NEW YORK -- 'Sins,' the CBS mini-series starring Joan Collins, beat NBC's $26 million epic 'Peter the Great' in the war of the mini-series but the 'The Cosby Show' gave them both a lesson in what viewers want from television.
It was widely reported that 'Peter the Great' was the champion of the Sunday night mini-series battle, but those reports were based on the 12-city overnight ratings. The numbers did not hold up across the country and the weekly ratings tally placed the initial episode of 'Sins' at No. 16 and the first segment of 'Peter the Great' at No. 20. 'Sins' wins.
'We always believed in 'Sins' and wanted to produce an exciting, entertaining and romatic story,' Collins said. 'We felt we would come out on top.'
The ratings are more important than usual because it marked the first sweep of the February sweeps period, when networks set their rates for next year.
But although NBC lost the Sunday night battle, it won the war. 'The Cosby Show' finished at the top of the list once again, a special Sunday version of 'The Cosby Show' finished third, right behind another Bill Cosby benefactor, NBC's 'Family Ties.'
It was a good week for ABC, which placed three shows in the top 10, compared to just one last week. They were 'Dynasty,' 'Who's the Boss' and 'Growing Pains.' CBS had '60 Minutes' in the No. 5 spot.
In the winner's corner, an episode of NBC's 'St. Elsewhere,' in which Mark Harmon's character was told he had AIDS, received the highest ratings of the season for the series.
In the loser's corner, the rock bottom of the Nielsen list, was the ABC show 'Life's Most Embarrassing Moments.' It finished No. 68.
The prime time ratings for the week ending Feb. 2, according to the A.C. Nielsen Co., gave NBC a 18.2 rating and a 28 percent share of the audience. CBS had a 16.4 rating and a 25 share, and ABC had a 15.8 rating and a 24 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 15.1 rating and a 24 share.
'CBS Evening News with Dan Rather' remained the No. 1 evening news show for the week, with a 15.5 rating and a 25 share. 'NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw' was second with a 14.0 rating and a 23 share, and ABC's 'World News Tonight' was third with a 13.9 rating and a 23 share. Total ratings of all three network news shows was up 16 percent over the previous week, reflecting the public's interest in the shuttle disaster.
The top 10 prime time shows for the week ending Feb. 2, according to the A.C. Nielsen Co., were:
1. The Cosby Show (NBC)
2. Family Ties (NBC)
3. The Cosby Show on Sunday (NBC
4. Dynasty (ABC)
5. 60 Minutes (CBS)
6. Cheers (NBC)
7. Highway to Heaven (NBC)
8. Who's The Boss? (ABC)
9. Growing Pains (ABC)