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IN THE KNOW / A LOOK AT THE WEEK AHEAD

Walk This Way, to the Record Store

March 17, 1997

Heartened by the impressive first-week sales figure for U2's "Pop" album, which entered the Billboard chart at No. 1 after selling nearly 350,000 copies during its first seven days in stores, record retailers are eagerly looking forward to Tuesday's release of another potential blockbuster, Aerosmith's "Nine Lives." But don't put too much credence in first-week figures for the veteran rock band, whose album sales traditionally build steadily as the tireless group tours in support of its records. Aerosmith's last album of new material, 1993's "Get a Grip," generated first-week sales of 171,000 copies--enough to debut at No. 1 but not a blockbuster number--before going on to sell 4.4 million copies, according to SoundScan. A 1994 greatest-hits collection, "Big Ones," started even slower, selling 90,000 during its first week, but has since gone on to sell 2.2 million copies.

Time's Running Out for Your Consideration

Has it been two weeks already? Where has the time gone? As academy voters know, Tuesday is the deadline for returning those Oscar ballots mailed out a fortnight ago. The folks at Price Waterhouse, who have tabulated the award results for 60 years, say there are always some red-faced procrastinators who hand-deliver their votes to the accounting firm on the final day. (We suspect these are the same people who sprint to the post office at 11:55 p.m. every April 15.) Meanwhile, speculation is heating up over the results. Many observers expect "The English Patient" to win best picture, but the other major categories are tossups. Whatever happens, at least we won't have to worry about Tom Brokaw projecting a winner before the polls close. Everyone will know a week from tonight.

'Lawless' Puts 'The Boz' on Offense

Brian Bosworth played defense during his football career, but Fox is now looking to the onetime linebacker to score some rating points. Bosworth plays a former special forces operative in his new action series, "Lawless," which followed an unusual route to the screen. The producers originally cast Daniel Baldwin (formerly on NBC's "Homicide") in the title role, but the show didn't make the grade last season. Fox then re-shot the pilot with Bosworth, who tried to become a big-screen action star beginning with the 1991 movie "Stone Cold." "We decided we really wanted a heavy-duty action element in the show," said Alan Haymon, one of the show's producers. Production also moved from Atlanta to South Beach, Fla., to capitalize, as producer Paul Stupin put it, on those "fun in the sun" elements. "Lawless" was initially scheduled to air Fridays, but the network called an audible by keeping "Sliders" on that night. Instead, the new show will now air Saturdays at 9 p.m., beginning this week. "America's Most Wanted" and "Cops" will each be cut to a half-hour--law enforcement, in this case, making room for "Lawless." "We're thrilled with the time period," Stupin said. "We have a chance to appeal to the same kind of male audience as those shows."

Compiled by Times Staff Writers and Contributors

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