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tv   Nightline  ABC  August 2, 2010 10:35pm-11:05pm PST

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tonight on "nightline" -- pests on a plane. just when you thought air travel couldn't get any worse, there are some other passengers on board. maggots, rats, even scorpions. what's really on your plane? a bug's eye view of the airline industry. tween queen -- icarly, the nickelodeon comedy aimed at tweens, is among the highest rated programs on television. what's got your kids so enthralled? its star miranda cosgrove and the show's creator take us behind the scene. plus, pet psychics -- talking to animals is no longer the domain of the kids from
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"scooby-d "scooby-doo." how psychics who claim to communicate with your pets have turned their skills into a lucrative business. it's a "sign of the times." . good evening. if the very thought of air travel makes your blood boil, then our first story tonight, well, it's likely to make your skin crawl. a flight bound for charlotte was diverted after an unexpected terror fell upon passengers. but these were not armed men with a political or religious motive. but maggots that fell from the overhead bins. and so the question, as airlines cut costs, are unwanted pests just another pain for passengers? >> reporter: it seemed like any
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other flight. a planeful of strangers headed to charlotte. >> we were told to stay seated, you know, turn your software off and we started to taxi. >> everybody's getting comfortable, preparing to leave, you know, pulling out magazines. >> reporter: as the u.s. air jet taxied for takeoff, donna and des'ree settled in a row apart. and then a commotion. >> i'm just minding my business. the passenger sitting directly across from me says that look like a maggot. >> and i'm looking through the little crevice in between the seats to see what's going on. and she said the word maggot. when she said the word maggot, i looked at the guy next to me and i looked down and i thought it was a piece of lint and when i went to push it away, it was squishy. >> jury deliberations -- >> reporter: donna, a former tv reporter, grabbed her new cell phone camera to document these squirming stowaways. while this may not seem as horrific as, say, snakes on a
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plane -- [ screaming ] >> reporter: -- the sprinkling of larva was enough to declare an emergency. >> he lifted up the comb partment and he was just like, owe, my god, and slammed it back down. so he had -- he said there's tons of them up there. he said, oh, my god. >> we were just clawing our skin. you don't know where they are. you don't know if there's more. and you don't know where they're coming from. >> reporter: you're not allowed to run away from them in that setting. >> you are told to sit in your seat and stay calm. >> reporter: as ground crew cleaned and fumigated, passengers wandered the gate and asked the obvious, how do maggots get on the plane? are some planes so dirty fly eggs are hatching in the overhead bins? >> yeah, i felt something on my knee. i looked down. it was a maggot. maggots. >> was it disgusting? >> very disgusting. >> tell me what went through your mind.
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>> i didn't even want to -- get the hell off there, get out of there. >> i guess the bugs were falling out of overhead compartment. they tried to get us to sit there. but it was evident they were right behind us in our seats. >> i got up and i went, huh-uh. they were all over her. we looked in the seats and they were all over the seats. that's when i got up. -- her seat -- >> reporter: according to u.s. air, this was an isolated incident and the maggots were carried on by a passenger. they say since tsa is more concerned with weapons than vermin, there was no way to stop him. >> we certainly don't inspect baggage as it comes on the plane so i'm not sure how the maggots came out or got in the meat or -- all i know is they were there and they were on the airplane and around our customers and that's a big problem for us. >> reporter: how can you be certain that it wasn't tainted meat that had been left in the overhead bin from a previous flight? >> yeah, we absolutely know this
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passenger brought this bag on board because he told us and when we took it off, it was clearly his belongings. >> reporter: each year, nearly 2 billion flights take off around the world. occasionally, critters catch a ride and wreak havoc. insects can clog instruments. rodents can chew wires. as doug discovered on a flight through vegas, scorpions can sting. >> just was getting really to sit back in my chair and close my eyes for about 20 minutes you know, and, again, that's when i started feeling the little creepy crawly thing crawling up my leg. natural reaction was to kind of brush it off. i did that with my right hand and that's when i felt a sting. >> finding a scorpion, finding mice, finding insects, is relatively common place and should be expected. and that's why planes are periodically charged with pesticides. so that you can eradicate some
