Stephen M. Silverman
June 09, 2003 08:50 AM

AWAITED: The fifth season of the HBO mob hit “The Sopranos” will not hit the air until February or March of next year, reports New York’s Daily News. Show creator and producer David Chase did tell the paper, however, that he may extend this next season beyond the typical 13 episodes, because he’s finding there’s a lot of ground to cover. “We could cram it into 13 episodes,” he says, “but I don’t know if that’s the right thing to do.”

RECEIVED: Sandra Bullock, 38, on Friday won a restraining order against Thomas James Weldon, 34, whom she claimed had stalked her across three states and who bombarded her with gifts, e-mails, faxes and voicemails, reports Reuters. Weldon failed to appear in a Los Angeles court for the hearing, at which he was ordered to stay 200 yards from the “Miss Congeniality” star and have no contact with her for three years.

QUOTED: “It’s a good turnout. Rivaling Hollywood” — Minnesota native Josh Hartnett, 24, to the Associated Press after assessing the crowd at the hometown premiere of his new movie with Harrison Ford, “Hollywood Homicide,” which premiered at Edina’s Megastar Cinemas.

CAST: Ben Affleck’s fiancee, Jennifer Lopez, 33, is nearing a deal to slip on another engagement ring for a role in the comedy “Monster-in-Law,” says the Hollywood Reporter. It’s about a monstrous prospective mother-in-law, who may foil the upcoming nuptials. Lopez is soon due in the movies “Gigli” and “Jersey Girl,” both with Affleck, “Shall We Dance?” opposite Richard Gere and the thriller “Tick Tock.”

OFFERED: Office chairs used — and autographed — by judges Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson on the FOX hit “American Idol” will be auctioned off to benefit cancer-related charities, reports AP. Abdul’s chair will benefit a Michigan branch of the American Cancer Society and goes up for bid Aug. 22; Jackson’s will aid Chicago’s The Common Thread for the Cure Foundation; and Cowell’s will help a yet-to-be announced charity.

HOSPITALIZED: Only four days after retiring from his 20-year post as editor in chief of GQ magazine, Art Cooper, 65, suffered a stroke last Thursday and is in “grave condition” in a New York hospital, according to a spokesperson for his publisher. The June issue of GQ was Cooper’s last before he was replaced by Jim Nelson. Cooper had discussed hosting a TV talk show after his retirement.

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