Talk to Me (1996) - full transcript

An idealistic talk show producer clashes with her ratings obsessed boss on a story involving a young prostitute.

(Multicom Jingle)

(light music)

- [Man] So Crystal was by herself,

and this is when your
father came into the room?

What happened then?

- He's layin' over her like he was

gonna help her with her
homework or somethin',

but what he was really doin'
was lookin' down her dress.

(audience gasps)

- [Man] How did your mother react to this?

- Like it wasn't happenin'.

My mama shoulda been born one of them

birds that stick their head in the sand.

- [Man] An ostrich?

- Yeah, exactly.

She shoulda been born a ostrich.

- So your mother

ignored what was going on between Crystal

and your father?

- Yeah, just like always.

And then Daddy starts telling Crystal

how pretty she is, how
he bets that all the boys

can't hardly keep their hands of her

and how if he was 16 again,
he'd be chasin' after her too.

- [Woman] Everything is so elaborate.

I mean, at Margolis, we
were all sort of shoehorned

into these cubby holes.

- Oh, Howard's show is a first-class ride.

He insists on it so does Sadie.

- Are you sure I don't
need an appointment?

- Trust me, it's better this way.

- It's hot, ain't it?

A real scorcher of a night.

A night like this, ain't
nothin' better than a ice cream.

- [Man] Hey, she has
her father's mustache.

(men laughing)

- And Crystal over here,
she says she's the same way.

How when it gets hot and close

and she gets to feelin' sticky all over

and all she can think
about is the ice cream.

And then the two of them,
they go off together

like they was on a date or something.

(audience groans)

- I got to go prep the next one, okay?

- [Host] Okay, we've
heard from Lucille-Ann.

- Now there are two green rooms.

Ever since Sadie came on board,

she likes to keep the
opposing sides separated,

so if there's a fight, it happens in front

of the camera as opposed to back here.

You know what she calls them?

Holding pens.

- That's terrible.

- (laughs) Well, wait until
you meet some of the guests.

- Teri, Sadie needs you on the floor.

- Okay, 30 seconds, Jimmy.

Just give me 30 seconds.

And remember, be honest with him.

Tell him everything you told me.

They'll be with you every step of the way.

- Oh, Teri, this is--

- Not now, later, sorry.

- Hi, bye.

- That's Teri.

She's one of Sadie's people.

She's a little tense.

- Yeah, oh, I'm starting to feel

like I should've stayed in Chicago.

- No, come on.

You belong right here in New York with me.

All you gotta do is
sell yourself to Sadie.

That didn't come out quite right, did it?

(audience applauding)
- Randy, come on out.

- When is she going to cry?

- Cry?

- Dammit, Teri, do you want our audience

surfing off to Oprah?

I told you, I want tears or a fight

within the first segment.

- Okay.

- [Howard] Crystal be
honest, level with me.

You're an attractive young woman,

you had to know people
- Right,

just between you and me.
- would start to talk

when you began spending time

with a married man almost twice your age.

- Sadie wants you to
stay off Howard's back.

His battery pack's showing
through his jacket.

- Sadie wants you on the floor now!

- Okay!

- Butt shots, I need lots of butt shots.

- Howard Grant is wired?

- Sadie's idea.

She's into cue cards too.

She doesn't like him
working without a net.

- What the hell were you doing?

It is a five minute drive
to the Dairy Queen, okay?

You guys were gone for an hour!

- Ask him why his wife
didn't join him on the show.

Howard, come on, this is falling apart.

- [Randy] Hey, hey, hey, we wasn't gone

for more than 20 minutes.
- Hang on, hang on a second

now, Randy, hey, come on.

Folks, take a breath now.

Wait just a second.

Randy, question for you now.

Why didn't your wife join us on the show?

- [Audience] Yeah?

- Wasn't that scarecrow here last week?

- Hello, we interrupting your nap?

Take three.

She's here every week.

- How did she slip by Alan?

- Take two.

Alan loves her.

She asks great questions.

Ready four.

Take four.
- You are nothin' but a slut.


You nothin' but a slut.

- [Director] Three, pull back.

- Well, we're certainly not shy

of our opinions here on
the Howard Grant Show.

What happens when flirtation
becomes seduction?

When we come back,
- Ready bumper, take two.

- we'll introduce you to a
young woman with the answer.

- Music up.

Cue bumper.

And fade.

- [Teri] Okay, you're up next.

- Oh, I don't think I can do this.

- Sure you can.

You're gonna go out there,

you're gonna tell your story,

and you're going to feel a whole lot

better for it afterward.

I've seen it over and over.

People hold a thing inside,
it eats away at them.

They come on the show, they
get it out in the open.

(fingers snap)
They get rid of it!

- Oh, I don't know.

- It's gonna be fine.

I'll be right there,

and I'll support you all the way.

But remember, you've
got to get the audience

on your side, so be honest.

Tell them everything you told me, okay?

- Okay.

- Okay, good.

- Your mother and I--
- Look, Dad, you're

not even listening to me.

- I am, and I want to hear
your side of the story,

but this isn't the time

or the place.
- Dad, I am not

one of your guests,

and I'm not gonna let
you talk to me like one!

- [Howard] Ted.

- Dad, just do the show.

(bell ringing)

- Bad timing.

- Thank God, you saved my life.

Hurry, there's no time.

Come on, come on.
- This is Alan,

our audience coordinator.

- [Alan] Come on, I'm dying here.

- Are you okay?

- Yes.

He's just going through something.

- Empty seat's the kiss of
death, you know what I mean?


(upbeat music)

(audience applauding)

- We've been talking to young women

whose fathers flirt with their friends.

But what happens when dad's
flirtations turn serious?

Meet Wanda, whose best
friend is now her mother.

(audience ohs)

(audience applauding)

Wanda, help me out here.

You and your father used
to be close, didn't you?

- We was real close.

My mama died when I was born and all,

but that was before him and Thelma

started, uh, sleepin' together.

(audience groans)

It just tore us apart.

And then they got married.

I couldn't believe it.

I still can't.

- She's going down.

She's going down.

- I started
- Tighter.

- to put on weight.

It's just that I miss
him so much. (crying)

- She's down!

She's down!

- I ain't standin' back
there and listenin' no more.

(audience groans)

- This is

- I'm telling you, he's great for Thelma.

- This is Vernon, Wanda's father,

and his wife Thelma.

- Go home!

- And they're anxious to
tell their side of the story.

- No story to tell.

We met, we fell in love,
and we got married.

- That's right.

- [Vernon] Now what's
the harm in that, huh?

- Well.

- I think Wanda here, I think

she's just jealous, that's all.

- That's right.
- Daddy!

- Jealous?
- Hell, yes.

She's used to havin' me all to herself.

(audience groans)

Just, just don't sit right with her

now she's got to share.

- Are you saying--

- I'm sayin', I'm man
enough for both of 'em.

- [Audience] Oh!

- Daddy.

- Yes!

- Plenty to go around, huh?

- I felt like I was refereeing a wreck.

But shows like this pay for the ones

that really matter.

We feed the audiences
transvestites and strippers

and then hit them with
something really thoughtful,

like next week's segment
on race and intelligence.

- I will never forget the
show you did on the Klan.

I mean, I saw that one and I knew,

well, that I had to work in talk.

- You know, I'm really
embarrassed about today's show.

- Oh, no.

- Excuse me, Howard.

Diane's been summoned.

- Oh, well, it was really,
really nice meeting you.

- You too.

- [Sadie] Talk to me.

What have you done?

- Well, I majored in communications

at Iowa State, and then I did the news

at WNXT in Chicago--

- I'm not interested in news.

I'm interested in talk.

- Diane was an AP at the Margolis Show.

She'd made producer,
then they got canceled.

- Well, we don't do issues here.

We don't do issues, not anymore--

- I know, but I--
- We do theater.

Confrontation, conflict,
drama, that's what

the audiences are buying,
that's what we're selling.

You want to do issues,
you talk to Bill Moyers.

