• Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE? Scientology devotee Tom Cruise lobbying the U.S. ambassador to Germany to fight for the group's rights in that country, where it is not recognized.

HE'LL BE BACK, THE OTHERS WON'T: Arnold Schwarzenegger telling Sci Fi Wire that T3: The Rise of the Machines, will follow a twentysomething John Connor, but actors Edward Furlong and Linda Hamilton will not return. The sequel starts shooting April 15, with U-571 director Jonathan Mostow at the helm.

NURSERY NEWS: Eddie Murphy and his wife, Nicole, welcoming their fifth child Tuesday night in Los Angles. Bella Zahra weighed in a at 7 pounds, 6 ounces.

OSCAR UPDATE: Last year's Best Actor Oscar winner Russell Crowe is confirmed as a presenter for this year's Academy Awards ceremony. He'll likely present the award for Best Actress. Crowe is considered an Oscar frontrunner again for his role in A Beautiful Mind.

IN THE DRIVER'S SEAT: Alan Jackson's Drive remained number one on the album charts for a second straight week, selling 230,000 copies. Creed's Weathered held at number two.

THE HORROR: Stephen King's Rose Red miniseries on ABC, becoming the top-rated TV movie of the season. Part I on Sunday drew 20 million viewers and Monday's Part II attracted 18.7 million viewers. The series concludes Thursday.

KING ADD: Meanwhile, the prolific author telling the Los Angeles Times that he's going to quit publishing books because he's starting to repeat himself. Don't ready that goodbye card just yet: King says he still has at least five more novels on the way, including two this year, is developing a series for ABC and is working on a Broadway musical with John Mellencamp.

OPENING HIS WALLET: Hollywood icon Kirk Douglas and his wife, Anne, donating $2.5 million for renovation of the historic Culver Theater in Culver City, California. The refurbished venue will be reopened as the Kirk Douglas Theater in 2004.

NOT JUST A MAN'S WORLD: James Brown in a Los Angeles courtroom on Tuesday to defend himself against a $2 million lawsuit filed by a woman who claims the 68-year-old Godfather of Soul fired her after she rebuffed his sexual advances. Brown denies the allegations. Opening statements in the case are expected Wednesday.

JOINING FORCES: Radical rocker Patti Smith and celebrated author Susan Sontag teaming up for a retrospective look at Smith's long career. The two-disc album will include previously unreleased material and feature liner notes by Sontag. It is slated to hit stores on March 19.

DOUBLE TROUBLE: Joel and Ethan Coen in talks to write an update of the 1966 British caper comedy Gambit. The original was about a British thief in cahoots with a beautiful woman to rob a rich guy of his expensive statue--but the heist is imperiled by a series of double crosses. Hugh Grant is in talks to star.

DOUBLE TROUBLE II: Jude Law negotiating to star in Diary of a Young London Physician, writer-director David Mamet's take on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Penélope Cruz in early talks to play the female lead.

AH-NULD ADD: Meanwhile, the action star also said that writer-director John Milius is working on a new draft for a proposed sequel to Conan the Barbarian.

FINALLY HERE? Universal, Fox, DreamWorks and Artisan Entertainment planning to release flicks like Die Hard, Independence Day and Terminator on a new, high-definition video format. The D-VHS will be playable on a forthcoming system from JVC for use with high-definition TV sets.

UPSET: For the first time in its five-year history, the Fox News Channel snagging a larger audience than CNN for a full month, according to January ratings. Fox News also won all key demographic categories for the month.

BIGGER IS BETTER: Following on the heels of last season's supersized Friends, NBC planning new extended episodes of Scrubs and Will & Grace next Tuesday and Thursday, respectively, for the all-important February sweeps.

STALLED: A federal judge on Tuesday barring MGM from running ads that say its upcoming movie Rollerball is from the same filmmakers behind rival studio Universal's street-racing hit, The Fast and the Furious after Universal claimed the association with the troubled Rollerball could hurt Universal's upstart franchise.

SUPER SUNDAY: CBS moving the two-hour final episode of the upcoming Survivor: Marquesas from its traditional Thursday-night slot to Sunday, May 19 at 8 p.m., where it will be followed by an hourlong post-show at 10 p.m.

AILING: Blues singer Koko Taylor, known as the "Queen of the Blues," in fair condition at a Chicago hospital after fainting at her South Side nightclub. Doctors performed a successful angioplasty after discovering a blocked artery and she's expected to recover.

MOURNED: Michael Hammond, the newly installed chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts and a lifelong student of the relationship between music and medicine, died Tuesday of natural causes just one week after assuming his position. He was 69.