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Prime-Time TV Rankings

'Seinfeld' and Friends Help NBC Skate to Win

March 26, 1997|BRIAN LOWRY

Despite competition from figure skating and basketball, NBC's Thursday lineup remained the prime-time champ, based on figures issued Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research.

"Seinfeld" and company put NBC on top last week, with ABC edging CBS as the networks finished closely bunched together, while ratings for all of them dropped compared to the corresponding week last year.

Sports played a role in how the networks finished, as ABC's "World Figure Skating Championships" attracted more viewers than NCAA basketball tournament coverage did. CBS' "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" also sank to third in the Sunday movie race--not necessarily good news for ABC, which will air its own four-hour version of that story in May.

New series have generally fared poorly this spring. "Lawless," starring Brian Bosworth, was the latest to bite the dust, with Fox canceling the program after just one low-rated telecast.

On the flip side, NBC's "Just Shoot Me," starring Laura San Giacomo, has shown promise, consistently drawing a larger audience than "Wings" in the preceding half-hour; by contrast, time-period rival "Arsenio" was watched by 28% fewer people than its lead-in, "The Drew Carey Show."

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Network Averages

Here is the number of viewers that each network averaged per hour of prime time, for last week and for the season.

NBC: 13.35 million

ABC: 12.93

CBS: 12.58

FOX: 9.98

UPN: 4.88

WB: 3.79

Season to Date

NBC: 15.43 million

CBS: 13.86

ABC: 13.74

FOX: 12.05

UPN: 4.54

WB: 3.68

Southland Viewing

Here are Nielsen's Top 10 prime-time programs in the Los Angeles area during the same week. The rankings are based on the number of households watching.

*--*

Program Station Households 1. Seinfeld KNBC 924,236 2. The X-Files KTTV 874,812 3. Friends KNBC 800,675 4. Home Improvement KABC 780,906 5. "NCAA Basketball" (Thu.) KCBS 731,481 6. Suddenly Susan KNBC 721,596 7. 60 Minutes KCBS 701,826 8. Spin City KABC 696,884 9. Law & Order KNBC 691,942 -- Sabrina, the Teenage Witch KABC 691,942 -- King of the Hill KTTV 691,942

*--*

Source: Nielsen Media Research

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