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Prime-Time TV Rankings

Networks Get Maximum Out of 'Odyssey,' 'Last Don'

May 21, 1997|BRIAN LOWRY

Miniseries delivered maxi-sized ratings last week, as NBC's "The Odyssey" and CBS' "The Last Don" gave their respective networks a big boost in the prime-time rating sweeps, according to results issued Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research.

"The Odyssey," starring Armand Assante, washed ashore with nearly 29 million viewers, behind only the season finales of "ER" (the year's most-watched series) and "Seinfeld." CBS held its own against that NBC epic and Fox's "The X-Files" with the western saga "True Women," attracting more than 19 million people.

The three-part "Last Don" dropped somewhat from its premiere but still won Tuesday and Wednesday nights for CBS, driving "NYPD Blue" to its lowest rating ever for an original installment. ABC's "Coach" left the field with a crowd of 13 million watching its finale, while "Ellen" closed the year on a strong note, maintaining momentum from its coming-out episode.

The sitcom "Cosby" didn't do especially well last week, but the Bill Cosby-hosted special "Kids Say the Darndest Things" did--scoring CBS' highest rating at 8 p.m. Friday in more than two years. The Miss Universe Pageant also walked off with its biggest audience since 1993.

National Nielsen Viewership

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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 15.74 million

CBS 15.24

ABC 11.73

FOX 10.52

UPN 3.95

WB 3.48

Season to Date

NBC 15.18 million

CBS 13.80

ABC 13.44

FOX 11.61

UPN 4.45

WB 3.60

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. ER KNBC 1,171,358 2. "Odyssey" Part 1 KNBC 1,062,625 3. Seinfeld KNBC 1,052,740 4. The X-Files KTTV 1,018,143 5. "Last Don" Part 3 KCBS 859,985 6. Fired Up KNBC 815,503 7. "Last Don" Part 2 KCBS 800,675 8. Friends KNBC 795,733 -- 3rd Rock From the Sun KNBC 795,733 9. NYPD Blue KABC 731,481 -- 60 Minutes KCBS 731,481

*--*

Source: Nielsen Media Research.

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