS: Broadway dance master Susan Stroman also served as choreographer for the film "Center Stage," which takes an in-depth look at the world of ballet.

AMANDA SCHULL, ACTRESS: Hopefully, this will break down some of those ballet stigmas and make it more understanding, and more accessible, and more appreciated, ultimately.

ROSS: If ballet isn't your bag, you can soon catch "Save the Last Dance," starring Julia Stiles, or "Love's Labour's Lost," based on Shakespeare's play.

The soon-to-be-released "Groove" explores the underground dance club scene in all its glory.

(on camera): In this film, the dancing and music are like one of your co-stars, in a sense. Are you absolutely another character?

LOLA GLAUDINI, ACTRESS: Sure, I would say that's true.

ROSS: Is it hard or easy to act with a character like that?

GLAUDINI: Not for this girl. No, I'm a dancing machine.

ROSS (voice-over): Well, the same can't be said for all actors aspiring to be Fred Astaire.

BOYD GAINES, ACTOR: I kept saying, well, when this is over, the nice thing is that I'm not going on to a dancing career.

ROSS: Whether you like "Riverdance" or savor swing, Gap ad choreographer Alan Johnson (ph) says the dance movement is no passing fad.

ALAN JOHNSON, CHOREOGRAPHER: It's always going to be there. ROSS: Jodi Ross, CNN Entertainment News, New York.


TUSH: Last year, "Dark Angel" was supposed to be on Fox.

JAMES CAMERON, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, "DARK ANGEL": Right. It doesn't matter when you do it, as long as you make a big splash.

TUSH: See, James Cameron has been to so many of these events. Look how smart he is. He pretends -- he pretends that he's got some kind of a he's got -- but, no -- so he doesn't have to come to this thing and shake a million hands.

CAMERON: Right, right, right. See, I just put this fake cast on so I wouldn't have to shake hands with a bunch people. But I made an exception in Bill's case.

TUSH: Well good to see you. We're not going to shake hands. All right, Chick, good to see you. Thanks so much.

We'll be back. Stay with us.

Still to come, meet Latin television's hottest star.

And Matchbox 20 is ready to light the world on fire with their new album.


TUSH: Cynthia Watros is on "Titus"...


TUSH: Another new Fox show.

WATROS: Another new Fox show. We're airing our ninth show, and it's gotten really great responses. And our ratings are really good, so we start back to work in July, and I think it's going to be a good thing.

TUSH: So you have go in there and, like, sell all these advertisers that are here to buy time.

WATROS: Yes, come in and drink some Pepsi...


WATROS: ... and eat, you know, some Oreos, and, yes, show all the products I can -- you know.

TUSH: That's the name of the game, right?

WATROS: Right, kissing up, yes.

TUSH: Yes, well, boy, is that the truth. WATROS: But I love them really. No, really, I love them all.

TUSH: Well you have go in there and, like, get your picture taken with them and all that stuff.

WATROS: Yes, but that's fun.

TUSH: Yes?

WATROS: Yes, after the third hour, it...

TUSH: You get a little tired of it?

WATROS: Yes -- well, no, not tired. I'm happy to do it.

TUSH: Well, you seem to really know the business of selling those products.

WATROS: Well, thank you.

TUSH: We'll watch "Titus." When is it on now?

WATROS: It's on now at Monday nights at 8:30.

TUSH: On Fox?


TUSH: fox.

WATROS: ... Fox.

TUSH: You ever hear of a guy named Don Francisco?


TUSH: You ever heard of him?


TUSH: He's the -- he's got this show that is three and a half hours long every Saturday on Spanish television.

WATROS: Right.

TUSH: He's, like, the biggest thing on Spanish TV.

WATROS: Wow, is he hot?

TUSH: Well, he may have a show on Fox next year, I don't know.

WATROS: Oh, good, well then we'll be at -- I'll be with him here next year then, yes.

TUSH: There you go. OK, Cynthia, thank you.

WATROS: Thank you.


TUSH (voice-over): "Sabado Gigante" -- what is it?

DON FRANCISO: It's like a soup, right? You put everything inside the soup, because we have humor, interviews, games singers, everything.

TUSH: Don Francisco is a bona fide star of Latin television, and it all began when a young man named Mario Kreutzberger visited New York with his father in the early'60s.

