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IN THE KNOW / A LOOK AT THE WEEK AHEAD

Can't Buy Me Love? How About an Album?

May 26, 1997|Times Staff Writers and Contributors

Beatles fans flocked to record stores during the last two years to gobble up the Fab Four's three-volume "Anthology" series, with each of the two-disc sets debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard sales chart. In fact, "Anthology 1" sold a stunning 850,000 copies during its debut week. Was it pure nostalgia, or did the music rekindle an interest in future music from the surviving members of the legendary band? We'll get an answer when Paul McCartney's new album, "Flaming Pie," is released Tuesday by Capitol Records. McCartney's last solo collection, 1993's "Off the Ground," was not a commercial blockbuster. The record sold about 53,000 copies during its first week in stores, debuting at No. 17 on the Top 200 before falling. Capitol executives, however, are optimistic about the new album, citing strong response to "The World Tonight," the first single from the collection. "We're getting multi-format airplay, so we're probably getting airplay on more than 400 radio stations across the country," says Lou Mann, the label's senior vice president and general manager. Retailers seem excited too. "There continues to be a high level of interest in the Beatles since the 'Anthology' series," says Gary Arnold, vice president of marketing for the 272-store Best Buy chain.

The Best News They Could've Received

As usual, the May ratings sweeps ended last week with KCBS-TV Channel 2 finishing well behind KNBC-TV Channel 4 and KABC-TV Channel 7 in the local news competition. But the station could salvage some measure of respect Saturday when the 49th annual Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards are handed out in Pasadena. It led all stations in the market with 19 nominations, including for best 30-minute newscast (11 p.m.) and best 60-minute newscast (6 p.m.), both anchored by Michael Tuck and Ann Martin. KCBS could use something to brag about, given that it and the other CBS-owned TV stations got a new boss last week in Mel Karmazin, who previously oversaw the CBS radio division and who also happens to be the largest stockholder in CBS parent Westinghouse Electric. Meantime, with the Daytime Emmys having been awarded last week, the local festivities will be the last Emmy event for a while. Nominations for the nighttime awards will be announced July 24, with the winners ceremony scheduled for a Sept. 14 telecast on CBS.

Birthing the Cult of the Hollywood Writer

The Writers Guild Foundation, stepping up its effort to bolster the image of its membership, is holding a three-day, star-studded seminar--"Words Into Pictures: The 1997 Film and Television Writers Forum--at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, beginning on Friday. James L. Brooks, Cameron Crowe, William Goldman, Elmore Leonard, Rob Reiner, Wallace Shawn and James Woods are scheduled to be among the participants in panel discussions on topics ranging from political correctness to creative freedom to the dominance of special effects on the feature film scene. Six hundred registrants have signed up thus far. "Each industry has conventions--and this is as close to one as Hollywood has had," says Tom Schulman, Oscar-winning writer of "Dead Poets Society" and chairman of the forum. "We're bringing writers together with producers, directors, attorneys and agents--people they generally meet when they go on strike. Writers have moved up a notch on screen, getting the credit right before the director--but in reality? I don't know. Because of the cult of the director--and the studios constantly rewriting us--we're still low person on the totem pole." Registration info: (213) 782-4692.

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