Part four of the five-part miniseries "Shaka Zulu" on Channel 5 ran into the NBC Thursday night steamroller and fell off to a 13.2 Nielsen rating and a 20 percent audience share for the evening ...

Until Thursday, audiences for the story of the warrior who united the Zulu nation had been building every night. Thursday, it still managed to finish second in the Washington market behind the NBC schedule on WRC during the 8 to 10 p.m. time period. Each rating point represents 15,851 TV homes ...

Much more cheerful news from Five is the word that vice president and general manager Betty Endicott is back at work at Channel 5 for a couple of hours every day, just weeks after undergoing successful lung surgery ...

In a switch of signals, "The Oprah Winfrey Show" will air tomorrow the interviews of the immediate families of the seven crew members lost in the Challenger shuttle explosion ...

The program, which marks the first time that members of all seven families have been together for an interview, is being taped this afternoon at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce here ...

Until Friday, Winfrey planned to air the special program on Jan. 28, 1988, the second anniversary of the tragedy. A spokesman said that "with a three-month delay, we were fearful of losing the spirit of the occasion by delaying the show" ...

"The Oprah Winfrey Show," which airs on 193 stations around the country, is seen at 4 p.m. on Channel 9 here weekdays ...

Moving Right Along

NBC Entertainment will announce today that two of its most popular new series this fall, "A Different World" and "My Two Dads," have been given the go-ahead for a full season of 22 episodes ...

Both series are on a free ride this fall, particularly "A Different World," a spinoff from TV's number one program, "The Cosby Show," the Thursday blockbuster. Bill Cosby insisted the new show be placed at 8:30 on Thursdays, right after his show ...

The series has disappointed just about everybody at NBC, reportedly including Cosby, but nobody is surprised that after six weeks of the new season "World" ranks second behind Cosby in the national rankings, with a 27.7 national Nielsen rating and a 43 percent audience share so far ...

Nor is anybody particularly surprised that "A Different World" has scored the highest rating for a new NBC series since "Chico and the Man" debuted in the 1974-75 season. Each national rating point represents 886,000 TV homes ...

"My Two Dads" is another so-so new series that owes everything to its positioning -- in the Sunday night schedule, right after the powerful "Family Ties" ...

As a result, "My Two Dads" ranks 11th in the national rankings (and sixth among teen-agers) so far this season with an 18.0/26 and is the second-highest-rated new series of the season on any network ...

Speaking of NBC

Thursday night, and all that -- "Beverly Hills Buntz," one of three NBC series chosen last summer to be "designated hitters" in the strong NBC primetime schedule, finally debuted Thursday ...

And, considering the company it kept, didn't do all that well ...

"Buntz," a spinoff of the departed "Hill Street Blues," stars Dennis Franz, who has left the Hill to become a private eye in Beverly Hills (hence the title) ...

Thursday, it rang up a 20.4 national Nielsen rating and a 34 percent audience share from 9:30 to 10 p.m. But that was down from the 26.0/40 scored by "Cheers" in the previous half hour -- a loss of almost 5 million TV homes. With "Night Court" on recess for the week, "L.A. Law," which followed "Buntz," slipped to an 18.7/32, compared with its 21.0/35 the previous week, a slip of 2 million homes ...

Buntz is one of three "designated hitter" series, along with "The Bronx Zoo" and "Mama's Boy," that NBC Entertainment president Brandon Tartikoff chose last summer to air once a month during the fall before they were to move into the regular schedule as midseason replacements ...

The designated hitter idea has fallen on bad times. "The Bronx Zoo," starring Ed Asner as a principal of a tough high school, was pulled from the rotation after scriptwriters began serializing the story line, making a monthly appearance too hard to follow. "Mama's Boy," starring Bruce Weitz as a tough newspaper columnist whose mom, Nancy Walker, moves in with him, has been shut down entirely over "creative differences," which is Burbankese for "who thought up this dumb idea?" Four completed episodes remain to be seen, as it were ...

Incidentally, Thursday night the CBS schedule finished far behind NBC in second place with "Tour of Duty" at 10.7/16, "Wise Guy" at 10.3/16 and "Knots Landing" at 15.2/26 ...

ABC meanwhile got only a 7.7/12 out of "Sledge Hammer!" and a trifling 9.5/15 out of the 2 1/2-hour James Bond movie, "A View to a Kill" ...

Also in the NewsPost Newsweek Stations and Channel 9 announced Friday they're giving a party honoring Martin Agronsky Dec. 2 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, marking his retirement at the end of the year from "Agronsky & Co.," the public affairs show he helped create 18 years ago ...

On Jan. 2, Nine anchor Gordon Peterson will take over the moderator chores on the program, which will be renamed "Inside Washington" ...

To the vast relief of C. Airwaves, a spokesman for CBS Entertainment Friday denied a report that "Beauty and the Beast" was in danger of folding after 13 episodes unless producers received additional money for the series ...

The Friday night entry is ranked seventh among new series on all three networks so far, and the network recently gave producers the go-ahead for a full season of 22 shows ...

But last week, Witt-Thomas Productions let the trade press on The Coast know they wanted more money to finish the last nine episodes. Friday, CBS spokeswoman Ann Morfogen, confirming the "threat," said CBS Entertainment management "doesn't think there's a problem. They're just negotiating in the press for more money and that's not unusual" ...

She wouldn't predict whether CBS would increase license fees for the series, however ...

To the considerable, if momentary, displeasure of C. Airwaves, ABC correspondent David Brinkley broke into "Bugs Bunny and Tweety" at 11:45 Saturday morning with the news that Judge Douglas Ginsburg was withdrawing his name for consideration as a Supreme Court justice ...

Airwaves calmed down after learning that ABC White House correspondent Sam Donaldson had gotten the scoop, which NBC didn't get around to bulletining until 12:30 p.m., with CBS reporting the story about 10 minutes later ...

NBC is expected to begin airing public service announcements on the subject of AIDS this week. The network said Friday that the first of the PSAs could air as early as Thursday night, during "The Cosby Show" ...

The 11 PSAs, chosen from a campaign produced by the Ogilvy & Mather ad agency, are 10, 15, 30 and 60 seconds in length. They feature people either afflicted with AIDS or those who deal with the disease in some way -- educators, volunteers and counselors ...

Each spot ends with "Know the facts about AIDS. Know how to protect yourself and your family. Tell others." Then the toll-free number 1-800-342-AIDS is placed on the screen. The spots were underwritten by the federal government on behalf of the Centers for Disease Control ...

Channel 9 announced Friday that Barbara Cox has been named producer of the 6 o'clock news, replacing Paul Malkie, promoted to executive producer of the 11 p.m. news after Bill Wagner left the station ...

Cox comes from KOCO, the Gannett-owned ABC affiliate in Oklahoma City ...

And Dana Rudman, formerly of WRC, has joined WUSA as an assignment editor ...