NBC's "Cheers" is not only the most popular show on television these days, but it also served as a magnet to attract viewers to a couple of new programs that cracked the top 10 this week and bounced some favorites down the ladder.
"Cheers" ranked No. 1 in the Nielsen ratings for the third consecutive week and is now the top-rated show to date for the traditional 42-week season.
"The Cosby Show," also on NBC, jumped from seventh place last week to the No. 2 position, its best ranking since the week of March 19.
Aside from the continuing reign of "Cheers," some real surprises surfaced in the ratings for the week ending July 8. ABC's "Roseanne" dropped from a tie for third-place last week to a tie for 10th place with another blue-collar sitcom, Fox's "Married . . . With Children."
"Blossom," an NBC pilot that is being considered a possible midseason replacement, preceded "Cheers" in the 8:30 p.m. Thursday time slot and captured third place, the best performance for an NBC pilot so far this summer.
Starring Mayim Bialyk, "Blossom" is described as a comedic coming-of-age story seen through the eyes of a 13-year-old living in Los Angeles. The series also stars Richard Masur and Barrie Youngfellow.
A rebroadcast of the "Seinfeld" pilot held onto the "Cheers" lead-in and finished fourth in the weekly ratings.
CBS's "Murphy Brown," which has popped up in the top 10 a number of times, tied for eighth place with NBC's "Golden Girls." CBS's "Designing Women" slipped slightly from a tie for No. 3 last week to fifth place.
NBC had six shows in the top 10, including the top four shows on the Nielsen scoreboard, CBS had three and ABC and Fox had one each (counting the tie for 10th place). For the week, NBC won Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday night; ABC took Monday, Tuesday and Friday, while Sunday belonged to CBS.
In the stakes race for Sunday night movies, NBC again had the top-rated show, "A Stoning in Fulham County," which finished 18th, followed by ABC's Part 1 of "The Bourne Identity," which finished 34th, and CBS's "The Woman He Loved" in 49th place.
NBC was in first place for the week ending July 8 with a 9.0 rating and a 19 share. Close behind was ABC with an 8.9 rating and a 19 share and CBS posted a 7.6 rating and a 16 share.
For the 42-week year-to-date race, NBC is on top with a 13.6 rating and a 23 share, ABC has a 12.2 rating and a 21 share and CBS has an 11.5 rating and a 20 share.
In the nightly news race, ABC kept its top spot. "World News Tonight" with Peter Jennings scored an 8.4 rating and a 20 share, the "CBS Evening News" with Dan Rather was second with an 7.4 rating and an 18 share, while "NBC Nightly News" with Tom Brokaw posted a 6.9 rating and a 17 share.
Each ratings point represents about 921,000 households.
TOP 10 SHOWS
The top programs for the week ending Sunday, July 8, according to the A.C. Nielsen Co., were: 1. Cheers (NBC) 2. The Cosby Show (NBC) 3. Blossom (NBC) 4. Seinfeld (NBC) 5. Designing Women (CBS) 6. 60 Minutes (CBS) 7. Empty Nest (NBC) 8. Golden Girls (NBC) (tie) Murphy Brown (CBS) 10. Roseanne (ABC) (tie) Married With Children (Fox)