Channel 7 is planning changes in its late-night lineup (whoa, "Nightline" fans, nobody's fooling with your baby) starting next month . . .
Aside from "Nightline," ABC hasn't been very successful for years against Johnny Carson on NBC and the CBS movie lineup in the wee hours . . . and its current entry at midnight, "Eye on Hollywood," hasn't made much of a dent at all among its affiliates . . .
Like Seven here, many prefer to go with their own movies or syndicated fare, for which they get all the advertising revenue . . .
But ABC is experimenting, finally, and starting March 10 it will air "The Barbour Report," for two weeks in the midnight time slot following "Nightline" . . .
The show stars John Barbour, the former host of "Real People," which he helped create with George Schlatter . . . Barbour calls his new show "Phil Donahue and Johnny Carson meet 'Real People' with a buck and a half to spend" . . .
ABC has put a little pressure on its affiliates to give the show -- and the other late-night experiments it plans to try out before the fall schedule -- a real look-see, and Seven has agreed to go along . . .
On March 31, following the "Barbour" tryout, Seven will begin airing a repeat of the 7:30 p.m. edition each night of "Entertainment Tonight" in that midnight time slot . . . for the foreseeable future . . .
The current midnight movie will move to 12:30 a.m. (with a brief return to 12 a.m. the week of March 24) following "Barbour" and then "ET" . . .
Recently, with the popularity of "Late Night With David Letterman" on NBC and resurging interest by advertisers in the late-night time slots, particularly on the part of the purveyors of beer and soft drinks, network late night is picking up . . .
Late night offers advertisers a heavily adult audience skewing toward men, a target audience that can be reached at a considerably lower rate than during primetime . . .
By the way, Seven is currently negotiating with Paramount over the return next fall of "Entertainment Tonight" . . . which, although it has fallen off from a year ago, is still getting fair ratings at 7:30 p.m., but trailing WRC's "Wheel of Fortune," WTTG's "M*A*S*H" and WRC's "New Newlywed Game" . . .
"Larry King Live" will be broadcasting live from Moscow on Ted Turner's Cable News Network for the week starting June 30 . . .
It's a stunt in anticipation of "The Goodwill Games," which will air on Ted Turner's WTBS superstation from July 5 through July 20 from the Soviet capital . . .
Host Larry King said yesterday that U.S. audiences for his nightly 9 p.m. CNN talk show will be able to talk via telephone direct to his guests through a satellite linkup from Washington . . . Also in the News
In recognition of Black History Month, Black Entertainment Television tonight will present "The Status of Black America," a live national forum featuring nine of the country's black leaders . . .
Among the panelists on the special, which airs on cable systems starting at 9 p.m., will be author James Baldwin; Rep. William Gray III (D-Pa.); . Mary Hatwood Futrell, president of the National Education Association; Willie L. Brown Jr., speaker of the California Assembly; Prof. Glenn Loury of Harvard; Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children's Defense Fund; M. Carl Holman, president of the National Urban Coalition; and Robert L. Woodson, president of the National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise . . .
The discussions will be moderated by WJLA's Paul Berry, who will be joined by Lark McCarthy of ABC News, Barbara Reynolds of USA Today and Milton Coleman of The Washington Post . . .
Former astronaut Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin will appear as himself on the March 9 episode of NBC's "Punky Brewster" as Punky tries to deal with the space-shuttle tragedy . . .
Film of the shuttle flight won't be repeated out of deference to Punky's young audience. Producers hope the show will help children affected by the disaster . . .
NBC's "Search for Tomorrow" will become the first daytime soap opera to be closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired starting Monday, March 3 . . .
NBC will air a two-hour special in May bringing together the gang from "The Andy Griffith Show" and its sequel, "Mayberry RFD," which together enjoyed an 11-year run on CBS starting in 1960 . . .
In the early version, Sheriff Andy Taylor was played by Griffith; his son Opie was a young Ron Howard; deputy Barney Fife was Don Knotts; Gomer Pyle was Jim Nabors; Goober was George Lindsey; and Sweet Aunt Bee was Frances Bavier . . .
They'll all be in the special except for Miss Bavier, who is ill . . .
In the sequel, Andy returns to Mayberry to run again for sheriff but finds out that poor old nervous Barney has his eyes on the job, too. Meanwhile, Opie is married and runs the local newspaper and Gomer and Goober run a garage . . . Stop the Presses!
Ricky Schroder will make his debut as a singer with his "Silver Spoons" rock band Sunday (WRC at 7:30 p.m.) . . . warbling "Talk to Me" . . . an obvious appeal to the 88.8 percent of the Nielsen TV homes around the country that weren't listening to a word he said last Sunday night . . .
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) will appear on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday, his first lengthy TV interview since he took himself out of the 1988 presidential race some weeks back . . .
Which reminds us, last week's edition of "Face the Nation" featuring Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos had a 3.5 Nielsen rating and a 10 percent audience share compared with a 4.5/13 for ABC's "This Week With David Brinkley," featuring a discusssion of the Tylenol scare, and a 2.5/17 for NBC's "Meet the Press," with freed Soviet dissident Anatoly Shcharansky and his wife Avital.
NBC's "Today" show set an all-time network audience record for a morning audience during its week stay in South America . . . averaging 5.9 million TV homes for the week ending Feb. 14 . . .
"Today" averaged a 6.9 Nielsen rating and a 27 percent audience share, compared with a 5.3/21 for ABC's "Good Morning America" and a 3.3/3 for "CBS Morning News" . . .
The previous morning average record belonged to "GMA," when it had an average audience of 5.6 million homes during a week in January 1982 . . .
Thought for the Day for ABC Monday Night Football fans: It cost ABC $7 million every time it aired a primetime NFL game last season . . .
On the other hand, a well-cast, technically superior hour of primetime drama, with top guest stars and a reasonable chance for success, can be brought in for $1.2 million . . . and probably get pretty much the same advertising revenues the game would deliver . . .
And those dramas (or sitcoms) can be rerun as often as they want, with all the original costs paid for the first time around . . .
Last year, ABC Sports paid $160 million for its primetime NFL games but the advertising revenues came to less than $135 million, a loss of more than $25 million . . .