ABC News has confirmed that the Duchess of York, the former Sarah Ferguson, will be interviewed by Diane Sawyer for the Nov. 13 edition of "PrimeTime Live," marking the launch of Fergie's $2 million autobiography, to be published by Simon and Schuster . . .
Details are slim so far, but ABC says Sawyer will tape the interview in Great Britain in October. Fergie's expected to discuss her life as a member of the royal family and her future outside it . . .
It's billed as an "exclusive," but you can bet Fergie will be appearing on every U.S. morning, noon and nighttime talk show her bookers can find after the ABC show. NBC's "Dateline," for one, has long been seeking that exclusive first. . . .
Besides her autobiography, she is releasing a pair of children's books this fall . . .
Channel 20 has moved up the closing date of its half-hour nightly "UPN News," which had been scheduled for the chopping block Aug. 31 . . .
With an eye to offering an entertainment alternative to the big networks' Democratic convention coverage next week, WDCA will end "UPN News" after Sunday night's broadcast at 10 p.m. The station will launch its schedule of "Deep Space Nine" reruns the next night, a week earlier than planned . . .
"UPN News" is produced and staffed by NewsChannel 8 . . .
On "Nightline" tonight Brian Ross will interview David Owen, a former Kansas lieutenant governor and a onetime financial adviser to GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole regarding "questionable fund-raising practices of Dole's 1988 bid for the presidency" . . .
Owen served six months in federal prison in 1994 on income tax charges that grew out of an investigation that began in 1988. The Dole campaign says Owen lacks credibility and has wrongly blamed Dole for his problems . . .
In his interview with investigative correspondent Ross, Owen alleges that Dole was aware of financial transactions that came under scrutiny, some involving property owned by Elizabeth Dole's blind trust. Owen claims that blind trust was not totally blind and that then-Sen. Dole was aware of a building purchased by the trust . . .
Dole spokesman Nelson Warfield denies Owen's charges and told "Nightline" that Dole knew nothing about the office building . . .
The interview was conducted in February outside Kansas City, according to a "Nightline" spokesman . . .
On Friday night, the dreadful Cincinnati Bengals-Washington Redskins NFL preseason game on Channel 7 averaged a 17.8 rating and a 31 percent audience share . . .
On Saturday night, the Dallas-Denver NFL exhibition on Fox averaged a 6.7/13 in the overnights. The game did a 9.8/19 on Channel 5 here . . .
On Sunday night, CBS News's "60 Minutes" averaged a 10.6/21 in the 33-city Nielsen overnight ratings. The broadcast included a Dan Rather interview with President Clinton . . .
That made "60 Minutes" the highest-rated show for the evening, at least in the big-city overnights. But just barely: A repeat of "A Friend to Die For" on NBC averaged a 10.5/18 from 9 to 11 p.m. in the 33-city overnights . . .
In Washington, "60 Minutes" did a 10.5/21 on Channel 9, "A Friend to Die For," an 11.5/19 on Channel 4 . . . In Other News
T'Keyah "Crystal" Keymah is joining the cast of CBS's "Cosby," playing his daughter on the series. An original cast member of Fox's "In Living Color," she replaces Audra McDonald, who played the role in the show's pilot . . .
The series -- which already has a 44-episode order from CBS -- has had some start-up problems. Earlier, Phylicia Rashad, who played Cosby's wife in the NBC hit "The Cosby Show," was brought in to replace Telma Hopkins as Cosby's wife on this series, which debuts Monday, Sept. 16 . . .
"Cosby" isn't the only newcomer having a difficult arrival this fall, the trades are already noting. CBS's "Ink," starring Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen, has had a couple of fixes, and NBC's "Suddenly Susan," marking Brooke Shields's series debut, reportedly has had a complete redo -- a new supporting cast and a new workplace for Brooke -- after the network got a look at its pilot. Holdover series like ABC's "Murder One" and NBC's "The Single Guy" have also had changes . . .
