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Nbc Reruns Top Nielsen Ratings

Despite lower viewership in the summer rerun doldrums, repeats of NBC’s hottest series lifted the network atop the prime-time pack last week, according to Nielsen ratings released Tuesday.

“Friends,” “Seinfeld” and “ER” the core of NBC’s Thursday night lineup - finished 1-2-3 for the week of July 17-23. “Hope & Gloria,” NBC’s 8:30 p.m. entry, finished 22nd and “Mad About You,” in the 8 p.m. slot, was 26th, but both still won their respective time slots.

The Fox Broadcasting Co., airing only 15 hours of prime-time programming to remain exempt from network regulation, earned a 5.2 rating, 10 share.

A single ratings point equals 954,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation’s 95.4 million TV homes, as estimated by Nielsen Media Research. Share is the percentage of sets tuned to a specific network in a given time period.

ABC pegged its strong showing to original editions of its news magazines “PrimeTime Live” and “20/20,” which finished sixth and seventh, respectively.

ABC’s “World News Tonight with Peter Jennings” held onto its lock as network TV’s highest-rated newscast with an 18.2 rating, 18 share. Tom Brokaw’s “NBC Nightly News” was second, with a 6.7 rating, 15 share; and “CBS Evening News” with Dan Rather had a 6.4 rating, 14 share.

Here are the Top 10 shows, their networks and ratings:

“Friends,” NBC, 16.7; “Seinfeld,” NBC, 15.8; “ER,” NBC, 14.0; “Grace Under Fire,” ABC, 12.2; “Roseanne,” ABC, 12.1; “PrimeTime Live,” ABC, 11.9; “20/20,” 11.8; “NBC Monday Night Movie: A Matter of Justice, Part 2,” NBC, 11.5; “Murder, She Wrote,” CBS, 11.3; “Home Improvement,” ABC, 11.1.