Look up Ratings Success in the dictionary, TV Column fans, and you'll find a picture of -- the Washington Redskins ...

The Skins-N.Y. Giants game Sunday on Channel 9 averaged a 34.8 rating and a 58 percent audience share between 4 and 7 p.m. ... despite the beautiful fall weather ...

The station reported receiving about 40 calls when its broadcast of the Eagles-Cowboys game was cut off at 3:59 here just before Randall Cunningham threw the winning touchdown pass for Philadelphia (details of the foul-up are in the Sports section this morning) ...

Each local ratings point represents (where did everybody go?) 17,491 TV homes ...

The Donahue show (WUSA at 9 a.m.) will be live from the University of the District of Columbia campus tomorrow when Phil comes to town to interview Mayor Barry at the UDC auditorium at 9 a.m. ...

Free tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 7 a.m. at the auditorium, 4200 Connecticut Ave. NW ...

Which reminds us: Nine will have a live, one-hour, commercial-free Mayoral Forum Thursday night at 8:30 (preempting "the Flash") featuring Sharon Pratt Dixon, Maurice Turner and Alvin Frost. Anchors are Gordon Peterson and Bruce Johnson ...

Miriam Hernandez has signed as a correspondent with "Good Morning America." The Alexandria-based reporter will continue with CNN on general assignment. She's previously worked for WJLA (in 1989) and "USA Today on TV" and has been contributing regularly to GMA this year ...

Patrick Swayze's appearance on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" Saturday drew a 9.6/27 in the 24 major Nielsen markets, that show's best since Andrew Dice Clay showed up in May for an 11.5/21 ...

Now ThisThe first series that ever starred an obituary writer, CBS's "Over My Dead Body," debuted with a two-hour episode Friday night and averaged a 12.4 rating and a 23 share in the national Nielsens ...

Each national point represents 931,000 TV households ...

In Washington, Channel 9's audience, swelled by local necrologists on both sides of the Potomac, gave "Over" an 11.6/21 ...

Otherwise, nationally, ABC won the night as NBC's shows attracted only single-digit ratings. CBS's "Evening Shade" managed only an 8.7/16 ...

On Saturday, according to Nielsen overnights in 24 major markets, NBC's comedy lineup was the easy winner. The CBS movie, "Only One Survived," averaged only a 6.6/12. ABC's "China Beach" averaged a 6.5/12, while "Twin Peaks" did an 8.7/16 ...

On Sunday night, it was all CBS as "60 Minutes" averaged a 21.2/34 in the 24 big markets, "Murder, She Wrote" followed with an 18.2/27 at 8 and the movie "The Secret Life of Archie's Wife" did a 13.5/22 ...

On ABC, "Life Goes On" at 7 averaged 10.8/17, its two video shows from 8 to 9 averaged a 15.4/22 and the 2 1/2-hour movie "Stakeout" did an 11.2/19 ...

Fox offered an original "In Living Color" at 8, which averaged a 14.6/22, but a "Living Color" repeat that followed at 8:30 did a 15.6/23 ...

NBC had another single-digit night, at least in the 24 big cities, as "Lifestories" averaged a dismal 4.9/8 at 7 and "Sunday Night With Larry King" did a 5.4/8 at 8. The theatrical movie "Lethal Weapon" recovered with a 14.0/23 despite the poor lead-ins ...

"Sunday Night With Larry King" had been viewed as a possible series entry for one of those tough early Sunday evening timeslots. Yesterday, a spokesman for NBC Entertainment Group president Brandon Tartikoff said the network wanted to "digest the research" over the next couple of weeks before deciding whether any more King specials would be ordered up ...

In Washington, "King" averaged a scraggly 3.8/6 on Four, compared with a 19.8/29 for "In Living Color" on Five, a 19.6/29 for "Murder, She Wrote" on Nine and an 11.1/16 for the two ABC video shows on Seven ...

Locally, "The Secret Life of Archie's Wife" on Nine did a 13.3/23; "Lethal Weapon" on Four an 11.4/19 and "Stakeout" on Seven an 8.3/15 ...

After withdrawing last week, Louisiana state legislator David Duke has agreed to appear on a panel on racism tomorrow when "Jesse Jackson" is taped at WRC here. The former Ku Klux Klan leader had pulled out when an agreed-upon one-on-one interview with host Jackson was changed to a panel discussion by the new staff that took over the syndicated public affairs show late last week ...

