Super Bowl Cliffhanger Tops the Week’s Ratings : Television: The results for ABC were better than last years’ in which CBS took a beating.


An estimated 114 million people in the United States watched all or part of Super Bowl XXV, with the average audience at any given moment estimated at 79.38 million viewers, it was reported today.

The game and its post-game aftermath took the No. 1 and No. 2 spots on the Nielsen chart, and ABC Research reported that it scored 7% higher than last year’s Super Bowl game, with a 41.8 rating and a 63 share, compared to last year’s 39.0 rating and 63 share.

That’s not great, considering that last year’s game was the blowout in which San Francisco whomped Denver, 55-10. CBS was the unfortunate network that carried the rout, and between its weak Super Bowl showing and the devastated state of its schedule, it finished third for the week. This time around, CBS finished second for the week without the Super Bowl.

CBS’s second-place finish in Super Bowl week had two components--Monday night and “Lonesome Dove.”


“Lonesome Dove” tied for 28th Tuesday--helping CBS tie ABC for the night despite the best performance by fourth-place “Roseanne” this season. The rebroadcast of the miniseries tied for 15th Wednesday and took 17th Thursday.

The series, including Part 1 airing the previous week, had a 14.9 rating and a 24 share. That kind of rating qualifies a show for the second half of the top 20.

On Monday the CBS lineup won every half hour, with “Murphy Brown” in fifth place--the only CBS show to make the top 10. A special Monday “Good Sports” replaced “Designing Women” and came in 14th, and a Gulf War news special replaced “The Trials of Rosie O’Neill” and tied for 31st with a CBS News Friday Gulf special.

CBS did not fare as well in the evening news competition, coming in third. ABC’s “World News Tonight” with Peter Jennings headed the list with a 13.4 rating and a 22 share, trailed by “NBC Nightly News” with an 11.8 rating and a 20 share. CBS had a 10.8 rating and an 18 share.


ABC previewed a new show, “Davis Rules,” after the Super Bowl post-game program, and it tied for 15th.

In the Sunday night competition, ABC was the obvious winner. CBS came in a distant second with “The Fulfillment of Mary Gray” tied for 46th. NBC’s “Little White Lies” tied for 51st. Both were repeats.

The ratings for the week saw ABC win with a 15.6 rating and a 25 share. CBS came in second with a 21.1 rating and a 19 share, while NBC had an 11.6 rating and an 18 share.

For the season to date, the race remains the tightest in years, with ABC picking up two ratings points thanks to Super Bowl week. NBC still leads the pack with a 12.8 rating and a 21 share, followed closely by ABC with a 12.6 rating and a 21 share. CBS was right behind with a 12.3 rating and a 20 share.

Each ratings point represents about 921,000 households. A share is the percentage of TV sets in use that are tuned to a particular show or network.


The top 10 programs for the week ending Sunday, according to the A.C. Nielsen Co.:

1. Super Bowl XXV (ABC)


2. Super Bowl postgame (ABC)

3. Cheers (NBC)

4. Roseanne (ABC)

5. Murphy Brown (CBS)

6. Empty Nest (NBC)

7. Golden Girls (NBC)

8. Full House (ABC)

9. (tie) The Cosby Show (NBC)


Coach (ABC)