'Joe' Helps NBC to Win Week's Ratings

From United Press International

Four new series hit the screen last week and the winner was NBC's "A Family for Joe" with Robert Mitchum, which did its part in helping NBC again win the ratings race, it was reported today.

Even more help was "The Cosby Show," which was No. 1 for the 11th time in the 27-week-old season, and "Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and The Sea," which was the top Sunday movie.

The Mitchum sitcom aired Saturday and ranked in a tie for 31st. It will go into its regular Saturday slot at 8 p.m. Eastern time on March 31, replacing "Alf." "Alf" will be on hiatus, and whether it will come back next season remains in question.

Two of the other new series were on CBS--"Sydney" in 59th place and "Normal Life" tying for 67th, which does not sound as if CBS has solved its young comedy problems.

The fourth newcomer was "The Outsiders" on Fox, which came in tied for 62nd with the highest rating ever for a Fox dramatic series.

The Fox comedies were high scorers for the week, with "Married . . . With Children" in 13th place and "The Simpsons" tied for 14th.

In the Sunday movie battle, "The Old Man and The Sea" was in 22nd place. ABC's "Dangerous Passion" was in 47th and the first part of the highly acclaimed CBS two-parter, "Common Ground," was in 50th. Viewers apparently wanted lighter fare.

On a day-by-day basis, NBC was No. 1 on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday nights, while ABC took Monday, Tuesday and Friday. CBS won Sunday, thanks to "60 Minutes" in fourth place and "Murder, She Wrote" in 12th.

NBC won the ratings race for the 23rd consecutive week, and 91st out of the last 92 weeks. The network took the week ending March 25 with a 14.2 rating and a 24 share, according to the A.C. Nielsen Co. ABC returned to second place with a 12.2 rating and a 21 share, while CBS was third with an 11.2 rating and a 19 share.

TOP 10 SHOWS The top 10 programs for the week ending Sunday, according to the A.C. Nielsen Co., were: 1. The Cosby Show (NBC) 2. Funniest Home Videos (ABC) 3. Roseanne (ABC) 4. 60 Minutes (CBS) 5. Different World (NBC) 6. Cheers (NBC) 7. Golden Girls (NBC) 8. Empty Nest (NBC) 9. Wonder Years (ABC) 10. L.A. Law (NBC)

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