Janis Berman, wife of Rep. Howard Berman, has turned a declined interview into a proposal that looks as though it may become a new television comedy series. While working as an intern at the Washingtonian magazine last spring, she was assigned to write an article on four congressmen who share a Capitol Hill town house during the week and spend weekends back home with their families. The four congressmen -- Reps. Charles Schumer, Marty Russo, George Miller and Leon Panetta -- didn't like the idea, so they declined to be interviewed.

Berman didn't let it end there, however, and after mulling it over for a bit she decided the living arrangement might be a great plot for a sitcom. It was. She has just sold the story idea to Hollywood producer Jerry Weintraub, and Berman said negotiations look good with a network that wants to take advantage of the election year. In the sitcom, tentatively called "Capitol Hill," the four congressmen will sometimes differ on issues, but will, nonetheless, have to live together. One will be from California and one from New York, one will be black and one a woman. A woman politician in a house with three men? Whatever will their constituents think? Berman is aware of the political awkwardness of that situation, but was told that in TV sitcoms, a woman sells. "Who knows?" she mused yesterday, "The power of the medium is such that in two or three years there might be a woman congressman sharing a town house with male congressmen."

Out and About

In Washington, one can often see snapshots of history over lunch. Yesterday, Saudi Arabian Ambassador Prince Bandar Bin Sultan was seen having lunch with Egyptian Ambassador El Sayed Abdel Raouf El Reedy at Maison Blanche. It was only Monday that Saudi Arabia resumed full diplomatic relations with Egypt. The Saudis severed ties with Cairo in 1979 when the Egyptians signed a peace treaty with Israel ...

Comedian Bill Cosby is the hottest speaker any group can hope to get these days, and he doesn't come cheap. Not usually, anyway. This January, however, superstar Cosby has agreed to address the fourth annual Democratic congressional gathering at the Greenbriar resort in West Virginia, and he's not charging a cent. The three-day conference is centered on the theme "Our Family, Our Future," and America's favorite father figure will be speaking gratis because of his close friendship with members of the Congressional Black Caucus. The conference will involve some 200 Democratic congressmen, wives, children and sometimes grandchildren who will travel to West Virginia by train from Union Station in a weekend that is part fun and part business. Cosby has also said he will stop by a separate dinner for the smaller children the same night he speaks to the adults ...

Opera star Jose Carreras, who is suffering from leukemia, received a bone marrow transplant Monday at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. He is doing "real well," a hospital spokesman said. The singer was admitted to the center Nov. 8 after learning he had leukemia while filming "La Boheme" in Paris in July ...

Royal Watch: There may be considerable press speculation about the strength of the marriage of Charles and Diana, but they remain a popular, significant part of official Britain. The young couple made a surprise visit to Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, yesterday to comfort survivors of the IRA bomb blast that killed 11 and injured 63 during a memorial service for British war dead Nov. 8. One man who lost a 20-year-old daughter in the disaster talked with Diana and later said, "The visit has helped me enormously. Princess Diana is really a lovely girl"