Part I of "Dress Gray" on NBC won the Wholesome Sunday network race, at least in Nielsen's top 12 markets . . .
The story of homosexual rape and murder at a military academy averaged a 20.8 rating and a 31 percent audience share between 9 and 11 p.m. . . .
"Blind Justice," the CBS movie about false accusations of rape and robbery, finished third for the night with a 16.9/25, behind the James Bonder "Live and Let Die" on ABC, which did an 18.2/27 . . .
Locally, "Dress Gray " did a 17.8/29 on Four, "Live and Let Die" did a 15.3/25 on Seven and "Blind Justice" delivered a 14.9/24 on Nine . . .
Even though Channel 7 took time off for three hours Sunday afternoon for ACC basketball, local viewers donated a generous $1,002,841 during Seven's telecast of the 15th annual Easter Seals Telethon between 11:30 p.m. Saturday and 9 p.m. Sunday . . .
The national telethon on behalf of the National Easter Seals Society to aid the physically disabled was seen in some 125 TV markets around the country, and raised a total of $30.1 million . . . That's up from $27.4 million last year . . .
Among the local donors: President Reagan, who called in Sunday night after returning from Camp David to pledge $1,000 . . .
Speaking of Seven, the station expects to unveil a new set for its news programs within the next couple of weeks . . .
NBC News announced yesterday that another primetime edition of the "Today" show will air Friday, Sept. 5. No time slot has been selected . . .
During the week of Aug. 19 last year, the first such experiment, "Today at Night," tied for 42nd place among 60 shows ranked that week, with a 10.3 rating and an 18 share, about double its average morning audience at the time . . .
That hour was pretty much devoted to a trip down Memory Lane, but executive producer Steve Friedman said yesterday the upcoming edition will "be more like a regular 'Today' show" . . .
Friedman said, however, that Jane Pauley will definitely be missing from the September broadcast. She is scheduled to go on maternity leave in mid-summer and her official return is scheduled for Oct. 11 -- which will mark Jane's 10th anniversary on the air!!! . . .
A taping out in Burbank Sunday for NBC's upcoming 60th-anniversary gala brought together -- for the first time since anyone could remember -- three "Tonight Show" hosts: Steve Allen, Jack Paar and incumbent Johnny Carson . . .
The network had 85 "stars" clambering up bleachers to tape the finale of the three-hour special, scheduled sometime in May . . .
To get to the top, they had to use ropes for assistance and executive producer Alexander H. Cohen gave some of them rope-climbing lessons . . .
The Cosby Kids, being the youngest, sprinted to the top row first. But it took some 35 minutes to get everybody else in place -- with Bob Hope in front, naturally . . .
Conspicuous absentees reportedly included Bill Cosby and David Letterman!!! . . .
As for that "Tonight" reunion, NBC is going to use some of the footage Paar owns from his own show, which includes appearances by John and Robert Kennedy and Richard Nixon -- the last playing the piano . . .
One segment of the gala reportedly will feature famous farewells, including the last "Good night, Chet; good night, David" from the Huntley-Brinkley Report . . . Also in the News
"Faces of War," a half-hour special prepared by opponents of the Reagan administration's aid to the contras in Nicaragua, didn't fare too well Sunday night when it aired locally on Channel 5 . . .
Arbitron ratings for the program, which began at 11:30 p.m., showed a 2.6 rating and a 7 percent audience share in this market. Nielsen meters gave it a 2.3/7. Each rating point represents about 15,000 TV homes in the Washington area . . .
Neighbor to Neighbor, the organization that produced the film, plans to air the program in 20 other markets around the country in the next three weeks, at a cost of about $60,000 . . . sk sw
A spokesman for the organization said yesterday that only WTTG in this market agreed to air the program, which featured interviews with Americans working and living in Nicaragua and El Salvador. It was hosted by former "M*A*S*H" star Mike Farrell . . .
Nick Allen, executive director of Neighbor to Neighbor, said more than 100 TV stations around the country "have refused to sell us time to broadcast 'Faces of War' " . . .
According to Allen, the program will air in such major markets as San Francisco, Dallas, Boston, Nashville and Memphis, in addition to Washington . . .
Meanwhile, Channel 26 yesterday denied a report that it has turned down, on the grounds it was "propaganda," a documentary called "Witness to War," produced by the American Friends Service Committee and featuring Dr. Charles Clements . . .
The report, which appeared in yesterday's Style section, said it would be shown on PBS this month . . .
Clements is a former Air Force pilot who became a Quaker medical doctor working in Central America. He is an outspoken foe of U.S. policy in that area . . .
A spokesperson for WETA said yesterday that the program will be distributed by PBS outside of its "core schedule" on April 1 . . .
"At that time," the spokesperson said, "WETA will view the film and then make a decision whether to air it or not" . . .
CBS Entertainment announced yesterday that "Crazy Like a Fox" will return to the air with original episodes on Saturday, April 5, in the 8 p.m. time slot . . .
"Airwolf" will have its final original broadcast for the season on Saturday, March 29, in that time slot. It will return in a repeat scheduled later in the summer, the network promised . . .
This gets a little complicated. But. Maryland Public Television's current fund-raising drive, which began March 1, was originally scheduled for 21 days . . .
However, MPT promised that if periodic goals were met toward the $600,000 total, a day of fund-raising would be eliminated each time such goals were met, to the point that the drive might last only 17 days!!! . . .
Well, already the MPT drive is down to 19 days, as another goal was met Sunday, when the total reached $291,000 . . .
If another $140,000 is raised by March 14 and another $150,000-plus by March 17, the drive will have been only 17 days long . . . just like Channel 26's!!! . . .
Channel 7 has created a program to recognize Washington area residents "whose leadership and commitment to their communities goes above and beyond the call of duty" . . .
"Seven Salutes Seven Who Care" will honor seven individuals annually whose "public service throughout the year has made an impact on the quality of life in their community" . . .
The first recipients of the award will be announced in April. Local business, community organizations and individuals are encouraged to submit nominations to WJLA during March . . .
A panel of seven judges experienced in a number of fields -- education, arts, science and medicine, government, business and economy, environment and various community services -- will make the final decisions . . .
NBC News had it wrong. Connie Chung will anchor "NBC News at Sunrise" on Thursday and Friday of this week and then all next week before leaving the show for her "American Almanac" duties. Our Monday story, reporting she was to be on the air all this week, was based on information from the network. Thanks, NBC, he grumbled . . .