MIKE KREUTZBERGER: And I came into the room and I saw a big radio set, with a screen, I put on, I watch, I listen at the same time, I said, my father's wrong. He wants that I become a men's clothing designer. This is the future. The radio that you can listen and watch at the same time.

So Mario goes home to Chile and his alter ego, Don Francisco, is born.

FRANCISCO: I started one hour, two hours, three hours. At the end, I had eight hours for 20 years, life.

TUSH: It all evolved into "Sabado Gigante," or "Giant Saturday." And for four hours every week, Don Francisco plays ringmaster. You don't have to speak Spanish to have fun at this party.

FRANCISCO: You know, it's funny. When I'm walking here in New York, especially in New York, sometimes they stop me and people say, "I don't understand not one word of Spanish, but I watch it 15 minutes, 20 minutes."

TUSH: And there's no telling how much stuff he's sold as the Chilean Ed McMahon.

FRANCISCO: You remember the Alpo commercials on Johnny Carson? It's like this, but a little different, because we have jingles and the audience sings the jingle. It's part of the show.

TUSH: What a show it is: an estimated viewing audience of 100 million worldwide and growing. Don Francisco's "Sabado Gigante" is getting mucho mas grande.


TUSH: Johnny Depp loses his head, as "Sleepy Hollow" gallops into the video store.

And Matchbox 20 strikes again with their latest.


TUSH: Nina Garbiras, correct?


TUSH: From "The Street."

GARBIRAS: Correct.

TUSH: I don't mean it like from the street.

GARBIRAS: Oh, god, my mother's watching.

TUSH: The TV show -- yes, really. No, no, the lovely lady who's in a new show called "The Street" on Fox.

GARBIRAS: Right, it's about Wall Street, Nasdaq, trading.

TUSH: So Who do you play? Like, a real heavy Wall Street trader or something?

GARBIRAS: Actually, I don't play a trader. I play an investment banker, a Harvard MBA. and we all work for Belmont Stevens. There's traders, sales, a lot of subplots going on, but it's certainly about making a buck and trying to stay ahead of the game.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: You don't hold the door open for a lady?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: They don't want you to hold it.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: It's a feminazi thing. You hold the door, they think you're saying, I'm a guy, you're a girl, you need a head start.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: You hold doors open for women, don't you?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I've been known to.



TUSH: All right, Nina, thank you so much.

GARBIRAS: Thank you very much.

TUSH: Good luck to the show and to you, OK? All right, I'll see you later on. Take care.

All right, we're going to go now to our home video preview, where I find out from Dennis Michael a movie I wanted to see in the theaters and never had the chance is now on home video: "Sleepy Hollow" from Tim Burton.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) DENNIS MICHAEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tim Burton's "Sleepy Hollow" is magic, dark, adults-only violent magic, to be sure, but magic. The retelling of Washington Irving's "Headless Horseman" tale is a great deal different from the Disney cartoon version. Johnny Depp's Ichabod Crane is a pioneering detective who is sent to investigate the tendency of some upstate New Yorkers to, well, lose their heads over a local legend. Christina Ricci is bewitching, in more ways than one, as the woman who holds some of the keys to the mystery. Also look for a wild, if unbilled, appearance by Christopher Walken.

Jeff Spicoli from "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" would call this movie gnarly, and he'd be right.


ASHLEY JUDD, ACTRESS: I've seen you some place before.


MICHAEL: You could call "The Eye of the Beholder" an incomprehensible waste of time, and you'd be right. Ashley Judd plays a blackmailer who turns out to have darker pastimes -- she's a serial killer. Ewan McGregor sleepwalks through the movie as a British secret agent who develops an obsession with her. This movie was based on a well-reviewed novel, but it obviously got murdered in the translation.

See you at the rental counter.

Dennis Michael, CNN Entertainment News, Hollywood.


TUSH: What are you?


TUSH: Six-five?

MCBRIDE: Six-five.

TUSH: And now you're about 6'10".

MCBRIDE: Yes, that's good.

TUSH: Anyway, let me get the name right, Chi?

MCBRIDE: Chi, correct -- C-H-I, just like Chicago.

TUSH: McBride?

MCBRIDE: McBride is the last name. That's right.

TUSH: And the show is?

MCBRIDE: "Boston Public."

TUSH: Which a lot of people are talking -- it's, like, one of Fox's big shows coming up.

MCBRIDE: Yes, we're very excited about it and a chance to work with David Kelley. And it's a wonderful show. It's extremely well- written. And, you know, they throw the word "genius" around a lot in Hollywood, but David is someone who truly is a genius.

