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TV Ratings

'Heart and Souls' Leads NBC to Quiet Victory

July 10, 1996|LEE MARGULIES

With July 4 falling on a Thursday this year, NBC's usual dominant lineup was quieted last week, leaving room for some other programs to get a moment in the Top 10 limelight. Amazingly, six of the spots were claimed by newsmagazines--including three editions of "Dateline NBC."

Not No. 1, however. That honor went to NBC's telecast of the 1993 feature film "Heart and Souls," starring Robert Downey Jr., which was seen in about 10.4 million homes.

NBC, accordingly, won the week. But it was something of an empty victory, as the Big Three networks fell to record low ratings for the third week in a row, attracting only 43% of the prime-time audience between them. The July 4 holiday was a factor, with many people out celebrating, but even so, the ratings were 7.2% lower than for the same week last year. More significant is the public's apparently growing unwillingness to sit through network reruns when there are so many other channels to watch.

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 50,064 households.

*--*

Sta- Rat- Program tion ing 1. Home Improvement KABC 12.4 2. Frasier KNBC 11.8 3. "Heart and Souls" KNBC 11.5 20/20 KABC 11.5 5. Dateline NBC (Wed.) KNBC 11.1 6. Wings KNBC 10.7 7. The Simpsons (8:30 p.m.) KTTV 10.6 8. 60 Minutes KCBS 10.3 9. Married ... With Children KTTV 10.0 10. Dateline NBC (Tue.) KNBC 9.8

*--*

Weekly Averages

NBC: 7.7

CBS: 6.5

ABC: 6.3

FOX: 4.4

UPN: 2.1

WB: 2.0

Season to Date

NBC: 11.3

ABC: 10.1

CBS: 9.2

FOX: 6.9

UPN: 2.9

WB: 2.4

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