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IN THE KNOW / A LOOK AT THE WEEK AHEAD

Can She Swallow the 'Jagged Little Pill'?

March 10, 1997|Times Staff Writers and Contributors

Celine Dion's "Falling Into You" has already benefited from its Grammy coronation as album of the year. Its sales after the Feb. 26 Grammy ceremony were up almost 50% from the previous week, with the album jumping from No. 10 to No. 4 on the Billboard magazine Top 200. But the question remains: Will "Falling Into You," which was released more than a year ago and has already sold 7 million copies, be able to sustain long-range sales momentum? History is on its side. Last year's best-album winner, Alanis Morissette's "Jagged Little Pill," had already sold more than 5 million copies at the time of its victory but, with Morissette touring throughout the year, the album remained a Top 10 fixture and has sold 12.1 million copies. Dion, too, will remain highly visible, at least through the end of the summer. On Tuesday, she'll be in Tampa, Fla., to open a tour that will bring her to the Universal Amphitheatre on March 25. And on the night before her Universal show, she'll perform at the Academy Awards, singing her hit, "Because You Loved Me," which is up for best original song (from "Up Close & Personal").

Glad-Handing, on Behalf of the Arts

For the last 19 years, hundreds of arts supporters have trooped to Capitol Hill for Arts Advocacy Day. This year, the lobbying takes place Tuesday, with the annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy kicking things off tonight. Washington-based arts watchers say they are not surprised by the guest list of traditionally arts-friendly Democratic and moderate Republican congressional members. But this year, two conservative Republicans are also prominent players: former Wyoming Republican senator and GOP stalwart Alan. K. Simpson is scheduled to introduce Maya Angelou and Alec Baldwin as guest speakers at the Hanks lecture. And the Advocacy Day co-chair is the very Republican chairman of the Wisconsin Arts Board, Kathryn Murphy Burke, a homemaker-turned-citizens advocate known on the Hill as "Murph." The beleaguered NEA may have mixed feelings about Murph as a champion of federal arts funding, however. A recent Murph-ism: "My thrust will be . . . what's the best way for federal funding to be used for the arts. . . . Since the NEA has been a sinking ship for several years, should we redefine, reform or replace it? I don't know. I just want to open the discussion."

But, Will Simon & Garfunkel Reunite?

We have one word to say to you, just one word. Are you listening? Plastics. Yes, all you morally and sexually conflicted ex-collegians, "The Graduate" is back, so dust off all your favorite lines. ("Mrs. Robinson, if you don't mind my saying so, this conversation is getting a little strange.") The clever folks at Strand Releasing and Rialto Pictures are taking advantage of the current movie nostalgia boomlet (the "Star Wars" trilogy, "The Godfather") and on Friday will reissue Mike Nichols' generation-defining 1967 sex comedy about Benjamin (Dustin Hoffman), a slacker prototype from the L.A. 'burbs who rejects his parents' shallow values. (Hey, for all we know, Ben did end up in plastics.) Strand-Rialto folks say they've cut a new print from the original negative, which should provide, say, a deeper hue of crimson when Ben first spies Mrs. Robinson in her scanties.

CBS Hopes Hoops Will Whoop Up Ratings

CBS will look a bit like ESPN beginning Thursday, when the network again hands over much of its schedule to the NCAA basketball tournament. All told, CBS will televise more than 60 hours of games the next three weeks, culminating with the collegiate championship on March 31. While early rounds have never been much of a ratings draw, they offer CBS a chance to tout its prime-time lineup to young men who seldom watch the network. CBS thus hopes the games can dish off a ratings assist, as happened with "Walker, Texas Ranger," which premiered right after the 1993 tournament, and the Don Johnson series "Nash Bridges" a year ago. This time CBS will emphasize the May sweeps and, in particular, "The Last Don," a six-hour miniseries starring Danny Aiello as a Mafia kingpin. With the network paying more than $200 million annually for broadcast rights, there's plenty at stake in whether hoop dreamers will "come home" to CBS. As with some basketball players, the answer is up in the air.

ABC Takes Public Service to Prime Time

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