NEW YORK -- NBC won the ratings race as usual last week, but ratings-as-usual was disrupted by ABC and Elvis Presley edging out CBS to come in second, it was reported Tuesday.
CBS remains ahead of ABC for the season-to-date, but the Winter Olympics later this month could carry ABC into a solid second if they prove a big draw.
As of now, CBS leads ABC by only a tenth of a ratings point. For the season to date, NBC leads with a 16.4 rating and a 27 share. CBS is holding second with a 13.6 rating and a 22 share, while ABC has a 13.5 rating and 22 share.
For the week ending Feb. 7 -- the 20th week of the season -- NBC won with a 16.7 rating and a 26 share. ABC was second with 14.9 rating and a 23 share, while CBS was third with a 13.7 rating and a 21 share.
What made ABC's showing more impressive was that it did not depend on a blockbuster sports event. The only two times ABC has won a ratings week this season was with the World Series and the Super Bowl.
Last week ABC had four shows in the top 10 -- actually, it became the top 11 because of a tie for 10th place between 'Super Bloopers and New Practical Jokes' (NBC) and '60 Minutes' (CBS), which it can be assumed appealed to different audiences. NBC had five shows at the top of the list and CBS had two.
Top scorer for ABC was part one of 'Elvis and Me,' which finished fifth.
That made ABC and Elvis the big winners in the Sunday night movie race. The competition on CBS was part one of 'Sidney Sheldon's Windmills of the Gods,' which ranked 14th, and NBC's 'Rambo: First Blood,' which came in 28th.
David Letterman proved again that he can draw prime time audiences as his 'Late Night With David Letterman Sixth Anniversary Special' ranked 13th.
Also moving from late night to prime on NBC last week was the 'Main Event' wrestling card, which was in 31st place, winning its overall time period Friday night against 'Beauty and the Beast' on CBS and a pair of sitcoms on ABC.
In news ratings for the week, 'CBS Evening News' with Dan Rather was on top for the 19th straight week with a 12.2 rating and 21 share. 'World News Tonight' with Peter Jennings came in second with an 11.9 rating and a 20 share and 'NBC Nightly News' with Tom Brokaw ran third with an 10.7 rating and 18 share.
Each ratings point represents about 887,000 households and a share is the percentage of TV sets tuned to a particular show.
Winner of the week: ABC and Elvis.
Loser of the week: CBS.
The top prime time shows for the week ending Feb. 7, according to the A.C. Nielsen Co., were:
1. The Cosby Show (NBC)
2. A Different World (NBC)
3. Cheers (NBC)
4. The Golden Girls (NBC)
5. Elvis and Me, part 1 (ABC)
6. Growing Pains (ABC)
7. Who's the Boss? (ABC)
8. Murder, She Wrote (CBS)
9. Moonlighting (ABC)