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Newsmagazines, Movies Lead CBS to Weekly Win

Prime-Time TV Rankings

June 16, 1999|BRIAN LOWRY

Movies and newsmagazines helped place CBS atop the ratings heap last week, while NBC is discovering what life is like after Michael Jordan, based on results issued Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research.

NBC caught a break when the New York Knicks--and millions of potential New York viewers--made it into the NBA championship series, which begins tonight; still, ratings for last week's semifinal contests between the Knicks and Indiana Pacers were down more than 25% compared to the corresponding basketball games a year ago, when those same Pacers played the Jordan-led Chicago Bulls. Although tune-in was significantly lower, viewing of hockey's Stanley Cup final opener actually improved slightly from last year.

Newsmagazines like "60 Minutes" and "20/20" continue to provide reliable alternatives to summer reruns, while CBS' "Touched by an Angel" and "Everybody Loves Raymond" fared better than repeats of hits on the other networks. "Raymond," for example, dropped only about 20% from its weekly audience during the recently ended TV season; by contrast, NBC's "Friends" delivered only about half its average.

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. Wrestling (Mon., 10 p.m.) USA 7.73 2. Wrestling (Mon., 9 p.m.) USA 7.06 3. MTV Movie Awards MTV 6.55 4. "Silent Predators" TBS 5.76 5. Wrestling (Sun., 7 p.m.) USA 5.23 6. "The Negotiator" HBO 4.86 7. Wrestling (Mon., 8 p.m.) TNT 4.28 8. "Dr. Dolittle" (Tue.) HBO 4.20 9. "Dr. Dolittle" (Sun.) HBO 4.16 10. Wrestling (Thurs., 9 p.m.) TBS 3.77

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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 9.82 million 12.77 NBC 9.14 12.45 ABC 8.03 11.51 FOX 5.61 10.32 WB 3.28 4.40 UPN 2.25 2.70

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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. 60 Minutes KCBS 667,563 Friends KNBC 667,563 3. Frasier KNBC 647,023 4. Home Improvement KABC 605,942 5. Will & Grace KNBC 585,401 6. 20/20 (Mon.) KABC 559,726 7. The Drew Carey Show KABC 549,456 8. 60 Minutes II KCBS 528,915 9. 20/20 (Fri.) KABC 508,375 10. Touched by an Angel KCBS 498,105 20/20 (Wed.) KABC 498,105

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