NBC Entertainment president Brandon Tartikoff yesterday told the folks who run NBC's 200-plus affiliates that the network is fairly well-prepared in case the Directors Guild goes ahead with a threatened strike when the current contract expires June 30 ...

At the annual meeting in Los Angeles, Tartikoff said the number one network already has 20 major TV movies for next season in the can, as well as three miniseries and at least six episodes each of nine series on the fall schedule ...

Tartikoff, whose primetime schedule has already made NBC a virtual shoo-in for another first place finish next year, said CBS is equally prepared as far as movies are concerned ... but that both CBS and ABC lag in the stockpiling of miniseries and series ...

Responding to affiliate complaints that relatively weaker ratings for NBC programs in the 10 p.m. timeslots each night are hurting their late night news shows, Tartikoff said every 10 p.m. show on the fall schedule "has the potential" to earn a 25 percent audience share ...

During the last primetime hour next fall, NBC plans to air movies on Sunday and Monday nights, followed by "Crime Story," "St. Elsewhere," "L.A. Law," the new "Private Eye," set in a 1950s L.A., and, on Saturday, "Hunter" ...

He predicted that holdover "Crime Story," set for Tuesday night at 10, which tied for 65th in the 1986-87 regular season, will build audience in reruns over this summer ...

Tartikoff also announced that Kirstie Alley will join the cast of "Cheers," which lost Shelley Long, playing Rebecca Howe. Rebecca will become manager of the bar after Sam sells it to a large corporation, and you can almost predict those two aren't going to get along. For maybe two episodes, anyway...

Tartikoff also said an Australian actress, Sherrie Kren, will join the cast of "Facts of Life," which is limping into its ninth season on the network ...

And Hey! Merlin Olsen, who has already established the standard for really big hats in such series as "Little House on the Prairie" and "Father Murphy," hasn't lost the touch ...

In a drama series called "Aaron's Way," set as a midseason replacement on NBC, Merlin will play the head of an Amish family ...

In the series pilot, Merlin leads "three generations of a sheltered Amish family" to California to "face today's complex society" and to help his dead son's pregnant girlfriend harvest her grapes ...

We did not make that up ...

Also in the News The local chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has announced nominations for this year's local Emmys ...

WUSA leads with 63, followed by WRC with 44; WJLA with 32; WTTG, 24; WETA and WHMM, two each; and WDCA, one ...

Independent producers received 14 nominations ...

News nominations were chosen by the San Francisco chapter of NATAS, while chapters in New York and Philadelphia divvied up the choices on programming, public service and broadcast promotion ...

Winners will be announced Saturday, June 20 at a dinner held at the Sheraton Washington Hotel. The Capitol Steps will perform and there'll be dancing, even by the nonwinners. Tickets cost $50 for NATAS members and their guests. For nonmembers, it's $60 each...

Yesterday, in marking the first anniversary of telecasts from the Senate, Majority Leader Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) said, "We have neither conned nor dazzled the American people ... They see us as we are. We're not perfect but we seem to be perfectly acceptable" ...

The telecasts are carried on C-Span II, and now have a potential daily audience of more than 9 million cable viewers around the country ...

The debut of ABC Sports' new late-night show, "Monday Sportsnite," didn't do badly, at least on Channel 7 here ...

The new weekly hour averaged a 4.0 Nielsen rating and an 18 percent audience share, following a 5.9/18 for ABC News "Nightline" (each rating point represents 15,800 TV homes) ...

We'll Be Right Back After these announcements, including word that ABC has changed the title of its 8 p.m. Saturday entry on the fall schedule to "Once a Hero" ...

When ABC announced its 1987-88 schedule May 15, the series was called "True Colors." It stars Jim Turner as Captain Justice, a comic book superhero who "crosses the forbidden zone" with his sidekick Gumshoe and "enters the real world, where their powers are no longer super" ...

"Once a Hero" is already a strong contender for the 1987-88 Most Title Changes Before It Even Gets On The Air Award, having started off as "Believers," before becoming "True Colors," and then "True Believers" ...

ABC has also revealed that it has ordered 13 new episodes of "Mr. Belvedere," which was not renewed for the fall schedule after finishing 55th among last season's series. It will be a midseason replacement ...

We're sure you'll understand if Captain Airwaves has drawn a complete blank on this particular subject, but has he told you yet that Pee-wee Herman is preparing some primetime specials for CBS next year? ...

"NBC Nightly News With Tom Brokaw" finished first in the network news race last week with a 10.3 Nielsen rating and a 22 percent audience share ...

"ABC World News Tonight With Peter Jennings" made a rare appearance in second with a 9.7/21, while "CBS Evening News Without Dan Rather" finished third at 9.5/21 ...

CBS pointed out yesterday that Dan was in Moscow last week and did not anchor the broadcast...

ABC pointed out that when Dan has been off the air in the past it hasn't affected CBS ratings noticeably ...

NBC pointed out that this was "Nightly News' " seventh weekly win in a row and 16th out of the last 22 ...

For the record, ABC's second-place finish was its first since last August and CBS' third-place finish its first since late June a year ago ...

While we're talking Moscow, TV Column Comrades, CBS News yesterday announced that its 2-hour Soviet special, now called "The Soviet Union Seven Days in May," has been scheduled for Wednesday, June 24 starting at 9 p.m. ...

1 23.0 Family Ties 41 NBC 2 22.6 The Cosby Show 43 NBC 3 21.3 Cheers 36 NBC 4 20.7 Growing Pains 34 ABC 5 19.7 Murder, She Wrote 35 CBS 6 19.0 Who's the Boss? 33 ABC 7 18.7 60 Minutes 39 CBS 8 18.3 Unsolved Mysteries 30 NBC 9 18.0 Bob Hope Special 29 NBC 10 16.6 Molly Dodd 27 NBC 11 15.6 Miss Universe Pageant 25 CBS 12 15.3 The Golden Girls 31 NBC 13 15.1 Two Fathers' Justice 25 NBC 14 15.0 20/20 25 ABC 15 14.7 Cracked Up 23 ABC 16 14.6 L.A. Law 25 NBC 14.6 Matlock 23 NBC 18 14.4 NBA Playoff (Thurs.) 25 CBS 19 14.0 Hotel 23 ABC 20 13.7 Night Court 23 NBC

NBC, of course, won the weekly primetime race with a 14.0 rating and a 25 percent audience share. CBS was second at 12.0/21 while ABC, of course, trailed at 10.8/19 ...

In a week of few highlights and not much audience, either, NBC's "The Incredible Ida Early" was 36th, ABC's "When the Time Comes" was 40th and NBC's "You Are the Jury" tied for 41st ...

The American Film Institute salute to Barbara Stanwyck on ABC was 43rd and the ABC News Closeup on cocaine and alcohol addiction was 54th ...

The Final And In Nine Times Out Of Ten Fatal Five last week included ABC's "Ohara" in 60th, followed, in order, by CBS' "West 57th"; NBC's "The A-Team"; CBS' 9 p.m. Friday episode of "Hard Copy," 63rd; and the final original segment of ABC News' "Our World," which finished in 64th and last place. And so it goes. Or went ...