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‘Frasier’ Warms Up for Big Move by Finishing No. 1

With NBC’s Thursday lineup in reruns, “Frasier,” and star Kelsey Grammer, celebrated the show’s coming move to that night by topping the ratings for the first time, according to results from Nielsen Media Research.

There was no evidence of a hangover from America’s “Seinfeld” binge. NBC’s encore showing of the one-hour finale on May 20 finished fourth in its time slot, well behind CBS’ “Cher Remembers Sonny” special. A “Seinfeld” rerun then drew unspectacular numbers last Thursday, dropping from the previous week’s lofty heights to about half the program’s average audience this season.

In a less-ballyhooed farewell, many people came back to see CBS’ “Murphy Brown” sign off, as the concluding hour scored the show’s highest rating since September 1996.

With sweeps over and people traveling for Memorial Day, TV viewing levels sank as the week ended. As a result, it wasn’t a night to remember for “Titanic"--a CBS miniseries that premiered in November 1996 and sailed again Sunday. ABC, meanwhile, served up leftover episodes of canceled series with predictable results, falling to record-low ratings with “C-16: FBI” and “You Wish.”

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Cable Top 10

Here are Nielsen’s top 10 cable programs in prime time last week, also ranked by total viewers (in millions).

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Program Network Viewers 1. Pacers-Bulls (Tue.) TNT 7.10 2. Lakers-Jazz (Mon.) TNT 5.92 3. Wrestling (Mon., 10 p.m.) USA 5.66 4. Wrestling (Mon., 8:57 p.m.) USA 5.55 5. Jazz-Lakers (Fri.) TNT 5.03 6. South Park COMC 4.89 7. “Addicted to Love” HBO 3.87 8. Wrestling (Thurs., 9:07 p.m.) TBS 3.58 9. Rugrats NICK 3.52 10. “Anaconda” (Sun.) HBO 3.21

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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 CBS 11.82 million 14.02 NBC 11.28 14.78 ABC 9.34 12.15 FOX 8.14 10.50 WB 4.11 4.48 UPN 3.23 3.99

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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. Fraiser (9:30 p.m.) KNBC 1,011,864 2. Frasier KNBC 951,754 3. Beverly Hills, 90210 KTTV 861,588 4. Mad About You KNBC 776,431 5. Seinfeld KNBC 726,338 6. Ally McBeal KTTV 696,283 7. Friends KNBC 686,265 8. Murphy Brown KCBS 681,255 9. Home Improvement KABC 676,248 10. NYPD Blue KABC 661,218

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