Pierre Salinger has signed a new contract for three more years with ABC News ...

He will remain in London with the dual jobs of chief foreign correspondent and senior editor, Europe ...

Salinger, who was press secretary to President John F. Kennedy and served briefly as a U.S. senator from California, joined ABC News in 1977 and has spent most of his time in Paris and London for the network, winning a shelf-full of awards along the way ...

ABC News yesterday confirmed a report by N.Y. Daily News columnist Liz Smith that Barbara Walters and her husband, businessman Merv Adelson, have decided to separate after four years of a bi-coastal marriage ...

However, a source said that the separation is friendly and the ABC anchor and her husband plan to spend her Sept. 25 birthday (she'll be 59) together on the West Coast with their families ...

Adelson is based in Los Angeles, while the "20/20" co-anchor is based mostly in New York. Since their marriage in May 1986, each has traveled coast-to-coast at least once a month but getting together has recently proved to be more difficult. When Adelson sold his company, Lorimar Telepictures, to Warner Bros., he no longer was required to spend as much time in New York, but Walters's specials and other assignments have kept her on the road ...

Walters was reportedly at a vacation spa and unavailable for comment yesterday ...

Are you ready out there in Out There Land? ...

The season opener of Monday Night Football on ABC between those tough S.F. 49ers and Nawlans averaged an 18.0 rating and a 32 percent share between 9 p.m. and 12:18 a.m. That's up slightly from last year's season kickoff 'twixt the Skins and the Giants, which did a 17.8/32 ...

Otherwise on Monday night, Connie Chung's last show on CBS for a while averaged a 9.6/16, the debut of the long-awaited "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" on NBC did a 13.6/24 while NBC's "Ferris Bueller" did an 11.3/17 in the final pump of its double pump premieres ...

Over on CBS, "Uncle Buck" debuted to an 11.3/20, while "Lenny" sneak-previewed to a 12.8/21 ...

In Washington, "Fresh Prince" triumphed on Four with a 15.1/24, while "Ferris" did an 11.3/17. "Uncle Buck" and "Lenny" on 9 did an 11.3/18 and a 12.6/20, respectively ...

CBS reports that it is quite pleased with the performance of both its newcomers, especially since "Uncle Buck" was up against one of NBC's top new shows and "Lenny" won the 8:30 time period ...

D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, who was due to offer a post-election analysis of the mayor's race on this morning's "Fox Morning News," withdrew from the WTTG program after the program aired a clip of his January drug bust during Monday's pre-election discussion among the candidates ...

Said one source: "The mayor's press secretary called to say he was distressed at the use of the tape and thought it was totally unnecessary. As a result, he is choosing not to come on the program as he had promised but he could consider appearing on the program sometime in the future" ...

Five defends its use of the tape clip because it was included in a background piece covering five or six issues, including leadership in the District, that were of major concern to voters in the election ...

Barry was scheduled to appear on Channel 4 last night after election results were in, prompting one Fox executive to ask, rhetorically, what promises Four may have had to make to Hizzoner in order to get him to appear ...

News Four executive producer Wendy White said yesterday that "no promises" were made to Barry. "At this stage of the game, I think everybody's looking forward and not backward so the issue just never came up" ...

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.....17.8.....Miss America Pageant...............36.....NBC

2.....15.9.....The Golden Girls...................30.....NBC

3.....15.4.....Cheers.............................26.....NBC

4.....15.0.....The Fanelli Boys...................28.....NBC

5.....14.8.....America's Funniest Home Videos.....25.....ABC

6.....14.7.....60 Minutes.........................28.....CBS

7.....14.2.....Designing Women....................24.....CBS

......14.2.....Roseanne...........................24.....ABC

9.....13.8.....A Different World..................23.....NBC

10....13.7.....The Cosby Show.....................24.....NBC

......13.7.....Unsolved Mysteries.................24.....NBC

12....13.1.....Full House.........................26.....ABC

......13.1.....Murphy Brown.......................22.....CBS

14....12.7.....Murder, She Wrote..................21.....CBS

......12.7.....Jesse..............................21.....CBS

16....12.6.....NFL Runover (Sun.).................26.....NBC

17....12.4.....Working It Out.....................25.....NBC

......12.4.....Matlock............................22.....NBC

......12.4.....Wings..............................21.....NBC

......12.4.....Coach..............................21.....ABC

With Miss America and Bert Parks leading the way, NBC had an easy week at the top, averaging a 10.7 rating and a 19 share, compared with a 9.4/17 for ABC, a 9.2/16 for CBS and a 6.3/11 for FOX ...