Issues killed Margolis.

It almost killed Howard.

Look, Jenny says that you're okay,

so I'm gonna give you a chance,

one month, four shows.

You deliver, you're on staff.

You let me down, you join Margolis

in the unemployment line.

- I never made producer at Margolis.

- Oh come on, scruples
or some of the collection

of overdue bills?

Look, you didn't have the title,

but you did the work.

Besides, his show is gone.

Who's she gonna check with?

- You're so bad, Jenny.

- And you are a producer.

(rock music)

- He practically invented talk, Mom!

I know.

I know that.

He's really embarrassed about that too.

It's just this new executive
producer that he has.

You know, next week's
shows are gonna be a lot.

Wait, what?

I, you know what, I
can't hear you very well.

Why don't I, I'll call you back

when my phone gets hooked back up.


I love you.

I'm gonna make you proud, Mom.

Tell Dad I love him too.


- Hey, what'd they say?

- Well, they said that
Howard was beginning

to sound a little like Geraldo,

and maybe I should come home.

- Oh yeah, Howard is still Howard.

He's just been fightin' for his life.

I mean, when the ratings come back--

- Yeah, I know.

I know, and in the
meantime, I figure I can

convince Sadie to do anything
with a sensationalistic

hook to it, even if it
does have some meat on it.

- I don't know, Diane.

Sadie's not into causes.

You do the sort of thing you
were pushing at Margolis--

- Look, I am gonna do the kind of shows

I wanna do by convincing
Sadie that they're

the kind of shows that she wants to do.

Ooh, who is the hunk?

- Mark Holston.

Outside counsel to the show.

He just bailed us out
of a $10 million lawsuit

by taking the plaintiff
apart on the stand.

Sadie's been panting after him ever since.

So he works on Sadie by night

and the Lula Belle Barton
case by day. (laughs)

It's kinda like watching cobras mate.

- What is this?

- A celebration.

It's on Sadie.

She just doesn't know it.

To money in the bank and
life in the fast lane.

- Don't hang up, okay?

No, don't hang up.

Look, I don't think you
understand the situation here.

I told Howard you were coming,

and he's dying to meet you.



- I don't have a show.

- What?
- I don't have a show.

- [Teri] Neither do I, Myra.

Now go to your kennel and let me slash

my wrists in peace.

(rapid music)

- I don't have a--
- I know, Myra.

You don't have a show.

And neither will I unless
you stop pestering me.

(people chattering)

- [Myra] I don't have a show.

- You must be Myra.

Hi, I'm Diane.

- Welcome to the rack.

- Congratulate me, girls,
the warden has given

me my release.
- Oh, God.

- [Woman] What are you gonna do, huh?

- I don't know, dig ditches, clean sewers.

Something with dignity.

- There goes another
one of Howard's people.

- It's 11 o'clock, guys.

The dragon lady awaits.

- Terrific.

Another great story ruined by checking.

We're taping your segment tomorrow, Myra.

I'm going to be very annoyed if we don't

have anything to put
in front of the camera.

Alex, talk to me.

What have you got?

- Girls in gangs, pretty
much virgin territory.

- There's no such thing
in talk, not anymore.

You got rival gang members?

- And their boyfriends.

- That's good.

Tell Nick to beef up security.

Okay, new girl on the
block, let's hear it.

- I was looking over last month's shows,

and I saw that Howard's ratings really

went through the roof when he went

out on the street and
talked to prostitutes.

So I thought we could bring back one

of those girls and maybe bring--

- Howard's got to talk to you.

He says it can't wait.

- Back in five, folks.

- Okay, what's that all about?

- You should try reading the trades.

- He's upset about the
announcement from United Media.

They're giving his son a talk show.

- Why would that make him upset?

It's his son.

- Demographics.

He doesn't want to compete

with a younger version of himself.

Unless I miss my guess,

he's out there wringing his hands.

A pound of flesh, that's
what he's taking from me.

All these Saturday meals will
take a piece of my heart.

(people laughing)

- Bravo, Alex.

But I catch you again,
and your act's going

to be canceled, permanently.

Now, prostitutes.

Is there one hooker in this entire city

that hasn't guested on a talk show?

(some people laugh)

- We've had most of them
right here on our own.

- But we haven't had their families.

Most of these girls are addicts.

I mean, we know that.

That's why they're out
there hooking, right?

I mean, that's double impact right there.

We bring their families on with them,

and that dramatizes the human cost,

the other victims in
this victimless crime.

- Well, what have we got
here, boys and girls?

Could it be, a new angle?

That's what I like about fresh blood.

Okay, you got it.

Now, one last thing, the
party Wednesday evening

for the stations that carry the show.

Everyone attends.

These people are our
bread and butter, folks,

and I want every last one of them

to feel a part of our happy little family.


Okay, get out of here and get to work.

(pulsing music)

- [Prostitute] Whatever,
the only action around here,

if you know what I mean.

And besides, in my line of work,

we like to keep what
we call a low profile.

- Yeah, I completely understand that.

There would be no cops.

- Well, college girl,

(speaking in foreign language)

But you see, there's one
other little problem.

It's been a while since
I've seen my mother,

10, 12 years maybe.

I don't even know what she looks like.

- You know what, it's okay.

Thank you.

- Hey, hey, you looking
for some salsa tonight?


Hey, hey, come on.

Honey, it's a career opportunity.

He's asking for you.

- What's up, babe?

- [Sadie] And?

- [Diane] Well, I guess you could say

he offered to sponsor me.

- I'm thrilled for you,

but the bottom line is
you don't have a guest.

No guest, no show.

Sit down.

Look, I like you, kid.

You got guts.

It took guts to lie to me that you

produced for Margolis.

You thought I wouldn't check,

and it took guts for you to go

out on the street like that.

Look, if you want to be a success in talk,

you gotta use your head too.

So let me give you some advice.

Never tell a lie you can get caught in.

Never hit the streets without backup.

And never, ever admit to failure.

Now, this is a good idea you have,

but it's not gonna amount to much

if you go out on the street

and you get yourself whacked.

I had Jimmy yank the letters that came in

after last month's show on prostitutes.

Unless I've missed my guess,

what you're looking for,
you'll find right there.

- Thanks.

Thanks, Sadie.

- I don't want thanks.

I want a killer show.

(phone buzzes)


- [Secretary] Mark Holston on two.

- [Sadie] Yeah, put him through.

(tense music)

- Sure, I can believe it.

My girlfriend's the same way.

- Your girlfriend?

- [Alex] I lie all the time, don't you?

- No, she doesn't, Alex,
and neither should you.

- No one's calling me back.

I might as well start
clearing out my desk.

- Oh yeah, you should do that, Myra.

- They won't call back.

I know they won't.

(phone ringing)


How the hell are you?

Listen, I'm so glad you called.

That story of yours is the
funniest thing I ever heard.

- Jenny.

Listen to this.

Dear Howard, I am writing to you

because I don't know where to turn.

Every day, my daughter breaks my heart.

She's only 19, but her
life is already over.

She's a drug-addicted prostitute

and the mother of a two-year-old girl.

I am at my wit's end with her,

but your show gives me hope.

- Oh.

- This is it.

I mean, this is the one.

I can help these people.

I can put the daughter
through a treatment program.

I can show the audience what the cost

of prostitution is, and I can give Sadie

ratings to die for.

- I love subways.

You get all those suits down there

in the filth and darkness rubbing elbows

with the derelicts and the rest

of the sewage from the slums.

It's the same thing in talk.

We take the audience for a tour

of the underbelly, the lower depths,

and we introduce them
to the ghetto garbage

and the trailer trash.

And then we send them back to their clean,

safe little lives.

That's why this piece of yours is perfect.

The audience can shake its head.

Isn't that tragic?

Then go to sleep happy because it's not

their daughter who's
out hooking for a fix.

So how did you talk this
girl into coming on the show?

- Oh, um, well, I haven't
actually spoken with her.

I spoke to her mom,
and her mom seemed to--

- Wait a minute.

