TV RATINGS : New Programs Open Strong

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Premieres, specials and even news programming made strong showings in last week's Nielsen ratings, released Tuesday. Just about the whole country wanted to find out what would happen to Tom Selleck, but two untested (if heavily advertised) new shows on ABC did well, too: "Just the Ten of Us" (which finished seventh) and "China Beach" (12th). These big numbers and the strength of CBS' regular programming made the weekly network averages closer than they've been in weeks: CBS in first (13.9 rating), followed by NBC (at 13.4) and ABC (12.1). A final surprise: ABC's Peter Jennings, aided by a fairly intensive ad campaign, finished first in the evening news derby, trailed by CBS' Dan Rather and NBC's Tom Brokaw. A complete ratings list appears on Page 9.

* Prime-time news programming has been edging up the ratings list lately. Witness the respectable showing (47th, and a strong second in its time period) of the latest "48 Hours" installment, dealing with the drug market in America. It's one of the documentary series' best finishes ever. CBS' "West 57th Street" finished out of the Bottom 10.

Show Points Share Week 1. Magnum, P.I. Finale 32.0 48 5/1 (CBS Sunday Night Movie) 2. Cheers 23.6 38 5/1 (NBC) 3. The Cosby Show 23.2 41 5/1 (NBC) 4. A Different World 22.7 38 5/1 (NBC) 5. Murder, She Wrote 20.8 33 5/1 (CBS) * 48 Hours 11.0 19 5/1 (CBS)

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