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TV Ratings : Viewership Down as After-Sweeps Ennui Sets In

June 03, 1993|LEE MARGULIES

No sooner did the May sweeps end in the middle of last week than viewership of the three major networks began to decline. The "Daytime Emmy Awards" drew its largest audience ever on May 26 and yet, for the week as a whole, ABC, CBS and NBC attracted only 54% of the prime-time audience--down from the 60% they averaged during the regular season.

Figures released Wednesday by the A.C. Nielsen Co. showed that the telecast of the "Daytime Emmys" was the top-rated program of the week, reaching about 15.3 million households and helping propel ABC to first place among the networks.

Also delivering for ABC was the 15th anniversary special of "20/20," hosted by Hugh Downs and Barbara Walters. It finished sixth among the week's 85 prime-time programs and was the highest-rated news program of the week.

Most of the top-rated shows were broadcast early in the week. Once sweeps ended on Wednesday night and the networks went into their rerun-heavy mode for summer, many viewers started looking elsewhere for something fresh to watch.

National A.C. Nielsen Ratings

Here are the ratings for national prime-time television last week (May 24-30) 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. "Daytime Emmys" ABC 16.4 2. Roseanne ABC 16.0 3. "Hurricane Andrew" NBC 15.7 4. "Beverly Hillbillies" CBS 15.2 Seinfeld NBC 15.2 6. "20/20 Anniversary" ABC 15.1 7. Northern Exposure CBS 14.7 8. Home Improvement ABC 14.5 9. "Love, Honor/Obey" CBS 14.4 10. Designing Women CBS 14.2 11. Rescue 911 CBS 14.0 12. PrimeTime Live ABC 13.8 13. 60 Minutes CBS 13.6 14. 20/20 ABC 13.2 15. Coach ABC 12.8 16. Cheers NBC 12.6 L.A. Law NBC 12.6 18. Full House ABC 12.0 Murder, She Wrote CBS 12.0 20. Hangin' With Mr. Cooper ABC 11.8 21. Fresh Prince of Bel-Air NBC 11.5 22. Blossom NBC 11.0 23. Step by Step ABC 10.8 24. Family Matters ABC 10.7 25. Unsolved Mysteries NBC 10.5 26. American Detective ABC 10.2 "Fire in the Dark" CBS 10.2 The Simpsons FOX 10.2 29. "A Fish Called Wanda" ABC 9.5 48 Hours CBS 9.5 Martin FOX 9.5 Matlock ABC 9.5 Melrose Place FOX 9.5 34. Dinosaurs ABC 9.3 "Without Warning/Towers" NBC 9.3 36. America's Funniest Home Videos ABC 9.1 The Commish ABC 9.1 38. FBI: The Untold Stories ABC 9.0 39. "The Guardian" NBC 8.5 Wings NBC 8.5 41. Empty Nest NBC 8.4 42. In Living Color (Thurs.) FOX 8.3 43. America's Funniest People ABC 8.2 "90210: Behind the Scenes" FOX 8.2 Home Free ABC 8.2 Mad About You NBC 8.2 47. Partners ABC 8.0 48. "American Television Awards" ABC 7.8 49. Cops (8:30 p.m.) FOX 7.6 "Inside the KGB" NBC 7.6 Married ... With Children FOX 7.6 52. Bodies of Evidence CBS 7.5 Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman CBS 7.5 54. Dateline NBC NBC 7.1 55. A Different World NBC 6.9 "Not of This World" CBS 6.9 "Young Guns II" CBS 6.9 58. Cops FOX 6.7 59. Black Tie Affair NBC 6.4 60. "The Bear" ABC 6.3 61. Herman's Head FOX 6.2 62. Code 3 FOX 6.1 63. Down the Shore FOX 6.0 64. "Day One" CBS 5.8 Code 3 (9:30 p.m.) FOX 5.8 "Robert F. Kennedy" NBC 5.8 67. Roc FOX 5.6 Sightings FOX 5.6 69. In Living Color FOX 5.5 Sightings (9:30 p.m.) FOX 5.5 71. I Witness Video NBC 5.4 Nurses NBC 5.4 73. America's Most Wanted FOX 5.3 74. Almost Home NBC 5.0 America's Most Wanted FOX 5.0 "Essence Awards" CBS 5.0 Secret Service NBC 5.0a 78. Flying Blind FOX 4.5 "Ross Perot" NBC 4.5 80. The Edge FOX 4.1 Life Goes On ABC 4.1 82. Quantum Leap (Sun.) NBC 3.7 83. Shaky Ground FOX 3.5 84. Class of '96 FOX 3.2 Parker Lewis FOX 3.2

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. Roseanne KABC 19.3 2. The Simpsons KTTV 17.3 3. Hangin' With Mr. Cooper KABC 15.9 4. Martin KTTV 15.9 5. "Daytime Emmy Awards" KABC 15.8 6. "20/20 Anniversary" KABC 15.6 Full House KABC 15.6 Home Improvement KABC 15.6 Melrose Place KTTV 15.6 10. Fresh Prince of Bel-Air KNBC 14.5

Weekly Averages

ABC: 10.5

CBS: 9.7

NBC: 8.7

FOX: 6.3

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