You come in here, and you tell me you

want to build a whole
show around this girl

and her family, and now you're telling me

you haven't even talked to her?

- Sadie, nobody knows
exactly where she is.

If you just give me a few days,

I'm sure--
- Forget it.

Your show tapes on Friday.

You find another girl.

(phone buzzes)

Or find another job.

I'm in a meeting.

It's for you.

- Hello?

Sadie, Sadie, it's the mother.

It's her.

Yes, um, this is Diane Shepherd.

- [Woman] Oh, thank God!

- Have you found Kelly yet?

- [Woman] Well, she's here,
but her pimp's with her.

And I'm scared, and she's
looking really sick.

And he's trashing the
place looking for money.

I've never--

(dial tone humming)

(dramatic music)

- Okay, this girl may
balk at doing the show.

If she does, figure out what she wants

and then you offer it to her.

Remember to wait for the camera crew.

They spend a lot of time on the streets.

They know how to handle themselves,

so don't go in without them, okay?

- Okay.

- Oh, here.

- Thanks.
- All right.

Good luck.

(tense music)

(speaking in foreign language)

- Check it out.

(dramatic music)

(baby crying)

(people yelling)

- [Man] Here we go, my fault.

(something breaking)
It's always my fault!

Oh, it's never your fault.

(people yelling)

- [Man] Yeah?

- Um hello, is this the Reilly residence?

- I don't know, might be.

Hey, uh, uh, Brenda.

What's your last name?

- [Brenda] I want you outta here!

- [Woman] Reilly.

- Looks like you came to the right place.

- I tossed the whole room
- Uh huh.

- and nothing.

Who's that?

- [Man] I don't know.

- Hi, I'm Diane Shepherd.

- What did you get?

What did you dig up?

- Nothing.

- Nothing?
- Nothing.

- You wouldn't happen to have a little

something you could loan us?

See, we're experiencing a
little cash flow problem,

and Kelly here needs some groceries.

Don't you, honey?

- Sorry, I spent all my
money on the cab over here.

- Cab fare.

It's terrible, isn't it,
what them cabbies charge?

Nothing less than highway robbery.

I'll tell you what, why don't you take

a little look-see in that purse of yours

just to kinda make sure?

Thank you.

- That's it?

That's all?

Two lousy dollars?

Boy, you travel light, don't you, honey?

- Just like my mama
said, you want something

done right, do it yourself!


- Did you say who you are?

- Diane Shepherd.

I'm a producer from the Howard Grant Show.

I'd like to talk to you
about being a guest.

- That's real funny, Mom,

but I got an even better idea.

Why don't we all go on
American's Funniest Home Videos

and give the folks a real laugh.

- Kelly, they want to put
you in a treatment program.

They can help you get clean,

help you get little Joey back.

- Uh, a treatment program.

I haven't heard that one before.

- [Grandmother] We just want our sweet

little girl back again.

- Well, you know what I want?

I just want to get well.

- [Grandmother] Hey you, get outta there!

You know you're not welcome here!

How can you let him do this?

I held you, and I loved
you when you were a baby.

When you took off with Jeri,

I was always here for you!

- That's the problem!

If you weren't always trying to take

her away from me, maybe I'd--

- You were the one that was
always fightin' with her.

- Shut up!

You're always doing this!

You're tearing me to pieces!

You're always like this!

Go ahead, cry, cry, Mom!

Cry, cry!

Oh baby, let's split.

- Oh, Brenda, Brenda.

10, 15, 20.

20 bucks.

It's a start, right?

What did you say you did again?

- She just wants to
put me on some TV show.

- Oh yeah?

- The Howard Grant Show.

- No kiddin'?

I know that show.

I know that show.

Well, you know, you should
be talkin' to me then,

'cause I'm Kelly's, I'm
her business manager.

How much they pay for one of them--

- That is none of your business.

- Hey!

What do they pay for one of
those uh guest appearances?

- Well, um, ordinarily,
we don't pay our guests.

We just give them an opportunity

to talk about whatever's bothering them.

- Yeah, yeah, but you wouldn't be opposed

to a little, uh, what's the word?

Help me out with this will ya?


A little honorarium.

- Dwayne, please.

I gotta go.

- I know, I know!

I am just having a little
business conversation, all right?

- No, it's not all right.

I am sick.

I have to go.

- Okay, okay.

- We've been here for hours.

- We gotta go.

We have to go on a little shopping trip.

Why don't you come along with us?

This way, we can continue
our little negotiation.

You want her on the show or not?

(tense music)

- Maybe, maybe we should wait for my car.

- I can't wait.
- Can you believe this?

- [Kelly] I can't wait.

- It never fails.

When you don't want a cab,

the streets run yellow
with the damn things!

(horn honking)


Am I poison?

(Dwayne whistles)

All right, here we go.

- Wow, wait a minute.

That's not a cab.
- Sure it is, sure it is.

- No, it's not a cab.
- That is what you call

a entrepreneur, doesn't waste his time

on details like stupid paint jobs.

- [Diane] But I don't think you sh.

- Hang on.

Avenue M and 14th Street.

Now, where were we?

Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.

See what you've got to realize
is that Kelly is special.

She is just, she's real class.

She does not work the streets anymore.

Not since I've become
her business manager.

All of our business is strictly

by appointment only, if
you catch my meanin'.

The way I figure it is she is worth

so much more than any
garden variety hooker

that you're just gonna pick up

on some street corner.

- Listen, buddy, I just remembered.

They got Central all blocked up.


We're gonna have to go
the long way around.

- The long way?

- [Driver] Gonna have to charge you more.

- Really?

- [Driver] 20 bucks.

- No kiddin'.

Well, whatever you think is fair.

(dramatic music)

- What are you doing?
- Where I come from,

a deal's a deal.
- What are you doing?

What is he doing?
- But one thing I can

not abide by is a cheat.

So now I'm afraid I'm gonna have to ask

you to pull over.

- Oh God, please.

- Frisk him.

Uh uh.

- Ha ha!


- Are you offering me a cash settlement

over our little business dispute?

- Whatever you want, mister.
- But you know something,

it's not enough.

Now, if you were to throw in the car,

I might see my way clear
of calling us even.

- Sure, mister, sure.

- Oh, so we have a deal then?

- [Driver] Whatever you want, mister.

- Good, you just open
up your car door there

and let yourself out.

(dramatic music)

Pleasure doing business with ya.

So you understand what I'm saying, right?

That Kelly is just a very special girl,

and I think she deserves more than what

an ordinary guest would get.

Wouldn't you say?

- I do.

I do, but like I was trying to say before,

we don't ordinarily...

You know what, I'm sure that we could

come up with some sort of an arrangement.

- Good.


I was thinkin', I don't know, five.

- Well, I'd have to
talk to my boss, but I--

- I ain't goin' on no TV show.

- Pleasure doing business with ya.

And now, if you will excuse us,

we have another little piece
of business to conduct inside.

Be right back.

Hey, it's Dwayne, open up!

Oh ho, what's up?

(bottle breaking)

- [Diane] No!

- Open up the door!

Open the door!

- Jimmy, hi, it's Diane.

(horn honking)

- Diane!

Are you all right?

- Yeah, Jimmy, I'm fine.

Quick, get out of the car.

I want to get some footage of this guy.

Oh come on, quick, before he gets away!

Please, hurry!

- Dear Howard, I am writing
to you because I don't

know where to turn
(phone ringing)

- Cut.

- God.
- What?

- I'm so sorry.
- Jimmy, dammit.

- What?



Diane, it's for you.

- Shepherd.

- [Sadie] Diane.

- Oh, Sadie, hi.

Yeah, yeah, I've been
trying to get in touch

with you all morning.

- Well, I understand you had
another little adventure.

- Yeah.

I know, the video crew hadn't shown up.

- Did we have a conversation about backup,

or did I just imagine it?

- Oh, I know.

I'm sorry, Sadie, I am.

- [Sadie] Why did you call?

