John Grant, manager of Penn State University's public TV station, WPSX, has been named vice president for national program service scheduling and administration at PBS ...

He will report to Jennifer Lawson, the public network's executive vice president for programming and promotional services ...

Under a plan waiting approval by the 330 stations in the system, Lawson will have unprecedented authority over the dispersal of about $100 million in annual program funds and the responsibility for creating and promoting a national program schedule for PBS ...

Grant, who joins PBS on Aug. 1, takes over that latter task, managing the day-to-day operation of the National Programming and Promotion Service (NPPS) and serving as senior manager for program scheduling and finance ...

In other news from PBS, more details of the fall schedule were released yesterday, including word of a "Showcase Week" from Sept. 30 through Oct. 5, which, as its name implies, will provide a sample of "the full range of PBS programming" for viewers who may have already found the new commercial network schedules a little thin in the thought-provocation department ...

"Week" will include a new Poirot special on "Mystery!" (Oct. 5) and a "Great Performances" sample dealing with a cappella singing, hosted by Spike Lee and Debbie Allen and featuring the Persuasions, Take 6, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Rocka pella, the Mint Juleps and True Image (Oct. 5) ...

Also to be showcased: The first episode of "Race to Save the Planet" (Oct. 4), a global environment series hosted by Meryl Streep. The entire series will be stripped from Sunday through Thursday, Oct. 7-11 ...

Also from the environmental trenches that week, Bill Moyers, "Frontline" and the Center for Investigative Journalism join to present "Global Dumping Ground" ...

The Week will also include "The American Experience," examining Charles Lindbergh's complex and tragic life; "Masterpiece Theatre," presenting a Harold Pinter screenplay, "The Heat of the Day," a story of love and betrayal in 1940s wartime London (Sept. 30); and a "Live From Lincoln Center" concert with the New York Philharmonic and pianist Daniel Barenboim (Oct. 3) ...

Episodes of "NOVA," "Nature" and "Infinite Voyage" will also be, well, showcased that week ...

As the fall schedule unfolds, "Great Performances" promises Boito's opera "Mefistofele," with Samuel Ramey; Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya"; "Kathleen Battle and Jessye Norman Sing Spirituals"; and three Mozart operas -- "The Marriage of Figaro," "Don Giovanni" and "Cosi Fan Tutte" -- as staged by maverick director Peter Sellars ...

Also upcoming: a six-hour series on "Korea: The Unknown War," which will air in November, and a look at the shifting power in the post-World War II Pacific, which will air between Oct. 16 and Nov. 6 ...

As previously reported, the PBS schedule this fall will kick off with a memorable documentary on "The Civil War," which will air on five consecutive nights starting Sept. 23 ...

And "Frontline" will open the environmental coverage in a big way with "The Decade of Destruction," a documentary, 10 years in the making, that shows the systematic destruction of Brazil's rain forest. It will begin with a two-hour presentation on Sept. 18, with one-hour episodes on each of the next three evenings ...

Now This

CBS News was bragging yesterday about two coups for anchor Dan Rather in Moscow on opening day of the 28th Communist Party Congress ...

Dan obtained about a five-minute "exclusive" interview with President Mikhail Gorbachev and he was the only American anchor to gain entrance to the congress session yesterday ...

CBS had crews staked out in Red Square following the conclusion of the first session of the congress, and Rather got the interview when Gorbachev, who had attended a wreath-laying ceremony at Lenin's tomb, began to mix with a crowd gathered to watch the notables around 7:25 p.m. Moscow time ...

According to CBS, Rather showed up at the press center for the congress at 5:30 in the morning to ensure he was on the admittance list for the day's session. Neither ABC's Peter Jennings nor NBC's Tom Brokaw got in, said CBS ...

ABC News's "This Week With David Brinkley" will broadcast live Sunday from "the original 1924 entrance way" of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston just hours before the economic summit begins. Guests will be Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Secretary of State James Baker ...

On the shelf: Diane Sawyer's interview on ABC News's "PrimeTime Live" with the head of the KGB, Vladimir Kryuchkov, originally scheduled to air June 28 ...

It was scrapped last week in favor of Sawyer's interview with hard-to-get Iraq president Saddam Hussein (which helped earn PTL a 9.2/18 in the national Nielsens that night) ...

Now ABC has scheduled a rerun this Thursday of last Sept. 21's one-hour tour of the White House conducted by President and Mrs. Bush for Diane and Sam Donaldson (though the controversial questioning -- the Cap Cities/ABC Inc. brass didn't approve -- by Donaldson at the end of the broadcast has been dropped, ostensibly "because it is no longer timely") ...

As for the interview with the chairman of the U.S.S.R. State Security Committee, a spokesman said yesterday "it's still being worked on" and no date for airing has been set ...

Channel 5 reports that it was the only station to provide live coverage yesterday -- from 1:15 to 1:25 p.m. -- of Mayor Barry's remarks at the Freedom Plaza rally on his behalf ...

After one week, here is how the revamped early morning news lineup in this market is shaping up ...

Newcomer "Fox Morning News" on Five averaged a 2.2 rating and a 10 share between 7 and 9 a.m., against a 4.7/22 for ABC's "Good Morning America" on Seven, a 3.0/14 for NBC's "Today" show on Four and a 2.5/12 for "CBS This Morning" on Nine ...

And the one-hour "Mac McGarry Summer Comedy Club" on Four averaged a 2.0/9 during its first week in the 9 a.m. time slot ...

While we're looking at the numbers (you thought you'd gotten through a virtually Ratingzz Free morning there for a while, didn't you TV Column fans?), Seven's 15-minute late night show, "Marion Barry: His Day in Court" averaged a 3.9/15 for the week ...

(All together now: Each local ratings point represents 17,278 TV households!!) ...

Western fans (and C. Airwaves knows from the phone calls that he isn't the only one left in that corral, podnahs) will be happy to know that CBS's "Paradise," starring Lee Horsley as Ethan Cord, has been picked up by the network for another eight episodes as a mid-season replacement, even though it finished down there around 100th in the season series rankings ...

CBS Entertainment said yesterday "Paradise" will have a new title and a new regular character, one of them ornery drifters who comes to town looking for revenge against Ethan ...

And one more late entry for the 1989-90 Lazarus Award: ABC's "Anything but Love," which the network yesterday finally confirmed is returning for another nine episodes next season, also as a replacement series ...