NEW YORK -- CBS just managed to retain first place in the prime time Nielsen ratings, squeaking past ABC last week by one-tenth of a percentage point.
The A.C. Nielsen prime time ratings for the week ending Dec. 23 gave CBS a 16.1 rating and a 26 percent share of the audience, ABC a 16.0 rating with a 26 share and NBC a 14.8 rating with a 24 share.
ABC, which has been ailing in the ratings this season, owed its strong showing in large part to 'Dynasty,' the most-watched show of the week, and to NFL Monday Night Football, which ranked No. 2 in the ratings lineup.
The game between the Miami Dolphins and the Dallas Cowboys scored the largest number of viewing households -- 21,310,000 per average minute - of any Monday Night Football telecast since ABC began airing the games in 1970.
It was a good week for movies. 'A Christmas Carol' starring George C. Scott made the top 10 for CBS, and ABC's Sunday 'Superman' and NBC's 'Little House on the Prairie' Monday movie scored in the top 20.
On the season to date, CBS leads with a 17.0 rating and a 27 share, while NBC has a 16.3 rating and a 26 share and ABC a 15.2 rating and a 24 share.
'CBS Evening News with Dan Rather' was the No. 1 evening news show yet again, with a 14.1 rating and 25 share. 'NBC Nightly News' had a 11.2 rating and a 20 share. ABC's 'World News Tonight' had an 11.1 rating and a 20 share.
The top prime time shows for the week ending Dec. 23, according to the A.C. Nielsen Co., were:
1. Dynasty (ABC)
2. NFL Monday Night football, Dallas vs Miami (ABC)
3. Simon & Simon (CBS)
4. Dallas (CBS)
5. The A-Team (NBC)
6. The Cosby Show (NBC)
7. Knots Landing (CBS)
8. (tie) Hotel (ABC)