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TV Ratings : Surprise! 'Cheers' Finale Powers NBC to Top

May 26, 1993|LEE MARGULIES

'Cheers" sent NBC's ratings soaring last week, the A. C. Nielsen Co. reported Tuesday. The final episode of the barroom comedy attracted the second-largest audience for a regularly scheduled broadcast in TV history and also packed people in for the programs that preceded it: "Last Call" ranked No. 2 for the week and "Seinfeld" was No. 3.

With "In the Line of Duty: Ambush in Waco" also drawing a large audience on Sunday night, NBC handily beat CBS, ABC and Fox in the weekly competition and virtually assured itself of victory in the May ratings sweeps, which end tonight--something of an upset considering that the peacock network finished third during the regular season.

Not all of the news was sweet for NBC, however. Its special airing of the Saturday morning series "Saved by the Bell" on Saturday night ranked 67th among the week's 79 prime-time network programs--not a good omen for the show's move to prime time this fall.

And speaking of disappointments, there was ABC's miniseries "Wild Palms." The opening installment was seen in about 11.5 million homes. Only about 9 million of them returned for Part 2. The figure jumped to 10.2 million for Part 3, then fell again to 9.2 million for the conclusion last Wednesday, losing to NBC's "Law and Order."

National A.C. Nielsen Ratings

Here are the ratings for national prime-time television last week (May 17-23) as compiled by the A. C. Nielsen Co. Each rating point is said by Nielsen to represent 931,000 homes, or 1% of the 93.1 million U.S. households that have TV.

Net- Rat- Program work ing 1. Cheers NBC 45.5 2. "Last Call/Cheers" NBC 39.6 3. Seinfeld NBC 21.3 4. Home Improve. (Tue.) ABC 20.4 5. Roseanne ABC 20.1 6. Home Improvement ABC 19.6 7. "Ambush in Waco" NBC 18.8 8. Coach ABC 17.7 9. Murphy Brown CBS 17.5 10. 60 Minutes CBS 16.7 11. "Woman on Run:/Bembenek" Pt. 2 NBC 15.6 12. Full House ABC 14.9 13. Murder, She Wrote CBS 14.2 14. Beverly Hills, 90210 FOX 14.1 15. Northern Exposure CBS 13.7 16. Bob CBS 13.5 17. Blossom NBC 13.2 Hangin' With Mr. Cooper ABC 13.2 19. "Perry Mason:/Telltale Host" NBC 13.1 Married ... With Children FOX 13.1 21. Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman CBS 12.9 22. Dateline NBC NBC 12.8 23. "Love, Honor and Obey" Pt. 1 CBS 12.6 Major Dad (Mon.) CBS 12.6 25. Fresh Prince of Bel-Air NBC 12.4 26. Evening Shade CBS 12.1 20/20 ABC 12.1 28. Rescue 911 CBS 12.0 Unsolved Mysteries NBC 12.0 30. Funniest Videos (8:30 p.m.) ABC 11.8 31. Law and Order NBC 11.2 32. Married/Children (9:30 p.m.) FOX 11.0 "Wild Palms" Pt. 3 ABC 11.0 34. Step by Step ABC 10.8 35. "Bradymania" ABC 10.7 36. America's Funniest Home Videos ABC 10.6 Family Matters ABC 10.6 38. The Simpsons FOX 10.1 39. "Deadly Relations" ABC 10.0 Cheers (Sun.) NBC 10.0 "Miss Universe Pageant" CBS 10.0 42. "When Love Kills" Pt. 1 CBS 9.9 "Wild Palms" Pt. 4 ABC 9.9 44. Getting By ABC 9.8 45. Sisters NBC 9.7 "Wild Palms" Pt. 2 ABC 9.7 47. Empty Nest NBC 9.6 Hangin With Mr. Cooper (Fri.) ABC 9.6 49. "Torch Song" ABC 9.5 "When Love Kills" Pt. 2 CBS 9.5 51. Mad About You NBC 9.1 Matlock ABC 9.1 "Willie Nelson:/Big Six O" CBS 9.1 54. American Detective ABC 9.0 55. Life Goes On ABC 8.9 56. Martin (8:30 p.m.) FOX 8.4 57. 48 Hours (8 p.m.) CBS 8.2 In Living Color FOX 8.2 59. Cops (8:30 p.m.) FOX 8.0 FBI: Untold Stories ABC 8.0 "King Ralph" NBC 8.0 62. "Last Call/Cheers" (Sun.) NBC 7.4 "Tribute to Sam Kinison" FOX 7.4 64. "Color Purple" CBS 7.2 65. "Best of Disney Music" CBS 7.0 66. Cops FOX 6.9 67. "Saved by the Bell" NBC 6.7 America's Most Wanted FOX 6.7 69. "RoboCop 2" FOX 6.4 Sightings FOX 6.4 71. Code 3 (9:30 p.m.) FOX 6.1 Sightings (9:30 p.m.) FOX 6.1 73. Code 3 FOX 6.0 74. "Road to Hollywood" NBC 5.9 75. "TV's Funniest Commercials" ABC 5.7 76. PrimeTime Live ABC 5.5 77. America's Most Wanted (Thurs.) FOX 4.5 78. Shaky Ground FOX 4.3 79. Parker Lewis FOX 3.6

Southland Ratings

Here are A. C. Nielsen's Top 10 prime-time programs in the Los Angeles area during the same week. Each rating point equals 49,657 households.

Sta- Rat- Program tion ing 1. Cheers KNBC 44.5 2. "Last Call/Cheers" KNBC 40.0 3. Roseanne KABC 21.8 4. Home Improvement (Tue.) KABC 19.6 Beverly Hills, 90210 KTTV 19.6 6. Seinfeld KNBC 18.2 7. 60 Minutes KCBS 17.3 8. "Woman on the Run" KNBC 16.9 9. Married ... With Children KTTV 16.5 10. Home Improvement KABC 16.2

Weekly Averages

NBC: 15.1

CBS: 10.7

ABC: 10.6

FOX: 8.1

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