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Prime-Time TV Rankings

NBC Just 'Mad' About Its Holiday Programming

December 24, 1997|BRIAN LOWRY

Combining Christmas episodes with the movies "Home Alone" and "It's a Wonderful Life" stuffed NBC's stocking with a lopsided ratings win, based on results for last week issued Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research.

"ER" and "Seinfeld" continued their giving ways, while a special "Mad About You," without commercial interruptions, delivered the Paul Reiser-Helen Hunt comedy's biggest audience since its season premiere in September.

ABC claimed second place behind its highest-rated "Monday Night Football" game in more than a year, pitting the Denver Broncos against the San Francisco 49ers. On the down side, the network's nightly news again finished third, and "Ellen" fumbled away nearly one-third of the audience watching "The Drew Carey Show." The standard-bearer in that dubious-achievement department is the ABC comedy "Hiller and Diller," which inspired more than 40% of those viewing "Home Improvement" to reach for the remote control on Dec. 16.

NBC's annual showing of "Home Alone" roughed up the other networks Friday, dropping ABC's "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch" and Fox's "Millennium" to their lowest ratings for original episodes. Exclusive rights to "It's a Wonderful Life" also paid off, providing NBC a rare victory over CBS' Saturday lineup.


Network Averages

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

Last Week

NBC: 15.57 million

ABC: 12.45

CBS: 11.75

FOX: 9.18

WB: 4.13

UPN: 3.82

Season to Date

NBC 15.30 million

CBS 13.97

ABC 13.13

FOX 10.84

UPN 4.53

WB 4.35


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 1,087,003 2. Seinfeld KNBC 1,041,920 3. Veronica's Closet KNBC 811,495 4. Friends KNBC 721,329 5. 60 Minutes KCBS 676,246 -- The Simpsons KTTV 676,246 7. Frasier KNBC 671,237 8. Touched by an Angel KCBS 656,209 9. NYPD Blue KABC 646,191 10. King of the Hill KTTV 621,145


Source: Nielsen Media Research.

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