Considering the hoopla the producers and ABC tried to generate for it, the season finale of "Dynasty" on Wednesday night has to be considered a ratings bust . . .

The "cliffhanger" earned a 21.9 Nielsen rating -- representing 18.8 million TV homes -- and a 34 percent audience share . . .

"Dynasty's" average weekly audience for the entire season just past was 18.7 million, with a 33 share, which means a mere 86,000 extra homes tuned in for the finale to watch Claudia flambe' her drapes and Krystle practice her blank stares (when Blake finishes choking Alexis next fall maybe he could pause long enough to wave a hand in front of Krystle to see if there's anybody home) . . .

By comparison, the season-ending "Dallas" cliffhanger on CBS last week drew an audience of 21.3 million homes (24.9/42), up from the 18.8 million homes (21.9/35) the series averaged each week during the season . . .

On the other hand, there's "West 57th," the CBS magazine . . .

Wednesday night, "West 57th" averaged a 7.2/13 (or 6.2 million homes), its poorest performance in four outings so far this spring. In a very related matter, CBS News President Van Gordon Sauter is trying to talk the network into moving the magazine show to a 10 o'clock weeknight time slot, away from the kiddies at 8 . . .

Any night but Thursday, against "20/20," will apparently do . . .

The Washington chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences yesterday announced a total of 277 nominations for local Emmys . . .

Winners in 16 categories will be announced at the annual Emmys banquet, to be held June 21 at the American Museum of History . . .

WDVM led this year's nominations with 91, followed by WJLA with 68; WRC 59; WTTG 34; WHMM seven; WDCA four; and WETA, one . . .

Nominees and winners were chosen by NATAS chapters in Philadelphia, Boston and Miami . . .

Categories include public affairs, children's programming, entertainment, sports, news, documentaries, community service, broadcast image, etc. . . .

The D.C. Lottery and Charitable Games Control Board has awarded the rights to broadcast its on-line game drawings to Channel 20 . . .

Starting June 2, the D.C. Daily Double drawing will air during WDCA's "Midday Movie," Monday through Saturday, at approximately 1:30 p.m. . . .

The Daily Numbers and Pick 4 drawings will air during telecasts of the 8 o'clock movie and Washington Capitals, Washington Bullets and Baltimore Orioles games at approximately 8:30 p.m.

The Lucky Lotto drawing will be held at 9 p.m. on Wednesdays . . .

Which somehow reminds us that the Preakness on ABC Saturday afternoon registered an 8.9 Nielsen rating and a 25 percent audience share, up 59 percent from last year's 5.6/16 . . .

During the same 5-to-6-p.m. period, the Dodgers and Mets on NBC registered a 6.5/18, while the Colonial golf tournament on CBS did a 2.5/7 . . .

For the first leg of racing's Triple Crown, ABC's Kentucky Derby coverage earned a 13.6/37, up from a 10.9/32 last year . . . The Belmont airs June 7 on ABC . . .

Also in the News

Police sources in Trieste, Italy, yesterday said that a Frenchman alleged to have sold a fake film of the Chernobyl nuclear plant to ABC and NBC has been released after the networks decided not to press charges . . .

Thomas Garenq, 24, was arrested 10 days ago and charged with fraud after he was alleged to have sold the U.S. networks and the Italian network RAI a film he said showed a fire raging at the Chernobyl reactor . . .

TV viewers in Trieste who saw the film on RAI said later it was a local cement factory . . .

Monday night, in observance of Memorial Day, ABC's "Nightline" will visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial here . . . where park rangers daily collect touching gifts left by visitors -- teddy bears, poems, photographs of sports cars, favorite records, an occasional Purple Heart, even letters to the deceased (the government carefully stores them in a private museum in Maryland) . . . Families of some of the fallen will also be visited during the taped broadcast . . .

Tuesday evening, "Nightline" anchor Ted Koppel will exchange seats with Charles Gibson . . . who will discuss college commencement addresses with Koppel, Bill Cosby and William Buckley, three sought-after commencement speakers . . .

NBC said yesterday that late-night talk show host David Letterman has paid a $40 fine for using a radar detector . . .

Letterman was not speeding when he was stopped by New Canaan, Conn., police May 12, but his radar detector was working . . .

A spokesman for NBC said Letterman -- who could either mail in the fine or appear in state superior court in Norwalk -- mailed the money last week . . .

Gena Fitzgerald, who has been producer for Channel 7's "I Team" for the past five years, has left to become an assignment editor at the NBC News bureau here . . .

No replacement has been named for Fitzgerald at Seven . . .

And you thought the Horatio Alger story was as dead as a dodo? . . .

Alan Baker, who began his career at NBC as a humble page in 1956, yesterday was named vice president, media, Olympics, by the network . . .

Baker, who has been vice president, press information, since July 1980, will work closely with Michael Eskridge, executive vice president, Olympics, who is in charge of NBC's preparations for the 1988 Summer Olympic Games in Seoul . . .

Moving Right Along

ABC Entertainment yesterday announced that a repeat of "The Winds of War" mini-series will begin on Sunday, Sept. 7, followed by "Winds" on the following Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 14 . . .

NBC's "Today" show, which is all at sea this week, won the morning race for the week ending May 16, with a 5.2 Nielsen rating and a 24 percent audience share, compared with a 4.9/23 for ABC's "Good Morning America" and a 3.5/17 for "CBS Morning News" . . .

That 17 share was the highest for the CBS program since the week ending July 26, 1985 . . .