TV Ratings : Viewers Prefer Reruns to Two Premieres for Fall

The fall TV season got off to an underwhelming start last week, ratings from the A.C. Nielsen Co. revealed Tuesday, as two new prime-time series delivered lackluster ratings against mostly rerun competition.

ABC’s “My So-Called Life” ran third in its Thursday time slot--close on the heels of NBC’s “Mad About You"/"Wings” tandem and CBS’ “One West Waikiki"--and ranked 46th among the week’s 92 prime-time network programs. It attracted 16% of the available audience but was first in its time period among the 12-17 age group--not surprising, since its main character, played by Claire Danes, is a teen-ager.

On Friday, meanwhile, Fox’s “M.A.N.T.I.S.” drew 14% of the available viewers and ran third in the time slot behind ABC’s duo of “Family Matters” and “Boy Meets World” and CBS’ “Diagnosis Murder,” finishing 65th overall. More encouraging for the network, however, it was first in the time period among viewers aged 18-49.

ABC won the network competition, fueled by its one-two punch of “Home Improvement” and “Grace Under Fire.”


Southland Ratings

Here are A. C. Nielsen’s Top 10 primetime programs in the Los Angeles area during the same week. Each rating point equals 50,064 households.

Program Station Rating 1. Home Improvement KABC 15.1 2. Roseanne KABC 14.7 3. Sister, Sister KABC 14.2 4. Seinfeld KNBC 13.9 5. Grace Under Fire KABC 13.7 6. Married ... With Children KTTV 12.7 7. 60 Minutes KCBS 12.5 8. Ellen KABC 12.4 9. Full House KABC 12.3 10. Blossom KNBC 12.1

Weekly Averages


ABC: 9.7

CBS: 9.5

NBC: 8.9

FOX: 6.0


Source: National A.C. Nielsen Ratings