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'Darkness' and 'Club' Ratings Not That High

November 11, 1987|LEE MARGULIES

The first two major network specials of the November ratings sweeps, CBS' "Echoes in the Darkness" and NBC's "Billionaire Boys Club," attracted large but far from spectacular-sized audiences, the A.C. Nielsen Co. reported Tuesday.

The conclusion of "Echoes in the Darkness" on Nov. 2 finished as the ninth most-watched program of last week, with the opening installment of "Billionaire Boys Club" on Sunday right behind it at No. 10.

In their familiar positions at the top of the prime-time chart were NBC's three consecutive Thursday-night comedies "The Cosby Show," "A Different World" and "Cheers."

The 1-2-3 finish for NBC helped propel the network to another win in the weekly ratings race and to a dominant lead after 11 days of the four-week-long sweeps period, during which the Nielsen and Arbitron ratings services conduct audience measurements for every TV station in the country. The stations then use those figures to set advertising rates for the months ahead.

NBC's prime-time schedule averaged a 15.7 rating for the week that ended Sunday, followed by CBS with a 14.1 and ABC with a 12.6. Each rating point represents 886,000 homes.

Nielsen figures for the sweep period give NBC an even bigger lead: 16.3 to 14.1 for CBS and 11.6 for ABC.

"The Cosby Show" was seen in about 27.8 million homes. "Echoes in the Darkness," by contrast, was viewed in about 19.5 million, and "Billionaire Boys Club" in about 18.3 million.

CBS' "Leg Work," the lowest rated among the 71 programs to air in prime-time on the three networks last week, was seen in about 4.7 million homes. It has been canceled, along with another low-rated CBS Saturday-night show, "Everything's Relative."

Both drew smaller audiences than their first-time competition on ABC, an action show called "Sable," which ranked 56th for the week.

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