TV Ratings : CBS, NBC Tie for First in Prime-Time Viewing

ABC is No. 1 for the season but it ran third in the prime-time household ratings last week as CBS and NBC tied for first, according to figures released Tuesday by the A.C. Nielsen Co. ABC still managed to account for four of the Top 10 programs, however.

NBC also had four shows in the Top 10, including "Seinfeld" at the top, while CBS fared well with the People's Choice Awards on Sunday and the Grammy Awards last Wednesday. The latter actually got its lowest ratings ever but still did better than CBS' usual Wednesday lineup ranking 35th among the 96 network prime-time programs.

Fox, meanwhile, had an assortment of bad news. Two new series, "The Critic" and "The Great Defender," both ran fourth in their time slots and placed No. 64 and No. 88, respectively. And the two installments of its TV movie, "Love & Betrayal: The Mia Farrow Story," ranked No. 84 and 87. Even "The X-Files," which won its time slot two weeks ago and is considered Fox's hottest show, fell to fourth in the 9 p.m. Friday slot last week with a repeat episode.


Southland Ratings

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

Program Station Rating 1. Seinfeld KNBC 22.2 2. Friends KNBC 21.5 3. Home Improvement KABC 20.5 4. ER KNBC 19.7 5. 60 Minutes KCBS 19.4 6. Grace Under Fire KABC 18.4 7. Wings KNBC 18.2 8. Frasier KNBC 18.1 9. NYPD Blue KABC 17.2 10. Mad About You KNBC 16.9

Weekly Averages

NBC: 11.7

CBS: 11.7

ABC: 11.3

FOX: 6.8

UPNL 4.1

WB: 1.8

Season to Date

ABC: 12.1

NBC: 11.6

CBS: 11.5

FOX: 7.8

UPN: 4.9

WB: 2.0

Source: A. C. Nielsen

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