NEW YORK -- NBC scored one of the biggest ratings triumphs of the decade last week when the network had the nine highest-rated shows of the week, it was reported Tuesday by the A.C. Nielsen Co.
Leading off with 'Cheers,' which earned a 22.8 rating and 38 share, and 'A Different World,' with a 22.2 rating and 39 share, NBC became the first network to win nine of the top ten ratings since the week of Nov. 3, 1980, when CBS won and the top show was 'Dallas.'
Times have changed and the fortunes of 'Dallas' with them -- last week that show was tied for 18th place with 'Knot's Landing.'
The only repeat program in NBC's top nine was 'The Cosby Show,' which ranked in fourth place with a 21.5 rating and 39 share. Cosby, 'Cheers' and 'A Different World' were reunited in the network's potent Thursday night lineup with 'Night Court,' which finished second in the ratings, with a 21.7 rating and a 35 share. The top four spots were all occupied by shows from NBC's super Thursday lineup.
For the week ending May 8, NBC won with a whopping 15.6 rating and a 27 share. CBS fell to second with an 11.5 rating and a 20 share, while ABC was third with an 11.2 rating and a 19 share.
NBC's strong showing also catapulted the network into the lead for the May sweeps. According to the A.C. Nielsen Co., NBC leads after 11 days with a 14.9 rating and a 26 share, with CBS falling to a 13.1 rating and a 23 share and ABC bringing up the rear with a 10.4 rating and 18 share.
Among news magazines and specials, CBS' '60 Minutes' tied for 14th place, a slight drop from last week but still enough to outdistance its rival shows. ABC's '20-20' came next, in 47th place, beating out CBS' '48 Hours,' which tied for 56th. 'West 57th' on CBS was 61st.
Though NBC won the week in entertainment, ABC took top honors in news. ABC's 'World News Tonight' with Peter Jennings had a 10.2 rating and a 21 share, while the 'CBS Evening News' with Dan Rather came in second with a 9.3 rating and a 19 share. 'NBC Nightly News' with Tom Brokaw was third with an 8.6 rating and an 18 share.
Each ratings point represents about 887,000 households and a share is the percentage of TV sets tuned to a particular show.
The top 10 prime time shows for the week ending May 8, according to the A.C. Nielsen Co., were:
1. Cheers (NBC)
2. Different World (NBC)
3. Night Court (NBC)
4. The Cosby Show (NBC)
5. Golden Girls (NBC)
6. L.A. Law (NBC)
7. The Taking of Flight 847 (NBC)
8. Amen (NBC)
9. Something Is Out There (NBC)