- Okay, um, well, Kelly's boyfriend,

he wants $500, and I don't know what to do

because at Margolis we had a policy

never to pay our guests.

- Yeah, well, the money's on the way.

Get back to work.

- [Diane] Okay.

Where did she go?

- She's inside.

She's having second thoughts.

- [Diane] What?

- You really think it's best?

- I know it is.

(gentle music)

This is right for Kelly.

It's gonna help her.

It's gonna help a lotta people.

Jeri, just think about it.

Think about the people watching the show.

If it turns around just one girl

who is heading in the
direction that Kelly was,

who knows, maybe it'll
keep a Dwayne out there

from exploiting a young girl like Kelly.

This is so important, Jeri.

It's important for Kelly.

It's important for you.

It's important for Brenda.

It's important for so many
people you don't even know.

- All right.

But you know I don't read so well.

Maybe you could just get
Howard to read my letter?

- Oh no, you have to read it.

You read it so beautifully.

They're your words.

Just think about how you felt

when you wrote them, okay?

You hold onto that, and
everything'll be perfect.

- You talk to these girls
with such understanding,

and you treat them like human beings

instead of garbage that
belongs in the gutter.

So I know you will hear me too.

Please, Howard, help me save my daughter.

Help me stop the pain.

(Jeri crying)
- Uh, cut.


Hey, you okay?
- I'm sorry.

- No.
- No, I just have such

a hard time talking about this.

- You were beautiful.

You were just beautiful.

Uh, look, why don't you go back up

to your apartment, okay?

We'll be up to tape you
and Brenda together.

All right, um, let's get some B roll.

Uh, the streets, garbage piles,

anything that'll give us a sense of place.

- Okay.

One, two, three, four, five.

- Listen, are you sure
she's okay about this?

- Oh yeah, of course she is, of course.


If she gives you any trouble at all.

You just, you know, you just talk to me.


- Sure he talked to me, nice and sweet.

Said if I don't do it, he'd kill me.

- Well he was kidding, right?

- I said, "What am I,
a freak in a sideshow?"

He says, "If you don't do it,

"you're gonna be a side
of beef in a meat locker."

That's a big joke, huh?

Look, I'll do it.

Get the old broads off my back.

I mean, why should I even care, right?

- Because you should care.

Kelly, this is gonna give you a chance

to get your life back.

- When you get to where I am,

you don't go back.

I'm on the express, one
way to the end of the line.

It don't matter what I do.

They're not stoppin' the train for me.

Will you give me a sec, okay.

I gotta fix my face.

- Kelly?

- [Kelly] Yeah?

- Oh, I'm sorry.

We just, we really have to roll.

(Kelly coughing)

Are you okay?

- I'm fine now.

Let's just get this over with.

- Smile.

Yeah, that's a pretty picture.

Hey, is this all there is to this?

- [Diane] Jimmy, please.

Can you take care of this?

- [Dwayne] I can do this.

- Okay, Kelly, please
sit in the red chair.

- Oh God.

Kelly, not for the interview.

- Do you have no respect?

You do this terrible thing to yourself

in my house, in my bathroom?

- All right, Brenda.

Um, Jeri, I need you to wait

in the other room, okay, until we're done.

It's just that Kelly's gonna have a really

hard time with this, and I don't want

her to be distracted.


Thank you.


Are we rolling?
- Um hmm.

- Did you shoot up before this interview?

- It's good.

- Why, Kelly?

- Mm.

Look around you.

- Kelly?


- Hmm?

- Kelly, why are you here?

- On TV?

- No, why are you here with your family?

- I needed some money.

- Does your family give
you money to buy drugs?

- No.

I take it.

- How do you feel about that?

(dramatic music)

What about prostitution, Kelly,

how does that make you feel?

Do you ever feel, uh?

- Why do you keep on asking me how I feel?

I don't feel anything.

- Kelly.


- Honey.

- What's happening?

- She's fine.

- Oh my God.

Oh my God, is she overdosing?

- Open your eyes, come on.

No, she's fine.

- Kelly?
- Kelly?

- [Dwayne] She's fine.

She's fine.

- Oh God, Jimmy, call 911.

(everyone yelling)
- She's fine!

- No, Mom, he was right.

She was fine.

She just passed out.

Thank you.

Well, no, that's the whole point here.

We're trying to get her to
top being the victim, Mom.

Mom, it's best if I don't talk

to you during work, okay?


Yeah, I'm sorry.

I'm just, I'm under a lot of pressure.

I was up all night.

I was editing the videotape, and. (sighs)

Look, my boss is coming in.

I gotta go, okay?

I'll call ya later.

Yes, I love you too.


- That's it?

- Um, well, no, there's more crying

at the tail end of the tape.

- (sighs) Play it out.

Lay some music over it,
something plaintive.

You dig up anything on her kid?

- Well, I spoke with social services,

and the record's sealed.

- Keep pushing.

There may be some way around that.

Okay, now, I want to intercut some footage

of Kelly working on the street.

Do you have anything we can use?

- Not yet, but I am meeting her and Dwayne

tonight at his office.

- His office?

- A street corner in the Bronx.

- What makes you think they'll show?

- I had to offer a little incentive.

- Well, make sure we
get our money's worth.

One last thing, I want you to track down

a recovered addict that we can plant

in the audience.

You know, toss in a bone of hope.

- Three months?

Yeah, no, unfortunately, I need somebody

who is clean a little longer
than just three months.

Yes, of course I understand.

(sexy music)

But if she's willing to come on.

Uh, could you hold on?

- You Miriam?

- Hi, I'm back.


Yeah, so if she's willing
to appear on the show,

it would be great.

- I'm Lana.

- Oh, Miriam Reeder.

Have a seat.

- Thanks.

- So did Jimmy explain the segment to you?

- Yeah, housewives who strip? (laughs)

Your kids?

- Uh huh.

- Oh, they're really cute, yeah.

So Jimmy told me that you're the one

who did the shows on body piercing

and boyfriends who couldn't get enough?

Ah! (laughs)

I really loved that one.

- Yeah, I'm the resident pervert.

- No kiddin'.

- Okay, gang, I'm takin' orders.

Miriam, what can I get ya?

- Uh, boys of the Purple Pussycat.

They're always rowdy.

And horny.
(Lana laughing and snorting)

- You got it.

You know, for an extra buck,

you can upgrade to a combo and get

fries and a drink with that.

Enh, hee, hee.


- [Diane] You know what, I'm
sorry, I don't understand.

- What kind of audience do you want

for your hooker show, you know?

- (laughs) You're telling me
I can specify an audience?

- Sure.

You know, we aim to
please and all that, eh?

- Yeah, but at Margolis, we just had

to take pot luck.

- Sadie doesn't like to
leave anything to chance.

- You got that right.

You want college kids?

We got sororities and
frat houses we go to.

You want the mature conservative types?

We go to church groups.

You want large people?

We hang out at the hot dog vendors.

You want johns looking to pick
up transvestite prostitutes?

We head down to 42nd Street.

You want Bible--
- Jenny?

- What's with her?


Was it something I said?

(Jenny sniffling)

- They aired the show I
did on battered wives.

And one of the guests...

- What is it?

Jenny, come on, it's okay.


It's okay.

- Her husband saw the show,

and he beat her up,

and she's in intensive care.

And they don't know if
she'll make it. (crying)

- I'm sorry, come here.

I'm sorry.

- Jenny.

Did you beat up that woman?

Of course you didn't.

You placed her in a halfway house,

but she ran back to her husband, sweetie.

So who's responsible
for what happened, huh?

She is.

She knew what he was.

But she went back to him anyway,

in spite of everything
you tried to do for her.

The people we deal with are victims,

and they will always be victims.

The only mistake you made was to get

involved emotionally.

Come on.

Let's tie one on.

What do you think?


(sad music)

- [Prostitute] Hey, baby.

What you want, baby, huh?

- Okay, cut.

- What do you say we call it quits?

We've got enough footage here for a movie.

- Yeah.

Okay, let me just try and talk

to our friend Dwayne one more time.

