NBC scored another bit of outrageous fortune in the prime time ratings race and even the solid Perry Mason outdistanced the flashy romance of Judith Krantz, it was reported Tuesday.
NBC's momentum carried it into the top spot for the fourth consecutive week. For the week ending Nov. 19, NBC had a 16 rating and a 26 share, handily outpacing second place ABC, which had a 13.2 rating and a 21 share, and CBS, which scored an 11.7 rating and a 19 share.
Of the season's new series, the only shows to make it to the top 50 were ABC's 'Doogie Howser' (ABC) 30th; 'Rescue 911' (CBS) 34th; 'Family Matters' (ABC) 35th; and 'Major Dad' (CBS) 36th.
'The Cosby Show' held the top spot for the third consecutive week. Its usual opposition, ABC's 'Roseanne,' was pre-empted Tuesday for the conclusion of the ABC movie special 'Small Sacrifices,' starring Farrah Fawcett, which grabbed the No. 2 position.
In all, NBC had six shows in the top 10, ABC had two and the CBS perennials that usually score high, '60 Minutes' and 'Murder, She Wrote,' scored even higher than usual, in sixth and eighth places respectively.
NBC's hit series 'L.A. Law,' which had delayed its season opening until Nov. 2, made it to 11th place with its third new episode.
In the Sunday night movie battle, NBC's 'Perry Mason: The Case of the All-Star Assassin,' ranked 17th, several notches above CBS's glitzy part 1 of 'Till We Meet Again,' based on the equally glitzy novel by Krantz, tied for 24th place with 'The Hogan Family' and NBC's special Friday rebroadcast of 'Back to the Future,' featuring previews of the upcoming sequel.
ABC's Sunday movie, 'Outrageous Fortune,' starring Shelley Long and Bette Midler, finished in a tie for 37th place with 'Newhart.'
The broadcast of 'Back to the Future' won NBC its first Friday night since the start of the new season, racking up a 14.8 rating and a 26 share, giving the network its best Friday rating for entertainment programming since February 1988.
CBS still won Sunday night, despite NBC winning the time period for 'Perry Mason.' ABC won Monday and Tuesday and NBC took the winner's share for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. On Wednesday, NBC's one-two punch from 9-10 p.m. of 'Night Court' and 'My Two Dads' knocked out ABC's combo of 'Doogie Howser' and 'Anything but Love' in the same time period.
In the evening news race, it ABC took top honors for the seventh straight week (once tying with CBS). ABC's 'World News Tonight' with Peter Jennings had an 11.2 rating and a 21 share, followed by 'The CBS Evening News' with Dan Rather with a 10.7 rating and a 20 share. 'NBC Nightly News' with Tom Brokaw had a 10.1 rating and a 19 share.
The 9-week-old season to date ratings show NBC with a 15.1 rating and a 25 share, ABC with a 13.5 rating and a 23 share, and CBS with a 12.4 rating and a 21 share.
Each ratings point represents about 921,000 households and a share is the percentage of TV sets tuned to a particular show.NEWLN:------
The top programs for the week ending Sunday, Nov. 19, according to the A.C. Nielsen Co., were:
1. The Cosby Show (NBC)
2. ABC Movie: Small Sacrifices (ABC)
3. A Different World (NBC)
4. Cheers (NBC)
5. The Golden Girls (NBC)
6. 60 Minutes (CBS)
7. Empty Nest (NBC)
8. Murder, She Wrote (CBS)
9. Dear John (NBC)
10. The Wonder Years (ABC)