Lifetime achiever

Jacksonville, Fla. -- Bill Murray, who won a Golden Globe earlier this year for his role in "Lost in Translation," received a lifetime achievement award at the Jacksonville Film Festival.

Murray, 53, kissed the award -- a glass-and-wood turtle -- then made a face.

"It smells like the ocean," Murray said at the ceremony Saturday night. "It's the only award I have that does."

The Golden Globe was the first major acting prize for Murray, who gained fame in the 1970s as a goofball on TV's "Saturday Night Live" and continued that schtick in movies such as "Caddyshack" and "Meatballs."

"Lost in Translation," about two lonely Americans who find friendship in a Tokyo hotel, earned Murray an Oscar nomination.

Voting scam alleged

Los Angeles -- Many would-be "American Idol" voters are disenfranchised by overburdened phone lines and by "power dialers" who hog the system, the magazine Broadcasting & Cable reported.

According to the magazine's issue being released today, "the only people choosing the next 'American Idol" are the ones lucky enough to get through -- or skilled enough to get around -- tremendously overtaxed phone lines."

Fox TV, which airs the talent contest, has failed to address the difficulties viewers must overcome to log votes, the magazine said.

The voting system has been called into question in recent weeks as contestants who appeared to be front-runners were dumped in favor of others who many viewers have complained were lesser performers. Last week, favorite La Toya London was voted off while Jasmine Trias survived a shaky performance.

'Raymond' to return

New York -- Three days before announcing its fall schedule, CBS sealed a deal Sunday to bring the Emmy-winning comedy "Everybody Loves Raymond" back for a ninth and final season.

Producer and star Ray Romano agreed to a shortened season with 16 new episodes. Most television shows make about 22 episodes a year.

"I look forward to being a hapless, sexless husband again in year nine," Romano said.

The Monday night comedy featuring Romano and his dysfunctional family won the 2003 Emmy for best comedy. The additional year was widely expected. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

'Troy' slays competition

Los Angeles -- Muscle-bound Brad Pitt fought his way through scrawnier competition to help the Greek epic "Troy" claim the top spot at the box office with $45.6 million.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at North American theaters, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc.:

1. "Troy," $45.6 million

2. "Van Helsing," $20.1 million.

3. "Mean Girls," $10.1 million.

4. "Breakin' All the Rules," $5.3 million.

5. "Man on Fire," $5.2 million.

6. "13 Going on 30," $4.2 million.

7. "New York Minute," $3.7 million.

8. "Laws of Attraction," $2 million.

9. "Kill Bill -- Vol. 2," $1.6 million.

10. "Godsend," $1 million.


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