NEW YORK -- NBC was back in first place in the prime time network ratings race last week, with its one-two punch of 'The Cosby Show' and 'Family Ties' leading the pack.
ABC, which had been riding high the previous week with its miniseries 'North and South,' dropped back to third place.
The real news of the television season is that NBC has maintained its early lead and remains in first place, with CBS trailing for the week, for the season, and for the first two weeks of the November sweeps.
The prime time ratings for the week ending Nov. 17, according to the A.C. Nielsen Co., gave NBC an 18.7 rating and a 28 percent share of the audience. CBS had 17.2 rating and a 26 share, while ABC had a 14.3 rating and a 21 share.
For the season to date, NBC remained No. 1 with an 17.9 rating and a 28 share, CBS was second with a 16.9 rating and a 26 share, and ABC was third with a 16.5 rating and a 26 share.
In the sweeps competition, the numbers vary slightly between Arbitron and Nielsen because they use different dates, but they agree that NBC is ahead with a 27 percent share of the audience, CBS has a 26 share, and ABC a 25 share.
NBC scored well with its AIDS movie, 'An Early Frost,' which finished sixth in last week's ratings, and the network's 'Golden Girls,' tied for seventh, was the only new series in the top 10.
Part 1 of the CBS miniseries 'Kane & Abel' also made the top 10, tied with 'Golden Girls.'
For ABC there was a glimmer -- the two-hour 'Dynasty' that set the stage for Wednesday's first episode of the spinoff 'Dynstay II: The Colbys' came in fifth, which means 'Dynasty' fans are prepped for 'The Colbys.'
'CBS Evening News with Dan Rather' remained the No. 1 news show for the week, twith a 14.0 rating and a 23 share. 'NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw' was second with a 12.2 rating and a 21 share, and ABC's 'World News Tonight' ranked third with a 11.6 rating and a 20 share.
The top 10 prime time shows for the week ended Nov. 17, according to the A.C. Nielsen Co., were:
1. The Bill Cosby Show (NBC)
2. Family Ties (NBC)
3. 60 Minutes (CBS)
4. Cheers (NBC)
5. Dynasty (ABC)
6. 'An Early Frost' (NBC Monday movie)
7. (tie) Golden Girls (NBC)
'Kane & Abel,' part 1 (CBS)
9. Dallas (CBS)