Here's a couple of items for the Late Night drawer of your Futures File this morning, TV Column fans ...

CBS brass has scheduled a noon press conference tomorrow in New York at which it is expected the network will announce that "Wheel of Fortune" host Pat Sajak has signed to host a late-night show on the network that would be in direct competition with NBC's all-conquering Johnny Carson ...

CBS Inc. president Laurence Tisch and CBS Entertainment president Kim LeMasters will be on hand for the announcement, to lend weight to the strategic significance of it all. For years, CBS has battled in late night with off-network reruns, syndicated series and movies but has never made a run at Carson ...

In recent years, the solid success of ABC News' "Nightline" in the 11:30 spot has made a dent in CBS' early late night audience, too, although ABC itself has yet to capitalize on Ted Koppel's audience after midnight ...

Details were scarce yesterday but it is expected that Sajak's show will debut sometime in early 1989 ...

Meanwhile, over at NBC, they announced yesterday that Bob Costas, the network's very hot sportscaster, will host an NBC Entertainment talk series that will debut Aug. 22 in the 1:30 a.m. time slot, immediately following "Late Night With David Letterman" ...

The half-hour show out of New York "will offer viewers the opportunity to find 'the real person behind the public image,' as Costas questions people one-on-one from all walks of life" ...

"Later with Bob Costas" will be produced by No Sleep Productions in association with NBC Productions. Dick Ebersol, who helped launch "Saturday Night Live" for NBC in 1975 when he was with the network, will be producer ...

Early returns yesterday indicated that NBC, with Part I of "Noble House," won the Battle of Sunday Night over the Winter Olympics on ABC and "Bring Me the Head of Dobie Gillis" on CBS ...

Bearing in mind that so far the big city overnights from Nielsen have consistently overstated the popularity of the Olympics reflected in later, national ratings, NBC's "Noble House" averaged a 19.8 rating and a 30 percent audience share between 9 and 11 Sunday night in the 15 big city markets...

The Olympics, during the same two hours, did an 18.6/28, while "Dobie Gillis" averaged a 13.0/20 ...

(As an example of just how unreliable the overnights are regarding the comparative status of the Olympics, they delivered a 15.3/25 for ABC Friday night, while NBC did a 14.2/23 and CBS an 11.2/18 ...

(In national ratings available yesterday, it turned out CBS' Friday primetime schedule came from behind to win with a 15.5/25, compared with a 15.1/23 for ABC and the Olympics, and a 12.3/20 for NBC. If we had to hazard a guess, we'd say the Sunbelt probably does a snooze when it comes to following winter sports, among other factors) ...

Getting back to Sunday night, Washington viewers voted for "Noble House" on WRC with a 25.2/32, compared with a 17.5/26 for the Olympics on WJLA and a 14.6/22 for "Dobie Gillis" on WUSA ... WTTG's lineup during the same two hours averaged a 7.4/11 ...

In Other News

Despite the fact the 70-second videotape had already aired on both "ABC World News This Morning" and ABC's "Good Morning America," "ABC World News Tonight With Peter Jennings" last night chose not to air the videotape of Lt. Col William Higgins released by his terrorist kidnapers in Lebanon earlier in the day ...

Said ABC News: "The hostage holders clearly intend to use the media to put pressure on others. Therefore, in this instance, we elected not to broadcast the tape" ...

A spokesman for ABC News said Jennings, who made the decision after conferring with executive producer Paul Friedman, instead would only describe what the captured Marine officer said on the tape, in which he pleads, obviously under duress, with Washington and Israel to meet his captors' demands ...

Both "CBS Evening News With Dan Rather" and "NBC Nightly News With Tom Brokaw" last night aired portions of the videotape ...

Also in the News

Norma Quarles, since 1982 the New York correspondent for NBC News, debuted yesterday as Cable News Network's new daytime New York anchor ...

Quarles, who began a 22-year career with NBC and its owned-stations at WRC here in 1966, will co-anchor the weekday program "Daywatch" from 9 a.m. to noon as well as "Newsday," from 2 to 3 p.m. ...

Channel 20 has named J. W. Linkenauger, a longtime account executive at the station, to be national sales manager ...

Linkenauger replaces Lynn Beall, who was named national sales manager at Channel 9 here a week ago ...

Wasn't That Special!

Well, not in Washington, anyway. Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart's tearful plea for forgiveness on Channel 20 didn't attract an especially large audience for his regular 8 p.m. Sunday broadcast on the station here ...

Arbitron said Swaggart's broadcast Sunday night (usually aired on a tape-delayed basis, it was satellited earlier in the day from his Baton Rouge, La., Family Worship Center) averaged a 1.2 rating and a 2 percent audience share from 8 to 9 p.m. (the broadcast started late here because of a movie runover on WDCA) ...

ARB said that during January the five regular Swaggart Sunday programs averaged a 1.0/1 (each ARB point represents 15,928 TV homes in this market) ...

Nielsen was more generous, allocating a 1.8/3 for Sunday evening's telecast (each Nielsen point is worth 16,116) ...

Audio portions only of the Sunday address by the evangelist were heard on all three network newscasts that night ...

One network news official said yesterday that the Jimmy Swaggart World Ministries offered to let the networks use video portions from the address if they would inform viewers where the speech "in its entirety" could be viewed Sunday evening, but there were no takers at ABC, CBS or NBC ...

WDCA vice president and general manager Jim Lynch said his staff was assured by an official of the Jimmy Swaggart World Ministries yesterday that the 6 a.m. weekday Swaggart hours as well as the Sunday night program will continue for at least six months ...

"They have six months of programs in the can," Lynch said. The program tapes will continue regardless of how long Swaggart remains absent as the result of his self-confessed "sin" and voluntary withdrawal from his pulpit over the weekend...

"They told us in Baton Rouge they expect Mr. Swaggart to be back before the tapes run out," said Lynch ...

He said the paid broadcasts, which have a national audience of about 3.6 million viewers weekly, are considered "the best pay" in the religious TV field -- "They pay well and they pay fast," said Lynch. He would not reveal what Swaggart's organization pays for the weekly and weekday hours on WDCA, however ...

Arbitron said yesterday that in its latest (November) "Syndicated Program Analysis for Religious Programming," Swaggart's weekly program (seen Sunday on WDCA) ranks number one in the country and is seen in 191 markets ...

Swaggart's daily program, carried by 140 stations nationwide, ranks ninth. The ARB analysis, conducted during the four major ratings sweeps each year, ranks a total of 66 religious programs, or all those seen in at least five markets ...

Are We Boring You?

Friday night's "debate" between Republican presidential hopefuls George Bush and Jack Kemp on PBS (the other main players had pulled out earlier) did only a 1.3 Nielsen rating and a 2 percent audience share between 10 and midnight on Channel 26. That means 20,943 TV homes watched. It also means 1,591,000 didn't ...

A debate of the Democratic presidential candidates Thursday night, also from Dallas, had averaged only a 0.9/2 on WETA. That means 1,596,000 TV homes didn't watch ...

Both debates were sponsored by The Dallas Morning News and Texas Monthly and were anchored by Roger Mudd ...