NEW YORK -- NBC really flexed its ratings muscles last week, taking nine of the top 10 spots in the Nielsens, it was reported Tuesday.
Leading the list was 'The Deliberate Stranger,' part 2, with Mark Harmon as serial murderer Ted Bundy.
There was only one original show in the top 10 and it was the only one that did not wear the NBC logo. The Miss Teen USA pageant on CBS ranked ninth for the week, competing against 'Stranger' and baseball on ABC.
The jokes in NBC's comedies apparently are still funny the second time around since repeats of five of the network's hit sitcoms were represented in the top 10, along with 'Hunter' and 'L.A. Law.'
NBC had more to cheer about than the expected high numbers for its sitcoms. The debut of George Schlatter's 'Funny People' tied for 25th with CBS's 'Wiseguy' -- a good start for a show that NBC can air despite the strike by the Writers Guild because it is actuality programming.
For CBS, the best news may be that its heavy promoting of 'Wiseguy' appears to be paying off. The show received all sorts of accolades during the regular season but until now has not been able to attract a sizeable audience to sample it.
CBS also won the Sunday movie sweeps with 'Vital Signs,' which tied for 18th place. ABC's 'Obsessed With A Married Woman' came in second in 24th and NBC found itself an unaccustomed third with 'The Killing Fields' in 27th.
In the prime time ratings race, according to the A.C. Nielsen Co., NBC had a 12.2 rating and a 24 share. CBS was second with a 9.5 rating and a 19 share, while ABC was third with an 8.5 rating and a 17 share.
Only two-tenths of a rating point separated the networks in news ratings. The 'CBS Evening News' with Dan Rather was in first place with an 8.9 rating and 20 share, while ABC's 'World News Tonight' with Peter Jennings and 'NBC Nightly News' with Tom Brokaw tied for second, each with an 8.7 rating and a 19 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 July 31, according to the A.C. Nielsen Co., were:
1. The Deliberate Stranger, part 2 (NBC)
2. (tie) The Cosby Show (NBC)
A Different World (NBC)
4. Night Court (NBC)
5. Golden Girls (NBC)
6. Cheers (NBC)
7. Hunter (NBC)
8. L.A. Law (NBC)
9. Miss Teen USA (CBS)