NEW YORK -- Had Bob Hope been backed last week by just four-tenths of a Nielsen point by the rest of NBC's programing, the Peacock network would not have been in its customary third place.
As it is, Hope hit No. 1 in the Nielsen ratings with his 'Birthday Special,' taped this year at West Point, for a score of 21.3 and an audience share of 37.
His was the only NBC offering in the Top 10, but 'Hill Street Blues,' nearly sacked earlier for lack of rating points, proved the network's wisdom in rescuing it by placing 19th on the list.
CBS ended with week in first place with a rating of 15.3. ABC, which saw its '20-20' news magazine hit the Top 10, was second with 14.3, and NBC was a close third with 14.0.
Everything in the Top 10, with the exception of Hope, '20-20' and ABC's 'Love Boat Special,' was repeat programing.
The top 10 network programs for the week ending May 31, according to the A.C. Nielsen Co., were:
1. Bob Hope (NBC).
2. The Jeffersons (CBS).
3. Dukes of Hazzard (CBS).
4. 60 Minutes (CBS).
5. 20-20 (ABC).
6. Love Boat Special (ABC).
7. Alice (CBS).
9. M-A-S-H (CBS).
10. Trapper John (CBS).