Now Here's the News

But first: ABC has ruled that henceforth "Dynasty II: The Colbys" will be officially known as "The Colbys" . . .

With that settled, ABC Entertainment yesterday announced changes that will affect its Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday prime-time schedules shortly after the first of the year . . .

With the revisions, two situation comedies -- "He's the Mayor" and "The Redd Foxx Show" -- will be added to the lineup . . .

"The Insiders" get their walking papers and "Shadow Chasers" go on "hiatus" . . .

It also means that "Ripley's Believe It Or Not," once headed for the boneyard, becomes an instant -- if short-lived -- candidate for the 1985-86 Lazarus Award with a move from Sunday against "60 Minutes" to Thursday, where it is scheduled to meet Mr. Cosby and Mr. Magnum in the 8 p.m. time slot . . .

From the top, "He's the Mayor" will join the Friday schedule at 9:30 pm. starting Friday, Jan. 10 . . .

"He's" stars Kevin Hooks as a 25-year-old college grad who becomes mayor in his hometown. Kevin, says ABC, "makes up for his lack of political savvy with charisma, honesty and resourcefulness" plus good advice from his father, the city's chief maintenance man (that role still to be cast) . . .

Joining "He's" on the revised Friday schedule Jan. 10 will be "The Fall Guy" (another Lazarus contender), who moves from Saturday at 8 to the 10 p.m. time slot, replacing "Our Family Honor," which has been canceled . . . The Friday lineup will then be "Webster," "Mr. Belvedere," "Diff'rent Strokes," "He's the Mayor" and "Fall Guy" . . .

"The Redd Foxx Show," starring Redd as an "off-kilter but lovable" New York newsstand operator, will be introduced Saturday, Jan. 11, in the 8 p.m. time slot, followed by "Benson," who moves from Friday . . .

On Jan. 22, "MacGyver" moves from Sunday night to 8 p.m. Wednesday, replacing "The Insiders" . . .

Beginning Jan. 30, "Ripley's" makes its move to Thursdays, replacing "Shadow Chasers," which departs after the Jan. 16 telecast (the movie "Grease II" airs on Jan. 23) . . .

ABC had previously announced that a one-hour "Disney Sunday Movie" would replace the Ripper, and yesterday the network said "Disney" will premiere with a two-hour show on Sunday, Feb. 2 . . .

Part II of that Phil Donahue look at "women in the news" (Channel 9 at 9 a.m.) airs this morning sans NBC's Connie Chung, who couldn't stay around for Wednesday's taping of the second show . . .

Holdovers include Rita Flynn (ex-ABC) of Chronicle Broadcasting, ABC's Carole Simpson and Joan Lunden, NBC's Jane Pauley, CNN's Mary Alice Williams and CBS' Lesley Stahl and Maria Shriver . . .

Incidentally a caucus of women correspondents at ABC News, including Barbara Walters, apparently will meet with News president Roone Arledge in Washington during the second week of January as a follow-up to a May meeting in Manhattan at which they first addressed "problems and concerns" about employment and assignment practices at the division . . .

The January meeting will probably also include a limited number of women in off-camera jobs at the network as well as women from other ABC bureaus around the country . . .

A spokesman for ABC News yesterday denied that the tentative meeting was in response to a Nov. 22 letter from the caucus to Arledge wondering what had happened to the "follow-up meeting in September" Arledge had "agreed to" at the May lunch . . .

Caucus members complained earlier this week that no reply to their Nov. 22 letter had been received, but News Vice President Joanna Bistany said yesterday that "plans had already been discussed with one of the members of the caucus before that letter was sent" regarding the January meeting. "Frankly," she added, "I don't know what the letter was supposed to represent" . . .

The letter to Arledge said caucus members "believe it would be enormously helpful to meet with you, as well as the top executives of ABC News, to review the progress so far and chart the course toward equal opportunity" . . .

Members of the correspondents' group, in addition to Walters, include Betsy Aaron, Karen Burnes, Ann Compton, Bettina Gregory, Phyllis Haynes, Sheilah Kast, Sheryl McCarthy, Jeanne Meserve, Andrea Naverson, Lynn Sherr and Carole Simpson . . .

Also in the News

Audiences for the conclusion of "Alice in Wonderland" Tuesday night on CBS fell off considerably -- at least in Nielsen's 12 major markets, where it averaged a 16.2 rating and a 24 percent audience share (the Johnny Cash special which followed plummeted to a 10.0/16) . . .

Monday night, "Alice" managed a nice 21.2/31 in the national Nielsen ratings, not far off the L.A. Rams-49ers game on ABC, which did a 21.7/34 . . .

The December edition of NBC's "American Almanac" magazine has been scheduled for Monday, Dec. 30, at 10 p.m. . . .

NBC also has announced a two-hour salute to the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 20, the national holiday honoring the civil rights leader . . .

Stevie Wonder will host the special, which will air from the stage of the Kennedy Center here, the Civic Center in Atlanta and Radio City Music Hall in New York . . .

NBC Entertainment will drop the Sunday movie sometime in March . . .

A five-hour telethon that aired on all 14 TV stations in West Virginia and some 50 radio stations last weekend raised $1 million in aid for victims of the state's Nov. 4-6 flood . . .

"CBS Evening News With Dan Rather" won the network news race again last week with a 14.1 rating and a 24 percent audience share, compared with a 12.5/21 for "NBC Nightly News With Tom Brokaw" and a 12.4/21 for "ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings" . . .

The TV Column With Captain Airwaves would like to point out that ABC's rating for the week ending Dec. 4 was its highest since February, although NBC has now finished second eight straight weeks and 10 out of the last 12 since the frost first got on the pumpkin . . .

Celebrity Santa Clauses, including Glenn Brenner and Mike Buchanan from WDVM, Bernie Smilovitz and Joel Loy from WTTG and Steve Doocy from WRC, will be on hand tonight at the J.W. Marriott hotel at 14th and Pennsylvania Avenue on behalf of the National Kidney Foundation . . .

For $2, kiddies can sit on the laps of the celebrity Santas for pictures donated by Polaroid . . .

Last week's rerun of "Shogun" on WTTG over six nights averaged a 9.8 rating and a 15 percent share in the Nielsen meters and a 7.9/14 in the Arbitron accounting . . .

Channel 4 has named Joelle Norwood as program producer in the programming department. She'll help on the Arch Campbell Show, plus local documentaries and specials. Norwood was an Emmy award-winning senior producer with WTTG's "PM Magazine" . . .