TOO CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: Steven Spielberg obtaining a restraining order against a woman who allegedly stalked the director and his family and who claimed Spielberg implanted a mind-control device in her brain, reports.

RING IN: The Ring, starring Naomi Watts as a reporter trying to solve the serial murder deaths of video-tape viewers, rang up a sharp $15 million as the new number one movie nationwide.

COMING CLEAN: James Gandolfini announcing in a statement that he has battled drug and alcohol addictions. The 41-year-old star of HBO's The Sopranos, who was responding to allegations made by his wife in their divorce case, says he's clean and sober.

AN OFFER THEY CAN'T REFUSE: Several costars of The Sopranos banding together to jointly negotiate for substantial pay raises, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

READY TO RUMBLE: Miramax announcing that Martin Scorsese's highly anticipated Gangs of New York will now officially bow on December 20 instead of Christmas Day, where it would have faced off against DreamWorks' Catch Me If you Can.

BACK TO WORK: Roseanne set to star in an unscripted reality workplace comedy for ABC that will be executive produced by documentary veteran R.J. Cutler. The program is expected to bow next summer.

HONEY POT: A Los Angeles judge putting on hold a ruling requiring Disney to pay $200 million in royalties to a company that owns some of the rights to Winne the Pooh, instead asking an independent accountant to review the figures.

YOU KNEW IT WAS COMING: The USA Network announcing on Friday a nationwide search for the next great country music artist for called Nashville Star, a show that will do for country music what American Idol did for pop. Open auditions for Nashville Star kick off in Nashville on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. The winner will earn a recording contract from Sony Music Nashville.

ONE EXHIBIT TO SHOW THEM ALL: A $960,000 exhibition based on The Lord of the Rings film trilogy opening at the Museum of New Zealand in late December. The show, which will also tour museums in London, Boston, Singapore and Sydney, will feature original costumes, film footage, props, and special effects from the three films.

LENDING A HAND: David Spade headlining on December 7 the fifth annual Comics Come Home, a Madison, Wisconsin charity event with proceeds going to the Chris Farley Foundation, named for Spade's late friend and Saturday Night Live co-star.

NEW LICKS? Rolling Stones guitarist Ron Wood revealing that the rock legends are thinking about releasing a new album. "We went there, in Paris, to do six songs, and we ended up doing 25," Wood told "Like, we have another new album in the making, if you like, out of the Paris sessions."

ON THE AIR: Sportscaster Jim Lampley signing a new multiyear deal with HBO Sports that will see him host next year's 12-part documentary series about the cable channel's most memorable boxing telecasts.

MOURNED: Veteran Hong Kong singer Roman Tam, who entertained Chinese audiences the world over for decades with ballads and flamboyant costumes, died of liver cancer Friday. He was 52

DID THE BUTLER DO IT? Vitello's, the suburban Los Angeles restaurant where Robert Blake allegedly killed his wife, announcing it will hold a "murder mystery party" next month.

SWEET AND LOWDOWN: Sean Penn taking out a $56,000 ad in the Washington Post accusing President Bush of stifling debate and threatening civil liberties. In the open letter, the actor urged the President to stop the cycle where "bombing is answered by bombing, mutilation by mutilation, killing by killing." No comment yet from the White House.

OOPS! A woman filing a lawsuit against MTV on Wednesday claiming she was injured at an April 21 taping of Jackass. She says cast member David England ran across the stage and smashed into a lectern, forcing her to the ground and injuring her spine and knee.

IDOL TALK: Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson joining fellow judge Simon Cowell, for a second edition joining of Fox's American Idol, which will also add a fourth judge to give another perspective to the group. Host Ryan Seacrest also returning and will be paired with a female host since Brian Dunkleman said he won't be back.

TUBE TALK: Latino-flavored sitcom George Lopez improving its ratings significantly since its wobby start, prompting ABC to give it a full-season pick-up on Thursday.

SINGING THE BLUES: A New York state appeals court tossing a $3 million verdict in favor of '60s girl group the Ronettes against their former producer Phil Spector. The members said Spector licensed their music for movies and commercials without paying them royalties.

HUMAN BEHAVIOR: The mother of Icelandic pop queen Bjürk staging a hunger strike in a bid to persuade the world's largest aluminum producer to pull of a project in the Icelandic highlands.

KUDOS! The Del McCoury Band taking home three International Bluegrass Music Awards on Thursday, including Best Entertainer in Bluegrass Music and a first-time win for Song of the Year.

BELGIUM?! Canadian pop diva Celine Dion beginning rehearsals Thursday in Belgium for her $100 million show set to kick off next March at Caesar's Palace.

ANOTHER AMAZING FEAT: USA Today reporting that Spider-Man is being touted as the best-selling Halloween costume since the Power Rangers burst onto the scene nearly a decade ago.

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