ABC News said yesterday that Barbara Walters has landed Donna Rice for an exclusive interview to be seen Thursday night, June 18, on "20/20" ...

A spokesman said Walters has been pursuing Gary Hart's Miami friend since the Monday morning after the story broke in early May linking the two and before Hart withdrew as a candidate for the presidency ...

ABC wouldn't say yesterday when and where the interview will be conducted. The network also insisted that no money has been paid to Rice or an intermediary for the interview ...

Don Hewitt, executive producer of CBS' "60 Minutes," said yesterday that "we've never tried for an interview and we certainly wouldn't pay if we had. I think Donna is hungry for publicity" ...

A spokesman for NBC's "Today" show yesterday said the morning program had been seeking an interview with Rice right from the start but so far without success. "Personally, I think she knows she should try for the big primetime audience," the spokesman conjectured...

Channel 9 announced yesterday that anchor Gordon Peterson, recovering from major back surgery performed on May 27, will report to work tomorrow on a half-day basis "to see how it goes" ...

He's expected to anchor the 6 p.m. news tomorrow and Friday on a trial basis ...

Cable News Network said the appearance Monday afternoon of Fawn Hall, former secretary of Oliver North at the National Security Council, attracted the Iran-contra hearings' biggest CNN audience yet, with a 3.1 rating and a 9 percent audience share, or some 1.3 million cable homes ...

NBC News, alone among the networks, also aired two hours of Fawn's testimony Monday afternoon, pre-empting regular programming. And aired another half hour yesterday morning ...

It's About Time ABC affiliates, meeting this week in Los Angeles, were cheered yesterday to learn the network has chosen the reassuring slogan "Something's Happening" for its fall season promotion campaign ...

CBS previously announced it has chosen "CBS Spirit ... Oh, Yes!" ...

First-place NBC is sticking with last year's "Come Home to NBC," since just about everybody did. A few years ago, when NBC chose "Be There," the network finished third. That led to the suggestion that maybe the slogan should have been "Be Here" ...

But enough jokes ...

ABC News also announced it is changing its slogan from "uniquely qualified to bring you the world," to "expect the world from ABC News," which the affiliates agreed was a vast improvement ...

ABC Entertainment announced that Kathleen Sullivan will fill in for "Good Morning America" co-host Joan Lunden, who starts maternity leave July 27, through mid-October. Sullivan will also continue to anchor "The Health Show" and "World News Saturday" ...

ABC also said Washington humorist Mark Russell will be featured regularly on GMA throughout the presidential election year ...

And chef Wolfgang Puck, owner of the pricey Spago restaurant in L.A., will join GMA to offer cooking features regularly ...

ABC also announced that it plans a new daytime show for next year called "The Home Show," hosted by Sandy Hill and Robb Weller. The network it calling it "the ultimate how-to program" ...

ABC News president Roone Arledge revealed he had received a phone call from first lady Nancy Reagan. He told the affiliates he thought she was calling to complain about coverage of her husband but instead she wanted to congratulate him for the recent ABC News documentary on drug and alcohol addiction ...

Arledge said Mrs. Reagan called it "the best thing she'd seen on TV on the subject" ...

This week, ABC News "Nightline" anchor Ted Koppel is on the cover of Newsweek. In the accompanying article, there's conjecture he could be a future secretary of state ...

Yesterday, Arledge introduced Koppel to the affiliates as "the next secretary of state" ...

But enough jokes ...

Former "Today" executive producer Steve Friedman will probably announce his future plans before the week is out -- subject to the wishes of his employer-to-be ...

Friedman had originally planned to take a lot of the summer to think a lot of offers over ...

From the start, he reportedly has favored a job offer from former NBC chairman Grant Tinker and his GTG Enterprises, which would keep Friedman on the East Coast. But a couple of days ago, media magnate Rupert Murdoch -- who owns, among other things, the new Fox network -- laid out some tempting alternatives and Friedman admits he was impressed ...

Which reminds us, in the wake of Marty Ryan's appointment to succeed Friedman as executive producer of the "Today" show and "Sunday Today," it looks as though Don Bowers, senior producer on "Main Street," will succeed Ryan as the executive producer of that monthly NBC teen show ...

Eight new editions of "Main Street" are slated for next season but host Bryant Gumbel will not return. Connie Chung reportedly is in line to replace Gumbel on the program ...

CBS Entertainment confirmed yesterday that it has ordered eight episodes of "High Mountain Rangers" for next season ...

The pilot, which aired on Sunday, April 19, the last night of the regular season, surprised CBS (but not C. Airwaves, who loved it) by finishing seventh in the national rankings that week. Set in the Sierra Nevadas, it starred Robert Conrad and a lot of little Conrads, who are all expected to return. Along with the elevator heels in Bob's ski boots ...

"CBS Evening News Without Dan Rather" finished third for the second week in a row in the network news race. CBS News suggests primetime NBA basketball on the network, which starts at 6 p.m. on the West Coast, as well as Rather's absence from the air were to blame again last week ...

But those meanies at NBC research weren't satisfied to let it go at that. Oh, no. They had to go dig deep into the files and come up with the suggestion that we've all just witnessed the first time ever that CBS News had finished third two weeks in a row! ...

Be that as it may, for the week ending June 5, "NBC Nightly News With Tom Brokaw" was first with a 10.5 Nielsen rating and a 23 percent audience share, followed by "ABC World News Tonight With Peter Jennings" at 9.2/20 and CBS at 9.1/20 ...

1 26.3 The Cosby Show 47 NBC 2 24.9 Family Ties 44 NBC 3 19.8 Cheers 35 NBC 4 18.4 Growing Pains 32 ABC 5 18.0 60 Minutes 36 CBS 6 17.3 Who's the Boss? 31 ABC 7 17.2 The Golden Girls 36 NBC 17.2 Murder, She Wrote 33 CBS 9 16.4 Molly Dodd 28 NBC 10 16.3 Moonlighting 26 ABC 11 15.7 Life in Fat Lane 28 NBC 12 15.3 Amen 31 NBC 13 15.2 Valerie 30 NBC 15.2 Night Court 27 NBC 15.2 L.A. Law 27 NBC 16 15.1 Long Hot Summer I 26 NBC 15.1 Designing Women 25 CBS 18 14.9 Newhart 25 CBS 19 14.8 Long Hot Summer II 25 NBC 20 14.6 NBA Finals (Thurs.) 26 CBS

NBC stayed on the top with a 13.8 rating and a 26 percent share of the audience for the week ending June 7, followed by CBS at 11.5/21 and ABC at 10.0/19 ...

In a week short of highlights, the opening game of the NBA finals between Boston and Los Angeles tied for 26th place, the Tony Awards on CBS were 39th and the premiere of Monday night baseball on ABC tied for 48th ...

Part I of a repeat of "Master of the Game" tied for 51st ...

The Final Five last week included CBS' "West 57th" in 63rd place, followed, in order, by ABC's "Our World"; ABC's "Dads"; ABC's "Gungho"; and NBC's "The A-Team," in 67th and last place ...