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Prime-Time TV Rankings

While Other Networks Preview, NBC Sneaks Ahead

September 24, 1997|BRIAN LOWRY

Several new programs got a pretty good look as the networks previewed shows last week, seeking a jump on the new season free-for-all. Yet despite holding back its new episodes, NBC still came out on top, according to results issued Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research.

CBS winged into second thanks in part to "Touched by an Angel," starring Roma Downey, which improved by 12% over last year's opening even with stiff competition from "The Simpsons" and "King of the Hill."

New shows getting off to a promising start included sci-fi drama "The Visitor"--which drew more viewers at 8 p.m. Friday than any regular Fox program since 1993--CBS' "George & Leo," and ABC's Thursday tandem of "Cracker" and "Nothing Sacred," which performed reasonably well on a night where ABC has struggled.

By contrast, CBS' "Meego" (and the veteran sitcom "Family Matters," which the network acquired from ABC) stumbled out of the gate, losing to reruns of ABC's "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch" and "Boy Meets World."

Other returning shows seemed to benefit from facing repeats, as Fox's "Party of Five" had its biggest premiere ever and ABC's legal drama "The Practice" made a more convincing ratings case than "Relativity" did last year in its tough Saturday time slot.

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: 12.77 million

CBS: 12.40

ABC: 12.17

FOX: 10.83

UPN: 4.36

WB: 4.01


Season to Date

NBC: 13.87 million

CBS: 12.51

ABC: 12.07

FOX: 10.23

UPN: 4.28

WB: 3.49

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 953,891 2. 60 Minutes KCBS 830,330 3. Friends KNBC 726,509 The Simpsons KTTV 726,509 5. ER KNBC 706,769 6. Frasier KNBC 686,999 7. Touched by an Angel KCBS 677,114 8. Monday Night Live KABC 667,229 9. Beverly Hills, 90210 KTTV 617,805 10. Home Improvement KABC 607,920 3rd Rock From the Sun KNBC 607,920


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