TV RATINGS : Saudi Crisis Boosts '60 Minutes'

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Buoyed by updates on the tensions in the Persian Gulf and the plethora of reruns that dominated the prime-time schedule last week, CBS' "60 Minutes" climbed into the top spot in the A.C. Nielsen ratings for the first time since Aug. 21, 1988. The ABC news program "PrimeTime Live," which included a report from Sam Donaldson in Saudi Arabia last Thursday, didn't fare as well, finishing last in its time period and No. 50 for the week. NBC won the week with an average 9.7 rating, compared to 9.2 for CBS and 8.9 for ABC, with each rating point representing 921,000 households. Meanwhile, even with another rerun, "The Simpsons" made the most out of its final Sunday-night appearance before moving into family-to-family combat with "The Cosby Show" Thursday, ending up as the fourth most-watched show. The full list of ratings is on F12.

* Without a single mention of the crisis in the Middle East, another show from a network news department, NBC's celebrity-studded "Cutting Edge With Maria Shriver," ranked No. 12 and won its Tuesday time slot at 10 p.m.

Show Points Share 1."60 Minutes"(CBS) 15.8 33 2."Cheers"(NBC) 15.1 29 2."Roseanne"(ABC) 15.1 27 4."The Simpsons"(Fox) 13.7 24 5."Designing Women"(CBS) 13.6 23 *"Cutting Edge"(NBC) 12.5 23

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