It was strictly Heartbreak Hotel for CBS and especially NBC Sunday night as Part I of "Elvis and Me" on ABC attracted the largest share of audiences in Nielsen's 15 major markets between 9 and 11 p.m. ...

In the first major skirmish of the February ratings sweeps for the three networks, "Elvis" averaged a 21.9 rating and a 32 percent audience share, compared with a 20.7/30 for Part I of CBS' "Sidney Sheldon's 'Windmills of the Gods' " ... "Elvis" concluded last night on ABC; "Windmills" on CBS tonight ...

"Rambo: First Blood Part II" on NBC turned out to be Nothing but a Hound Dog (Don't Be Cruel, Airwaves). After a too-long run on cable, "Rambo" made its commercial TV debut to a response of only 14.6/21 ...

Also on Sunday night, Fox debuted its "America's Most Wanted" at 6:30, and the crime-tip show earned a 12.4/21 in Washington to finish second locally in the time slot behind "NBC Nightly News" ...

The 800 line received a total of 860 tips from around the country on wanted criminals ...

Now This

NBC Entertainment yesterday announced a new comedy series, "Day by Day," which will be introduced with three episodes airing over the week starting Feb. 29 ...

The series, which will settle into its regular time slot at 8:30 p.m. Sundays on March 6, will premiere on Monday, Feb. 29, at 8:30, with another episode set for Thursday, March 3, at 8:30 ...

NBC used a similar multiple-exposure tactic back in 1981, when it introduced "Hill Street Blues" ...

TV Column fans have undoubtedly already figured out the strategy. The Monday premiere will benefit from an "ALF" lead-in; the Thursday episode will benefit even more from "The Cosby Show" lead-in. And the regular time slot on Sunday will continually profit from its "Family Ties" lead-in ...

On Sundays, "Day by Day" replaces "My Two Duds -- er, Dads," which will become a "frequent 8 p.m. designated hitter, spelling reruns of our popular early evening series" during the spring, according to NBC Entertainment president Brandon Tartikoff. "My Two Dads" has been strong all year (following "Family Ties") and currently ranks 21st among all 85 series tried out on the three networks so far this year ...

"Day by Day" -- which will have a 13-episode run this spring -- "focuses on Kate and Brian Harper, a married couple who, to spend more time with their infant daughter, give up their yuppie careers as a lawyer and a stockbroker to run a day-care center in their home." Stars are Doug Sheehan and Linda Kelsey ...

The series was created by "Family Ties" executive producer Gary David Goldberg and Andy Borowitz, and is based on Goldberg's experience running a day-care center in Northern California ...

Yesterday, Tartikoff also revealed that NBC will announce a few other schedule changes sometime next week, including a time slot for the new "Aaron's Way" series and the return of "The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd" and "Beverly Hills Buntz" on a regular basis through the spring, following the February ratings sweeps ...

In other news, Tartikoff revealed that CBS had served papers on NBC barring the network from using the title "90 Minutes" for its projected 90-minute Sunday evening show that is ticketed to air at 6:30 Sunday nights to become direct competition for CBS' "60 Minutes," perhaps by next January ...

The "working title" of "90 Minutes," Tartikoff suggested yesterday, was always something of a joke since it was obviously only a takeoff on "60 Minutes," besides being the name of the Soviet Union's number one newscast ...

"I don't know what CBS is so worked up about, anyway," Tartikoff added. "The title of their new '48 Hours' is a steal from that Eddie Murphy movie, when you think about it" ...

The Entertainment president said that right now he's favoring "Top of the Week" as the real working title for the 90-minute project, which will use top performers from the NBC Sports, News and Entertainment divisions once it rolls ...

As for last week's cancellation of a proposed April 10 pilot airing for "90," er, "Top of the Week," Tartikoff said that, aside from host Bryant Gumbel's scheduling problems right now, "it would be kind of silly to air a pilot in April that turns out to be gangbusters in the ratings when we might still have another nine months to go before it finally goes on the air" ...

Tartikoff also confirmed that NBC has a primetime soap opera in the works for next fall called "Nightingales." The Aaron Spelling production was originally set for a summer run but the story of five student nurses, all single, living in Los Angeles showed so much promise it now looks like a fall certainty ...

Incidentally, Tartikoff said the network will probably introduce half of next fall's new schedule after the Seoul Olympics and the other half after NBC's production of the World Series ...

He pointed out that there are a couple of open nights -- Thursday and probably Saturday during the Series -- that will also permit series to be introduced without being yanked from the schedule again leading into November. All the new series, you can be sure, will get heavy promotion during NBC's telecasts of the Olympics and the Series, a bonus for the No. 1 primetime network ...

Airwaves, Dissenting

Oh, sure, local stations will tell you they all have an "obligation" to cover major, staged events but we suspect the general audience right now has only a peripheral interest in the daily doings out in Iowa ...

Channel 9 summed up local coverage of the Iowa Caucus perfectly for C. Airwaves Sunday night when reporter Chris Gordon, reporting live from Des Moines, made his big point for the night by displaying the front page of a day-old Des Moines newspaper with a headline announcing Gephardt and Dole were leading its latest poll. Talk about your exclusives! ...

Not that Nine is the only guilty party in this latest chapter of Technology Gone Amok. We don't have any precise idea how many bucks Nine -- and Seven and Four and Five -- are spending to get secondhand information from a story that is already overcovered by the big boys in TV and print media ...

But a very modest operation is costing one local station a minimum of $20,000 a week -- and that's with only one reporter. A camera crew and a producer accompanying the reporter mean overtime pay every day, and there's costly daily satellite time for three different newscasts, air travel, rooms and the other ordinary expenses to figure in ...

At Nine, they've got Chris Gordon, anchor Gordon Peterson and a crew of four in Iowa, while Kent Jarrell reports nightly from New Hampshire, where the real primaries start a week from tonight (Peterson heads for New Hampshire this weekend). Besides that presence, Nine also has the resources of other Gannett stations available to it ...

Four has Jim Upshaw and a crew in Iowa. Upshaw will move on to New Hampshire later in the week ...

Five has Pat McGrath and a crew on hand in Des Moines ...

Seven has Susan King and a crew on the scene. Anchor Renee Poussaint was there earlier. Kathleen Matthews reports nightly from New Hampshire ...

On the other hand, Washington viewers can console themselves with the idea that a few minutes spent counting live snowflakes in Iowa is a few minutes less watching tapes of body bags being trundled to a medical examiner's wagon, the local stations' other current nightly news fixation ...

While rumors circulate that "ABC World News Tonight" is having trouble lining up a roster of key producers for new executive producer Paul Friedman, the network announced yesterday that Ed Hersch has been named a senior producer for the show, dealing with future story assignments ...

And Chris Isham has been named a senior producer for WNT's investigative unit ...