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Prime-Time TV Rankings

CBS Breaks Past the Competition for Weekly Win

April 08, 1998|BRIAN LOWRY

The NCAA championship basketball game between Utah and Kentucky helped CBS post an easy ratings victory, based on the scorecard for last week issued Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research.

Although the NCAA audience dropped 6% compared to last year, CBS' winning March 30 performance with the game, another solid Sunday night and budding viewership of the Tuesday drama "JAG" combined to push the network past the competition. Figure skating, meanwhile, received low scores from the Nielsen judges, as ABC's coverage of the world championships finished fourth Saturday night.

Fox continues to demonstrate the appeal of so-called "reality programming," as the new series "World's Wildest Police Videos" chased down the network's biggest Thursday audience for a regular program in more than three years. In addition, "Unsolved Mysteries"--which returned on CBS after nine years at NBC--improved results in the network's 9 p.m. Friday slot.

Cable highlights included the launch of HBO's 12-hour docudrama "From the Earth to the Moon," co-starring Stephen Root, which touched down Sunday with stronger-than-usual ratings by the pay channel's standards but didn't approach the impact of another recent cable offering, the USA network's "Moby Dick."

National Nielsen Viewership

Here are the rankings for national prime-time network television last week (March 30-April 5) as compiled by Nielsen Media Research. They are based on the average number of people who watched a program from start to finish. Nielsen estimates that there are 254 million potential U.S. viewers age 2 and older. Viewership is listed here in millions.

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Cable's Top 10

Here are Nielsen's top 10 cable programs in prime time last week, also ranked by total viewers (in millions).

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Program Network Viewers 1. "From Earth to Moon" Pt. 2 HBO 6.55 2. "The Saint" HBO 5,58 3. South Park ComC 5.54 4. "Kids Choice Awards" Nick 5.27 5. "From Earth to Moon" Pt. 1 HBO 5.19 6. Wrestling (Mon. 8 p.m.) TNT 4.69 7. South Park (Wed.) ComC 4.31 8. Wrestling (Mon., 9 p.m.) TNT 4.13 9. Wrestling (Mon., 10 p.m.) TNT 4.08 10. Wrestling (Mon., 8:57 p.m.) USA 3.97

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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.

Last Week

CBS: 13.77 million

NBC: 11.46

ABC: 11.00

FOX: 9.49

WB: 3.96

UPN: 3.23

Season to Date

NBC: 14.86 million

CBS: 14.45

ABC: 12.57

FOX: 10.72

WB: 4.52

UPN: 4.06

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.

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Program Station Households 1. Seinfeld KNBC 921,698 2. 60 Minutes KCBS 806,486 3. Friends KNBC 751,385 4. ER KNBC 716,320 5. Touched by an Angel KCBS 706,301 6. Veronica's Closet KNBC 686,265 7. The Drew Carey Show KABC 681,255 8. NYPD Blue KABC 671,237 9. NCAA Basketball Postgame KCBS 651,200 10. Melrose Place KTTV 646,191

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