June 25th, 2010
01:20 PM ET

Behind the Scenes on 'Showbiz Tonight': Remembering two icons

It's a big day today on "Showbiz Tonight," starting with the breaking developments in the Michael Jackson case.

The late icon's father Joe Jackson unexpectedly filed a wrongful death lawsuit in federal court today against Dr. Conrad Murray, the man charged with involuntary manslaughter in the Jackson death case.

The lawsuit raised a lot of provocative questions today in the morning meeting. "Showbiz Tonight" producer Sandra Lee didn’t mince words when she said, “I find Joe Jackson’s timing interesting – why file the unlawful death lawsuit on his anniversary?” We’re tackling that and so much more.

"Showbiz Tonight" will also be live at the Forest Hills Cemetery today where thousands of Jackson’s fans are gathering to pay homage. We're also talking with Michael Jackson’s spiritual advisor, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, as well as Diane Diamond, one of the nation’s foremost journalists who covered Jackson’s life and death.

And of course, today we will also remember. There wasn’t a more powerful or downright sorrowful day in entertainment news than June 25, 2009 when "Showbiz Tonight" learned that Farrah Fawcett died, losing her battle to anal cancer, followed just three hours later by the shocking news that Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, had died.

"Showbiz Tonight’s" A.J Hammer will never forget that day – he was on the air live for hours reporting the up-to-the-minute details as they developed. “When it was confirmed that he had died, there was disbelief, even as the words came out of my mouth on-air,” Hammer said this morning. “So here we are a year later and, even now, when I stop to reflect, I find it stunning that he is gone.”

And we cannot forget Farrah Fawcett. CNN Entertainment Writer Alan Duke will be on "Showbiz Tonight" today with an interview with Fawcett's best friend, Alana Stewart.

Fawcett's story was eclipsed by the Jackson news and the mystery surrounding his death, but Stewart says she thinks Fawcett would have somehow laughed at the irony. She told Alan, “I always had the sense that Farrah would kind of be getting a laugh out of that and saying ‘thank God they're over there finally. They're leaving me alone. The paparazzi, the reporters, the news cameras.’ ”

Do you have a memory you want to share? Post here and send us your Showbiz iReport videos. We’ll try to work some of your comments into the show…

Watch Showbiz Tonight live at 5pm today. And remember, we’re still TV’s most provocative entertainment news show seven days a week at 11pm ET/PT!

soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. shatzz

    common guyz,stop the bickering,theyre both gone.Lets thank them for all the beautiful things they left in this world

    June 27, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. hideaway

    "Be not afraid of any man, no matter what his size. When danger threatens call on me and I will equalize." – Samuel Colt

    June 27, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. kay

    Well, well, well. MJ is gone and yet we still debate his life. I am about the same age as MJ....remember him as he was growing up.....remember when he went solo...remember the changes he made over the years....his family issues....the great things he did for so many people....the mistakes he made that were always aired for all to see...and the trials as well. During that time, I was like many....he was guilty because one must admit that sleeping with kiddos is a bit off the edge. My kids, who I had later in life, still ask me to cuddle up with them in bed....and I do. It can be an innocent and beautiful time with your child. Much has been said about MJ childhood...or lack there of. Not his fault...the price of fame was high and it has been said that he had a difficult time indeed. It does not surprise me that MJ filled his life with children....it was what he missed in his early years and he was trying to find that. It is not uncommon at all. I do not beleive that he was abusing children. I strongly feel that he was simply a 'child' looking for that unconditional love that comes without the price tag that adults often expect of someone of his stature. But regardless of what I think.....what I think is truly insignificant, what matters is that MJ is at peace probably for the first time in many years. He has stood before his "God" and all is well. It is time that we realize that we will never rightfully be in a place to condem anyone.....make sure you try on all the shoes and walk in them a bit before you toss them out. There are only two things that are sure in life....u you are born and you die.