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of these travelers that have no tickets so to speak. >> reporter: this doctor is a director of micro biology at nyu. while he understands the squirm factor of those falling maggots, he says we should probably be more worried about the creatures we can't see. >> generally speaking, the maggot, per se, doesn't hurt you. but the organisms that might be contained in that meat, for example, if it's beef, it may be an 0157 e. coli there or salmonella or some other organism. >> reporter: one passenger we spoke to actually found a half-eaten apple in the seat pocket on this flight. >> yeah. >> reporter: so you can understand the perception that people are flying in sort of disgusting unclean planes. >> i think that is a fair statement, i do. which frankly is why we ask customers, you know, when you come on to an airplane, it's nice to think of the airplane a little bit like your own home. it's not just a place where you use the seat pocket to throw old apple cores and dirty diapers
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and, you know, newspapers. >> reporter: while they accept no blame for the maggot flight, u.s. air eventually offered $25 vouchers to the passengers on board. >> blame the airline because i paid for a service to get from point a to b, but the bottom line, i didn't pay to have maggots falling on my head. >> reporter: who do you hold responsible for this? the passenger who brought the rotten meat on the plane? us airways responsible? >> i think there's a lot of accountability. i think passengers can be more diligent. and perhaps airlines, all of them, airline usa, can take a moment to look in the bins and clean them out. >> reporter: i'm bill weir for "nightline" in new york. >> take a shower and say gross i think. our thanks to bill weir. and when we come back, mirandas cou s coulcosgrove, st carly" unveils the secret behind the show's success. boss: our breakout session is gonna be great.
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♪ it's the perfect parfait, with two indulgently rich layers of chocolate and raspberry yogurt and only 100 calories. yoplait delights. get rid of the "or." if you've got a child age 9 to 12 or even a daughter like mine who's 14, chances are she's watched nickelodeon's "i carly." the star of the show, 17-year-old miranda cosgrove, is now an iconic figure for many of our children. who is she and why is the show such a success? john donvan now pulls back the curtain on "i carly." >> reporter: "60 minutes," 7.8 million viewer.
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"bachelorette," 10 million viewer. how does this little show pull in 12.4 million viewers? "i carly." that was for a show in january. what this is a situation comedy for kids. 12.4 million viewers. and it's on cable no less. thought up and krachted for nickelodeon by a one-time teenager playing actor himself. you may remember this guy in the old '8 0s show "head of the class." he's dan schneider. a man with a gift. the gift of knowing what is funny to people of a certain age. say, 12 or 9. what do you got going that other folks aren't figuring it out? >> for one thing, i am always trying to outdo the last thing that i do. >> reporter: the last thing he did, well, the last few
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nickelodeon hits he created included "the amanda show." "zoey 101." "drake & josh." >> it wasn't us. >> who do you think they're going to believe, you boobs or me? >> reporter: okay, freeze it and zoom in right now. enough dan schneider for the moment because tell your kids you watched an interview with her, miranda cosgrove who played a kid sister back then but now, now she's the carly of "i carly," the story of a 16-year-old girl in seattle who makes web shows with her friends sam and freddie. >> and we're clear. >> reporter: a show within a show. with a lot of the zany, of course. >> pucker up. come and get it. >> reporter: in reality, miranda cosgrove is 17 and a superstar. if you know which universe to look in. obviously, you're on a roll, like a real roll. >> thanks. >> reporter: started in nickelodeon when you were 9. you've been doing this eight years. >> yeah. >> reporter: are you tired? >> no, i have a really great
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time doing this. it helps me a lot because i've never eve known everyone so long. >> reporter: how are you dealing with actually quite gigantic fame? >> it's nice because it's been real gradual. people used to recognize me for "drake & josh." i'll go out and tons of people will come out and freak over the show. it's really cool. it's exciting. i don't like it sometimes if i don't look good. >> reporter: okay, picking up with dan schneider again. the kid audience is definitely my bread and butter. that's what i'm paid to do. i'm paid to get kids all the way from 6 to 14 glued to tv sets. that's my goal. that's the sweet spot. >> reporter: actually, dan -- and we were able to see this over several days, as they put an entire episode together between a monday and a friday," this is called a table read, this was on monday. >> random. >> reporter: dan comes across as a very nice guy.
