Now Here's the News

South African foreign minister R.W. (Pik) Botha will appear live via satellite on ABC's "Nightline" tomorrow night (Channel 7, 11:30) for an interview with Ted Koppel, his first interview since the state of emergency was declared . . .

Today, at 2 p.m., Cable News Network will provide live coverage of South African President Pieter W. Botha's address before his National Party in Durban, during which he is expected to spell out reforms in the nation's racial policies. Translation will be provided for that part of the address delivered in Afrikaans . . . West 57th

Premiered Tuesday night at 10 p.m. and CBS News' latest magazine venture managed a 10.9 Nielsen rating and a 19 percent audience share in the 10 major cities measured by A.C. Nielsen . . .

That compared with the 9.4/16 in the same markets registered by the debut of NBC's latest magazine venture, "American Almanac," in the same 10 p.m. Tuesday time slot last week . . .

"Almanac," which played a little old-timey, eventually had a 10.1/18 in the national ratings, suggesting that the program's appeal was a little stronger in the more rural TV markets . . . a factor that may work just the other way for "West 57th," which had a decided urban flash about it . . .

One other factor that makes any comparison of debut numbers a little silly (but then it is the middle of August, TV Column fans, n'est-ce pas?): "Almanac" debuted against a heavily promoted rerun of the pilot of ABC's "Moonlighting" last week . . .

"West 57th" only had so-so reruns of "Remington Steele" on NBC and "MacGruder & Loud" on ABC to compete against Tuesday night . . .

In the 10 Nielsen cities, "Steele" averaged a 12.8/22, "Loud," a 12.9/23 . . .

In Washington, "West 57th" had a 10.1/20, finishing third for the time period behind "Remington Steele," with a 15.1/29 and "MacGruder & Loud's" 10.3/20 . . .

Although he personally thinks the numbers game "is a little silly," "West 57th" executive producer Andy Lack said yesterday that he was pleased with the overnight ratings . . .

"They make it clear we got off to a good start. It seems there's an audience out there interested in this broadcast" . . .

One voting booth where "West 57th" produced excellent exit poll results was provided by the syndicated "Entertainment Tonight" show . . .

Tuesday evening, the program asked viewers to call a 900 number after they'd seen the CBS program in their markets and vote whether they liked it or not . . .

"West 57th" got a resounding 88 percent "yes" vote from the folks who were willing to pay 50 cents to vote . . . a total of 9,436 in all . . . Hiroshima, Mon Amour

Last night, on the 40th anniversary of V-J Day, which marked the end of the war against Japan and the end of World War II, "ABC World News Tonight" planned to devote two minutes to the subject . . .

"CBS Evening News With Dan Rather" scheduled four minutes and 10 seconds . . .

And "NBC Nightly News" expected to spend 3 minutes and 30 seconds . . .

All three, of course, had marathon coverage, over several days, a week ago to mark the 40th anniversary of the day the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima . . . Fair's Fair

David Hartman & Co. will be in Indianapolis tomorrow morning as "Good Morning America" visits the Indiana State Fair . . .

Next Friday, they'll be in Minneapolis for the Minnesota State Fair . . .

And a week ago, a reporter for GMA visited the Ohio State Fair in Dayton . . . The Fall Season

Doesn't open officially until Sept. 23, but already two advertising agencies that track such things every year have called the probable winners and losers among the 20 new series being offered on the three networks (ABC has eight, CBS and NBC six each) . . .

Dancer Fitzgerald Sample in New York says only NBC's "Hell Town," starring Robert Blake as a hoodlum priest, is a likely hit . . .

The agency says CBS' "Twilight Zone" (based on the old Rod Serling series); ABC's "Lime Street," Robert Wagner's new effort; and "Golden Girls," NBC's bid to prove it's fun to grow old in Miami, have a good chance for success . . .

Philip Burrell, DFS' television programming vice president, gave seven other shows "some potential," including ABC's "Dynasty II: The Colbys"; "MacGyver," (he's a super trouble-shooter); "The Insiders" (a journalist and an ex-con team up for a national magazine); and "Hollywood Beat" (part "Beverly Hills Cop," part "Miami Vice"); NBC's "Amazing Stories," the Steven Spielberg anthology, and "Alfred Hitchock Presents," another warm-over; and CBS' "The Equalizer," about another ex-agent who takes on the cases no one else can handle . . .

Long shots, according to Burrell, are ABC's "Growing Pains" (Alan Thicke as a psychiatrist who practices out of his crowded home) and "Our Family Honor," in which police and Mafia families battle . . .

CBS' "Hometown," called "The Little Chill" in Hollywood, and "Stir Crazy," another movie spinoff, are listed as marginal . . .

The other series coming up are apparently all losers . . .

Last season, DFS picked no hit shows but listed among potential hits were "The Cosby Show" and "Murder She Wrote" . . .

DFS' other potential hits were "Paper Dolls" and "Hunter," neither of which will be back, while DFS had scant use for either "Highway to Heaven" or "Miami Vice" . . . . . .

The firm of Bozell & Jacobs, on the other hand, gives only "Golden Girls" a chance to be a hit, and predicts it will reach the 25 percent audience share range this coming season . . .

"Maybes," in the 23-24 share range, include "The Colbys," "The Insiders," "MacGyver," "Our Family Honor," "Twilight Zone," "Hell Town," "Amazing Stories" and "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" . . .

The rest, which Bozell & Jacobs put in the iffy 22-share-or-less category, include two series from NBC and five each from CBS and ABC . . .

The agency predicts a virtual tie between CBS and NBC for the ratings crown next year with CBS enjoying a very slight edge with a 26 share, while ABC will average a 24 share . . . Potpourri

"CBS Evening News With Dan Rather" won the weekly network race again last week with a 10.4 rating and a 23 share, compared with "ABC World News Tonight" with a 9.1/20 and "NBC Nightly News," at 9.0/20 . . .

CBS Entertainment gets its new season under way on Monday night, Sept. 23, with "Izzy and Moe," a new movie starring Jackie Gleason and Art Carney as a pair of vaudevillians turned Prohibition agents . . .

Jane Powell joins ABC's "Loving" soap opera regular cast next Tuesday playing a "land baroness" . . .

Gregory Harrison will be leaving CBS' "Trapper John MD" for Bigger Things this year . . . so in a two-part season premiere episode, Gonzo will fall for Andrea Marcovicci, a veterinarian stricken with multiple sclerosis and in a later show he'll leave to take care of her . . .

The first of four Bob Hope specials on NBC this year will be called "What If Bob Hope Were to Buy NBC?" and airs the night of Sept. 17 . . .

C-SPAN asked KTOO, the public TV station in Juneau, Alaska, for some help in putting together a planned end-of-the-month review of the recent impeachment hearings of Gov. Bill Sheffield in the state capital . . .

Yesterday, C-SPAN got a call from Dulles Airport informing them that 400 pounds of tapes were waiting . . .

(Oh, it wasn't much, as TV Column items go, TV Column fans. We just thought that with the weather being what it is this morning you'd like to ponder, ever so briefly, The Idea of Juneau, Alaska) . . .