NEW YORK -- Raymond Burr and Perry Mason returned in triumph to television last week, leading NBC's return to first place in the three-network prime time ratings race.
'Perry Mason Returns' was the name of NBC's Sunday movie starring Burr, and it was the most-watched show of the week as CBS slipped back into second place after 'Kane & Abel' had elevated the network to the top the previous week. ABC was third.
The prime time ratings for the week ending Dec. 1, according to the A.C. Nielsen Co., gave NBC an 18.2 rating and a 28 percent share of the audience. CBS had 16.3 rating and a 25 share, while ABC had a 14.4 rating and a 22 share.
For the season to date, NBC had a 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 16.1 rating and a 25 share.
ABC's 'Dynasty' spinoff, 'Dynasty II: The Colbys,' showed mixed results. When Charlton Heston, Barbara Stanwyck and the other Colbys occupied the regular Wednesday night 'Dynasty' spot in a special showing of 'The Colbys,' followed in the next hour by the mother show, 'The Colbys' won the time period handily and ranked 19th in the ratings.
But on the following night, when 'The Colbys' took its regular place in the Thursday night schedule, it tied for 50th place and ranked third in the time slot behind 'Cheers' and 'Night Court' on NBC and the Tom Selleck theatrical movie, 'High Road to China,' on CBS. 'The Colbys' regularly will compete with 'Simon & Simon,' a strong show.
NBC's 'Mussolini' miniseries did not take audiences by storm. Part 2 came in 18th and Part 3 tied for 16th -- neat but certainly not gaudy.
In the Nielsen and Arbitron November sweeps, NBC won with a 17.8 rating, CBS was second with a 17.2 and ABC with third with a 16.0. The shares differed slightly because Nielsen and Arbitron use slightly different dates, but in each case one share point separated each network.
'CBS Evening News with Dan Rather' remained the No. 1 evening news show for the week, with a 13.7 rating and a 23 share. 'NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw' was second with an 11.9 rating and a 21 share, and ABC's 'World News Tonight' ranked third with a 10.7 rating and a 19 share.
The top 10 prime time shows for the week ended Dec. 1, according to the A.C. Nielsen Co., were:
1. 'Perry Mason Returns,' NBC Sunday movie
2. 60 Minutes (CBS)
3. The Cosby Show (NBC)
4. Murder, She Wrote (CBS)
5. Family Ties (NBC)
6. Miami Vice (NBC)
7. Golden Girls (NBC)
8. (tie) Kate & Allie (CBS)