(pulsing music)

Dwayne, it's 1:30, where is she?

- You're kiddin' me, already?

I don't have a.

Well, it's probably like I told you.

She probably got all tied up

in a business meeting. (laughs)

- Really?

Well, that's what you
told me two hours ago.

Forget it.

We're outta here.

- Wait, wait.


I just had an idea.

You know something?

You don't even really need Kelly.

Lemme, lemme introduce you to Constance.


Now, she's freelance, but she has agreed

to commission me on this.

Turn around, honey.


- Forget it, Dwayne.

There's no deal.

You either deliver Kelly
or the whole thing is off.

- Tough chick.


- I am sorry, but we have
a strict policy, Lurleen.

No teeth, no talk.

Ye, yes, I know.

I know, but we can't.

As I said, we do have a strict policy.

We have standards here
at the Howard Grant Show.

- Producers of this show
have only one job, Diane,

and that is to make me happy.

Do I look happy?

(phone buzzes)

I told you, no interruptions.

Put her on.

I am not interested in
sick children, Miriam,

yours or anyone else's.

I am interested in your show.

It is taping tonight at nine,

with or without you.

Which will it be?

- I am going to give you
another chance, Diane.

I am going to let you
take over Miriam's show.

- Housewives that strip?

- Jeffrey Madden from corporate

is paying us a surprise visit tonight,

and I want this show to be perfect.


- Yes, Sadie, but I really don't think--

- Get Miriam's book and get on it.

- Okay, Teri, you have
to help me out here.

Miriam has you down as an expert

for the stripper show.

- Um hmm.

It's you scratch my
back, I'll scratch yours.

One of us comes up short a guest

or an expert, the other steps in.

I've been a guest twice now.

This is my first time as an expert.

- Fine, but what makes you--
- an expert?

I had breast reduction
surgery a few years ago,

so Miriam thought that I'd be

the perfect candidate for--
- Phone, Diane.

The phone!
- I'm coming.


Yes, this is Diane.

Oh hi, yes, of course.

Of course, I understand, but how long

do you really think you're gonna be

able to keep this a secret?

Can you hold on?

I think I'm losing a guest.

- No you're not.

Open the prize closet.

Offer her an extra day
or two and just see.

If that doesn't work,
throw some money at her,

but don't even think about telling

me you've lost her.


We need to talk.

- Hi, um, you know, I'm thinking that

it's probably just stage fright.

What could I possibly do to make this

a little easier for you?

- I want to hear right on, brother.

Tell it like it is, girl.

You better start talkin' to my hand,

'cause my face just stopped listenin'

a half an hour ago to what
you all started sayin'.

(audience laughing)

I want everyone to say hello

to my main man Keith.

- [Audience] Hi, Keith.

- All right, Keith is gonna help you out.

So every time you see
my man Keith do this,

we expect to hear from you.

(audience cheering)

Ladies and gentlemen of New York City,

without further ado, put your hands

and feet together for a warm welcome

to the one, the only, the dashing,

the daring, compassionate and caring

all-around guru of television talk show

Howard Grant!

(upbeat music)
(audience applauding)

- Camera two, give me a waister on Howard.

Take two.

Ready one.

Take one.

Key Lana.

32, take two.

Camera three, tighten up on Howard.

Tighten up.

Ready one, take one.

- A week doesn't go by without one

of our competitors staging
a show just like this.

- We've got a few new wrinkles.

Haven't we, Diane?

- I better go prep the next guest.

(audience applauding)

- I bloomed kinda young, you know.

And the guys, I mean, they were

always like at me, and you know,

I figured, you know,
when opportunity knocked.

I mean, (laughs) hello, why not?

(audience applauding)

- Why not?

- Camera three's out of focus.

That operator's history.

I want him off the stage now!
- Lana, even without knowing

your husband, I think we can safely assume

he's a very understanding fellow.

Let's say hi to Pete.

(audience applauding)

Thanks for joining us, Pete.

- [Man In Audience] You're a lucky guy!

- Now, before we go any
further, I have to ask.

It doesn't bother you seeing your wife

take off her clothes in
front of all those other men?

- She can go right ahead.

They can slobber all they want.

(audience laughs)

'Cause they're just a bunch of hogs

gatherin' at the trough.

(audience applauding)

I can tell you, this ole boy's the only

one that ever gets the slop.

Ain't that right, honey?

(audience applauding)

- And I thought romance was dead.

- Listen to this.

Tell him how we met, go on.

- Well, I guess you could say that Lana

here was my birthday present.

- Ta-da.

- [Pete] A bunch of boys
got together, you know.

- They hired her to strip at your party?

- Actually, it was a little bit more

intimate than that.

(audience oohs)

(Pete laughs)

- BJ. (laughs)

- There's an idea for a show,

housewives who hook.

Or have we already done that one?

- Intimate.


- I've got something to say to Lana.

How can you let him treat
you like a piece of meat?

- [Audience] Aww!

- You're just jealous!

I'll tell her.

- And you, Howard.

I used to admire you, but
now you're like all the rest.

You demean women.

You demean the human race!

- Damn, mark that comment
right after piece of meat.

We'll cut the rest in post.
- Lana's husband is completely

comfortable with her line of work,

but some of our guests perform

without their husband's knowledge.

(audience groans)

- I just know how he's gonna take it.

- Um, well, just, you know, relax.

I'm sure it'll be fine
once you get out there.

- Okay.

- When we come back,
we'll answer the question

what happens when the unsuspecting hubby

discovers that the little
woman moonlights as a stripper?

- [Director] 31.

(audience applauding)
- When we come back.

(dramatic music)

Let's give a nice hello to Shelley.

(audience applauding)

- You're gonna be great.

Go on, good luck.

- Hello, Shelley, welcome
to the Howard Grant Show.

Now, you're a secretary?

- During the day.

(audience laughing)

- I'm curious.

How did you go from taking dictation

in an office to taking
your clothes off in a bar?

- Well, it was my
surgery, really. (laughs)

Well, you know, it's like
when you get a new car.

It don't mean much if you can't,

you know, show it off a little bit.

So when I got my new boobs,

I just sorta wanted to share them.

(audience cheering)

- I've never been on TV before.

- Shh, shh.

- But your husband doesn't know.

- About my boobs?

(audience laughing)
- No, about your stripping.

- Oh.


(throat clears) No.

I wasn't sure how he was gonna take it.

- Shall we find out?

- [Audience] Yes!

(audience applauding)

- I've got all my friends
and relatives watching.

- We've had Shelley's husband in isolation

backstage, but now we're gonna ask

him to join us.

Ladies and gentlemen, let's give Bill

a big round of applause.

(audience applauding)

- You'll be great.

Good luck.

- [Director] See Bill.

Ready two, take two.

- Ambush.


There's outlaws up that canyon, cowboy.

- That's it, Tex.

You're outta here.

- [Howard] Welcome to
the Howard Grant Show.

- [Jeffrey] Move!

- [Howard] We've asked
you here because your wife

has a secret she wants to share with you.

Any idea what it is?

- See ya, Jer.

- I don't know.

(audience chuckles)

- I'll give you a hint.

Shelley's been moonlighting lately

to bring in a little
extra cash, hasn't she?

(audience laughing)

- Yeah, she's been waitressing.

The pays good.

It pays good too.

- That's what she's been telling you.

How would you like to know what she's

really been doing?

- I don't get it.

- Why don't we let her show you.


(audience applauding)

(sexy music)

- What is he doing?

He's not supposed to do that.

- That's enough.

(Shelley screams)

- [Howard] Come on, wait a second.

(punch slamming)

- Oh God, get Howard out of this!


- Oh, this is great!
- Yes!

- This is what talk's all about.

- [Director] If Howard leaves that stage,

I will personally murder him!

- Uh, I told you we had some new wrinkles.

- Come on!

- [Director] Camera four,
move right in there.

Get Howard.

- [Security Guard] Let's go.

Right now, right now!

- Sit down.

I'm all right.

