NBC Entertainment yesterday announced two new series for its Friday night schedule and the "flip-flop" of "Hunter" and "J.J. Starbuck" from their current timeslots on Saturday and Tuesday, respectively ...

Headed for the Old Series Home after its Friday, Jan. 15, broadcast will be "Private Eye." "Rags to Riches" will leave the 8 p.m. Friday timeslot after Jan. 22 ...

Premiering at 10 on Friday, Feb. 12, will be "Sonny Spoon," an action-adventure series starring Mario Van Peebles as "an unorthodox but savvy detective" ...

Premiering Friday, March 4, at 8 p.m. will be "The Highwayman," starring Sam Jones as "an undercover law enforcer operating out of a high-tech, 18-wheel truck" ...

"Hunter" will move to Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on Dec. 29, while "J.J. Starbuck" shows up on Saturday at 10 on Dec. 26 ...

Tomorrow we'll try to get details about what programs will fill in before the new series arrive ...

The Washington Redskins-Dallas Cowboys NFL tilt on CBS Sunday afternoon had a 39.1 Nielsen rating and a 74 percent share of the sets-in-use on Channel 9 ...

The game ran from 1 p.m. until 4:34 p.m. (Each rating point represents 15,851 local TV homes) ...

Later that night on Channel 9, that station's special, "Thurgood Marshall: The Man" did a 15.6/23, good enough to finish second in its timeslot Sunday behind a one-hour "Family Ties" on WRC ...

Carl Rowan's special on the Supreme Court justice has been offered to Gannett's other seven stations ...

Mike Jensen, chief economic correspondent for NBC News, has signed a new five-year contract with the network. A network spokesman said yesterday that Jensen had turned down a bid to be an anchor on the upcoming syndicated program "USA Today" ...

Channel 4 has dropped investigative reporter Jay Gourley after a six-month tryout ...

Gourley joined Four from the CNN investigative unit here. Bret Marcus, news director at Four, said yesterday it is "an amicable parting. {Former WRC general manager} Jerry Nachman and I took a chance on Jay six months ago, but it just hasn't worked out on both sides. We wish him well" ...

Most recently at Four, Gourley has been probing corruption charges in the District government ...

Mark Shields and David Gergen have joined "The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour" as regular political analysts for the 1988 election year on the nightly PBS series ...

Shields, a national political columnist, and Gergen, editor of U.S. News & World Report, will analyze campaign strategies, particularly those of the presidential races ...

Shields is a Democratic insider who worked in the presidential campaigns of Robert F. Kennedy, Edmund Muskie and Morris Udall. Gergen was communications director for President Reagan from 1981 through early 1984 and also worked in the Nixon and Ford administrations ...

The Shields-Gergen team, which has had three tryouts on the "NewsHour" recently, signed for a minimum of 28 appearances through November ...

Also in the News

Add the name of Channel 7 alumnus Fred Barber to the list of prospects who might replace Tom Cookerly as president and GM of WJLA ...

CBS News yesterday announced that Missie Rennie has been named national editor of CBS News, John Harris has been named London bureau manager, and Michael R. Whitney has been named Miami bureau manager ...

Rennie, like Whitney a former senior broadcast producer for "CBS This Morning," replaces Cathy Lasiewicz, who earlier was named senior producer for "48 Hours." Whitney replaces Harris in Miami. Harris replaces Harry Radliffe, who returns to New York as a senior producer for "CBS Evening News With Dan Rather." Whew! ...

"The Wilton North Report" debuted on Channel 5 Friday night at 11:30 to a 3.0 Nielsen rating and an 8 percent audience share. Fox Broadcasting executives had postponed its scheduled Nov. 30 premiere after looking at a couple of pilots ...

Regardless, Fox Broadcasting vice president for publicity Brad Turrell is already on the record that if the new comedy news show "averages a 2 rating, that's fine" ...

ABC's "Good Morning America" has signed Jane Kaplan as its Los Angeles-based entertainment producer. She had been senior segment producer for "Entertainment Tonight" and before that an associate producer with "CBS Morning News" in New York ...

Which reminds us, rival webs insist that when ET's Mary Hart coanchors GMA all next week she's really trying out for Joan Lunden's spot on the show, if and when Lunden defects for a new syndicated show next fall ...

The RWs point out that Jack Reilly, executive producer of GMA, used to have the same job at "Entertainment Tonight" ...

It's tough getting wide awake for those morning network shows, TV Column fans. A couple of years ago, on "CBS Morning News," Phyllis George asked comedian Billy Crystal if Fernando Lamas had ever called him to discuss Crystal's "Fernando" imitation. Only to be informed by Crystal that longtime screen star Lamas had passed away some years previously ...

Monday, "CBS This Morning" coanchor Kathleen Sullivan, interviewing "Wall Street" director Oliver Stone, asked Stone if his father, a Wall Street stockbroker, had helped him with the film. Only to be told, gently, when she persisted, that the senior Stone had passed away a couple of years ago ...

John Goodman, a senior producer for "CBS This Morning," said yesterday that originally the Stone interview was supposed to be conducted by coanchor Harry Smith and that at the last minute Sullivan had been handed the research packet on Oliver Stone's background ...

"The trouble was, the research was wrong," said Goodman. Stone has dedicated "Wall Street" to the memory of his father, Louis Stone, a dedication that appears at the end of the box office hit starring Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen ...

Now This

NBC News has taken vigorous exception to a survey, reported in Monday's TV Column, which stated that "NBC failed to cover a single protest" against Soviet policies between Nov. 30 and Dec. 10, at the conclusion of the Gorbachev-Reagan summit, while ABC and CBS together ran 15 stories on anti-Soviet demonstrations during those same 11 days ...

NBC News took even more vigorous exception to a phrase we inserted in the report's language reminding readers that NBC had "landed that exclusive one-on-one interview with General Secretary Gorbachev" ... a juxtaposition that, to the network, implied that NBC had somehow "backed off" protest stories because of the interview ...

NBC News vice president Tim Russert said yesterday that "any suggestion that our coverage of human rights protests and refuseniks has not been extensive is, to put it charitably, incorrect. We have carried many reports on protests and will continue to do so" ...

Robert Lichter, who conducted the survey, acknowledged yesterday that his researchers had codified many stories containing protest coverage within a broader, "human rights" coverage category ...

The report was prepared by Linda and Robert Lichter and their Center for Media and Public Affairs. Robert Lichter said yesterday that their researchers had found "brief" NBC reports on Dec. 4 (on Crimean Tatar protests in Moscow) and on Dec. 6 (Afghan protesters at the White House) but that both cases had been included under the broader "human rights" category ...

Russert yesterday said that in addition to several lengthy NBC News reports on the human rights questions, a 10-minute "NBC Nightly News" after a football game Dec. 6 had contained two reports, from Moscow and the United States, on protests against the Soviet government. Lichter responded that on that occasion the report had been dubbed a "summit special" by the network and was thus outside the regular evening network news reports his group was surveying ...

Lichter insisted yesterday that even if the human rights category had been expanded to include every mention of protests, NBC would have still lagged behind CBS and ABC in total coverage of the protests ...