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TV Ratings

Networks' New Series Get Off to Slow Start

September 18, 1996|LEE MARGULIES

In the final tuneup before the start of the fall TV season, the networks found last week that viewers were not racing to embrace new series, despite a summer full of reruns.

Ratings released Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research showed that while Monday Night Football, the Miss America pageant and a few new TV movies did well, no rookie series finished in the Top 70 last week.

The premiere of CBS' "Everybody Loves Raymond" on Friday night ranked 71st among the week's 108 prime-time network programs in terms of the number of households watching, drawing 12% of the available audience. Fox's Monday night tandem of "Party Girl" and "Lush Life" debuted at Nos. 76 and 83, respectively. The WB and UPN newcomers were even lower.

Nevertheless, there was good news for CBS' first-year drama "Promised Land," starring Gerald McRaney and Wendy Phillips. Although the series wasn't officially launched until Tuesday night, its characters were introduced Sunday night on an episode of "Touched by an Angel" that tied for fifth, with an audience of more than 19 million people.

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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.

*--*

Program Station Rating 1.Seinfeld KNBC 16.2 2.60 Minutes KCBS 15.8 3.3rd Rock From the Sun KNBC 13.9 4.Friends KNBC 13.4 5.Frasier KNBC 13.1 6.Home Improvement KABC 12.7 7.Dateline NBC KNBC 12.6 20/20 KABC 12.6 9.Melrose Place KTTV 12.4 10.Mad About You KNBC 12.3 NYPD Blue KABC 12.3

*--*

Weekly Averages

NBC: 9.7

CBS: 9.1

ABC: 8.8

FOX: 6.0

UPN: 3.3

WB: 3.0

Season to Date

NBC: 11.4

ABC: 9.5

CBS: 8.8

FOX: 6.5

UPN: 2.8

WB: 2.4

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