NEW YORK -- 'Bad Girls' were good news for NBC last week as the network scored its 63rd straight win and its news special on women criminals came in seventh -- the highest ranking ever for a news show, it was reported Tuesday.
Not only did NBC have something to cheer about in the ratings, but it also proved that Deborah Norville can be a viable replacement for Connie Chung -- defected to CBS -- in hosting these glitzy news specials.
Also encouraging was the performance of Robert Hays's 'FM,' which ranked 27th in the third airing of its limited run, up 10 spots from the previous week.
The network also was pleased with 'Saved By The Bell,' which ranked 40th in the second of three prime time airings before it takes its regtular place on Sept. 9 on the Saturday morning schedule. Fortieth place may not sound too terrific, but this is a children's show and among 2- to 11-year-olds, it ranked sixth for the week.
CBS again failed to make the top 10, but its 'Designing Women' was in 13th place, followed by two reruns of 'Murphy Brown.' The CBS 'Valvolene National Driving Test' came in 35th.
The ABC News documentary, 'Black In White America,' tied for 40th place with 'Mission Impossible.'
Americans had better things to do over the Labor Day weekend than watch some mediocre movies. ABC's 'My Two Loves' ranked 54th, followed by NBC's 'Deep Cover' in 55th. The CBS entry, 'Bring Me The Head of Dobie Gillis,' ranked 69th on a list of 84 shows that included the Fox entries.
Fox's top show, 'Married...With Children,' came in 41st.
For the week ending Sept. 3, NBC had a 10.6 rating and a 20 share. ABC was second with a 9.7 rating and an 19 share, and CBS was third with a 9.0 rating and a 17 share.
ABC edged out CBS to take over first place in the news race, with ABC's 'World News Tonight' with Peter Jennings earning a 9.1 rating and a 20 share. 'CBS Evening News' with Dan Rather was a close second with a 9.0 rating and a 20 share, while 'NBC Nightly News' with Tom Brokaw was third with an 8.6 rating and an 19 share.
Each ratings point represents about 921,000 households and a share is the percentage of TV sets tuned to a particular show.
The top 10 programs for the week ending Sunday, Sept. 3, according to the A.C. Nielsen Co., were:
1. Roseanne (ABC)
2. Cheers (NBC)
3. The Cosby Show (NBC)
4. A Different World (NBC)
5. Dear John (NBC)
6. The Wonder Years (ABC)
7. (tie) Bad Girls (NBC)
Who's The Boss? (ABC)