NBC's "Today" show took the morning network race for the fourth week in a row last week with a 4.4 Nielsen rating and a 22 percent audience share. ABC's "Good Morning America" was second at 4.0/20, while the new "CBS This Morning" slipped a tenth of a ratings point in its second week to a ho-hum 2.1/11 (in the spirit of the season, we'll make that a ho-ho-ho-hum) ...

Which reminds us, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is sending three designers up to New York to decorate "Good Morning America's" set for the Christmas season ...

They'll use all natural materials prevalent 200 years ago, such as fresh berries, holly, white pine and handmade tree ornaments (if you are already beginning to suspect this will be a pretty slow morning in the breakfast nook, just remember we're getting close to the holidays) ...

Is Fox Broadcasting interested in having Gary Shandling rescue its late-night effort(s)? "The Wilton North Report" is being savaged in the very early reviews. Shandling's success on the Showtime cable channel has made him a hot property. Attempts to reach Brillstein Co., which manages Shandling, were unsuccessful yesterday ...

CBS News made a serious pass at two ABC News producers recently, and despite the fact that the two were working without contracts at considerably less pay than CBS offered, the erstwhile Tiffany of network news got a turndown ...

In recent weeks you've been reading more about the new CBS projects, but ABC News isn't exactly dead ...

"20/20" is surviving on Friday night; the network plans to continue with its periodic "Capital to Capital" broadcasts linking up policy makers in Washington and Moscow via satellite (the Soviets love it); "Nightline," pending Ted Koppel's resigning, is flourishing; if Koppel stays, look for more "Jennings/Koppel Reports"; and though their futures are dim in the face of affiliate disinterest, both the network's weekend health and business half hours are worth keeping ...

Besides, there are a couple of mystery primetime news projects in the works that, considering the sorry state of ABC Entertainment these days, have a good chance of making the schedule sooner rather than later ...

ABC News, by the way, seems pretty optimistic that Koppel, whose contract expired Dec. 4, will finally decide to remain ... Now This

In a totally unscientific poll among the women at CBS News in New York, the consensus is that Aaron (played by Albert Brooks), the lovable but underappreciated TV reporter in "Broadcast News," is based on lovable but underappreciated CBS correspondent Richard Schlesinger ...

When "Cagney & Lacey" move to their new 10 p.m. Tuesday timeslot Jan. 5, the special episode will spotlight Chris Cagney (Sharon Gless) as a victim of "date rape" who has to face the unkind attitudes of some of her coworkers at the precinct as well as her own doubts ...

Jay Rosenstein has returned to CBS Sports as vice president, programming. He left the network last year to work in sports marketing for New York-based Ohlmeyer Communications. In November, RJR Nabisco, which owns about 50 percent of Ohlmeyer, took its $200 million broadcast-buying account away in favor of an in-house operation as well as all of its golf-related promotion activities ...

CBS was glad to welcome Rosenstein back. He had been vice president and assistant to the executive vice president, CBS/Broadcast Group, when he left ...

Another Ohlmeyer alumnus, Geoffrey Mason, has been named executive producer of ABC Sports, a post that has been unfilled since ABC News president Roone Arledge gave up the title when Dennis Swanson replaced Arledge as president of ABC Sports ...

Mason is currently vice president, Olympic production, for ABC Sports. He will become executive producer in March, when the Winter Games in Calgary are over ...

Lorimar Syndication has dropped plans to produce a weeknight "TV Guide" magazine show in collaboration with the famed TV publication. It was supposed to debut next September...

The program was designed for network affiliates -- the great bulk of TV Guide, after all, promotes network programming -- in the primetime access hour (7 to 8 p.m.), where syndication competition is getting rough ...

Although they had lined up quite a few stations, TV Guide was unable to crack the three big markets -- New York, Chicago and Los Angeles -- where all three networks own their own stations and had already lined up syndicated shows for next fall ...

Lorimar and TV Guide decided that it wouldn't be fair to the stations that had already signed up if they waited until early next year in the vain hope that those biggest markets might suddenly open up, and so released them from the deal ...

Although the high-quality, high-budget show could have cost Lorimar and TV Guide as much as $5 million a year to produce when it went on the air, they had not even produced a full-length pilot, so the loss was probably under $500,000 in all ...

Susan Winston, executive producer of the canceled project, remains on contract with Lorimar ...

No word on the future of Morton Dean, who was lined up to anchor "TV Guide" Lots More Dots

Those holiday spots airing on Channel 7 were shot at the River Farm, located on grounds of the American Horticultural Society in Mount Vernon. The promos feature WJLA news talent and their families. A total of 21 children, aged 20 months to 17 years, appear in the 12 different-length spots

According to Channel 7, the farm will be vaguely familiar to anyone who saw the recent movie "No Way Out." WJLA claims it was the site of a liaison (this is a family, holiday-type item, after all, TV Column fans) between star Kevin Costner and his "girlfriend" ...

CBS Entertainment will air a four-hour miniseries, called "Bluegrass," on Sunday, Feb. 28, and Monday, Feb. 29 ...

Cheryl Ladd is the star of the drama "about a woman's struggle to achieve success and acceptance in an elite society of bluebloods and thoroughbreds" ...

Ladd plays Maude Sage Breen, who returns to her hometown to fulfill her dream of breeding, training and racing world-class thoroughbreds ...

"Her dream," CBS warns us, "is thwarted at every turn -- and ultimately almost shattered -- by a ruthless neighbor {played by that nice Wayne Rogers} she knew as a teen-ager, and by his circle of shallow, upper-crust, greedy and sometimes dangerously cruel friends" (this sounds like another movie about network news, for gosh sakes!) ...

The film was shot on location in and around Lexington, Ky., including Keeneland Race Track, Churchill Downs and Turfway Park ...

Also starring are Brian Kerwin, Anthony Andrews and Mickey Rooney, who appears as "John Paul Jones." If that's the John Paul Jones we think it is, J.P.'s charts would seem to need a serious updating ...

We Don't Do Radio, ordinarily, but we must report that effective Jan. 4, Maureen Lesourd will become president and general manager of WRQX-FM, a Capital Cities/ABC Inc. station in Washington ...

Lesourd has been sales manager at WPLJ-FM in New York since July 1986. She replaces Ernest Fears, who retired six months ago. In the interim, Frederick Weinhaus, president and general manager of WMAL-AM, another of Cap Cities/ABC Inc.'s 21 radio stations, has been in charge of WRQX-107 ...