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Prime-Time TV Rankings

Walters' Interview of Ramseys Gives ABC Added Boost

March 22, 2000|PAUL BROWNFIELD

Barbara Walters' interview with the parents of JonBenet Ramsey on ABC's "20/20 Friday" gave that show its highest rating of the season, with nearly 20 million viewers tuning in to see Walters' exclusive sit-down with John and Patsy Ramsey, based on viewing estimates issued Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research.

In addition to the Walters interview, ABC grabbed the lion's share of the top 10 shows, which have come to be dominated by the three weekly installments of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire."

While "Millionaire" has been falling a bit short of its season-to-date averages lately, the game show continues to benefit other ABC programming--this week boosting, among others, ABC's "20/20 Downtown" on Thursday night and a rerun of the courtroom drama "The Practice" on Sunday.

NBC's new animated comedy "God, the Devil and Bob" continued to plunge out of the gate, finishing toward the bottom of the 100 most-watched shows, while Fox's relaunched "Family Guy" also struggled its second week back in prime time.

CBS got respectable numbers from its Sunday night movie "The Color of Love: Jacey's Story," while reruns of the NBC sitcom institutions "Friends" and "Frasier" dropped well below season averages.

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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Net- View- Program work ers 1. The Sopranos HBO 7.62 2. Wrestling (Mon., 10 p.m.) USA 7.47 3. Wrestling (Mon., 9 p.m.) USA 7.38 4. "Pretty Woman" TBS 4.52 5. "Pushing Tin" HBO 3.64 6. Wild Thornberrys NICK 3.62 7. Wrestling (Sun., 7 p.m.) USA 3.55 8. Rocket Power NICK 3.38 9. Catdog NICK 3.25 10. Wrestling (Mon., 8 p.m.) TNT 3.24

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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 Season week to date ABC 13.93 million 14.16 NBC 11.15 12.65 CBS 11.10 12.82 FOX 8.63 9.29 UPN 3.80 3.94 WB 2.98 3.78

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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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Sta- House- Program tion holds 1. 20/20 (Fri.) KABC 863,726 2. Millionaire (Tue.) KABC 848,021 3. Millionaire (Sun.) KABC 842,787 4. Millionaire (Thur.) KABC 795,674 5. Law & Order KNBC 743,327 Friends KNBC 743,327 7. Frasier KNBC 675,276 8. 60 Minutes KCBS 670,042 9. 20/20 Downtown KABC 664,807 10. Jesse KNBC 601,991 Will & Grace KNBC 601,991

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