NEW YORK -- The Statue of Liberty was television's leading lady last week and carried ABC to the top of the ratings chart both in prime time and in news.
She even took first place away from Bill Cosby.
ABC estimated that 100 million people watched at least part of the network's coverage of the 100th birthday bash for Lady Liberty, which ran for four nights.
The ratings for the week ending July 6, according to the A.C. Nielsen Co., put ABC solidly in first place with a 13.9 rating and a 27 percent share of the audience. NBC had an 11.9 rating and a 23 share, while CBS was on the bottom with a 9.5 rating and an 18 share. Each ratings point represents about 859,000 homes and a share is the percentage of sets in use.
The ABC Liberty Weekend '86 show that topped the ratings list was the opening ceremonies production, which starred Lady Liberty, with President Reagan, her leading man, lighting her torch.
The No. 2 show also starred the statue, this time the Friday night coverage that included the Americana concert and the dazzling fireworks display.
The closing ceremonies of Liberty Weekend on Sunday night tied for 10th place in the ratings.
The only one of ABC's four Liberty Weekend '86 shows that did not fare well in the ratings was Saturday's classical music concert, which attracted 800,000 concert-goers in New York's Central Park but ranked 48th in a list of 56 shows.
Lady Liberty's popularity with the American audience carried over into the news arena, where ABC's World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, featuring extensive Liberty coverage, was the top evening news broadcast - the first time ABC has beaten its rivals in a non-Olympic week since May 1982.
The Jennings broadcast scored a 9.9 rating and a 22 percent share of the audience. The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather had a 9.4 rating and a 21 share of the audience, while NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw rated 9.2 with a 21 share.
Winner of the week: The Statue of Liberty.
Loser of the week: Bill Cosby, pushed out of first place by a 100-year-old woman.
The top prime-time shows for the week ending July 6, according to the A.C. Nielsen Co., were:
1. Liberty Weekend '86-Thursday (ABC)
2. Liberty Weekend '86-Friday (ABC)
3. NBC Monday movie, 'Rearview Mirror'
4. The Cosby Show (NBC)
5. Golden Girls (NBC)
6. Growing Pains (ABC)
7. Who's the Boss? (ABC)
8. Me and Mrs. C (NBC)
9. Family Ties (NBC)
10. (tie) Murder, She Wrote (CBS)
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