First things first, TV Column fans:

The Washington Redskins-New York Jets game Sunday on Channel 4 earned a 33.9 Nielsen rating and attracted a 67 percent share of the local audience between 1 and 4:12 p.m. (each Nielsen point represents 15,851 TV homes) ...

Rumour du jour: Steve Bochco, the genius who developed "Hill Street Blues" and "L.A. Law" for NBC and has now created "Hooperman," one of the few new hits ABC has seen in recent seasons, is reportedly close to signing a long-term deal with ABC to develop 10 series over the next six years ...

A Sign of the Times: "Wall Street Week" with Louis Rukeyser, which airs at 8:30 p.m. Fridays on Channel 26 to a small but dedicated clientele, zoomed up to a 3.4 local Nielsen rating and a 7 percent audience share on Oct. 23 ...

In his three previous appearances, he had done a 2.3/4, a 1.9/3 and, with the market already showing some problems as of Friday, Oct. 16, a 3.0/5 ...

Louis, by the way, got a leg up from the urban subculture when NBC's "Saturday Night Live" spoofed his series ...

Speaking of public broadcasting, the Public Television Programming Challenge Fund has alloted up to $2 million to WNET in New York and KCET in L.A. to develop "Childhood," a series examining how the concept of childhood has changed throughout history and across cultures ...

And another $1.8 million has gone to South Carolina Educational Television for "Children's Express," a news magazine that will be reported entirely by children 13 and under ...

"Childhood," an eight- to 10-part series, is targeted for the fall of 1989 and will be filmed on location throughout the world, featuring the insights of anthropologists, historians, sociologists and psychologists ...

"Children's Express" starts in the fall of 1988 on PBS. For over a decade the Express has covered issues for the print media. On-air reporters will be children chosen from "Express" bureaus across the nation and overseas ...

According to Nielsen overnight ratings in the top 15 big city markets, the Saturday World Series game on ABC averaged a 19.9 rating and a 43 percent audience share ...

On Channel 7 here, the game did a 19.4/41 ...

The Grand Finale Sunday night, between 8:15 and 11:45 p.m. on ABC, shot up to a 29.1/43, with Channel 7 registering a 24.8/39 ...

(Captain Airwaves couldn't help thinking how great TV can be sometimes when those three guys in the ABC booth finally shut up Sunday night after the game ended while cameras poked around the Homerdome in Minnesota for long minutes catching the excitement. Now that was fun!) ...

Moving Right Along

NBC Entertainment president Brandon Tartikoff met the press in New York yesterday to spell out the number one network's plans for the immediate future ...

He said the "designated hitter" concept NBC conceived for the fall -- slipping three series into the schedule once a month until a slot could be found for them after the first of the year -- isn't dead but is suffering from the "designated hitter jinx" ...

The big problem was "The Bronx Zoo," starring Ed Asner as the principal of a tough high school. Tartikoff said as the series has developed it's become semi-serialized and the continuing plots suffered from only periodic exposure ...

As a result, the 10 p.m. time period for the "Zoo" will go to four "Unsolved Mysteries" specials until a spot can be found for Ed and the gang ...

Another DH, "Beverly Hills Buntz," is alive and well and will be seen three more times between now and the end of the year, with a Nov. 5 appearance already scheduled. Tartikoff said he's considering teaming "Buntz" -- a "Hill Street Blues" spinoff -- with "Molly Dodd" (still in production) when an hour timeslot appears early next year ...

Pulled from the DH list is "Mama's Boy," which teamed Bruce Weitz with Nancy Walker in the story of a reporter who doesn't want to spoil his macho image by revealing he lives with his mom. Tartikoff confessed it's been having "creative difficulties" and the last four of seven episodes already produced will still be aired in the faint hope it catches on with audiences -- but he didn't sound too hopeful ...

Tartikoff said leading contenders as mid-season replacements are "Aaron's Way," starring Merlin Olsen as the head of an Amish family that moves to California; as well as "Day By Day," in which a young yuppie couple with two children abandon yuppiehood to start a day care center in their home ...

And perhaps most promising of all, a series based on the 1967 film "In The Heat of the Night," which won three Academy Awards and starred Sidney Poitier as the police detective from up north who helps a grudging redneck sheriff (Rod Steiger) solve a murder ...

Carroll ("All in the Family") O'Connor is set as the sheriff and this time around Virgil Tibbs, the detective, comes to town to stay. The Fred Silverman-produced series will start with a two-hour pilot ...

Wait, There's More

Marvin Mord, vice president of marketing and research services for the TV network group at Cap Cities/ABC Inc., resigned yesterday ...

The head of research for ABC -- which means he's had the unhappy task of reporting the bad ratings news about the third-place network in recent years -- is a 17-year veteran of ABC and well-liked ...

Last week's TV Guide ran a story about the power of NBC anchor Tom Brokaw that included the observation that since 1984, when Larry Grossman took over as NBC News president, "many at the network, including Brokaw, have grown critical of the substance of Grossman's administration, feeling he's paid too much attention to cosmetics -- especially to hyping Tom Brokaw with advertising and promotion -- and too little to the fundamentals of news gathering" ...

The article went on to say that "Brokaw concedes 'a certain amount of creative tension' exists between himself and Grossman, but he insists they are able to discuss their differences candidly, in private" ...

Yesterday, at a press conference in New York that also featured correspondent Ken Bode and commentator John Chancellor, Brokaw was asked by a New York Daily News writer about a reported "tug-of-war as far as running the News division" ...

Responded Brokaw: " ... the fact of the matter is that the differences that exist at NBC are the same kind of differences that I presume in the Daily News newsroom and I know that exist in the newsrooms of most of the people who are in this room and I think that are much greater in a lot of newsrooms in this country than they are at NBC ...

"Larry Grossman is the president of NBC News. He's my boss. Ken's boss, John's boss, the boss of all of us. There's not a Brokaw camp and a Grossman camp and a Bode camp. I mean it -- what we're all trying to do, and I think we've been reasonably successful at this, more than reasonably successful in the past three or four years, is to get NBC News going down the track in the same direction ...

"And," continued Brokaw, "in the course of that we have some spirited discussions and we almost always have them out in the open, all of us. I mean we have meetings at which John is there and I'm there and Larry and (News vice president and assistant to the president) Tim Russert and the various producers and we talk about where we ought to be going" ...

Lots More Dots

ABC-TV network boss John Sias reported last week that "Moonlighting" will again have only 15 or 18 episodes this season, against the 22 or, in the case of CBS' "Dallas" or ABC's "Dynasty," a total of 30 shows, usually produced by top series ...

And Fox Broadcasting yesterday announced it has ordered 13 one-hour episodes of "The Dirty Dozen" from MGM/UA Television that could hit the Fox schedule by April ...

It's based on the 1967 feature film starring the late Lee Marvin, and subsequent TV movies. No cast has been announced ...

Fox, which now has a limited primetime schedule for both Saturday and Sunday nights, is exploring the chances for a Friday night movie slot and extending its entertainment program after 11 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. No timeslot for the new series, which starts filming in Yugoslavia in January, has been chosen ...

"Good Morning America's" Charles Gibson will journey to five cities next week with his "Charles Gibson's American Journal." On Monday, he'll report from Concord, N.H., on the "quality" of politics, with subsequent reports to come from Norfolk, Va., on the quality of the environment; Cleveland on the quality of health care; Roselendale, Mass., on the quality of life; and from New York on the quality of the justice system ...