- [Jimmy] Hey.

So what are you gonna do with the money?

- What money?

- Didn't you know?

There's a $500 bonus for
any on-the-air fights.

Keep up the good work and even Sadie'll

have to start watching her back.


(Sadie chuckles)

Terrific show.

- Mm.

- [Jimmy] Well, no rest for the wicked.

- Congratulations.

You won Madden's heart.

I know it's a very small
prize, but it matters.

It's gotten to you, hasn't it?

You feel what, unclean?

- This just isn't what I came here to do.

- Mm, you know what your trouble is,

you're an idealist.

You think you can do shows to improve

people's lives, but you can't.

There's no audience for it.

Everything in talk is entertainment.

Everybody in the business is a whore.

But there is a bright side.

We're highly paid whores.

(slow music)

(machine beeps)

- [Diane's Mother] Diane, it's Mom.

I just wanted to remind
you about Daddy's birthday.

Now, the party's at two,
so why don't you call

and surprise him when
everyone's here, okay?

We love you.


(machine beeps)

- Diane, it's Jenny.

Nothing special.

I guess (sighs) I just felt like talking.

I'll catch you at the office.

(hand knocking)

- Who is it?

- [Jimmy] Diane, it's Jimmy.

- Jimmy?

(gentle music)

- Hi.

I was just leaving the studio when--

- It's Kelly.

She's in jail.

- It was right after
we left the apartment.

Dwayne, he sees him coming,

and he fades away like he was never there.

I figured it was the
usual roundup, you know?

In and out in a couple of hours,

but no, it was that cabbie.

Oh God.

- Could we get some help?

Could somebody help us, please!

- You get me out of here!

- I can't.

It took me all day just to get in.

Are you gonna be okay?

- Yeah, I feel great.

- I'm very sorry.

I mean, I really wish there was

something I could do for you.

- There is.

You could get me out of here.

Mom said you could get me out.

- I can't get you out.

Kelly, if she said that,

she just, she misunderstood, all right?

I told her that I could propose

a satellite remote.

- A what?

- Well, I could interview you live in jail

while talking to your family on the show.

But then, you know, we could go in front

of the judge and offer to put you

in a treatment program
maybe instead of jail time.

- Yeah, but what am I supposed

to do in the meantime?

Ow. (crying)
- I don't know.

Hang in there, I guess.

I don't know what to tell you.

- This treatment program,
they got methadone?

- I don't know.

- [Man] Forget it.

I'm not gonna let you people
play God with this girl.

- [Diane] But we're
not trying to play God.

- [Man] I'm due in court.

- Please just hear me out.

- Look, you want to help this girl?

- Yes.

- Then don't humiliate
her by putting her on TV.

Let nature and the legal
system take their course.

Let her go cold turkey.

It'll give her something to think about

next time she thinks about
sticking a needle in her arm.

- That's just it.

We want to put her in a treatment program.

- Hey look, do I look like
some kind of idiot here?

In a couple of days, the assistant DA's

gonna show up and he's gonna say Jack,

what can we do?

And I'm gonna say Mike,
the jails are overcrowded,

and the only person this girl's ever hurt

is herself, so why don't we do

everybody a favor, and we'll put her

into a treatment program in lieu of jail.

Great idea, he says.

Nice talkin' to ya.

By then, she'll have gone cold turkey.

She'll be off the stuff.

She'll go in clean, maybe even have some

chance of going all the way.

And she won't have the
memory of going on TV

and rubbing her face in her dirt!

What are you gonna call this anyway?

I was a teenage junkie?

- [Diane] The satellite
remotes, it's not happening.

- [Sadie] Why not?

- Well, her public defender's against it

and so's the jail.

- Bail her out.

- What?

Wait a minute, Sadie.

Wouldn't that be crossing
some sort of a line?

- You're going soft on me?

You crossed a line when
you paid off her pimp.

You crossed another line when
you witnessed that carjacking.

Now you're worried
about fronting her bail?

- I know, it's just that I don't know--

- Diane, if you look
at it with a clear head

you'll see that there really aren't

any lines, just frontiers.

You want to succeed in
talk, you gotta keep

pushing them back.

Bail her out.

- Okay, okay.

It's just that the court's closed now.

- Well then tomorrow.

And Diane?

- Yeah?

- You haven't forgotten about the station

manager's party, have you?

(dial tone humming)

- I've always prided
myself on being in touch,

but the landscape of talk has changed,

and you can bet the Howard
Grant Show's gonna change too.

- [Sadie] Regarding Howard's
longevity and the fact

that his ratings are rising.

- I'm telling you, Sadie, the demographics

get younger every day.

They don't want Howard.

They want Ricki or Howard's son.

- Yes, well you know what
you have to understand

is that our owners are farmers.

- Farmers.

- Big farmers, but they're
still good old boys

with good old fashioned
values, and I got the--

- Tell me those old fashioned values

do include appreciation of
the bottom line, don't they?

- Yes, sir, they do.

And that's my second point.

Our big sponsors are getting cold feet

and starting to pull out.

- Uh huh, and for every
one that pulls out,

there are two or three
others standing in line

waiting to step in.

- Everything's always
threatening to fall apart,

but, at the last minute, you manage

to pull it out of the toilet.

It's a constant rush.

I can't wait until I become a producer.

The critics can say what they want,

but we're dealing with stuff
the average Joe cares about.

Bosnia, the bond market?

They don't care about that stuff.

They care about the
stuff that impacts them,

the stuff talk deals with.

- Right.

- And Sadie, woo.

She's tough, but you know what?

You gotta be.

And she cares too.

When she saw that thing
upset Jenny the other day,

she took care of her.

I tell ya, I'm right where I want to be.

Right in the thick of it.

- Jimmy, I'm sorry can you excuse me?

I just want to go talk
to Jenny for a minute.

- Sure.

- Jenny!

- [Man] Whoa, what's the matter with you?

- Sorry, I'm sorry.

- Oh, don't be, I'm grateful.

- You're grateful?

- Yes, for the opportunity to meet

such a lovely young woman.

I'm Mark Holston.

- Diane Shepherd.

- Oh, you're Diane.

Oh, I understand Sadie
has great hopes for you.

- Oh, no, I mean, I'm new.

I'm just sort of feeling
my way through, you know.

- Well, we're soul mates then.

- Oh no, I mean, you're a lawyer,

and you don't go through...


- Diane, have you been spying on me?

- No, no.

I just.

Well, of course, I know who you are.

I mean, I know about the
case that you won, and--

- And?

- (laugh) I just, I know
about you and Sadie.

- Ah, then you have been spying on me.

- No.

No, no.

- It's okay.

Because we're soul mates, I forgive you.

You know, I think you and I
should get together for dinner.

Then you could tell me all about yourself.

I could tell you all about myself,

and then you could give
up your career as a spy.

- (laughs) That's sweet.

I don't think Sadie would like that.

- Well, Sadie doesn't have to know.

- Oh now, I couldn't do that, Mark.

- Oh sure you could.

You know, people do it all the time.

- Mark.

- Sadie.

- We have to talk.

- You'll excuse me, won't you?

- Oh yes.

(glass tinkling)

- Ladies and gentlemen.

Thank you, Jenny.

We've got a little program planned,

so if you'll gather around the monitors,

we'll get started.

Maestro, if you will.

- Where's Sadie?

- Oh, I, I'm not sure.

I just saw her--
- Find her.

She's up right after the clips.

- [Announcer] For 15
years now, America has

trusted Howard Grant to bring it the most

compelling programming in talk TV.

Whether the issue is
race or relationships,

the politics of this nation.

- [Sadie] You can't talk
yourself out of this.

- Sadie?

- [Mark] Don't you think
you're overreacting?

- [Sadie] I had to stand there and listen

politely while that tramp bragged

about sleeping with you.

- [Mark] It meant nothing, all right.

It was just sex.

- [Sadie] How many of
these sweet little nothings

have you got, Mark?

A station manager here,
a legal secretary there.