TUSH: Well, just talk about some of the shows he's behind: "Ally McBeal"...

MCBRIDE: "Ally McBeal," "The Practice," he did a lot of work on "L.A. Law" and "Chicago Hope." As a matter of fact, I hear they're changing television to "Kelleyvision" as a matter of fact. So I'm going to...

TUSH: I wouldn't -- I wouldn't...

MCBRIDE: I'm happy to be a part of that new change.

TUSH: Good to see you, buddy. Good luck on the show.

MCBRIDE: Thank you very much.

TUSH: Thanks for stopping by and seeing us

MCBRIDE: All right, sure.

TUSH: All right, Matchbox 20, hot group. Mark Scheerer is going to tell us all about them.


MARK SCHEERER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Your mission, should you decide to accept it, Matchbox 20, is to try and match the success of your debut album, which sold over 10 million copies and generated hits like "Push, " "3:00 a.m.," and "Real World" and -- this has been an impossible mission for many others -- write songs for your second album that aren't all about being famous rock stars on the road.

ROB THOMAS, MUSICIAN: I tried to avoid that on this record, even though there's a reference to it as a whole. The record kind of represents the emotional undercurrent of all that. You know, like, what this makes you, the growing process of that and how it affects relationships, but trying to do it without mentioning the road. You know, you don't want to say, the road killed my relationship.

SCHEERER: Still, the title of the new album, "Mad Season," does reflect the inescapable impact of unexpected success.

PAUL DOUCETTE, MUSICIAN: That's what happened to us in that case, was because we had this record that blew up. But when you go through any experience, where it's just like, my life is just totally different now, and it's that period of time in between. SCHEERER: Speaking of records that "Blew Up," Thomas' collaboration with Carlos Santana on "Smooth" won him three Grammy awards, including record of the year and song of the year, and made his bandmates proud.

THOMAS: I think our record company was pretty thankful, because definitely it helped on that, you know, everyone now knows who Rob is. I live life thinking that every moment is the big ironic moment, you know, like the second that I go, man, life is great, is when I'm going to turn and get hit by the bus.

SCHEERER: If you look closely, Matchbox 20 has undergone a slight name change, for this album, at least. The number 20 has been spelled out.

(on camera): There's no digits in the name Matchbox 20 anymore?

DOUCETTE: We really didn't think anyone would notice that, but we've been asked about that more than anything, which is kind of unfortunate. Because we're like, is that the most interesting thing about us, is that we changed the spelling of a word?

SCHEERER (voice-over): No, the interesting thing will be watching how well Matchbox 20 does with the numbers that count: listeners, buyers and fans.

Mark Scheerer, CNN Entertainment News, New York.


TUSH: We're trying to keep everybody's names straight, because these ladies are going to be big, big, big stars. This is Jessilyn (ph)...


TUSH: ... and Rashida (ph)...


TUSH: ... and Sharon.


TUSH: And we talked to Chi, the big guy, before. He plays the principal of the school.

JESSILYN: That's right.

TUSH: So I assume you're the students?

RASHIDA: We wish.

SHARON: We wish.

TUSH: No, you're kidding me. You're the teachers? SHARON: Yes.

TUSH: Oh, I'm getting old. So what are the students? I mean...

SHARON: I'm the assistant to the principal.

TUSH: You're kidding. I mean, I -- honest to god, I thought you would be the students.

SHARON: Thank you.

RASHIDA: Yes, that's sweet.

JESSILYN: I'm the head of the history department.

TUSH: So how many shows have you already shot? Oh, you're kidding me. Is this -- this isn't a work in progress, is it?

JESSILYN: No, no, we have script.

SHARON: It's a David Kelley work in progress.

JESSILYN: David Kelley, so we start...

TUSH: So it's actually on the air.

SHARON: Yes, it is.

TUSH: OK, we're going to have to get out of here. We had a great time. Thank you so much for seeing us and letting us come to your party.

RASHIDA: Thank you.

JESSILYN: Thank you very much.

TUSH: Good luck on the show, OK?

JESSILYN: Thanks a lot.

TUSH: Bye-bye, thank you.

And that's SHOWBIZ for this week from the Fox fall preview party. And hopefully we're going to sneak inside -- we're going to try -- and freeload Rupert Murdoch's food. We'll see you next time.



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