March 26, 1998 in Features

Peacock Network All Smiles Over Comedies’ Ratings

Associated Press

NBC laughed its way to the top last week with all six shows in a special Thursday night comedy lineup, including two “Seinfeld” episodes, leading Nielsen Media Research’s weekly prime-time ratings list.

America’s second favorite night of TV - Sunday night on CBS - accounted for the next three spots in Nielsen rankings released Tuesday.

NBC led for the week with a 9.6 rating and 16 share. CBS was second with an 8.8 rating and 15 share, followed by ABC’s 8.1 rating and 14 share and Fox’s 6.7 rating and 11 share.

Reasoning that comedy repeats score better than drama reruns, NBC plugged in “Seinfeld” and “Frasier” episodes into the “ER” time slot last Thursday and billed it as a special night of comedy.

Fox’s freshman “Ally McBeal” continues to build into a hit. It was the network’s top-rated show for the week and won its Monday night time slot against all competition for the first time.

In its second week, ABC’s “Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place” finished a solid 24th in the rankings but saw its audience drop ominously to 13 million from nearly 18 million the week before.

That’s better than Tom Selleck’s “The Closer” on CBS. Despite heavy promotion during the Winter Olympics, the show finished in 68th place last week and had 2 million fewer viewers than its lead-in, a repeat of “Everybody Loves Raymond.”

Fox’s “Damon” finished 34th for the week during its premier, but that was better than the new drama “Significant Others” on Fox Wednesday nights. It was the network’s lowest-rated show for the week.

Prime-time ratings as compiled by Nielsen Media Research for March 16-22. Top 10 listings include the week’s ranking, with rating for the week and season-to-date rankings in parentheses. Top 20 listings include total homes.

An “X” in parentheses denotes one-time-only presentation. The rating is the percentage of the nation’s estimated 98 million TV homes. Each ratings point represents 980,000 households.

1. (2) “Seinfeld,” NBC, 20.8, 20.3 million homes.

2. (X) “Seinfeld,” NBC, 16.3, 15.9 million homes.

3. (4) “Friends,” NBC, 15.9, 15.5 million homes.

4. “Caroline in the City,” NBC, 15.7, 15.3 million homes.

4. “Just Shoot Me,” NBC, 15.7, 15.3 million homes.

6. (X) “Frasier,” NBC, 14.2, 13.9 million homes.

6. (7) “60 Minutes,” CBS, 14.2, 13.9 million homes.

8. (9) “CBS Sunday Movie: It Could Happen to You,” CBS, 14.0, 13.7 million homes.

9. (6) “Touched by an Angel,” CBS, 12.9, 12.6 million homes.

10. “Dateline NBC-Monday,” NBC, 12.1, 11.8 million homes.

10. (X) “Dateline NBC-Wednesday,” NBC, 12.1, 11.8 million homes.

12. “Frasier,” NBC, 12.0, 11.7 million homes.

13. “Drew Carey Show,” ABC, 11.8, 11.5 million homes.

14. (10) “Home Improvement,” ABC, 11.6, 11.3 million homes.

14. “20/20,” ABC, 11.6, 11.3 million homes.

16. “Ally McBeal,” Fox, 10.8, 10.5 million homes.

17. “Mad About You,” NBC, 10.5, 10.2 million homes.

18. “Lateline,” NBC, 10.2, 9.9 million homes.

19. “Dateline NBC-Sunday,” NBC, 9.9, 9.7 million homes.

19. “Dateline NBC-Tuesday,” NBC, 9.9, 9.7 million homes.

19. “20/20,” ABC, 9.9, 9.7 million homes.

© Copyright 1998 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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