- [Mark] Sadie, I'm telling you.

- [Sadie] No!

I am telling you, Mark.

You can forget about us,
if there ever was an us.

And you can forget about the show too,

Because as of this
moment, you are history!

- [Mark] You know, you
were always history, Sadie,

old, dusty and dull.

- [Announcer] Have watched
their ratings plummet

in the course of the last few years.

Howard's ratings among women 18 to 49

have actually risen during
the same period of time.

The Howard Grant Show, it simply doesn't

get any better than this.

- All right, everyone, sit down.

I'm all right.

- [Announcer] Howard Grant,
all right with America.

(people clapping)
- Yeah!

- She was safe in jail, from a pimp,

from a habit, from herself.

Now you just spent $8,000
to put her at risk again!

- No, no, no, no, I promise you,

she's gonna be safe with us.

We're gonna place her in a--

- You're gonna place her back

in the same hell she just left!

Now, that is not bail money!

That is blood money!

(gentle music)

- What's this?

- It's my apartment.

The show usually provides the guests

with a hotel room.

I thought you'd be more comfortable here.

- What's the matter, you figure I'm gonna

run off or somethin'?

- [Diane] Look, they told me
to keep an eye on you, okay?

I could've put you in a hotel room

with a body guard, all right?

- Whatever.


Nice place.

- Oh, um, thanks.

It's just a sublet.

Um, listen, make yourself at home, okay?

I just, um, I gotta make a phone call.

Happy birthday, Daddy!

Oh yeah, I know.

I'm sorry I missed your party.

He what?

(laughs) I don't believe it.

In front of everybody?

I can't believe I missed that.

Oh, that is so embarrassing!

Um, you know what?

I have someone here, so I just called

to wish you a happy birthday and tell you

that I love you very, very much.


Yes, I'll be careful.

I love you too.


- He sounds like a nice guy or something.

- Yeah, yeah, he is.

- Yeah well, I don't believe in nice guys.

I never met one that
didn't want somethin'.

- You know, not everybody
is out for themselves.

- Yeah?

Yeah well, what about you, huh?

You're being all nicey
nice, but it isn't real.

You just want something.

You're just like, like those johns

that tell me how pretty I am

and wonder what a girl like me

is doing out on the street.

- No.

I mean, yeah, I want you on the show,

but I also care about what happens to you.

- N-n-n-n-no, everybody's
the same, all right?

I go on the show tomorrow.

I do my little act.

Your boss pats you on the back,

and it's on to the next one.

Goodbye, Kelly.

Hello, whoever.

Have you got something to eat?

I'm starvin'.

I mean, it's always like
this when I come down.

I can never get enough to eat.

- So you've been clean before?

- Um hmm.

When I was pregnant, I went cold turkey.

I didn't want my kid born a junkie.

Have you seen her picture?

- Yeah.

- She's cute, isn't she?

- She's beautiful.

So um, why,

why did you go back to the drugs?

I mean, how could you let
your little girl go like that?

- What was I gonna do for her?

You know me a junkie, no job,

no education, no home.

What was I gonna do for her?

- It doesn't have to be that way.

- Yes, it does.

It does have to be that way.

- No, no, it doesn't.

You could help yourself.

You could go to a treatment program.

You could go to school--

- Yeah, what do you know about it?

You've never had that needle in your arm.

We're sitting here talking about my kid,

my child, all right.

And what am I thinking about?

I'm thinking about that needle.

I'm thinking about how just a spoonful

of that white sugar will
make all of this go away.

See, I don't want to care.

I don't want to care about anything.

- But you do.

I know that you do.

So do I.

- Hello.

Have you suffered brain death?

Of course we're going ahead.

- Sadie, I am not suggesting
that we shouldn't.

I'm just saying that she seems
a little fragile, you know.

I'm concerned about what could
happen to her afterwards.

- She's going into a rehab program.

- Or she could end up back on the streets.

- Uh, that's exactly where you found her.

Look, the bottom line, I don't care

what happens to her
and neither should you.

You book 'em, interview
'em, get rid of 'em.

Bing, bang, boom.

- Jenny?

Jenny, hi.

Wait a second, I, I've been really

worried about you, you know?

- [Jenny] I'm fine.

- Oh, I.

I just, I've been feeling like
I let you down the other day.

- I'm fine, really.

Sadie was right.

It was bound to happen anyways.

It was just a mistake to
get so emotionally involved.

I gotta run.

I'll catch you later, okay?

- So I said to him, "Ted
don't you have any pride?

"How could you ride my
shirt tails like this?"

- [Sadie] Where's the kid, Diane?

I don't see any sign of her here.

- Right, I told you,
the record was sealed.

- And I told you there
was a way around that.

- Look, Sadie, I thought about it,

and I really don't think we should

subject Kelly to that kind of emotional--

- I have already briefed
Howard on this one.

Could we read through it?

- As many of you know, I have for years

tried to focus attention on the plague

of drugs devastating
the youth of our nation.

It is a plague with many symptoms:

AIDS, violent crime, prostitution.

- Pick up the pace, Howard, and give me

a pause before prostitution.

- As many of you know, I have for years

tried to focus attention on the plague

of drugs devastating the youth.

- [Announcer] The Howard Grant Show!

(audience applauding)

- Hi.

You all right?

- Got anymore of those candy bars?

- (laughs) All right, I'll talk to Jimmy.

You sure you're up to this?

- What kind of question is that?

Like I'm gonna back out now?

And then what?

Go back to jail?

I'm cool.

You just take care of those
candy bars, all right?

- As many of you know,
I have for years now

tried to focus attention on the plague

of drugs devastating
the youth of our nation.

It is a plague with many symptoms:

AIDS, violent crime, prostitution.

In fact, a shockingly high percentage

of the prostitutes on our streets

are there simply to feed their habit.

Not long ago, the mother of one such girl

wrote me a letter.

Dear Howard,

I am writing to you because I don't know

where else to turn.

- Every day, my daughter breaks my heart.

She's only 19, but her
life is already over.

She is a drug-addicted prostitute

and the mother of a two-year-old girl.

- [Howard] Like so many
of our young people today,

Kelly started out with
the world all before her.

Then heroine changed her life.

Did you shoot up before this interview?

- [Kelly] Good stuff, actually.

- [Howard] Why, Kelly?

- [Kelly] Look around you.

- [Howard] Kelly plies her trade

from a corner in the Bronx.

- [Kelly] Hey, baby, you
lookin' for some company?

- [Howard] She feeds her habit here

at a nearby crack house.

- [Man] What you need?

Whatever ails you, I got the cure.

- [Howard] She has been
beaten, intimidated,

raped, but nothing slakes her thirst.

Nothing keeps her from coming back.

Kelly and her boyfriend,
Dwayne, have come home

not to see her family but
to scavenge money for drugs.

- [Jeri] Oh yeah?

Well, how about you?

Whose house did she come to to shoot up?

- Well, where was she gonna go?

To you and one of your boyfriends?

- Why not?

(audience murmurs)

- [Howard] Why are you here now?

- I needed some money.

- [Howard] Your family
gives you money for drugs?

- [Kelly] No, I take it.

- [Howard] How do you feel about that?

What about prostitution?

How does that make you feel?

(sad music)

Do you ever feel--

- Why do you keep on asking me how I feel?

I don't, I don't feel anything.


- You talk to these girls
with such understanding,

and you treat them like human beings

instead of garbage that
belongs in the gutter,

so I know (sighs) you will hear me too.

Please, Howard.

Please, Howard, help me save my daughter.

Please stop the pain.

(Jeri crying)

- Ladies and gentlemen,
I'd like you to meet Kelly.

(audience applauding)

Kelly, after seeing yourself like that,

how does it make you feel?

- Ashamed.

- But you're drug free now?

- Yes.

(audience applauding)

- How did she get started?

- How did you get started?

- Um.

I knew this girl at school,

and um, it was a real
rush at first, you know?

But now it's not.

It's work.

It's hard work.

You lie, you cheat, you steal,

you turn tricks, you do whatever.