Facing an uphill battle in the race for the House in Wisconsin's 2nd District is former Channel 7 investigative reporter Scott Klug ...

He left Seven after six years, in March 1988, to become an anchor in Madison and pursue a law degree. His tough opponent on Nov. 6: Democratic Rep. Robert W. Kastenmeier, veteran of 32 years in the House. Republican Klug's big issue: term limitation. Says Congressional Quarterly: the "37-year-old former newscaster ... lacks both deep roots in the District and a large campaign treasury" ...

Local RatingzzzThe preliminary October results underscore a general loss of news audiences over the past year as defections -- to cable, independent TV stations, VCRs and who knows? maybe even newspapers, books and magazines -- continue ...

As a for instance -- a three-tenths of a ratings point and a one share point improvement by Channel 4 in its 5 to 6 weeknight news was the only improvement shown by any of the principal news shows on all stations from a year ago ...

In rough -- very rough -- comparisons, the 5 to 6 weeknight news audiences fell from 374,000 in October 1979 to approximately 351,000 last month, while cumulative shares dropped from 56 percent of total sets-in-use to 51 ...

From 6 to 7, local news show audiences dropped from 466,000 to 407,000 and from 59 to 51 share points. In late-night news, Mondays through Fridays (which includes the 10 p.m. news on Channel 5), audiences dropped from 626,000 to 565,000 while shares dropped from 77 to 70 percent ...

The evening network news shows from ABC, CBS and NBC plunged even more sharply. Cumulative audiences went from approximately 528,000 a year ago to 445,000 last month, while shares dropped from 58 to 50 ...

As for who-leads-what, the status is otherwise pretty much quo, compared with October 1989. Nine, for instance, is still number one in the early evening but its one-hour news at 5 was off five share points from its 5 to 5:30 news of news a year ago while its 6 p.m. hour was off six share points from its 5:30 to 6:30 news last October. Seven, while also losing audience, was still down only one share point from 5 to 5:30 and just one share point from 5:30 to 6:30. Four, while up one share point at 5, lost a share point at 6 ...

At 11 p.m., number three Seven and number one Four both lost just one share point while number two Nine was down three. Keeping in mind that each ratings point represents 17,491 homes:

At 6:30 a.m., Nine news is tops with a 3.5/22, compared with a 2.9/18 for Seven and a 1.8/11 for Five ...

From 7 to 9 a.m. M-F, "Good Morning America" on Seven leads with a 4.1/20, followed by the "Today" show on WRC at 2.7/13, "CBS This Morning" on WUSA at 2.5/13 and "Fox Morning News" on Five at 1.8/9. The CBS entry showed the biggest drop -- 40 percent in ratings and 28 percent in share...

From 4 to 5 p.m., Oprah Winfrey on WJLA is tops at 7.8/23, compared with a 4.5/14 for WUSA's news hour, a 4.1/13 for WTTG's "Tiny Toon" and "Peter Pan," 4.0/12 for WRC's "Inside Edition" and "Hard Copy" and 3.6/10 for "Chip'n Dale's" and "Tale Spin" on WDCA ...

From 5 to 6, M-F, Channel 9 news is the leader with a 7.3/18, followed by a 6.6/17 for WRC news, a 6.3/16 for a half-hour of "In Person" on WJLA; a 5.4/13 for "Silver Spoons" and "Mr. Belvedere" on WTTG and a handsome 4.1/10 for "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" and "Growing Pains" on WDCA ( 2.5/6 from a year ago) ...

From 6 to 7, M-F: Nine leads with an 8.6/18, compared with an 8.4/18 for WTTG's twin "Who's the Boss?" episodes, a 7.9/17 for WRC, a 6.9/16 for WJLA between 5:30 and 6:30 and a 2.6/6 for WDCA's "ALF" and "Head of the Class" ...

At 11 p.m., M-F, WRC continues in first with a 10.1/23, compared with an 8.1/19 for WUSA and a 6.7/15 for WJLA ...

The 10 o'clock news on WTTG averaged a 7.6/13 ...

In the network news race, M-F, "ABC World News Tonight With Peter Jennings" on Seven at 6:30 is first with a 9.4/19, followed by "NBC Nightly News With Tom Brokaw" on WRC at 7 at 8.2/16 and "CBS Evening News With Dan Rather" on WUSA at 7 with an 8.0/15. Dan is off 2.3 ratings point from a year ago, when he was on at 6:30; Tom is

1.7 and P.J. is

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