NEW YORK — Hoping to be this year's "Cosby Show," "The Golden Girls," NBC's geriatric comedy, got a head start on the 1985-86 season and raced to the top of last week's A.C. Nielsen rankings, finishing with the highest ratings for any premiere program in two years.
"Golden Girls," lavishly praised by TV critics and advertising agencies, had a 25 rating and 43 share, according to Nielsen figures released today. The new show led NBC to its 16th victory, including one tie, in 17 weeks. NBC averaged a 14.7 rating. ABC, helped by strong performances from its opening "Monday Night Football" game and its "Barbara Walters Special," finished second with a 14.0 rating. CBS, with only one show in the Top 10--the episode launching "60 Minutes' " 18th season--had a 12.5.