- And you're gonna stay clean?

- I'm gonna try.

(audience applauding)

- When we come back,
we'll talk with two people

who are determined to
help Kelly keep that vow.

(audience applauding)

- This girl is a gold mine.

You wanted to give up our claim?

(upbeat music)

- Ladies and gentlemen, please
welcome Jeri and Brenda.

(audience applauding)

Have a seat, and welcome
to the Howard Grant Show.

What did you do to try to help Kelly?

- We tried detox.

We tried to get her into
a treatment program, but.

I even tried locking her in her room.

- She's a beautiful girl when she's clean,

but, you know, when she's high she steals.

She steals from me and from Jeri,

and she brings these terrible
people into our homes.

- Kelly, how does that make you feel,

knowing that you put
your family through that?

- Like garbage.

But when you're high, you just don't care.

- But I cared.

I never stopped caring about you.

(Jeri crying)

- You have a child.

- [Kelly] She's in foster care,

but she's clean.

I went off the stuff when
I found out I was pregnant.

- You had her for two months,

and then you went back on the drugs again.

- Yeah, but I loved her.

I still love her.

- Of course you do, Kelly.

I'm just trying to understand here.

- You think I like knowing that she

calls someone else mom?

I just wasn't strong enough.

I just wasn't strong enough.

- Kelly, would you like to see Joey?

Would you like to see
your little girl again?

- Yeah.

- Ladies and gentlemen, we've arranged

a little surprise for Kelly.

Joey's adoptive parents have brought

her here to see Kelly.

So now let's please welcome Lee,

Kathleen and Joey.
- What?

Adoptive parents?

She's in foster care, Mom!

(dramatic music)

(audience applauding)

- Now, bear in mind, Joey doesn't know

that Kelly is her biological mother.

She's been told she's
here to meet her aunt,

so we're depending on
your discretion, audience.

At two, Joey is a bright, lively child

with no sign of addiction.

And now, let's introduce Joey to Kelly.


(Joey crying)

- Joey, it's okay.

It's okay.

It's all right.

Oh, it's okay.

- She isn't very good with strangers.

- She's probably just upset by the crowd.

I'm sure, in time, she'll come round.

Unfortunately, we're out of time.

But before we go, let me just say

that what you have seen here
today is a cautionary tale,

but one that may yet end happily.

Lee and Kathleen have told us

that if Kelly stays clean
and off the streets,

they'll consider letting her visit Joey

from time to time.

Well, until tomorrow,
goodbye and God bless.

(audience applauding)

- [Diane] Why wasn't I told?

- You were getting cold feet,

so I put Jimmy on it.

He's not hamstrung by scruples.

- Sadie, they're people, you know!

They're not puppets!

- That is where you're wrong, Diane.

The are nothing but puppets.

Puppets jerked around by
their pathetic desires.

- I'm gonna go check on her.

- Hey, Diane, great show.

When I grow up, I want
to be just like you.

- Where's Kelly?

- You know that old saying in talk.

In in a limo, out in a taxi.

I sent her home.

- What?

(whistle blowing)

Oh, Kelly!


What happened?

- We, uh, we had words.

- She guessed it.

- That I agreed to the adoption.

I didn't want to, but I couldn't

take care of her myself.

Other foster homes were terrible.

- Okay, okay, just tell
me, where did she go?

- We don't know.

She just grabbed that taxi that the nice

young man just hailed for us.

(dramatic music)

- Sure, I know her.

But I ain't seen her in a couple of weeks.

What can I say?

That's how it is.

See ya, college girl.

Hey, (speaking in foreign language)

- Kelly Lonigan.

Look, I know she comes here all the time.

- You want information, dial zero.

You want a lift, come talk to me.

- Well, maybe, maybe you can
relieve my ignorance, huh?

- I ain't seen her.

(slow music)

- [Kelly] I went off the stuff

when I found out I was pregnant.

- [Howard] And then you
went back on the drugs?

- [Kelly] (crying) Yeah, but I loved her.

I still love her.

- [Howard] Of course you do, Kelly.

I'm just trying to understand here.

- [Kelly] Do you think I like knowing

that she calls someone else mom?

I just wasn't strong enough.

I just wasn't strong enough.

- Would you like to see Joey?

Would you like to see your little girl?

Ladies and gentlemen, we've arranged

a little surprise for Kelly.

Joey's adoptive parents have brought

her here to see Kelly.
- What?

- Please welcome Lee, Kathleen and Joey.

(audience applauding)

Now, bear in mind, Joey doesn't know

that Kelly is her biological mother.

She's been told she's
here to meet her aunt,

so we're depending on
your discretion, audience.

At two, Joey is a bright, lively child

with no sign of addiction.

And now, let's introduce Joey to Kelly.


(Joey crying)

(dramatic music)

- It's okay.

It's okay.

It's all right.

- She's not very good with strangers.

(spoon clattering)

- [Howard] She's probably
just upset by the crowd.

I'm sure in time, she'll come round.

Unfortunately, we are out of time.

(phone rings)

- Hello.

(slow music)

- Yes, I ordered it, for the
hallway outside the stage.

Does it look like it belongs in an office?

Yeah, well, I am not interested
in union regulations.

I am interested in getting the damn thing

out of my office!

- Diane.

We just heard.

I'm so sorry.
- Ugh, he put me on hold.

We did not kill that girl, Diane.

- I've heard the speech, Sadie.

- She killed herself,

and she would've done it if she'd never

heard of you or the Howard Grant Show.

- Maybe.

- We, we deal with people
who are dysfunctional,

and there is nothing that
anyone can do for them.

So let it go.

- I already have.

I'm quitting.

- What?

- I'm quitting.

- I didn't hear that.

I refuse to hear that.

- Well, I guess you'll
just have to be surprised

when I don't show up for work tomorrow.

- [Sadie] Uh ha, you want more money.

- I don't want any more money, Sadie.

I just, I don't want any more.

- How much?

Please, who is it?


I'll double the offer.

Jeffrey, I didn't expect you.

- Are we, uh, losing that girl?

- Of course not.

She's just negotiating.

- Unlike your ex-boyfriend.

- [Sadie] What's this?

- That's a $12 million lawsuit
for wrongful termination.

- He couldn't possibly--

- I hope not, Sadie, for your sake,

because I'm not prepared
to pay $12 million

for an executive producer.

(sad music)

- [Officiant] And I
will dwell in the house

of the Lord forever.


- Amen.

I'm going back to news.

It's where I started,
and it's where I belong.

- But you're doing such
wonderful work with Howard.

We'll never forget what you did for us

and for Kelly.

- Never.

You and Howard were the
only ones who cared.

You were the only ones that even noticed

that she left us.

- You spoke with Howard?

- Yes, he called to offer his condolences,

and he invited us to join
him on the show again.

He said maybe we could help some other

girl in Kelly's situation.

I'm so sorry you won't be there.

Thank you.

You treated Kelly like a human being.

(sad music)

(audience applauding)

- Dwayne under control?
- Jeri, Brenda, thanks

for coming.
- Oh yeah,

I've Jimmy watching him.

- I am so very, very sorry.

Before we begin, I'd like
to share something with you.

You see, the reason I feel so deeply

about Kelly's fate is that I nearly

lost my son, Ted, to drugs some years ago.

- What is he doing?

- Like
- I believe it's called

ad libbing.
- so many other parents,

my wife and I ignored
the early warning signs,

rationalizing Ted's behavior
- What is that going to

do to Ted?
- As nothing more

than adolescent
- Who cares?

- rebellion.
- It's great theater.

- After all, it's a teenager's
- You're right.

- job to be selfish,
- It doesn't get

any better than this.
- withdrawn

- Uh uh.

- [Howard] and secretive.

By the time we woke up, Ted had almost

died from an overdose.

Fortunately, Ted's story had a happier

ending than Kelly's.

He's clean, for now.

But it will always be day to day.

But it could just as easily.

(upbeat music)

(gentle music)

(Multicom Jingle)