TV Ratings : 48 Million Watch ‘ER’ Operate; NBC Solidifies Lead

With “ER” delivering the biggest ratings for a network drama series in eight years, NBC closed out the second month of the season with a weekly victory that solidified its prime-time lead.

Figures released Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research showed “ER” topping the list of the nation’s most-watched programs by a wide margin. Last Thursday’s episode, which featured George Clooney prominently, was seen by more than 48 million people. “Seinfeld,” at No. 2, had an audience of about 33.9 million.

Despite NBC’s dominance on Thursday, ABC remained a strong second overall and noted Tuesday that for the season as a whole, it is outperforming NBC in most time slots among the 18-to-49 audience that advertisers covet.

Luke Perry’s final appearance on “Beverly Hills, 90210" produced big numbers for Fox. The telecast last Wednesday ranked 19th among the week’s 102 prime-time network programs--and No. 3 locally--and was No. 6 among viewers aged 18 to 34.


“Streets of Laredo” opened well for CBS (at No. 9), attracting about 22 million viewers.


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 Network Rating 1. ER KNBC 26.7 2. Seinfeld KNBC 20.0 3. Beverly Hills, 90210 KTTV 19.3 4. Friends KNBC 18.8 5. The Single Guy KNBC 17.3 6. Caroline in the City KNBC 17.0 7. 60 Minutes KCBS 16.5 8. Frasier KNBC 16.2 9. NYPD Blue KABC 16.1 10. Lois & Clark:/Superman KABC 14.7


Weekly Averages

NBC: 11.7

ABC: 11.4

CBS: 10.5

FOX: 8.2

UPN: 3.2

WB: 2.8

Season to Date

NBC: 12.2

ABC: 11.9

CBS: 9.5

FOX: 7.5

UPN: 3.3

WB: 2.3

Source: A.C. Nielsen