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Prime-Time TV Rankings

Sunday Night Viewers Mad About NBC's 'Twister'

November 18, 1998|BRIAN LOWRY

Although "Mad About You" has clearly shown its age ratings-wise this season, "Twister" lifted Helen Hunt back near the top of the weekly standings, whipping up an audience for NBC that easily defeated CBS' Sunday movie "Monday After the Miracle," according to figures issued Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research.

The week also brought good news for family-friendly shows, as "Touched by an Angel" flew off with its highest rating since March, while the Nov. 9 episode of the WB's "7th Heaven" assembled the biggest congregation in that network's history, beating "Melrose Place" and NBC's comedies.

On the flip side, Fox's reality specials (the latest: "When Good Pets Go Bad") continue to pose a surprisingly stiff challenge opposite NBC's Thursday lineup, which is looking a little flabby in the middle. "Friends" and "ER" are still dominating their time slots, but results have been less impressive--especially compared to last year--for "Jesse," "Frasier" and "Veronica's Closet."

Hurt a week ago by movies rolled out for the November sweeps, ABC's "The Practice" rebounded from a season-low rating to deliver its biggest audience since the Emmy-winning drama's September premiere.

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Cable 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. Sunday Night Football ESPN 8.01 2. Wrestling (Mon., 10 p.m.) USA 5.59 3. Rugrats NICK 5.16 4. Wrestling (Mon., 9 p.m.) USA 5.00 5. NFL Primetime ESPN 4.97 6. Wrestling (Mon., 8 p.m.) TNT 4.83 7. Wrestling (Sun., 7 p.m.) USA 4.50 8. "The Rainmaker" HBO 4.18 9. Boxing HBO 3.93 10. Cousin Skeeter NICK 3.91

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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.

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Last week Season to date CBS 13.36 million 13.11 NBC 13.20 13.15 ABC 12.90 12.26 FOX 11.54 10.98 WB 5.27 4.68 UPN 2.85 2.74

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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. Friends KNBC 1,006,855 2. ER KNBC 1,001,846 3. Frasier KNBC 996,837 4. Jesse KNBC 916,689 5. Ally McBeal KTTV 811,495 6. Veronica's Closet KNBC 791,458 7. 60 Minutes KCBS 736,357 8. The X-Files KTTV 701,292 9. NYPD Blue KABC 666,228 10. The Simpsons KTTV 661,218

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