NEW YORK -- CBS won the prime time ratings for the first week of the 1984-85 TV season last week and NBC, long the No. 3 network, came in second, well ahead of ABC.
The A.C. Nielsen prime time ratings for the week ending Sept. 30 gave CBS a 17.5 rating and a 29 percent share of the audience, NBC a 16.1 rating with a 27 share and ABC a 14.5 rating with a 24 share.
The CBS win was accomplished chiefly by the strong performance of returning series, with the premieres of 'Dallas' and 'Falcon Crest' at the top of the heap and '60 Minutes' placing sixth. Only one new CBS series 'Murder She Wrote' made the list of the top 10 programs.
NBC's critically acclaimed new situation comedy 'The Bill Cosby Show,' which was the No. 1 show when it premiered the previous week, placed a strong third last week and knocked the premiere of CBS's popular 'Magnum, P.I.' out of its usual place among the 10 most popular programs.
With the strong 'Cosby' lead-in, the season's premiere of NBC's 'Family Ties' also managed to push the premiere of CBS's 'Simon and Simon' off the most popular list.
ABC had only one program on the top 10 list, 'Dynasty,' which placed fourth.
Although the networks began showing sneak-preview, pilot specials of the new season's shows as early as three weeks ago, last week was the official start of the new season.
CBS marked the occasion with a miniseries 'Mistral's Daughter,' but the three-part film failed to grab the audience size network's usually hope for with such a production.
Part I of 'Mistral' placed 18th, the viewing audience being split by 'Monday Night Football' on ABC and the NBC movie 'Secrets of a Married Man,' while Part 2 placed 12th, getting zapped by NBC's 'The A-Team.' Part 3 was 25th.
New shows that failed to place among the top 40 list -- a sign of rocky times ahead -- included NBC's 'Miami Vice,' 'Partners in Crime,' 'Hunter' and 'Hot Pursuit'; ABC's 'Paper Dolls,' 'Jessie,' 'Glitter,' 'Call to Glory,' 'Who's the Boss, 'Hawaiian Heat' and 'People Do the Craziest Things,' and CBS's 'E-R.'
In the evening news category, 'CBS Evening News with Dan Rather' was No. 1 with an 11.7 rating and a 24 share. ABC's 'World News Tonight' had a 10.5 rating with a 21 share and 'NBC Nightly News' had an 8.7 rating with an 18 share.
Top 10 prime time shows for the week ending Sept. 30, according to the A.C. Nielsen Co., were:
1. Dallas (CBS)
2. Falcon Crest (CBS)
3. The Bill cosby Show (NBC)
4. Dynasty (ABC)
5. The A-Team (NBC)
6. 60 Minutes (CBS)
7. Cheers (NBC)
8. Family Ties(NBC)
9-10 tie. Murder She Wrote (CBS)