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>> young writer here. >> reporter: and as a result this comes across as a very happy set to work on. >> i think what makes it really fun for me working with young people is that it's fresh and new to them. this isn't their 27th job. this is often their first or second job or it's one of the firsts. and they're very excited to be here. and they're -- it's all new. fame is new. the whole process is new. and they're excited to be a part of it. >> reporter: dan also has a secret weapon. >> this is the housekeeper. >> reporter: this guy. >> what goes on? >> reporter: jerry trainer who plays carly's older brother spencer with a body like a rubber band. >> i can't control it. >> reporter: and the comic speed a robin williams. he is bound to break out of the tv kid's universe sooner than later, snow he's not complaining where he is. >> i really believe this show would be funny if nickelodeon
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didn't exist and this were on abc at like 7:30, 8:00, you know, on a thursday night. i think the family could sit down and enjoy it. >> reporter: he is, in fact, one of the only adult characters on the show but is arguably the least mature of any of them. and that's by design. >> i don't want to be the token adult on the kid's show where it's like, i'm telling you to eat your vegetables and that's the moral of the story. woops, i slipped on a banana peel. >> reporter: here's a question, 12 million viewers, there have to have been a lot of grown-ups in that group. when does "i carly" stop being a kid show? >> i don't think of it as a kid show. think of it as family entertainment. as of late, in the last few years, we're getting teenagers who are older, college kids, parents, grandparents, a lot of family viewing. and as long as i keep the kid audience, which so far we're doing really well, i've considered the other stuff gravy. >> reporter: he is constantly tweaking the jokes, asking for retakes. what adjustment are you looking
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for here? >> taking a scene that's already pretty funny and making it a little notch funnier. the reveal of miranda for the prank and the reveal of carly. she was making a very funny face which was something like this. i just thought with the tongue out -- >> reporter: there's more there. >> a teeny bit funnier. it's that type of highbrow comedy that pushes "i carly" over the edge. >> reporter: in fact, he says, it's a challenge to figure out what kids will laugh at. >> as i said, i've heard of a lot of writers who will say, oh, you're writing for kids. kids will watch anything. that must be really easy. actually kind of harder because your parameters are a lot more narrow in what you can write for a kids show. sex, politic, religion, all that thing you have to avoid. we can't make reference to anything that happened seven years ago because kid don't know what happened seven years a. >> reporter: one of the last steps, a complete run-through where invited guests can watch from behind the cameras.
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this is not canned laughter. [ laughter ] this, right here, let's explain, 12 million viewers. now a days, that's a cultural phenomenal. dan schneider likes that fact especially. >> the audience is so fragmented now. you don't have that mass, mass audience watching any show any more like they used to 20 years ago. well, it still exists in one place. good luck finding any kid between the age of 6 and 16 that hasn't seen an episode of "i carly" recently. that's the last area of television where there's an entire audience an entire demographic, watching a show. >> reporter: a demographic any of whose members, if they're watching this "nightline" about "i carly" right now live should listen carefully -- go to sleep, it's past your bedtime. you can laugh in the morning. >> that's our show! >> reporter: i'm john donvan for
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"nightline" in los angeles. >> last friday, 7.7 million "nightline" in los angeles. >> last friday, 7.7 million viewers watched "i carly" the highest rated show of the night. our thanks to john donvan. when we come back, we commune with nature in a whole new way. animal psychics are tonight's "sign of the times." [ male announcer ] the financial headlines can be unsettling. but what if there were a different story? of one financial company that grew stronger through the crisis. when some lost their way, this company led the way. by protecting clients and turning uncertainty into confidence. what if that story were true? it is. ♪ it is. there's oil out there we've got to capture. my job is to hunt it down. i'm fred lemond, and i'm in charge of bp's efforts to remove oil from these waters. bp has taken full responsibility for the cleanup and that includes keeping you informed.
