Now Here's the News:
Dear TV Weathermen: Why don't you all just . . . oh, forget it! . . .
No. No. Skip it! Honest. I mean you're doing a hell of a job . . .
Really. Let's just pretend I never brought it up. Okay? . . .
NBC has renewed "Hill Street Blues" for the 1983-84 season . . . The network earlier announced it has renewed "Real People," too . . .
WCVB in Boston and WJZ in Baltimore are two ABC affiliates that preempted the network's Friday night airing of "The Warriors," a controversial 1979 film of teen gang warfare that has been linked to three imitative killings in California and Massachusetts . . .
Channel 13 in Baltimore substituted "American Graffiti," while WCVB aired "Woman of the Year" . . .
A spokesman for WJLA, which chose to show it, said Friday that the issue of the film's violence had come up during the recent regional ABC affiliate meeting here and that the network had assured stations that "Warriors" had been "substantially altered" for home viewing and was "nowhere near" as violent as the theatrical version . . .
Nevertheless, the network provided a parental advisory at the start of the film . . .
George Crile, a central figure in the pending $120 million libel suit brought by Gen. William Westmoreland against CBS, may be back at work producing a documentary for the network soon . . .
Crile was producer of the CBS documentary "The Uncounted Enemy: A Vietnam Deception," the airing of which a year ago prompted the suit . . .
In mid-summer, when the controversy regarding the program finally surfaced, Crile had just completed work on a "CBS Reports" about the drug traffic in Miami . . .
That project was shelved shortly thereafter, prompting talk that Crile, too, was on the shelf because of the legal hassle . . .
"Actually," a CBS News executive said Friday, "the federal government began its big push against drugs down there just about the time the documentary was ready, and it was out-of-date . . .
"Ever since, George has been up to his ears in the preparation of the lawsuit and just hasn't had time to work on anything else," the executive said . . .
Crile returns this weekend from a survey trip regarding a new documentary project (CBS, of course, won't reveal the subject--after all, does Woodward tell Lothrop? No, that isn't right. Does Dart tell Peoples? No. Wait a minute. Does NBC News tell ABC News what it's up to? That's better), and a decision on whether to go ahead with the new project is expected soon after a review by CBS News executives . . .
And speaking of Controversial Documentaries . . . John Mansfield, executive producer of "NOVA," said Friday that he now expects to air a potentially controversial, one-hour program about nuclear arms early next fall . . .
The program, called "The Dawn With No Tomorrow," was pulled from the schedule by Mansfield only days before it was due to air last Tuesday on PBS . . .
A rerun about dinosaurs was substituted . . .
There have been grumblings from the strong nuclear freeze movement in New England that "NOVA" and Boston station WGBH, the public station where the series is produced, may have yielded to unspecified "political pressures" at the last mo- ment . . .
Mansfield said Friday he regrets "the most unfortunate misunderstanding" regarding his decision but says "there was no pressure, certainly not from WGBH" and few calls to the station have resulted . . .
Mansfield admits "some may suspect pressure" . . .
Mansfield said the program, six months in preparation, was filmed in Russia, Japan and the U.S. but that "a lot of the show involved the use of stock footage," much of which was unavailable just when he needed it because "it's the kind everybody wants right now" . . .
"What happened," said Mansfield, "is that fairly close on our deadlines we were simply not able to get it ready for Feb. 22. It's a gross embarrassment but it's a very important program, and if we don't get it absolutely right, it's better not to get it on the air" . . .
Mansfield said he has considered rescheduling the program in mid-August, on the anniversary of the 1945 A-bomb drop on Hiro- shima . . .
But, he said, that is in the middle of the summer rerun cycle for "NOVA" and a time when there are also few watching TV . . .
"It's too important. I would rather put it on at the beginning of the fall season," he said . . . Moving Right Along
NBC--are your special, Morocco-bound TV Column Date Books at the ready, TV Column fans?--says it will announce its full fall schedule on April 29 . . .
We hear a lot of CBS and NBC affiliates around the country are asking Nielsen and Arbitron to prepare three-week February sweeps ratings books that would omit the week during which ABC's "The Winds of War" overwhelmed rivals . . . so that they can show local advertisers a "truer picture" of prime-time performance in their markets . . .
The ratings services say okay but they'll have to pay extra . . .
A Parental Advisory is in order prior to this next item:
A reporter for Channel 7 in New York displayed (how best to put this in a Family-type Column, TV Column fans?) the middle finger of one petit hand ON CAMERA Thursday just before she was supposed to begin a report on the 5 o'clock news . . .
According to the New York Daily News, Mara Wolynski, who flashed the digit at an off-camera employe, was suspended without pay for the rest of the week . . .
As well she should have been . . .
(On the other hand, you don't suppose "off-camera employe" was in the . . . dare we even suggest this? . . . in the weather prediction business?) . . .
Penny Fuller, who played Eve in the Broadway musical "Applause," will replace Joan Fontaine in NBC's "Bare Essence" . . .
Joan, who was set to play a gossip columnist on the nighttime soap, lasted onlyone day on the set before a case of "artistic differences" on how the role should be played broke out . . .
Maybe Fuller will play a singing gossip columnist . . .
And maybe we shouldn't worry about any of this too much . . . "Bare" tied for 55th in its debut two weeks ago with a 15 Nielsen rating and a 23 percent audience share . . .
Last week, despite another strong lead-in performance by "The A Team," "Bare" slipped to a 14.3/21 . . . which is getting close to Final and Usually Fatal Five Country . . . where all singing gossip columnists must confine themselves to dirges and blues . . .
Two teensy corrections, TV Column fans: An ABC spokesman misspoke Wednesday, so it turns out Ted Turner did not meet with ABC Inc. board chairman Leonard Goldenson while making the New York rounds recently in an effort to peddle his Turner Broadcasting System . . .
He talked, instead, to ABC Inc. president Fred Pierce and Herb Granath, president of ABC Video Enterprises . . .
Also, a spokesman for WETA's "The Lawmakers" misspoke Thursday and it turns out the list of program underwriters should also have included . . . besides Sun Oil and Lockheed . . . the American Council of Life Insurance and LTV (you've probably noticed that Captain Airwaves has refused to take the rap for either error, an unsettling demonstration of his new, but long over- due, Get-Tough Policy on Mis- speaking) . . . And finally
We cherish this grouchy footnote to all the Farewell Flapdoodle regarding the end of "M*A*S*H" . . . from the surgeon who started it all . . .
Retired Maine physician Dr. H. Richard Hornberger, whose fictional account of his experiences during the Korean War under the pen name Richard Hooker inspired the movie and the TV series, says the original book "is only anti-war in the minds of a lot of flaky people" . . .
"I think we should have been in Korea," says the original "Hawkeye," who loves the money from "M*A*S*H" but isn't too high on the series because it doesn't have his kind of humor. "If you're going to start a war, you might as well play to win.
"No one in their right mind would be pro-war," says Hornberger. "But I operated on a thousand or so wounded kids, and I know more about war than a bunch of under-educated actors who go around blithering those sanctimonious, self-righteous noises" . . .