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ABC’s End Run Around the Opposition

<i> Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press</i>

With a big boost from the National Football League, ABC won the prime-time ratings race last week and moved a little closer to NBC in the season-to-date standings. The “Monday Night Football” game between the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Giants drew the largest audience in the program’s 21-year history--more than 41.5 million viewers, according to ABC. That easily ranked as the week’s most-watched show and ABC was the most-watched network in prime time. NBC still leads overall in the 12-week-old season, but ABC has narrowed the lead to four-tenths of one ratings point. The full list of ratings is on F12.

* If television response is any gauge, “Havana” may be in for trouble at the box office. A one-hour promotional special about the movie’s star and director, “Robert Redford and Sydney Pollack: “The Men and Their Movies,” drew only 9% of the available audience Sunday night and ranked 83rd among the week’s 94 prime-time programs. It ran fourth in its time period behind CBS’ “Murder, She Wrote,” ABC’s “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and “America’s Funniest People” and Fox’s “In Living Color” and “Get a Life.”

TV RATINGS

Show Points Share 1. “Monday Night Football” (ABC) 27.0 42 2. “60 Minutes” (CBS) 23.0 38 3. “Cheers” (NBC) 21.4 34 4. “Roseanne” (ABC) 19.0 29 5. “A Different World” (NBC) 18.0 29 * “The Men and Their Movies” (NBC) 6.0 9

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