    June 26, 2010 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. TW


    June 26, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. e.Borg9

    Frank must be a callous uneducated sole whose only reason for living is the church – the church of the poison mind – MJ (yes, we were close enough that I can call him MJ) was a lost little boy who only wanted to play; that the world expected him to be some kinda roll model is their own fault – this day should be a day of carnivals in parking lots where one trailer is dedicated to the many (and ever deteriorating) faces of MJ so that little boys everywhere can learn it's not what you look like on the outside that's the most scary –

    June 26, 2010 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  6. Frank

    In terms of washed up celebrities dying, June, 2009 will be remembered as a hallmark month. What Michael did with that ape Bubbles was his private business. Lord knows how he treated the bones of the Elephant man. Also I heard he was an acquaintance of Paul McCartney (second of the four horsemen, and not nearly on the level of John Lenin), per the song "Say Say Say." But Terror Faucet did that thing with the picture where she's smiling and enticing the children to, you know. I can't respect that. I think someone has to think of the children. Especially when the Hollywood literati and the Democrap minority/majority continually tries to transubstantiate the strong-spined upstanding ideals that our Republican shadowlords keep close to their front pockets. Also, BP.

    June 25, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. SIr Loin of Beef

    Don't take this the wrong way but in my opinion, it was Farrah's misfortune to die on the same day Jackson did. Like many loved ones suffering from cancer, while it's never pleasant, you often times are prepared for the inevitable. Jackson's death, on the other hand was a shock to say the least and the media took off with it. Farrah was placed on the back burner and many of her fans felt like she was slighted by the media. I lean towards that assumption myself. I also must say that I was never a Michael Jackson fan and never was, expecially in his last years. That being said, mourn or don't mourn, just don't make me watch any of it.

    June 25, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Char

    and one more thing, for those here who are so judgemental about what Michael did or didn't do, I hope that there comes a time in your life where you or someone you love are wrongfully framed, tried in the public eye and condemned/convicted. Understand that society builds you up and then they tear you down. It happens to the best of the best, so dont' be fooled by everything you hear in the media. Exercise common sense. Unless you were there and you witnessed first hand that Michael did something wrong then you are not in the position to condemn him. Remember that even the cutiest of the cutiest little kid will lie especially if they have a money hungry, low life, immoral parent cohercing them and egging them on. PEOPLE USE COMMON SENSE, COMMON SENSE IS NOT COMMON.

    June 25, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Char

    RIP Farrah but seriously, can you compare the contribution that Farrah made to society to what Michael made–SERIOUSLY??? Michael wasn't just the greatest entertainer who lived but he was also a great humanitarian and ambassador. Most people worldwide won't know who Farrah was. Come on. Why are folks here acting as if Michael didn't deserve the recognition that he has received. Give me a break.

    June 25, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sir Loin of Beef

      and yet you bash Farrah because people are bashing Michael Jackson. Bit hypocritical of you, don't you think?

      June 25, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jango Davis

      Michael Jackson was a freak and a pervert. You can't blame daddy for your own character faults once you're an adult. If your measure of justice is that the jury has to witness the crime before they can render a judgement, then thank god you're not in law enforcement. Any grown man who lets other adult's children sleep in his bed is a freak.

      June 25, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • keep it real

      True the two are not an the same level. But michael was a pervert. Come on he said himself that he slept in the same bed with young boys. That is just wrong!!

      June 25, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  10. lisa

    I really hope showbiz Tonight gives Farrah a proper tribute on the anniversary of her death.
    The Michael Jackson story has been overkill and boring. He was on drugs and died from being irresposible and having hanger on's feeding his every demand for drugs, so there's no mystery and the story is old.
    Focus on the true hero her and that was Farrah fawcett who fought to live not throw it away by self medicating.
    Why do all news outlets assume people care about Michael jackson and every news shows just say the same thing and if there was something new then it would be on the internet before your show airs.

    June 25, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lakell Searcy

      if u dont like it, dont watch it. MJ FO EVAH!!!

      June 25, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • gee

      Because fool / loser he had a greater impact on the world. I'm sure you fools are not saying the same thing about Elvis who was doing other people's music. Right

      June 26, 2010 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      I agree again wit Lakell if u don't like it don't turn on the T.V. Oh and Lakell you seem cool I'd like to talk to ya!!!!!!!!

      July 2, 2010 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |

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