Now Here's The News

There is life after cancellation: CBS reportedly has ordered production of 17 new episodes of "T.J. Hooker" as well as a two-hour version thereof for use on the network's late-night movie and rerun schedule sometime later this year . . .

"Hooker" was canceled by ABC earlier this month after a three-year run on the network . . .

The 90-minute season wrap-up of "Dallas" on CBS Friday night averaged a 23.7 rating and a 40 percent audience share in Nielsen's 10 major markets, including a 30.4/48 on Channel 9 here . . .

Between 8:30 and 10 that night, the ABC lineup averaged a 9.4/16 and the NBC lineup an 8.6/14 in the 10 big markets . . .

Barbara Cohen has been named executive producer of NBC's "Meet the Press," effective immediately . . .

The move comes as NBC News confirms our Monday report that coanchor Roger Mudd is leaving the public affairs show so he can work on his new magazine show, "American Almanac," due to debut in August . . .

Mudd is on vacation and when he returns in June he will sub briefly for Tom Brokaw as anchor on "NBC Nightly News" as the latter vacations that month . . .

No decision regarding a replacement for Mudd as Marvin Kalb's coanchor has been made. White House correspondent Chris Wallace filled in this past Sunday and rotating coanchors could work all summer in the spot . . .

Cohen replaces Christie Basham, who is credited with generally improving the show after the Kalb-Mudd duo stepped in last fall. Basham, who first joined "Meet the Press" as senior producer last September and became executive producer in December, becomes senior producer for special projects in Washington. She in turn replaces Bob Asman, who joins the "Meet the Press" staff as acting senior producer . . .

Betty Dukert remains as producer . . .

In other changes on the Sunday show, Chuck Tyler has been named director, replacing Max Schindler, who drops the double duty to continue as director of the "Today" show in Washington . . .

Cohen was vice president for news at National Public Radio here when she joined the NBC News bureau in Washington as political manager two years ago . . . Ratings Flap

Local rivals are grumbling about Channel 7's tactics during the current and crucial May ratings sweeps . . .

To avoid low ratings for its 11 p.m. week night news show, Seven has shortened the programs (calling the other half "news specials") to 15 minutes on at least three occasions this month already so the shows wouldn't be counted by the ratings services in the final tally . . .

There is nothing illegal about the practice (the ABC-owned station in Los Angeles reportedly manipulated its late news shows similarly some seven times during the equally crucial February sweeps this year) but it's a sure way to make the competition mad . . . if they aren't doing it themselves, that is . . .

Both Nielsen and Arbitron ratings services caution against the practice, however . . .

To show how it works, on the night of Friday, May 10, Seven's news program ran the first 15 minutes but the second 15 minutes were dubbed an "investigative special" . . .

That was a night on which Seven's news had to contend with the weak lead-in audience provided by "Me & Mom," while Four had the benefit of "Miami Vice" and Nine had "Falcon Crest" . . .

On Tuesday, May 14, Seven's program began with a "special" on the Maryland savings and loan crisis, with the news completing the last 15 minutes . . .

That night during the 10 to 11 p.m. time period, ABC's Placido Domingo special had to contend with the season finale of "Remington Steele" on Four and a movie on Nine . . .

Last Friday, after 17 minutes of news starting at 11, Seven put on an "I Team special" about X-rays . . .

That night, another "Me & Mom" lead-in had to fight off the big "Falcon Crest" audience coming off the "Dallas" finale on Nine and "Miami Vice" on Four . . .

Seven's news director, Kris Ostrowski, said yesterday that only the two Fridays were changed in any way and then only because "we had special reports we considered important. Like last Friday, we'd run part of the X-ray story at 6 and thought it needed more time at 11 o'clock" . . .

She said the May 14 Maryland bank crisis didn't need any explanation. "If we did something silly, I could understand the complaints, maybe, but we didn't" . . .

As it stands, after the first two weeks of the May Nielsen ratings book, even with the three nights missing, Seven is running third at 11 p.m., Mondays through Fridays . . .

Channel 9 is first with an 11 rating and a 26 percent audience share, compared with a 9.8/23 for Channel 4 and a 9.1/21 for Channel 7 . . .

A news executive at a rival station contended yesterday that if the missing three nights were factored in, Seven's 11 p.m. news would be another six-tenths of a rating point lower on average . . .

(To understand Seven's side of the issue: for the first two weeks, NBC has delivered Four a 13.7/25 rating for its 10 p.m. lead-in shows, CBS has given Nine a 13.7/25 lead-in, while ABC has delivered only a 12.5/23 to Seven) . . . Also in the News

The conductor of the "Today" train currently touring the South is R.A. (Rags) Guidry, father of N.Y. Yankees pitching ace Ron Guidry . . .

We hear that the bitterness between Corporation for Public Broadcasting Chairman Sonia Landau and outgoing CPB President Ed Pfister broke out in San Francisco Friday afternoon after Pfister had completed his farewell address to public broadcasters convening there . . .

The Los Angeles Times reported that Landau, "oblivious to reporters following Pfister to a pre-arranged press conference, shouted 'You don't know a damn thing about honesty, Ed Pfister!' " . . .

Pfister reportedly kept his cool . . .

Meanwhile, other reporters contend it got uglier (or maybe funnier), but most everybody involved was en route to Denver yesterday for a National Public Radio conference and we were unable to confirm a couple of the reports . . .

Out in L.A. last week, NBC News President Larry Grossman huddled with NBC Sports President Art Watson and as a result, we hear that the peripatetic "Today" show will probably be in Minneapolis for the major league baseball All Star game in mid-July and down in New Orleans for NBC's coverage of next January's NFL Super Bowl . . .

Winner of that 1985 Chrysler LeBaron that "PM Magazine" was giving away to mark WTTG's 40th anniversary was Claire Prout of Frederick . . .

She won over 6,000 entrants for the contest, which was cosponsored by Washington area Chrysler dealers and the Mid-Atlantic Coca-Cola dealers . . .

Jane Brooks, who joined the ABC News bureau here in 1980 as assistant to the bureau chief, has been named manager of bureau affairs . . . a new job in which she will be liaison between department heads and bureau management . . .

Elizabeth Lokey has been named secretary to bureau chief George Watson . . . And Finally

Joseph J. Derby, who was director of news information for the NBC press department when I first started to cover the networks and who helped me mightily in finding my way through the tangle, died Saturday of congestive heart failure at his home in Alexandria . . .

Joe first joined NBC as a staff writer in 1954 and after a seven-year tour with Young & Rubicam in New York, returned to the network in 1962, retiring in 1979 to take a job as director of press information with the American Petroleum Institute here until his retirement in 1982 . . .

He leaves five children, three sisters, a brother and two grandchildren. He will be buried in his home town of Ilion, N.Y. . . .