TV Ratings : 'Home Improvement' Ends Season With No. 1 Finish

Season-ending episodes last week drove a number of series to strong showings in the ratings, including ABC's "Home Improvement," which finished No. 1 in the figures released Wednesday by Nielsen Media Research. NBC's powerhouse Thursday lineup, which dominated the ratings throughout the 1995-96 season, was in reruns.

Other series that finished strongly included ABC's "Coach," "NYPD Blue" and "Roseanne," which all were in the Top 5, and the final installment of NBC's "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," starring Will Smith, which was No. 6. "Murphy Brown," which bid adieu to cast member Grant Shaud, was No. 11 among the week's 103 prime-time network programs.

NBC, which won the prime-time championship for the season, took the week but the big three networks combined to attract only 49% of the audience. Another 11% were tuned to Fox, whose "Beverly Hills, 90210" and "Melrose Place" finished in the Top 10 locally.

CBS' coverage of the Daytime Emmy Awards tied for 14th, attracting an average of 15.1 million viewers. Its household ratings were up nearly 12% from last year.


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. NYPD Blue KABC 18.8 2. Home Improvement KABC 17.2 3. Seinfeld KNBC 17.1 4. Beverly Hills, 90210 KTTV 16.4 5. Frasier KNBC 16.2 6. Friends KNBC 15.2 7. Melrose Place KTTV 14.8 8. Roseanne KABC 14.7 9. 60 Minutes KCBS 13.8 10. Caroline in the City KNBC 13.6


Weekly Averages

NBC: 9.0

CBS: 8.6

ABC: 8.3

FOX: 5.6

UPN: 2.9

WB: 2.0

Season to Date

NBC: 11.6

ABC: 10.5

CBS: 9.6

FOX: 7.3

UPN: 3.1

WB: 2.4

Source: A. C. Nielsen

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