Reruns Return NBC to Top of Nielsen Ratings

From Associated Press

For the second consecutive week, NBC grabbed most of the top spots in the weekly Nielsen ratings race, but this time the network did it with reruns rather than previews of new shows, it was reported today.

"Cheers" knocked off CBS' "60 Minutes," which had been in the No. 1 spot for two weeks with its Iraq-related programming, and the newsmagazine fell to a tie for 15th place for the week ending Sept. 2.

A special two-hour broadcast of "In the Heat of the Night" Tuesday night catapulted the NBC show to second place, its best ranking ever, the network reported.

The highly touted Thursday night competition between NBC's "The Cosby Show" and Fox's "The Simpsons," although both shows are in reruns, showed another disparity for the second week. "Cosby" landed in 11th place and "The Simpsons" tied for 53rd place with three other shows.

The second half of NBC's repeat of the two-part miniseries, "I Know My First Name Is Steven," made a respectable showing in ninth place, compared to the first half, which was broadcast during the previous ratings period and finished in a tie for 51st place.

NBC placed seven shows altogether in the top 10, while CBS had two and ABC's lone entry was "Roseanne" in eighth place.

CBS won the Sunday night movie race with "Who Gets the Friends?" tying for 53rd place with a CBS News special, ABC's "The Young Riders" and "The Simpsons." NBC's theatrical movie, "Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome," was in a three-way tie for 63rd place and ABC's entry, "Love Among Thieves," tied for 73rd place with a new Fox show, "Comic Strip Primetime."

With the CBS shows "Designing Women" in a tie for third place and "Murphy Brown" tying for fourth place, it was just enough to edge the network into second place in the weekly ratings.

In ratings for the week ending Sept. 2, according to the A. C. Nielsen Co., NBC remained in the lead with a 10.6 rating and a 20 share. CBS was second with an 8.8 rating and a 17 share and ABC posted an 8.7 rating and a 17 share. Fox finished the week with a 5.3 rating and a 10 share.

For the third week in a row, NBC was the winner on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday nights, its best showing since June 1, 1987, the network said. CBS won Sunday and ABC held Friday.

In the 50-week season-to-date competition, NBC maintained a 13.0 rating and a 23 share, followed by CBS with an 11.1 rating and a 19 share, and ABC with an 11.6 rating and a 20 share.

TOP 10 SHOWS The top 10 programs for the week ending Sunday, Sept. 2, according to the A.C. Nielsen Co., were:

1. Cheers (NBC)

2. In the Heat of the Night (NBC)

3. Empty Nest (NBC)

(tie) Designing Women (CBS)

4. Bill Cosby Special (NBC)

(tie) Murphy Brown (CBS)

7. Golden Girls (NBC)

8. Roseanne (ABC)

9. NBC Monday Movie (NBC)

10. Different World (NBC)

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