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'Death' Sequels Top Other Bronson Films

THE SWEEPS: One in a series examining the TV industry's periodic ratings rituals.

February 09, 1988|RICK SHERWOOD

The head-to-head-to-head battle of the Charles Bronson movies on L.A.'s independent TV stations last week ended in victories for the "Death Wish" sequels.

As part of the effort to lure viewers during the just-begun February sweeps, three of the four local independent stations scheduled films starring Bronson against one another on Thursday and Friday in their competing 8 p.m. movie slots.

On Thursday, KTLA Channel 5's broadcast-television premiere of "Death Wish 3" topped the original "Death Wish" on KTTV Channel 11, "Mr. Majestyk" on KCOP Channel 13 and every other station in town except KNBC Channel 4, with its "Cosby Show"-led comedy lineup.

"Death Wish 3" registered a 10.4 rating while "Death Wish" got a 6.3 and "Mr. Majestyk" pulled in a 3.9 (one rating point equals 46,527 L.A. households in the A.C. Nielsen survey).

On Friday, KTTV's broadcast of "Death Wish 2" came out on top among the three with a 7.7 rating, followed by KCOP's "The Stone Killer" with 5.5 and KTLA's "Telefon" with 5.1.

KTTV's telecast of "Death Wish 2" helped the Fox-owned station to first in prime time among the independents on Friday, although its average for the 8-to-11 p.m. time period was well below even a poor showing by third-ranked KABC-TV Channel 7.

NBC's "Main Event" wrestling probably impacted the Bronson ratings on Friday: The "sportscast" won Friday's 8-to-9 p.m. slot both locally and nationally. The match was viewed by an estimated 33 million people, making it the most-watched wrestling event in TV history, NBC said. The show also turned in the best ratings in that time slot for NBC this season.

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