ABC has ordered six episodes of "Gun," a one-hour anthology that follows "the life of a semi-automatic, pearl-handled gun as it passes from one unpredictable situation to another each week." Famed director Robert Altman and James Sadwith are producers . . .
Major stars from film and TV will be cast in all six shows, with Peter ("thirtysomething") Horton, Rosanna ("Pulp Fiction") Arquette and James ("Crimson Tide") Gandolfini in the pilot . . .
The "special event programming" (i.e., non-series) will air in mid-season. The story idea has been around ABC for some time. On Nov. 13, 1974, as part of the ABC "Movie of the Week" series, the network aired a 90-minute movie called "The Gun," produced by William Link and Richard Levinson, which also traced the impact of a gun as it passed through several hands . . .
Area public TV stations renewed their summer fund-raising drives this past weekend and will continue them nonstop through Sunday night, the eve of the Democratic convention in Chicago. Both WETA and the Maryland Public TV system have split their drives again this year . . .
After the first seven nights (Aug. 8-11, Aug. 16-18) of its 14-day campaign, Channel 26 had $218,053 in the till . . .
The Thursday, Aug. 8, airing of "Vermeer in America" is still ranked as the top draw -- there's just the suspicion of a play on words there, TV Column fans -- attracting $28,360. Sunday night's four-hour Kennedy Center 25th-anniversary gala brought in $23,220 . . .
After five nights (Aug. 10-11, Aug. 16-18), MPT had acquired $223,563 toward its announced goal of $450,000, and it owed much of the take to Sunday. That afternoon, "Les Miserables" attracted $21,785 in pledges, while the Kennedy Center gala in the evening drew $24,860, MPT's best single-performance total so far this drive . . .
More money matters: Advertising Age says the Dole campaign has already confirmed orders for almost $2.3 million in air time on ABC, CBS and NBC between Sept. 5 and Nov. 4, Election Day eve . . .
Most are 30- or 60-second ads, but a five-minute infomercial (costing $96,810) will run on CBS at 10:55 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5 . . .
Twenty-eight spots on ABC will mostly run on "Good Morning America." Two 30-second buys on ABC's "Monday Night Football" (Oct. 28 and Nov. 4) will cost $220,000 each . . . Morning in Washington
The first week of "This Morning," CBS's latest two-hour morning show, averaged a 2.2/9 between 7 and 9 a.m. on Channel 9. That breaks down to a 2.4/11 for the first hour, when it's virtually all Nine local news, and a 2.0/8 in the second hour, when new CBS anchors Jane Robelot, Jose Diaz-Balart and Mark McEwen take over for the network . . .
Nationally, "This Morning," shorn of its studio audience, its "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning" theme song and "CBS" in the title, averaged a 1.7/7 in the 33-city Nielsen overnight markets for the first week, compared with a 1.7/8 that "CBS This Morning" averaged in its last four "normal" (non-Olympics) weeks . . .
The first hour, which many CBS affiliates including Nine devote to local news, averaged a 1.8/8, according to the network . . .
At Channel 5 last week, the network's "Fox After Breakfast," from 9 to 10 a.m., was launched to the tune of a 2.3/9 average over five mornings. That compares with a 2.5/10 for the last week of "Gordon Elliott" in that time slot and the 1.9/10 that "Gordon" scored during the month of May . . .
Nationally, the new Fox show averaged a 1.6/6 in the 33 Nielsen big-city markets. That compares with the 1.9/7 averaged by a variety of local and syndicated shows that the Fox affiliates ran in that time period in the previous month . . .
Each overnight ratings point represents about 531,000 TV homes; a local ratings point, 18,836 TV homes . . .
Erik Sorenson, a former executive producer of "CBS This Morning," will join Court TV as executive producer and executive vice president on Sept. 3 . . .
In 16 years at the network, Sorenson also served as executive producer of "CBS Evening News" and most recently as executive producer of the syndicated afternoon hour show, "Day and Date," a joint venture by Group W and CBS that also airs on the CBS-owned stations . . .
He replaces Steven Johnson, who is going to MSNBC . . .