NEW YORK -- One look at last week's Nielsen ratings will spell out just how much the NFL football strike is likely to cost both television audiences and the networks that feed their hunger for gridiron action.
Football hit the Top 10 the way a blitz hits a quarterback.
'60 Minutes' -- out of reruns and into its new season schedule - grabbed the No. 1 spot for CBS, but ABC's NFL 'Monday Night Football' was No. 2, posting the highest-rated season opening for the network and setting a new audience record of 20.7 million homes.
Third and fourth places in the Nielsen winners' circle went to CBS for the second NFL game and to the network's post-game show.
Football, plus the Emmy Awards, helped ABC take top honors for the week with an overall rating of 16.7 and an audience share of 29. CBS was in second place with 14.4 and 25 and NBC brought up the rear with 13.2 and 22.
CBS retained its lock on news programming, scoring 12.1 and 24 for the 'Evening News.' ABC's 'World News Tonight' was a close second with 11.6 and 24 and NBC's 'Nightly News' was third at 10.3 and 20.
The only new season premiere to make the Top 10 was CBS' 'Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.' NBC showed strength in overnight ratings from New York, Chicago and Los Angeles for the premiere of its new fantasy adventure, 'Powers of Matthew Star,' but when all ratings were counted, the show wound up in 39th place.
Even so, NBC found a point about which to boast. The premiere of 'Matthew Star,' which scored a 13.6 rating and a share of 26, was the network's highest rating for the time slot since the January broadcast of the 1982 Orange Bowl.
With the football strike in full swing, NBC will turn to the Canadian Football League to fill the gap and CBS will scramble to present a widely varied sports package. Only ABC is caught with a prime time problem, since all the NFL games on the network schedule were for evening broadcast.
ABC will fill the gap Thursday night with an old Peter Falk movie - 'The Cheap Detective' -- to be followed by a '20-20' special featuring the last television interview given by Princess Grace of Monaco before her death.
The interview, conducted in July by Pierre Salinger, will include a retrospective of her life and her films.
On Monday night, 'The Outlaw Josey Wales,' starring Clint Eastwood, will fill the slot left empty by the football strike.
The top 10 programs for the week ending Sept. 19, according to the A. C. Nielsen Co., were:
1. 60 Minutes (CBS)
2. NFL Monday Night Football -- Pittsburgh vs. Dallas (ABC)
3. CBS NFL Game 2 (CBS)
4. CBS NFL Post Game Show (CBS)
5. Too Close for Comfort (ABC(
6. Three's Company (ABC)
7. Emmy Awards (ABC)
8. Hart to Hart (ABC)
9. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (CBS)