A 33-year-old Christmas episode of "I Love Lucy" made the Top 10 in the Nielsen ratings and was CBS' highest-rated show for the week ended Dec. 24.
The show, starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, was sixth in the ratings. It was the first telecast of the black and white episode since Dec. 24, 1956.
NBC's "Cheers" was the top show, ABC's "Roseanne" was second, and to the surprise of no one, NBC was the top-ranked network overall. CBS pulled its own surprise by finishing second for the second week in a row. ABC was third.
Fox Broadcasting's "Married . . . With Children" plunged to a tie for 72nd place after the series' Christmas special the week before was 13th. That was the highest rank achieved so far by a Fox show.
It was not a great week for Christmas specials, other than the demonstration that Lucy can still pull in an audience. CBS' "Frosty the Snowman" was 20th, CBS' "A Very Brady Christmas" was 21st. CBS' "Charlie Brown Christmas" tied for 30th, CBS' "Claymation Christmas" tied for 41st, NBC's "Christmas in Washington" tied for 56th, and CBS' "A Christmas Carol" tied for 62nd. The latter tied with a rerun of "Murder, She Wrote."
TV'S TOP TEN
Here are the ratings for national prime-time television last week (Dec. 18-24), as compiled by the A. C. Nielsen Co. Each rating point is said by Nielsen to represent 921,000 homes, or 1% of the 92.1 million U.S. households that have TV.
Program Network Rating 1. Cheers NBC 21.7 2. Roseanne ABC 21.4 3. Dear John NBC 19.8 4. The Cosby Show NBC 19.6 5. A Different World NBC 18.6 6. "I Love Lucy Christmas" CBS 18.5 7. NFL Monday Night Football ABC 18.0 8. L.A. Law NBC 17.7 9. In the Heat of the Night NBC 17.6 10. Murphy Brown CBS 17.6