NEW YORK -- Americans watched a lot of baseball last week, which helped NBC win yet another week and helped keep ABC in second place in the ratings race, it was reported Tuesday.
The first two games of the World Series on CBS and the last two games of the National League playoffs on ABC made the top 10.
The 'fall classic' this year did not have to compete with a new network fall schedule -- delayed because of the writer's strike -- and the result was a higher score for the Series.
Game 1 this year had a 20.5 rating and a 38 share and ranked fifth, compared to last year's season opener, which had a 19.2 rating, a 35 share and ranked 14th, according to the A.C. Nielsen Co. Game 2 this year was in second place, behind 'The Cosby Show,' with a 22.9 rating and a 36 share, compared to last year when Game 2 came in eighth with a 21.9 rating and a 34 share.
The baseball ratings were reflected in the ratings for the week which, according to the A.C. Nielsen Co., saw NBC in first place with a 15.7 rating and a 26 share. ABC was second with a 14.5 rating and a 24 share and sport-less CBS struck out with a 12.4 rating and a 20 share.
On the season to date -- and ABC and CBS contend the season has not yet started -- NBC leads with a 16.9 rating and a 28 share. ABC has a 12.7 rating and a 21 share, while CBS has an ll.4 rating and a 19 share.
NBC had more good news, with 'Unsolved Mysteries' appearing for the first time in its regular Wednesday 8-9 p.m. (Eastern time) slot and capturing 12th place.
On the bad news side for NBC, the 'Sonny Spoon' preview on Friday night was in 49th place on a list of 55 shows, competing against '20/20' on ABC and Charles Kuralt's return to the road on CBS.
There was even worse news for ABC -- it's new show this season, 'Incredible Sunday,' ranked 53rd.
In the network analysis of the final presidential debate, NBC was the winner in 30th place, while the CBS double-doming tied for 40th place with 'Crossing the Mob' and ABC's version of meet-the-spin-doctors ranked 44th.
That's a different order of march than the weekly evening news shows, which had 'CBS Evening News' with Dan Rather in first place with a 10.1 rating and a 20 share. ABC's 'World News Tonight' with Peter Jennings came in second with a 9.8 rating and a 20 share, while 'NBC Nightly News' with Tom Brokaw was third with a 9.4 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 Oct. 16, according to the A.C. Nielsen Co., were:
1. The Cosby Show (NBC)
2. World Series, game 2 (NBC)
3. National League championship, game 7 (ABC)
4. Different World (NBC)
5. World Series, game 1 (NBC)
6. National League championship, game 6 (ABC)
7. 60 Minutes (CBS)
8. Winnie (NBC)
9. Alf (NBC)