Sales Rising: The new album by a Sacramento rapper jailed Tuesday on parole violations because of the violent, anti-police lyrics in his music sold more than 30,000 copies during its first week, ranking No. 41 on the national SoundScan sales chart. That means C-BO's "Til My Casket Drops" has already sold about 25% of the total registered by his 1997 album, "One Life to Live." C-BO, whose real name is Shawn Thomas, was arrested on charges that lyrics in the new album violate 1997 parole conditions requiring him not to promote a "gang lifestyle" or "anti-law enforcement" sentiments (the rapper served 15 months on weapons charges stemming from a 1996 incident in which a man died). Due to incorrect information supplied to The Times, it had been reported that the album was not due until next week.
Burn Eszterhas Burn: Screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, never one to shy away from controversy--or publicity--took out full-page ads in the Hollywood trade papers Wednesday addressing the dismal box-office receipts and critical lambasting of his latest movie, "An Alan Smithee Film Burn Hollywood Burn." "I accept [worst film] and Sour Apple awards in advance," Eszterhas wrote, adding, "I extended a middle finger and the critics returned the gesture." He also compared the movie to another of his notoriously reviled flicks, saying, "The critical response to 'Burn Hollywood Burn' redeemed 'Showgirls.' I'm happy about that." In its opening weekend, "Smithee"--which satirizes internal Hollywood workings--took in only $28,992 on 19 screens.
After dismal ratings for its second telecast Tuesday, CBS' new Ann-Margret drama "Four Corners" appears headed toward quick cancellation. The show was already scheduled to be preempted next week by the Miss USA Pageant, and the network would not say Wednesday whether the series will return. CBS Television President Leslie Moonves would say only that the show's future is "probably not very bright right now." . . . ABC is considering a merger of its two newsmagazines, "20/20" and "PrimeTime Live," to give the shows a "unified identity" to compete against the multi-night "Dateline NBC." Among the potential problems, however, is how to assuage the egos of the two shows' superstar anchors, Barbara Walters and Hugh Downs ("20/20") and Diane Sawyer and Sam Donaldson ("PrimeTime"). . . . Jerry Springer has become the first talk-show host to beat Oprah Winfrey in the key households ratings category, according to A.C. Nielsen figures. Springer's ratings rose 183% in a year. . . . James Cameron won producer of the year honors for "Titanic" at the Producer's Guild Golden Laurel awards Tuesday.