With autumn virtually at our doorsteps, TV Column fans, it is certainly not too early to think about cold-weather breakfast nook straps again (your lightweight stretch denim straps sure got a workout in that record-setting summer heat, didn't they?) ...

But looking toward the colder weather, a sure bet again this season seems to be frosted denim (i.e., acid-washed or stone-washed denim). Moving up rapidly among our more adventurous readers, we understand, at least those who want to make a Statement this early in the morning, is a stretchy wool strap, preferably wool barathea. (And, if it won't clash too harshly with the color scheme, the experts tell us that something woolly in lipstick red would be a sure way to beat Ol' Man Winter at his cold game! See you at the nookstrap counter of your favorite shopping center this weekend!) ...

But Seriously, Folks

Next Tuesday night at 11:30, ABC News will air the first of three "unprecedented" live, unedited, satellite broadcasts featuring members of Congress and senior Soviet officials ...

The 90-minute program will be broadcast live in the United States and the Soviet Union, the first time a broadcast has aired live in both countries. ...

"Capital to Capital" will be seen live in Moscow from 7:30 until 9 a.m. and will be rebroadcast during Soviet Television's evening primetime hours. Here, the program will pre-empt "Nightline" on the late evening schedule ...

In this first-ever exchange between members of the U.S. Congress and Deputies of the Supreme Soviet, Leonid Zolotarevsky, director of the International Division of Gostelradio, will host the program in Moscow ...

This first program will focus on mutual security. Jennings will be joined by Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee; Rep. Les Aspin (D-Wis.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee; and Rep. Trent Lott (R-Miss.), House minority whip ...

The Soviet panel will include Marshal Sergei Akromeyev, chief of the General Staff and first deputy minister of defense; Georgi Kornienko, first deputy to Anatoliy Dobrynin and international deputy of the Central Committee; Leve Tolkunov, chairman of the Soviet of the Unions (one of the two houses of the Supreme Soviet); and Yevgeniy Valikhov, vice president of the Soviet Academy of Sciences ...

Live audiences will question the participants. In Washington the studio audience will be made up of members and staff of the U.S. Congress. Members of the Soviet Party Congress will be in the audience in Moscow ...

A second broadcast on Oct. 14 will deal with human rights, while the Nov. 18 broadcast will focus on regional conflicts ...

Now This

The Barbara Walters special feturing a 23-minute interview with Lt. Col. Oliver North's former aide, Fawn Hall, earned a 15.9 national Nielsen rating and a 27 percent audience share on ABC Tuesday night (each rating point represents 886,000 TV homes) ...

In Washington, the Walters special attracted an almost identical 15.9/29 on Channel 7 (each rating point representing 15,800 TV homes) ...

Incidentally, Walters will interview Katharine Hepburn tomorrow night on the regular "20/20" season-opener. That program will need every legend Barbara can attract, facing its new 10 p.m. Friday timeslot, when the nation's baby sitters control the dial ...

In other Ratings Tidbits, meanwhile, "Houston Knights" began its second season on the CBS lineup with a 10.8 national Nielsen rating and an 18 share ...

In other local ratings, the two-hour National AIDS Awareness Test special on Channel 5 Tuesday night did a 9.0/15. The station received some 20 calls, all of them favorable, during the broadcast ...

And the debut of "She's the Sheriff" on WRC at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday attracted an 11.3/20. The show, starring Suzanne Somers, is one of five sitcoms being introduced this week on NBC's owned station in the 7:30 "primetime access" time slot ...

A Mystery Buy for the Washington market: Sen. Paul S. Trible Jr. (R-Va.) has bought two minutes of time Saturday night on WJLA, WDCA and WTTG but Roger Ailes & Associates, which is handling the deal, won't tell the stations what the ad will say (Ailes promised there's nothing in it that would worry a lawyer). Trible would be up for reelection next year ...

It will be satellited to this market at 4 p.m. on Saturday for use later in the evening. Channel 4 hasn't made any deal to carry it until they've seen the 4 p.m. feed. Channel 9 turned it down -- but only because there was no time available that night on the station, apparently ...

Moving Right Along

Kind of, to reveal that Channel 50 has added the Greaseman to its "Redskins After Hours" crew, which can be seen at 11 p.m. Saturdays ...

Greaseman is WWDC's "morning man," where he reigns as number one with young people. He's also big in Baltimore, and there's a chance the show could be picked up by a TV station in that market. Greaseman joins Pet Wysocki and George Starke as a regular ...

With "people meters" finally in play, let's climb into the Airwaves Time Machine (watch that first step -- oops, I'll bet that smarts!) and go back to this past week's national ratings to see if the new system will make that much difference. Early indications are -- not much ...

In the very last outing, after 30 years of Nielsen's old mix of diaries and simple TV set meters, NBC won the primetime race with a 15.2 national rating and a 27 percent audience share. A people-meter run for the same week cut NBC to a 14.9/26, a loss of about 225,000 TV homes. Big deal! CBS, down from 10.1/18 to 10.0/18, lost 88,600 homes, but ABC went up from 9.6/17 to 9.8/18, a gain of 177,000 homes. The overall loss of about 136,000 homes via people meters wouldn't keep an ad person, used to much bigger discrepancies between Nielsen and Arbitron under the old methods, awake for a single extra minute ...

But people meters showed big changes when it came to the news ratings, much to beleaguered CBS' delight ...

The new system added another 1.2 million TV homes to the nightly averages overall and in the bargain moved "CBS Evening News" from third to first (9.8/20 in the people meters, 8.8/19 in the old diaries). ABC remained in second but jumped in audience to a 9.6/20 (8.9/19), while NBC fell from first to last with a 9.5/20 (9.8/21). CBS did well with people-meter trial runs all summer, which seem to be holding up ...

Incidentally, Dan Rather's six-minute defection from the first feed Friday night apparently cost "CBS Evening News" three ratings points (or 2.6 million homes) that night while ABC and NBC each picked up more than two points, according to CBS research ...

In the overall weekly averages, that Friday loss cost CBS about a half a point (or some 443,000 TV homes) while the two rivals each picked up about half a point ...

Charles Glass, the ABC News correspondent who was released Aug. 18 after 62 days as a hostage in Lebanon, is hitting the lecture circuit ...

He'll make his first appearance next Tuesday before the Economic Club of Denver. Since his release, Glass has been working as a freelance reporter on contract for ABC News out of London. He appeared on the network on Labor Day ...

The Harry Walker Agency, whose clients include ABC's Ted Koppel, is booking Glass ...

And lest we forget: That National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences fall party in the Riverside Room of the Potomac restaurant tonight at 7 will ask, but not require, a $5 donation from non-NATAS members. But there's still that free beer and wine. And that great view of the river ...