Channel 5 announced yesterday that 10 o'clock news co-anchor James Adams will be off the air for at least the next three weeks ...

Adams was arrested in Herndon Friday night and charged with driving while intoxicated when he failed a roadside test after he was stopped for driving 35 miles per hour in a 25-mph zone. Adams faces a hearing on the charge Aug. 5 ...

Adams, 36, told a reporter yesterday that "I really want to get my life in order" and has asked for this week off while he and station executives work together to "address this very personal matter." He did not appear on the Monday night telecast ...

Adams was already scheduled for two weeks' vacation starting next week ...

Five news director Kim Montour said yesterday that "there is no timetable set for James's return. We're taking this one step at a time and our first goal is to see that he gets the help he needs" ...

Angela Robinson will join co-anchor Morris Jones during Adams's absence from the broadcast, Montour said ...

The Friday incident wasn't Adams's first brush with the law. In November 1985 he was slightly injured when his automobile struck a tree in Alexandria and a conviction for DWI followed. He said yesterday he had been alcohol-free and under treatment for the past six months by a private physician but "obviously, I must work out another program. I need your prayers; I really want to get my life in order" ...

Adams, who became co-anchor of the WTTG news hour in 1984, joined the station as a reporter in 1977 ...

Bob Pierpoint, who covered the Korean War for CBS News in 1951, will retire from the network at the end of the month. The Washington-based veteran -- who has covered the White House and every other important beat in the business -- most recently has been doing the cover story of CBS's "Sunday Morning" broadcast ...

Also at CBS News, White House correspondent Norman Robinson is leaving the network at the end of the week and will return to New Orleans, where he has been named weekday anchor at WDSU, the NBC affiliate there ...

Robinson joined CBS last August after finishing a year as a Nieman Fellow at Harvard. An accomplished journalist, he had been assistant news director after 14 years at WWL, the CBS affiliate in New Orleans, when he accepted the Nieman appointment ...

Robinson, 40, said his time with CBS has "been a wonderful opportunity, very enlightening" but confessed that he "found that the kind of lifestyle" demanded by an assignment in Washington "just didn't interest me." He said his family is eager to return to Louisiana ...

Robinson originally was slated to become a regular reporter at the CBS News bureau here after a brief stint as a summer White House replacement. But the White House assignment, with Lesley Stahl and Wyatt Andrews, stretched to 11 months. He also contributed to "48 Hours" and "Sunday Morning" during his stay here ...

Said one CBS bureau executive yesterday: "We hate to lose Norman but frankly I think he found the White House assignment just too narrow for his many talents. He is a very popular figure in New Orleans -- they once had a Norman Robinson Day for him down there and I think the family really missed their home" ...

CBS News has not yet chosen a replacement for Robinson ...

Speculation was rife in New York yesterday that Sherrie Rollins is about to be named news information director for ABC News. She would replace Elise Adde, who defected to the National Cable Television Association here earlier this year ...

Rollins is currently public affairs liaison at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. A top-notch political operative who also oversaw publicity for the Oliver Carr Co. here when the refurbished Willard Hotel complex opened a couple of years ago, Rollins is the wife of Ed Rollins, who is in charge of the Republican Party's off-year election campaigns ...

The top press job at ABC News reportedly will require Rollins to commute between headquarters in New York and Washington ...

TV RATINGZZZZ

Following are the top 20 network prime-time shows last week, ranked according to the percentage of the nation's 92.1 milllion TV households that watched, as measured by the A.C. Nielsen Co. A share represents the percentage of actual sets-in-use tuned to a particular program when it aired.

RATINGS.....................................SHARE...NETWORK

1......16.8...Roseanne........................29......ABC

2......15.4...Cheers..........................27......NBC

3......14.7...The Cosby Show..................29......NBC

.......14.7...Designing Women.................24......CBS

5......14.6...Unsolved Mysteries..............29......NBC

6......14.4...A Different World...............27......NBC

7......14.2...60 Minutes......................30......CBS

...... 14.2...Seinfeld........................24......NBC

9......13.8...Coach...........................23......ABC

10......13.7...48 Hours........................26......CBS

11......13.5...The Golden Girls................28......NBC

12......13.4...Murphy Brown....................22......CBS

13......13.3...The Simpsons....................24......FOX

14......13.2...20/20...........................26......ABC

15......13.1...Empty Nest......................26......NBC

........13.1...America's Funniest Home Videos..25......ABC

........13.1...Trouble in Paradise.............23......CBS

........13.1...In the Heat of the Night........22......NBC

19......12.8...Married With Children...........22......FOX

20......12.6...Singer & Sons...................25......NBC

NBC won the primetime race for the 35th time in the 38 weeks since the 1989-90 season began, averaging a summer-slim 10.8 rating and a 20 share ...

CBS was second at 9.8/19, just ahead of ABC at 9.7/18 ...

CBS set some kind of record last week when two of its news programs wound up in the Top Ten ...

That network was helped when the Thursday and Tuesday NBA final games between Portland and Detroit finished in a tie for 23rd and 27th, respectively ...

In the network news race last week, "ABC World News Tonight With Peter Jennings" was first with a 9.5/21, followed somewhere in the distance by "CBS Evening News With Dan Rather" at 7.7/17 and "NBC Nightly News With Tom Brokaw" at 7.4/17 ...

Now This ...... Following ABC's lead, NBC announced yesterday it would abandon the old method of setting ad rates based on A.C. Nielsen's "people meter" ratings system, which has recorded a steep dropoff in viewers and which the networks claim is flawed ...

Under the new system, NBC will use data from the previous six years, when available -- not just from the previous season -- to set the rates ...

Larry Hoffner, executive vice president of network sales for NBC, called the new policy an "interim solution" to the problem until a new measurement system could devised. "We recognize there has been a trend in declining viewing, but what happened in the first quarter is larger than anything we've seen" ...

Sharyl Attkisson has been named co-anchor, with Ralph Wenge, for CNN's Atlanta-based "International Hour" ...

Formerly with WTVT in Tampa, Fla., she replaces Bernard Shaw, who returns to "Primenews," the 8 p.m. CNN news hour starting next Monday ...

Attkisson will also anchor "Earlyprime" at 5 p.m. with New York-based Lou Waters ...

WUSA sportscaster Glenn Brenner announced on the air Monday night at 11 that he was going to tape a pilot for "an information-humor" program on Saturday night, June 23, and told viewers "if you'd like to be in the audience" call Channel 9 ...

Within 10 minutes, all 140 seats in the WUSA studio were accounted for ...

Nine says there may be several such pilots before a format for funnyman Brenner is settled on. If the series takes off, it would probably debut next winter after his stint with "Redskins Sidelines" is over for the season ...

Just in case additional pilots are to be taped, Nine says people who would like to be members of the studio audience should write to: Pilot Tickets, WUSA TV, 4001 Brandywine St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20016 ...

Brenner is up for contract renewal and the opportunity to host his own comedy show is undoubtedly an argument to keep him on the Eyewitness News team ...