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TV RATINGS : War Plays Havoc With Ratings

January 23, 1991|RICK DU BROW | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

With the Persian Gulf War turning TV ratings into turmoil and CNN making strong inroads--almost catching the Big Three networks the first day of the conflict--CBS won the week, ABC was second and NBC last. CBS was powered by the end of the San Francisco 49ers-New York Giants NFL playoff game, which was No. 1, and "60 Minutes," which came in second. NBC's numbers were most affected by prime-time war broadcasts presented without commercials--that is, sustaining programming, which normally is not counted in ratings. But NBC finished last whether or not the sustaining programs were included. CBS had a 13.5 rating, ABC a 13.2 and NBC a 12.1 in figures that eliminated sustaining programs. NBC's rating rose to a 12.7 in numbers that included it. CNN earned an 11.7 national rating last Wednesday, a 10.0 on Thursday and a 6.3 on Friday. In its own universe of cable homes, CNN was much higher with a 19.1 rating Wednesday, a 16.5 Thursday and a 10.3 Friday.

* Two ABC programs about the gulf crisis earned Top 10 berths in the national ratings. "Line in the Sand: War or Peace," an ABC special reported by Peter Jennings and presented before war broke out, was No. 6. And the network's ongoing coverage of the war on Thursday, the day Iraqi missiles first struck Israel, was No. 10.

Show Points Share 1."NFC Championship"(CBS) 36.9 56 2."60 Minutes"(CBS) 27.2 40 3."NFC Championship Postgame"(CBS) 26.2 41 4."Roseanne"(ABC) 19.6 28 5."Murder, She Wrote"(CBS) 18.8 27 *"Line in the Sand"(ABC) 18.1 27

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