The pageant, which used to be a cinch winner in the old days, took first in the national rankings for only the third time (1982 and 1988) since the 1970s. NBC also trotted out three new season shows, two for the second time. "The Fanelli Boys" did best, while a repeat of "Working It Out" tied for 17th and a "Parenthood" repeat showed up in a tie for 29th ...

Among other highlights for the week ending Sunday, ABC's Saturday morning preview was 32nd, CBS's "Top Cops" was 42nd and ABC News's Koppel Report on chaos in the criminal justice system tied for 54th ...

The premiere of "Parker Lewis Can't Lose" on FOX was 59th, "America's Most Wanted" on FOX debuted in 64th and its "True Colors" was 65th. The premiere of FOX's "DEA" was 76th ...

The CBS special starring Phil Collins was 83rd, giving Phil the top spot in the Final And Even If We Had To Cover The Bet With A Second Mortgage Probably Fatal Five. Phil was followed, in order, by a "Newhart" rerun on CBS and three FOX entries -- repeats of "21 Jump Street" and "Alien Nation" and an original episode of "American Chronicles," paws up in 87th and last place for the week ...

Now This .....

Just when we were getting depressed about the new season's intellectual challenges, if any, USA Network reveals that the premiere of "Swamp Thing" achieved a 2.9 rating, the highest ever for an original series debut on the cable network ...

USA Network is available in 53 million TV homes ...

But seriously, folks. C-SPAN will have complete and unedited coverage of the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings on the nomination of Judge David Souter to the U.S. Supreme Court starting tomorrow at 8 p.m. If further hearings are scheduled, C-SPAN will air taped coverage of that day's testimony in its entirety at 8 p.m. Because of C-SPAN's commitment to live coverage of the House, the Souter hearings will be live only if Congress is not in session ...

Network news shows' devotion to the Persian Gulf crisis despite the lack of breaking news in the region lately has apparently started to affect audiences, which were down 6 percent overall from the previous week ...

"ABC World News Tonight," with a 9.8 rating and a 21 share, had its biggest margin over "CBS Evening News" (8.4/18) since June. "NBC Nightly News" was a close third at 8.3/18 ...

NBC wants us all to know that between the Fourth of July and Labor Day, "Nightly News" ratings managed to rise 20 percent, ABC was up 17 percent and CBS up 14 percent. God bless NBC Research! ...

Which reminds us: The annual news and documentary Emmys are being handed out tonight at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York. There are about 125 nominees in about 30 categories ...

"World Monitor" celebrates its second anniversary on the Discovery Channel tonight. The news show, anchored by John Hart, airs at 7:30 and again at 1 weeknights ...

FOX Broadcasting has announced that "The Simpsons" will finally begin their eagerly anticipated second season -- smack up against NBC's "The Cosby Show" -- on Thursday, Oct. 11 ...

FOX also announced that on Sunday, Sept. 23, four series will debut, including "In Living Color" at 8; "Get a Life," starring Chris Elliott as a 30-year-old paper boy, at 8:30; and "Married ... With Children" at 9. A special 90-minute episode of "Against the Law," starring Michael O'Keefe as a "gonzo lawyer for the '90s," will air at 9:30 that night ...

The next Sunday "Good Grief," starring Howie Mandel and Joel Brooks as two brothers-in-law operating a mortuary (where does FOX get these ideas?), debuts at 9:30 with "Against the Law" debuting in its regular 10 p.m. timeslot ...

"Beverly Hills, 90210," formerly called "Class of Beverly Hills," premieres on Thursday, Oct. 4, with a 90-minute special. This is the story of a "traditional Midwestern family adjusting to the fast pace of one of America's wealthiest cities." This exciting new concept will return on Oct. 11 in its regular 9 p.m. timeslot. Eat my scripts! ...