TV RATINGS : Trying to Spot a Programming Trend

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During a week in which 47% of the prime-time audience was doing its viewing somewhere other than the three major networks, the top-rated program was a Canadian TV movie and two others in the Top Five were news products. Does this indicate viewers' hunger for fresh programming? Not necessarily. CBS' new series "Northern Exposure" lost its time slot to a rerun of "L.A. Law," finishing 38th among the week's 89 prime-time programs; the debut of CBS' "Top Cops" series ranked 43rd, and ABC's first-run game show "Monopoly" placed 74th. The weekly Nielsen ratings, released Tuesday, showed NBC on top by a comfortable margin, with CBS second and ABC third. ABC was first among the network evening newscasts, however, with CBS second and NBC third. The full list of ratings is on page 10.

* Viewers particularly avoided CBS' new series "Wish You Were Here." The premiere last Friday drew an audience of about 4.2 million homes, compared to about 9.7 million for a rerun of ABC's "Just the 10 of Us" and about 6.2 million for a repeat of NBC's "The Yellow Rose." "Wish You Were Here" placed 83rd overall.

Show Points Share 1."Love and Hate 16.3 28 (Part 2)" (NBC) 2."Cheers" (NBC) 15.8 29 3."Roseanne" (ABC) 13.8 25 4."20/20" (ABC) 13.4 28 5."Empty Nest" (NBC) 13.3 28 "Real Life With 13.3 25 With Jane Pauley" (NBC) * "Wish You Were Here" 4.6 9 (CBS)

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