Channel 5 yesterday announced the cancellation of "PM Magazine" sometime early this fall to make way for a weeknight package of two-hour movies from 8 to 10 p.m. . . .
The weeknight magazine show won six of WTTG's eight local Emmys in this June's competition . . .
"PM Magazine," after a long run on Channel 9 here, moved to Five about three years ago. The format of the show is owned by Group W. It appears on numerous stations throughout the country, and superior locally produced segments from each are "bicycled" to the other "PM" shows to use as they choose . . .
WTTG's move can be seen as a prelude to the introduction next March of a schedule of regular primetime programming to be provided by Fox Broadcasting, which purchased WTTG and five other Metromedia stations earlier this year as the basis of a planned "fourth network" . . .
In announcing the cancellation of the 8 p.m. half-hour show yesterday, Bob O'Connor, station vice president and general manager, had high praise for the staff's "diligence and dedication to the show," and emphasized that Five has "been very happy with PM's performance and staff . . .
"Wherever possible," O'Connor said, "the staff will be absorbed by other programs or other departments within WTTG" . . .
The status of anchors Joel Loy and Yolanda Gaskins was unclear late yesterday . . . No date was set for the program's last appearance . . .
Syndicated New York Daily News columnist Liz Smith reports this morning that: "NBC will quash that favorite show of Grant Tinker -- the Connie Chung-Roger Mudd magazine hour, '1986.' It won't even get to grow to be '1987' " . . .
The same paragraph repeats yesterday's announcement from NBC that "Remington Steele" is being revived, a juxtaposition suggesting to CA that LS believes RS is the show waiting in the wings to replace "1986" . . .
Said NBC News President Larry Grossman yesterday in response to the Smith item: "That's outlandish and absurd." (Airwaves doesn't want to get between those two and has quietly tippytoed over to an interview on today's Donahue show) . . .
During which, at one point, Phil asks guest Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather's predecessor as anchor of CBS Evening News: "Does the sweaters and influence of Dan Rather's sweaters on the ratings trouble Walter Cronkite at all?" . . .
To which Cronkite replies: "I think that cosmetics have always troubled those of us who are serious about the news" . . .
(If we were Dan Rather, we'd rate that exchange at about a 1.5 ouch from Donahue, half an ouch from Cronkite) . . .
By the by, "Remington Steele" is returning on a "short-flight order" of probably eight programs, including a two-hour premiere. No date has been set for its return, though Stephanie Zimbalist and Pierce Brosnan are definitely coming back as the stars . . . In Other Program Notes
Nastassja Kinski will portray Anastasia/Anna Anderson in NBC's four-hour "Anastasia," which, says NBC, "examines one of the greatest mysteries of the 20th century, the puzzling story of Anna Anderson, who may or may not have been the Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia" . . .
Rex Harrison will play the Grand Duke Cyril Romanov, pretender to the throne of Imperial Russia . . .
Second biggest mystery of the 20th century: Why NBC would attempt to match the 1956 "Anastasia," which won an Oscar for Ingrid Bergman in the title role and also starred a few pros named Helen Hayes, Akim Tamiroff and Yul Brynner and had a gloriously rich musical score to boot . . .
Nevertheless and notwithstanding, the NBC effort airs sometime this coming season . . .
Production began yesterday in Fresno, Calif., on the five-hour comedy mini-series, "Fresno," described by CBS as a "sweeping saga of greed, lust and dried grapes" . . .
This sendup of "Dallas," "Dynasty" and "The Colbys" stars Carol Burnett as Charlotte Kensington, widowed matriarch of a raisin-producing family, locked in a struggle with Dabney Coleman, "the ruthless head" of Cane Enterprises, who wants to assume sole command of the city's powerful raisin cartel . . .
(United Press International ran a wire yesterday datelined Fresno reporting that "some residents" were "apprehensive" about the upcoming spoof, claiming it would make fun of their town . . . which suggests CBS publicists are already hard at work in the vineyards) . . . And Finally
Channel 4 has signed Lynda Lopez, formerly a reporter and weekend anchor for KGBT in Harlingen, Tex. She starts this week as a general assignment reporter . . .