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`KNOTS LANDING' WILL RETURN FOR A 14TH SEASON

Well, "Knots Landing" fans, the fix apparently worked. The show has been renewed by CBS for a 14th season.

And that was far from a sure thing earlier this season. What with a staff of new writers and producers, "Knots" was floundering both creatively and in the ratings. (It's down to No. 46 from No. 33 last year.)Coming to the rescue were the original executive producers, David Jacobs and Michael Filerman. In the past few weeks, they've managed to tighten up the storylines, add new plot twists and return the series to a semblance of its past. And the ratings have perked up.

Most of the current cast members are expected back, although Nicollette Sheridan (Paige) is being a bit coy about her plans, and Joan Van Ark (Valene) may be headed elsewhere. She recently filmed a pilot for NBC. Titled "Spin Doctors," it's about a public relations company. (In a chat with your local television editor last summer, Van Ark indicated she was beginning to think about leaving "Knots" behind.)

Van Ark, along with Michele Lee (Karen) and Ted Shackelford (Gary) are the only remaining members of the original cast.

Interestingly enough, the renewal means that "Knots" will run longer than "Dallas," the show it was spun off from. "Dallas" debuted April 2, 1978 and bowed out on May 3, 1991 - 13 years and one month. "Knots Landing" premiered Dec. 20, 1979 and will run through at least April, 1993 - about 13 years and four months.

However, "Dallas" will still have more episodes -356. After 22 episodes next season, "Knots" will total 347. In case you're wondering, "Knots" is already No. 3 on the all-time longest-running drama list (figured on the number of episodes), trailing only "Dallas" and No. 1 "Gunsmoke."- TONIGHT ON THE TUBE: Speaking of "Knots Landing," it's pre-empted again this week by the NCAA basketball tournament, which reaches the regional semifinals. We'll see a pair of games - Florida State vs. Indiana (6 p.m., Ch. 5) and UCLA vs. New Mexico State (8:30 p.m., Ch. 5); Homer becomes a female country music singer's manager on The Simpsons (7 p.m., Ch. 13); Cliff Robertson won an Academy Award for his role in Charly (7 p.m., Ch. 14); Sam attempts a baseball comeback on Cheers (8 p.m., Ch. 2); L.A. Law (9 p.m., Ch. 2) features a star athlete accused of rape; and Hercule Poirot falls in love with a Russian countess while solving a Mystery! (9 p.m., Ch. 7).

- LOOKING TOWARD FRIDAY: The NCAAs continue with Ohio State vs. North Carolina (6 p.m., Ch. 5) and Cincinnati vs. UTEP (8:30 p.m., Ch. 5); there's taped figure skating (7 p.m., Ch. 2), there's Jazz vs. Lakers (7:30 p.m., PSN); featuring the men's finals of the world championships; Nathan faces prejudice when he dates a Jewish girl on I'll Fly Away (8 p.m., Ch. 2); David Frost (8 p.m., Ch. 7) interview Pat Buchanan; and Barbara Walters interviews former hostage Terry Waite on 20/20 (9 p.m., Ch. 4).