NEW YORK -- 'Marco Polo' conquered almost everything on the tube last week, and while its score was not enough to move NBC into first place in the ratings race, it was enough to lift the network out of the cellar.
'Marco Polo, Part III' scored a rating of 22.0 and an audience share of 36 for first place on the weekly Nielsen ratings list.
Part IV placed fourth and Part II placed fifth.
Despite the win, ABC remained in first place for prime time fare with a rating of 15.1 and a share of 27. NBC's second place score was 14.7 and 26 and CBS dropped to third place at 14.5 and 26.
CBS maintained its dominance in news programing with a rating of 11.5 and a share of 25 for the 'Evening News.' ABC's 'World News Tonight' was second at 10.3 and 22 and NBC's 'Nightly News' was third at 9.4 and 20.
With 26 days of the May sweeps period over, ABC held the prime time lead both by Nielsen and Arbitron yardsticks. Nielsen scored it ABC, 15.1; CBS, 14.9 and NBC, 13.6. The Arbitron rating was nearly identical - 15.1 for ABC, 14.8 for CBS and 13.7 for NBC.
The top 10 programs for the week ending May 23, according to the A.C. Nielsen Co., were:
l. Marco Polo, Part III (NBC).
2. 60 Minutes (CBS).
3. Coming out of the Ice (CBS).
4. Marco Polo, Part IV (NBC).
5. Marco Polo, Part II (NBC).
6. Three's Company (ABC).
7. Trapper John (CBS).
8. Fantasy Island (ABC).
9. Hart to Hart (ABC).
10. ABC Monday Night Movie: The Concorde-Airport '79 (ABC).