NEW YORK -- Fueled by the conclusion of its sci-fi heartstopper, 'V,' which took first place in the Nielsen Top 10 and delivered an audience share of 40, NBC roared out of the basement last week to top, if not exactly to rule, the ratings.
The Peacock network, which has straggled in third place all season, scored an overall prime time rating of 15.5 and an audience share of 26 to edge ABC out of first place.
ABC scored 15.4 and 26 and drove CBS into rare residency in the ratings cellar with 14.6 and 25.
CBS maintained superiority, however, in news programming and stayed ahead of the pack both in Nielsen and Arbitron May sweeps averages.
The 'Evening News' scored 12.6 and 26, topping NBC's 'Nightly News' which was a distant second at 10.0 and 20. ABC's 'World News Tonight,' hobbled, perhaps, by the illness of anchor man Frank Reynolds who temporarily has been taken out of the running by viral hepatitis, was third at 9.9 and 20.
Sweeps scores tallied by Nielsen and Arbitron were a fraction of a point apart. The Arbitron survey gave CBS a score of 15.6 through May 8. NBC scored 15.2 and ABC was 15.1. Nielsen counted the same line-up, with CBS at 15.8, NBC at 15.2 and ABC at 15.1.
The Top 10 programs for the week ending May 8, according to the A.C. Nielsen Co., were:
1. 'V' (Part II) (NBC).
2. Dallas (CBS).
3. The A Team (NBC).
4. Simon & Simon (CBS).
5. Facts of Life (NBC).
6. The Love Boat (ABC).
7. 60 Minutes (CBS).
8. Hart to Hart (ABC).
9. Three's Company (ABC).
10. Remington Steele (NBC).