We hear NBC News has reached an agreement with Robert Lipsyte, who currently covers the sports scene for CBS' "Sunday Morning" . . . He'd join NBC later this year . . .

NBC plans to use Lipsyte on "Nightly News," the "Today" show and, particularly, on weekends . . .

In recent months, "Nightly News" has been offering longer pieces from its health, business and investigative reporters, and Lipsyte's style is expected to fit in nicely . . .

Yabba dabba do! ABC is reviving the "Flintstones" saga for the edification of America's children every Saturday morning next fall . . .

The all-new animated hour will depict the "beloved" characters from the original show -- Fred and Wilma, Barney and Betty -- as 10-year-old kiddies. Dino the Dinosaur will be a pup . . .

Included in the weekly one-hour show will be another segment featuring "Captain Caveman" (no relation), billed as "the world's first superhero and idol of the kids in Bedrock." Okaaay, ABC . . .

The original Flintstones ran as a primetime series on ABC from 1960 until 1966 and made a brief appearance in the fall of 1981 in primetime on NBC . . .

On a considerably more serious note, yes, Vladimir Horowitz fans . . . CBS News is considering a rebroadcast of Sunday's "Horowitz in Moscow" special . . .

But no decision has been made whether it would return as a primetime special or as a repeat on "Sunday Morning" . . .

Speaking of CBS News (isn't it wonderful how these things just seem to fall in place once in a while, TV Column fans?) . . . there's talk in New York that Frank Gifford, the disaffected ABC sportscaster, could eventually show up on "CBS Morning News" as part of a package that would also have him broadcasting for CBS Sports . . .

"Right now, that's pretty much agentspeak," a CBS News spokesman said yesterday, at the same time confirming the rumor was being heard around CBS News . . .

Susan Winston, who's been hired to take a good, long look at the ailing morning show, doesn't come on board at CBS until May 5 and major decisions regarding its format and personnel are still a long way off . . .

But Winston worked with Gifford when she was executive producer of ABC's "Good Morning America" . . .

One rumor has Gifford replacing Forrest Sawyer as coanchor, foretelling a further softening of the once hard news program into all-entertainment. Sawyer hasn't disappointed CBS executives and would be taken care of, if such a change occurred . . .

A Maria Shriver-Gifford combo would be very Kennedyish (or at least Kennedyian), to say the least. Shriver's mother, Eunice, is a sister of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy; Gifford's daughter Victoria is married to Michael Kennedy, son of Ethel and the late senator Robert Kennedy . . .

Incidentally, Maria, who marries Arnold Schwarzenegger Saturday at Hyannis Port, left on a 10-day vacation yesterday. At her request, there was no champagne party on the set to mark her departure (that's in keeping with her attempts in recent weeks to keep her increasingly public personal life as distant as she can from the broadcast) . . .

During her absence, early morning newscaster Faith Daniels will fill in for her. Douglas Edwards replaces Daniels through Tuesday on the early broadcast . . .

Still on the network news front . . . the crisis in Libya raised total viewing for all three evening shows 13 percent last week over the previous week . . .

"CBS Evening News With Dan Rather" registered a 13.7 Nielsen rating and a 25 percent audience share, a full point ahead of "NBC Nightly News With Tom Brokaw," which had a 12.7/23 (and which had entertained a suspicion as late as Monday that they'd beat CBS for the week). "ABC World News Tonight With Peter Jennings" wasn't all that far behind, with a 12.2/22 . . .

Ratings for all three shows were the highest since February when the Marcos government fell in the Philippines . . .

Meanwhile, both Cable News Network and its Headline News recorded their highest weekday averages ever last week, Monday through Friday . . . with CNN averaging a 1.6 rating and a 5 share, which in the cable universe translates as 536,000 homes. Headline News averaged 151,000 homes . . . Also in the News

Channel 9 won four first places in the 1985 United Press International Broadcasters Association Awards competition, announced this week . . .

Channel 5 took a first place for its news commentary . . .

Nine's Eyewitness News at 6 was named best newscast; Ellen Kingsley's "Cancer: A Portrait of Hope" was best documentary; Nine photographer Greg Guise took first in the best spot news videography category for his coverage of the "W Street Fire"; and Mike Buchanan won the best feature award for his "Fat City," chronicling his fight against well, fat . . .

WJZ and WBAL in Baltimore both took two awards . . .

Turner Broadcasting System President Ted Turner took time on Larry King's CNN talk show Monday night to apologize for a comment on Italians seen the night before on his CBS "60 Minutes" interview with Diane Sawyer. . .

CBS camera crews had been present last month when he addressed NASA employes in Titusville, Fla.

At one point, Turner said " . . . Italians. Imagine the Italians at war. I mean, what a joke. They didn't belong in the last war, they were sorry they were in it, they were glad to get out of it. They'd rather be involved in crime and just making wine and having a good time . . . "

Italian American groups took umbrage immediately . . .

Bill Fugazy, chairman of the Coalition of Italo-American Associations, sent a cable to Turner demanding an apology and hinting advertiser reprisals . . .

Turner had made an agreement with "60 Minutes" that he would not appear on any other show until the interview had aired. He had already been booked by King for Monday's appearance . . .

During the broadcast, in response to a call from a viewer, Turner said: "That comment out of '60 Minutes' was lifted out of context from a speech about world peace. I used the Italians as an example of a nation that had totally rejected war and violence after they were dragged against their will into World War II . . .

"I was joking and did make a joke about the Mafia there . . . one comment lifted out of context. That one line would have certainly been offensive to me if I were Italian. It was offensive to me as it was and I do apologize" . . .

Since the broadcast, "60 Minutes" has received four letters about Turner's comments. In addition, 13 phone calls were received at CBS that night . . .

Executive Producer Don Hewitt has already selected a letter from the Commission for Social Justice of the New York Order of the Sons of Italy of America, to be read on "60 Minutes" this coming Sunday . . .

Although it plotzed on WDCA here, where it aired late Monday night, that goofy Al Capone vault opening wowed them in the biggest TV markets around the country, where it aired live . . .

WDCA here registered only a 4.3 rating and a 14 share -- starting at 11 p.m., after WTTG news had revealed at 10:55 that the Chicago vault held nothing more formidable than a couple of empty gin bottles (well, Geraldo Rivera in a hard hat singing a couple of bars of "Chicago" was pretty formidable, too, come to think of it) . . .

But the two-hour show recorded an awesome 57.3 Nielsen rating and a 73 percent share in Chicago itself, a 33.2/45 in New York and a 45.6/61 in Los Angeles . . .

It was carried on 181 stations . . .

Channel 5 has picked up "Silver Spoons," which will be available in syndication in the fall of 1987 . . .

That NBC White Paper Tuesday night on "The Japan They Don't Talk About" registered a national Nielsen rating of 9.6 and an 18 percent audience share . . . And Finally

As faithful TV Column fans know, Captain Airwaves deplores idle gossip. Nevertheless and notwithstanding:

Our Chateau Marmont bureau chief reports that John Forsythe and Joan Collins really are feuding, just like their characters, Blake Carrington and that awful Alexis, on ABC's "Dynasty" . . .

At the "Dynasty" wrap party last Friday marking the end of filming for the season, Forsythe told the cast that "Joan couldn't be here for the party. She's vacationing in Libya" . . .