NEW YORK — ABC edged out NBC in the ratings race last week, with Dolly Parton's Christmas special and Monday Night Football giving some holiday cheer to the network.
Although NBC had the highest-rated show with "Cheers," ABC's Monday Night Football took second place for the week of Dec. 17-23. ABC also had the fourth- and fifth-highest rated shows with the Dolly Parton special and "Roseanne."
For the week, ABC posted a 12.6 rating and a 22 share, while NBC posted an 11.9 rating and a 20 share. CBS was slightly behind, with an 11.7 rating and a 20 share.
Ratings watchers said ABC's numbers were boosted by a special Saturday night playing of "Monday Night Football," which came in 47th place for the week. Despite its ranking near the middle of the pack, the game still outperformed ABC's traditional Saturday night fare of "Twin Peaks" and "The Young Riders," helping to push the network's weekly numbers to the top.
NBC, however, could take some credit for the continued strong performance of "Cheers." The show, a repeat, came in first with a 19.0 rating and a 32 share. It marked the 10th time in the 14-week season the show has placed first.
The NBC Monday night movie, "A Mom for Christmas," came in seventh in the ratings, with a 17.0 rating and a 27 share.
The network also had three other shows in the top 10: "A Different World," which came in sixth; "Golden Girls," which came in eighth, and "Unsolved Mysteries," the 10th-highest-rated show of the week.
Fox Television came in fourth in the weekly tally, with a 6.4 rating and an 11 share. It's best-rated show, "The Simpsons," was ranked 34th, with 12.9 rating and a 21 share.
Each ratings point represents about 921,000 households. A share is the percentage of TV sets in use that are tuned to a particular show or network.
THE TOP 10
The top 10 programs for the week ending Sunday, according to the A. C. Nielsen Co.: 1. Cheers (NBC) 2. NFL Monday Night Football (ABC) 3. 60 Minutes (CBS) 4. Dolly Parton Christmas special (ABC) 5. Roseanne (ABC) 6. A Different World (NBC) 7. NBC Monday Night Movie "A Mom for Christmas" 8. Golden Girls (NBC) 9. Designing Women (CBS) 10. Unsolved Mysteries (NBC)