Snow what's new? ...

Well, the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday approved a bill that would allow members of the TV industry, including the networks, to work together to curb violence on the tube that may affect young viewers ...

Sponsored by Sen. Paul Simon (D-Ill.), the Television Violence Act would exempt members of the TV industry from antitrust laws for 36 months so they can "discuss, develop and implement their own voluntary standards on TV violence" ...

In the past, the TV industry has claimed that uncertainty about its liability under antitrust statutes prevents it from taking joint action. Hearings earlier this year before the Senate antitrust subcommittee heard evidence that excessive TV violence can incite overly aggressive behavior in children and harm their mental health ...

Simon's office yesterday predicted action by the Senate in early January ...

Hold the sleigh! "The All-Star Party for Joan Collins" on CBS Wednesday night drew a 10.4 national Nielsen rating and a 17 percent audience share (each rating point represents 886,000 TV homes) ...

Locally, culture fans, Joan did a 10/15 on Channel 9, in part because:

The first local over-the-air presentation of "Amadeus," on Channel 5, managed a 13/21 between 7 and 10 p.m. The production finished second in this market behind only the ABC comedy lineup on Channel 7 from 8 to 10 (a local Nielsen rating points represents 15,851 TV homes) ...

Incidentally, Mozart fans, Five repeats "Amadeus" Sunday night starting at midnight and running through 3 a.m. ...

The PBS series "Frontline" announced yesterday a five-part, five-hour special series on "The History of Apartheid" in South Africa, which begins with a two-hour special on Monday, Dec. 14, with two hours the next night and a one-hour conclusion Wednesday, Dec. 16 ...

The last hour will be devoted to a rare film of the meeting between South African government representatives and the outlawed African National Congress that was held earlier this year ...

The program traces the complete history of apartheid in South Africa ...

CBS Inc. announced yesterday that Jay L. Kriegel has been named senior vice president, effective Jan. 4 ...

In the new post, he will coordinate external relations, be responsible for government affairs, including the Washington office of CBS Inc., and direct a variety of special projects ...

He will report directly to CBS Inc. president and CEO Laurence Tisch. A former publisher of The American Lawyer, Kriegel since 1983 has been president of Kriegel Communications, a consulting firm dealing with government relations, corporate communications and marketing. CBS Inc. has been one of the firm's clients, and from 1975 to 1978 he was director, special projects, for Tisch's Loews Corp. ...

Also at CBS, the Entertainment Division announced yesterday that Peter F. Tortorici has been named vice president, planning and scheduling. He will oversee daily and long-range planning and scheduling of series, movies, miniseries and specials, reporting to Entertainment president Kim LeMasters. He was previously with CBS Sports as vice president, programming ...

Also in the News

After looking at the tapes of yesterday's 30-minute-plus interview of President Reagan by four network anchors, CBS News late yesterday decided to air it at 11:30 last night, instead of at 8 p.m., as originally planned. Highlights were still to be presented on the regular "CBS Evening News With Dan Rather" ...

"Strictly an editorial decision," according to a CBS News spokesman. (Translation: no big news involved.) ABC and NBC both said late yesterday they planned to go ahead with their 8 p.m. broadcasts of the interview. CNN decided to run it at 8:30 p.m. The interview, taped at the White House yesterday at 2:30 p.m., was conducted by NBC's Tom Brokaw, CNN's Bernard Shaw, CBS' Dan Rather and ABC's Peter Jennings, who got to ask their questions in that order after a drawing ...

By the way, CBS' Rather earlier this week called NBC anchor Brokaw to congratulate him for "the first-class" job Tom did in his interview earlier this week with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. ABC's Jennings also congratulated Tom ...

Channel 53 tonight will air live, starting at 9, the Melbourne (Australia) Gridiron Bowl game between 8-3 Brigham Young University and 1-11 (well, nobody's perfect, mate) Colorado State. The American-style football game is being called a first, Down Under (we'll wait) ...

At the request of the Soviet Embassy here, the USIA will tape all domestic Soviet television coverage of Mr. Gorbachev's summit trip here next week for the visiting delegation to peruse ...

For the past several years, the USIA has routinely monitored domestic Soviet broadcasts off the U.S.S.R. satellite ...

Look, try it this way: "First Down, Under" ...

PBS president Bruce Christensen yesterday announced that Neil B. Mahrer has been named to the new position of executive vice president and chief operating officer of PBS. He will manage the daily operations of PBS, reporting to Christensen ...

The PBS board of directors, meeting this week in Charleston, S.C., approved Christensen's recommendation for the appointment. Mahrer, a 13-year veteran at PBS, will continue to oversee PBS Enterprises, the public network's for-profit subsidiary ...

Christensen said the appointment will free him to "devote more time to the major issues and challenges ahead for public TV, as well as planning for PBS' future" ...

See, "first down" is a football term. "Down Under" is where Australia is located on the globe. Put them together, you get "first, Down Under." Oh, forget it! ... It's Snow Use

"Entertainment Tonight's" Mary Hart will fill in for vacationing Joan Lunden as coanchor of "Good Morning America" the week of Dec. 21. GMA correspondent Steve Fox will fill in for vacationing Charles Gibson the week of the 14th ...

Speaking, as we are, however indirectly, of the morning network race, the "Today" show's visit to Our Boys and Girls Overseas Thanksgiving Week may have had something to do with it, but for the second week in a row the NBC program finished on top with a 4.6 Nielsen rating and a 22 share ...

ABC's "Good Morning America" was second at 4.0/18, while the final week of "The Morning Program" on CBS registered a 2.0/10 ...

According to the very shaky staff of the Airwaves Research Department (the coal truck will be here Monday, chaps. Honest.) "The Morning Program" averaged a 2.3/11 during the 46 weeks of its existence ...

Marlene Sanders is the new host of the PBS series "Currents." The longtime CBS correspondent, one of the victims of the network's cost-cutting purges, is a 32-year veteran of broadcasting. She has just finished a book about women in the early days of TV called "Waiting for Prime Time: The Women of TV News" ...

The Media General Cable network in Fairfax County today will air a live, one-hour special on the homeless in that county at 1 p.m. on access channel 10 ...

The program will be repeated at 6 and 10 p.m. The one-hour audience participation special is produced by Earle Kirkbride. A recent survey by a George Mason University professor and his researchers indicated up to 600 people are homeless in that affluent county ...

ABC News' Saturday afternoon "Health Show," which gets shoved around the schedule at ABC affiliate WJLA here because of the station's commitment to ACC football in the fall and then ACC basketball -- to say nothing of network sports -- will show up this Sunday on Channel 7 at 3 p.m. ...

The show has installed an 800 number for viewer call-ins, as well as a number for District residents. Paula Zahn, a prime candidate to replace host Kathleen Sullivan -- who has gone to CBS News -- will host the show again this week ...

Seven also said yesterday "The Health Show" will be seen at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13 and at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19 ...