Now Here's The News
NBC's "Golden Girls" looked strong again, but three new ABC weekend entries didn't exactly go through the ratings roof as the days dwindled down through the final two of the Old Season . . .
And talk about close, TV Column fans! . . .
Did you know that after 363 days of the TV calendar year that began last Sept. 22, CBS had a prime-time average of 15.055, compared with NBC's 15.051? . . .
And that ABC had a 13.7 rating after 363 days? (nobody counts to three decimal points when you're a loser, TV Column fans) . . .
And then along came these past Friday and Saturday nights with NBC and ABC both introducing new-season series, while CBS stayed with reruns . . .
Well, Friday night, a two-hour season premiere of "Knight Rider" on NBC averaged a 14.8 Nielsen rating and a 25 percent audience share in Nielsen's top 10 markets, while a "Miami Vice" rerun averaged a 17/29 . . . giving NBC a 15.5/26 for the night . . .
ABC meanwhile got a 14.4/25 out of a one-hour "Webster" rerun and a 16.3/27 from the two-hour season opener of "Spenser: For Hire" . . .
That left CBS, with a Bugs Bunny special, a 90-minute rerun of the "Dallas" spring cliffhanger and an hour of the "Falcon Crest" spring cliffhanger, averaging a 10.2/17 for the whole night . . .
(In Washington, "Knight Rider" averaged a 14.7/26 on Channel 4, "Spenser: For Hire" a 11.9/21 on Channel 7) . . .
Then NBC really went to work on Saturday night . . .
"Gimme a Break" averaged a 16.0/31, "Facts of Life" an 18.9/35, "Golden Girls" a whopping 24.1/42, "227" a 19.6/34 and the one-hour season debut of "Hunter" a 15.0/27 for an overall Saturday night average of 18.1/33 . . .
ABC introduced "Hollywood Beat" with a 12.3/23 average while the two-hour "Lime Street" premiere did a 16.4/29, for a night's average of 15.0/27 . . .
Meanwhile, on CBS, in 10 cities, an "Airwolf" rerun averaged a skinny 7.5/15, while in nine cities (WDVM here wisely chose to run a syndicated Osmond special), the "Used Cars" movie did an even skinnier 6.0/10, which figures to a 6.5/11 CBS night overall . . .
("Hollywood Beat" did a 9.6/18 and "Lime Street" a 12.8/23 on Channel 7, while "Hunter's" return did a 16.1/29 on Channel 4) . . .
Well, of course you know what all that means, TV Column fans. NBC apparently won the 1984-85 TV calendar year championship over CBS, winner of the official regular season (September-April) race. And, of equal importance this morning, at least to Captain Airwaves, Captain Airwaves could help fill up his column with all those numbers! . . . And, We're Not
Through yet, TV Column fans . . .
On Sunday night, the official 1985-86 new prime-time season (to say nothing of a whole new TV calendar year) kicked off with ABC in proud possession of the Prime-Time Emmys program . . .
Over three hours in nine Nielsen cities (Houston's computers abstaining), the Emmys averaged a 22.9/35, compared with a 14.4/22 for CBS reruns over the 8-to-11 period and a 13.0/20 for an NBC rerun movie . . .
In Washington, the Emmys averaged a 17.9/28 on Channel 7 . . .
Incidentally, that syndicated three-hour version of the Farm Aid concert from Champaign, Ill., late Sunday night on Channel 7 averaged a 3.4 Arbitron rating and a 17 share through the wee hours . . .
Started pretty well with a 5.7/19 but by 2:45 a.m. Monday, the audience count was down to a 1.6/16 . . .
Whew! That's a passel of numbers, TV Column fans! . . .
Especially considering that tomorrow will be Regular Weekly Ratings Day!!! . . . Moving Right Along
NBC announced late yesterday that "Tonight Show" host Johnny Carson has a "slight eye infection" and will miss tonight's broadcast and possibly tomorrow's, too . . .
At this writing, no decision had been made whether to air a rerun or to bring in a guest host . . .
There's talk that ABC News, which has already lost about 35 people this fall in ABC Inc.'s across-the-board personnel cuts of 350, plans to drop another 10 before the year's out . . .
Chances are some of the 10 will come out of currently unfilled positions, however . . .
The Children's Television Workshop, which created "Sesame Street," "The Electric Company" and "3-2-1 Contact," has put together $16 million to launch a new major weekly mathematics series aimed at 8- to 12-year-olds . . .
The program, which could be launched by January 1987 on the Public Broadcasting Service, will probably be twinned at that time with "3-2-1 Contact," a science and technology series . . .
Production begins on five pilot programs for the still-untitled math series, which will be tested by children and teachers around the country before production begins on the 75 half-hour programs in the contemplated series . . .
The U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting have contributed some $11 million for the series. In addition, IBM and the Andrew Mellon and Carnegie corporations have contributed $2.5 million toward series costs . . .
The Washington Redskins, despite their dismal performance Sunday, still managed to get a 33.4 Nielsen rating and a 68 percent share of the sets-in-use in this market during their game with Philadelphia on Channel 9 . . .
Speaking of Santa Claus, NBC announced yesterday that about a dozen of the network's kiddy stars will join Andy Williams this fall up in Lapland and at the Finnish capital of Helsinki to film "Andy Williams and the NBC Kids Search for Santa" for the holiday season . . .
Barbara Petranek, who has been manager of press and publicity at Channel 4 since July 1980, is leaving the station in two weeks to take an executive job outside the TV business . . .
No replacement for Petranek has been named . . . And Finally
Family and friends will gather at the Cosmos Club here Saturday at 4 p.m. to "celebrate the life" of veteran NBC newsman Robert K. McCormick, who died Sept. 4 in New York at the age of 74 following surgery . . .
Mr. McCormick, who joined NBC in 1942, had a major role in the development of network TV news programming during his 32 years with the network . . .
Meanwhile, NBC News plans to hold memorial services next Monday at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in Manhattan for newsmen Neil Davis and Bill Latch, who were killed Sept. 9 while covering an aborted military coup in Bangkok . . .
Mr. Davis, an Australian who had covered wars in the Far East for years, was NBC Bangkok bureau chief. Mr. Latch was an NBC radio reporter and sound man . . .