Nothing is final yet, but it looks like "Northern Exposure" could be back on the air next year.

CBS and the producers are still haggling over money, but the two sides are reportedly close. The show could be back on the air as soon as February - but, again, none of this is set in concrete yet.There is one other problem - creator/producers Josh Brand and John Falsey, who also brought us "St. Elsewhere" and "A Year in the Life," recently signed an exclusive contract to work for Lorimar. "Exposure" is a Universal project. No word on how that will be worked out.

Bringing "Northern Exposure" back would be the best thing the network could do. The quirky show about a New York doctor forced to live in Alaska was the best thing on television last summer, and better than anything any of the networks has shown us this fall.

RATINGS: We never got around to talking about the ratings last week - between Ninja Turtles, "Over My Dead Body" and Larry King, we ran out of time and room.

And today we'll keep this very brief:

Baseball was a mixed blessing for CBS - the four World Series games drew spectacular ratings, finishing first (Game 2), second (Game 4), fifth (Game 1) and sixth (Game 3) for the week of Oct. 15-21, lifting CBS to No. 1 in the network race for the second time this season.

But, unfortunately for the Big Eye, Cincinnati's sweep meant three fewer big-ratings advertising bonanzas, costing the network between $100 million and $150 million.

NBC counter-programming also did quite well - "Danielle Steel's Kaleidoscope" on Monday was No. 4 and her "Fine Things" was No. 10.

As for Bill vs. Bart Round II, again the results were somewhat mixed. In the national numbers, Bill was a clear winner - "The Cosby Show" pulled an 18.5 rating and finished No. 8, while "The Simpsons" fell to a 16.2 rating and No. 18.

But once again, those numbers measure households. When the actual number of viewers is counted, 29,870,000 were watching Bart and 28,510,000 were watching Bill. The difference comes in the extraordinary number of kids and teens watching "The Simpsons."

SCHOOL'S OUT: Here's a happy bit of news - NBC has canceled the dreadful "Hull High."

This misbegotten mishmash of juvenile humor, song and dance has already had its last airing on the network.

NBC isn't quite sure yet what it will schedule in the the Sunday at 6 p.m. time slot, but at the top of the list of possibilities is a half-hour version of "Real Life with Jane Pauley" followed by a half-hour "Expose." The Peacock has made mid-season commitments to both news division shows.

It would put NBC News in direct competition with CBS News and "60 Minutes." And, excuse me, but Jane would discover she can't compete with Mike, Morley, Harry, Ed and Co.

There's no end in sight to NBC's Sunday night woes.WHO'S BOB?: If you're still hanging in there with "Twin Peaks," ABC is now promising that the Laura Palmer murder will be cleared up on Nov. 10.

Bob is definitely the murderer, and on that date Agent Cooper and Sheriff Truma (with some help from the one-armed man) will track him down and discover who exactly he is.

We've been fooled before, but maybe now this will finally come to an end.

CALLING TWIN PEAKS: If there are any of you out there still trying to follow the action in "Twin Peaks" and you happen to miss an episode, you can call the "Twin Peaks Sheriff's Office Hotline.

"Lucy, Deputy Andy and Doc Hayward will fill you in on the most recent episode and a "mystery voice" will reveal some clues about upcoming action.

Be warned: These calls aren't cheap. They're $2 for the first minute and $1 for each minute thereafter. (Lynch-Frost productions assures us the money is earmarked for charity.) If you still want to call, the number is 1-900-860-0911.`TWIN' CAMEOS: In case you missed it, in this season's "Twin Peaks" premiere, that TV newsman reporting from the burned out sawmill was was co-creator/writer Mark Frost.

And this coming Saturday, co-creator/writer/director David Lynch will appear as Agent Cooper's bureau chief, Gordon Cole.

He'll be the second Lynch to appear on the program - his 8-year-old son, Austin Jack Lynch, was the mysterious, apparently magical grandson of the elderly woman Donna visited on her Meals-On-Wheels route back on Oct. 8.