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All-Star Game Gives NBC Some Summer Relief

Sports remains the only apparent cure for the major networks’ summertime blues, as baseball’sAll-Star Game improved on last year’s average to help NBC score a narrow weekly ratings victory, based on results issued Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research.

NBC’s highlight reel pretty much ended there. Once was enough for most viewers of “Gulliver’s Travels” and “The Odyssey,” as the network garnered Lilliputian-sized ratings with back-to-back repeats of those epic miniseries. ABC fared considerably better with the opening of Stephen King’s “The Stand,” starring Rob Lowe, which delivered its biggest Sunday movie audience in two months.

ABC still had to settle for third place overall, as reruns of canceled shows like “Timecop” and “Prey” continue to draw dismal ratings, finishing behind a quartet of WB network shows in the weekly standings.

CBS’ best news came courtesy of its news division. “The CBS Evening News” not only won the nightly news race last week, but newsmagazine “48 Hours” also yielded dividends since joining the Monday lineup, beating “Dateline NBC” with its July 6 installment.

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Cable Top 10

Here are Nielsen’s top 5 cable programs in prime time last week, also ranked by total viewers (in millions).

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Program Network Viewers 1. Home Run Derby ESPN 9.17 2. “Baseball Special” ESPN 6.34 3. Wrestling (Mon., 10 p.m.) TNT 5.93 4. “Everything That Rises” TNT 5.31 5. “Conspiracy Theory” HBO 5.07

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Network Averages

Here is the number of viewers that each network averaged per hour of prime time, for last week and for the season.

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Last week Season to date NBC 9.52 million 14.23 CBS 9.20 13.22 ABC 8.34 11.48 FOX 6.18 9.88 WB 3.09 4.26 UPN 2.33 3.76

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Southland Viewing

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Here are Nielsen’s Top 10 prime-time programs in the Los Angeles area during the same week. The rankings are based on the number of households watching.

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Program Station Households 1. All-Star Postgame Show KNBC 721,329 2. Seinfeld KNBC 696,283 3. 60 Minutes KCBS 621,145 4. ABC News Thursday Night KABC 601,108 5. “Bad Boys” KTTV 581,071 Just Shoot Me KNBC 581,071 7. Home Improvement KABC 556,025 8. Friends KNBC 551,015 9. The Drew Carey Show KABC 530,978 “The Stand” Part 1 KABC 530,978

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