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first, the good news, these real-life dr. dolittles say they can read your pet's mind. the bad news, sadly, your favorite animal is as miserable as you are. now that may not come as a surprise. but did you know that it is now possible to communicate telepathically with your pet? at a price. and for jeremy hubbard, that is a "sign of the types." >> what is this, some kind of gag? >> no, that's orbit. >> what? >> you have your own gravitational pull. >> reporter: there's brian on "family guy." >> this peanut butter, jelly time. >> reporter: and doug from "up." >> my name is doug. >> reporter: even "scooby-doo"
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has something to say. you you can get past the speech impediment. >> yummy. >> reporter: in real life, there's really no way to know what our pets want to say. or is there? >> i consider myself a professional listener. i listen and i just -- whatever they want to say is fine. >> reporter: dana miller talks to pets and she insists they talk back. >> well, i communicate with animals. they can -- they can communicate through telepathic communication. >> reporter: pet telepathy? okay, it may sound a little out there, but dana is not alone. thousands are popping up across the country. detailing their intuitive services online. showing off on youtube. >> my name is bev and i'm a doug psychic. >> i'm the pet psychic. >> reporter: they even have their own show. "pet psychic" on animal planet. >> that's what she's telling me the picture of. >> i do what's called long distance communication. which means i don't need to be
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with the animal. they can be in florida. it doesn't matter. >> reporter: what makes dana really stand out is that she doesn't discriminate. she speaks to squirrels, raccoons, coyotes, tigers, even cows. do they talk in funny voices? >> some are hysterical when they talk. cows talk really slow. >> reporter: just how does this work? let's use max here as an example. his owner wondered why is max using the furniture as a scramming post? >> i will look at the picture. it takes -- i would say is takes me 45 minutes to an hour of time. i will let the animal talk as long as they want to go. >> reporter: of course, you wouldn't want to rush this sort of thing. so she proceeds to have a long distance clairvoyant chat with max, writing down his every word. because of that enlightened back and forth, judith has now purchased this cat tree to distract max from the couch. all thanks to a pet prophet. does your family, your husband, your friends, any of them think, wow, this lady's off her rocker?
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>> i'm sure they -- i'm sure they do, but if they know me, they know that i'm pretty sane grounded person also. >> reporter: now, there are plenty of believers willing to plunk down as much as $200 for dana's psychic skills. people like begin thgina who loh and low for a cat that hid after their apartment caught fire. she said, retrace your steps. did she tell you anything specifically? >> that's what she was saying the cat was saying, was basically, you know, i'm nearby, but i'm too afraid to move. you know, you've walked -- i've heard her walk by me, but she keeps going too fast and she's not slowing down. and i'm too nervous to come out. >> reporter: got it. >> all those things. and it all matched up. >> reporter: dana can also put you in touch with a pet that's died. any creature, past or present, with something to say. >> what your animals will say about you would shock you probably. i mean, they know your thoughts. because that's what they do. they read your thoughts.
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>> reporter: and it turns out, they all apparently have something to say. i'm jeremy hubbard for "nightline" in los angeles. >> our thanks to jeremy hubbard. and all our animal viewers. and when we come back, president obama's pledge to draw down troops in iraq. the subject of tonight's "closing argument." first, here's jimmy kimmel with what's coming up next on abc. >> tonight, shaquille o'neal, tennessee gubernatorial candidate, and ali and roberto, assuming they haven't broken up. [ female announcer ] to do well, kids need to eat well. and eating well means getting enough whole grain and calcium. and general mills big g kid cereals can help. did you know it's the only leading line of kid cereals with at least 8 grams of whole grain and a good source of calcium? cereals they already love, like lucky charms and cinnamon toast crunch. give your kids more of what they need to be their best. grow up strong. with big g kid cereals.
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