Now Here's the News

The seventh and final game of the World Series (go, Royals!) Sunday night on ABC proved mighty popular with viewers, at least in Nielsen's 10 major markets . . .

The game and the postgame phone calls averaged a 28.0 rating and a 41 percent audience share in the big cities, including about a 24.4/40 on Channel 7 here (representing almost a quarter of Washington's 1.5 million TV homes) . . .

Washington viewing started off at a 22.4/35 clip in the first half-hour the game was under way, and that rose to 25.8/39 and 25.7/40 while the Royals were putting St. Louis away . . . Later in the evening, with the score 11-0, audiences slipped back a mite . . .

From 8 to 11 p.m. Sunday, when CBS and NBC were competing against the Series, ABC averaged a 21.1/30 on Channel 7, while the CBS offerings on Nine did a 19.5/28 and NBC on Four did a 19.2/28 . . .

In the big cities, the three networks held on to 90 percent of the sets-in-use Sunday night (86 percent locally) from 8 to 11, just like in the Good Old Days. These days, a network aggregate share over 75 percent usually calls for champagne all around at the 21 club . . .

In Game 6 Saturday night, the Royals-Cards averaged a 21.7/37 in Nielsen's 10 major markets, including a 17.0/29 on Channel 7 (in Washington, the NBC lineup on Four beat out the Series). . .

Incidentally, the word in the industry is that ABC probably did not make a bundle out of those surprise sixth and seventh games. Advertisers, who are no longer lining up around the block for sports on any of the networks, probably got bargain-basement rates when they bought time at the last minute, compared with the up-front Series price of about $130,000 per 30 seconds . . .

In fact, TV Column fans, advertising projections for the next few years are so soft in New York that when it comes time for a new round of talks between the National Football League and the three networks (the current contract expires with Super Bowl XXI in January 1987) there may be no more than the $2.1 billion now in the pot available to the NFL, which automatically has learned to expect a raise . . .

Right now, CBS pays $730 million, ABC $680 million and NBC $650 million over the five-year life of the old contract . . .

Speaking of sports, NBC Sports has signed Jimmy Cefalo, former Miami Dolphins wide receiver, as a commentator for NFL games. He'll debut this weekend on the San Diego-Denver game . . .

In addition, he'll do sports news on "NBC News at Sunrise," the early-early-morning weekday network show . . . Also in the News

Twenty-four copies of that dynamite New York magazine cover story detailing turmoil at CBS Inc. were delivered hot off the presses the very first thing yesterday morning to the executive suites at CBS Inc. headquarters in New York, a k a Black Rock . . .

ABC has discontinued production of theatrical movies. In the past four years, the movie unit produced "Young Doctors in Love," "Silkwood," "Prizzi's Honor" and "The Flamingo Kid" . . .

Brandon Stoddard remains as head of the ABC Motion Pictures unit, which will still produce ABC-TV mini-series, novels-for-TV, TV movies and "Moonlighting," the network's sole in-house series . . .

The overhead and development costs of producing four or five major movies a year were major factors in the decision to drop the theatricals, an economic move that will undoubtedly please Wall Street's financial analysts . . .

Robert Ward, the Baltimore author ("Red Baker") whose tough-guy realism earned him the story editor job on "Hill Street Blues" late last summer, will see his first script aired on Nov. 7 . . . and he gets his first screen credit on Thursday's broadcast of the NBC series . . .

Appearing on the Phil Donahue show today will be Robin Weir, Nancy Reagan's hair stylist for the past five years, and Linda Mason . . .

Weir will be doing "makeovers" and Mason will demonstrate the "punk" makeup she brought to the States from Great Britain, earning, with that simple act, Captain Airwaves' eternal gratitude . . .

Hold everything! The real Punky Brewster will do a walk-on during the Nov. 10 episode of the NBC series "Punky Brewster"!!! . . .

Seems that Peyton B. Rutledge, who in childhood was known as Punky Brewster, was the son of the headmaster at a prep school attended by Brandon Tartikoff, president of NBC Entertainment. Tartikoff remembered the name and suggested it for the title character of the series (the TV Punky, you'll recall -- those few of you who watch the Sunday show -- has a golden retriever named "Brandon") . . .

The real Punky will appear as a teacher who bumps into the make-believe Punky in the hallway and comments on her unusual name . . .

A three-hour NBC movie called "Liberty," dealing with the creation of the Statue of Liberty, has started five weeks of filming in Baltimore, where views from the waterfront fit right into the story, apparently. Starring Frank Langella, it will air April 3 . . .

James Adams, host of Channel 5's "Capital City Magazine," was in New York last week to accept the CEBA award for excellence from the World Institute of Black Communications Inc. . . .

The CEBA award (which stands for communications excellence to black audiences) went to "Capital City Magazine" for Adams' interview in April 1984 with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan . . . Local Ratings

Early figures are out for the October Arbitron and Nielsen ratings books in Washington. And once again, the discrepancies between the viewer samples of the two services, and the different results therefrom, are the big story . . .

Looking at the Monday-Friday local news races (Arbitron figures, first, followed by Nielsen):

From 5 to 5:30 p.m., Channel 5's "Gimme a Break" is first with a 10.5 rating and a 26 percent audience share (in Nielsen it has an 8.8/22), followed by Channel 9's news with 8.1/20 (a first-place 10.2/25 in Nielsen); Channel 4 News' 6.8/17; Channel 7's "Jeopardy" at 6.4/16 (6.6/16); and Channel 20's "Laverne & Shirley," at 2.3/6 (2.4/6) . . .

From 5:30 to 6 p.m., Five's "Alice" leads in ARB with 9.8/23 (8.7/20), followed by Nine news 9.3/22 (12.1/28); Four's news at 7.0/16 (7.3/17); Seven's news at 6.8/16 (7.1/16); and Twenty's "Laverne & Shirley" at 3.1/7 (3.2/7) . . .

From 6 to 7 p.m., Nine news leads with 11.1/23 (14.1/27), followed by Five's combination of "Three's Company" and "Too Close for Comfort"' at 10.6/22 (10.1/20); Seven news at 8.3/17 (8.7/17); Four's news at 7.5/15 (8.6/17); and Twenty's "Diff'rent Strokes" and "What's Happening" at 4.4/9 (4.5/29) . . .

At 10 p.m., the Channel 5 news averaged a 6.2/11 (7.3/12) . . .

At 11 p.m., Nine news led with an 11.1/24 (13.3/28), followed closely by Seven news at 10.9/27 (10.4/25) and Four news at 10.7/23 (11.4/23) . . .

In sum, Nine still leads the news races, but Seven and Four are tight and Five's 10 o'clock news suffered in late weeks from Series and playoff game competition . . .