NEW YORK -- Thanksgiving proved a turkey for Bill Cosby in the ratings race and ABC's 'World News Tonight' made it eight in a row for its best winning streak ever, it was reported Tuesday.
'The Cosby Show' finished 13th in the ratings, 'Cheers' was 12th and the rest of the NBC lineup was conspicuously lower than usual in the ratings as Americans celebrated Thanksgiving by not watching television.
The good news for NBC was that the other networks were in the same boat -- viewing traditionally is off 20 percent on Thanksgiving -- and the NBC Thursday shows won their time periods.
The people really celebrating were at ABC News, which was in first place for the eighth consecutive week, the longest winning streak ever for an ABC evening news broadcast since the network aired its first 15-minute evening news show in 1952..
That first place streak includes two ties, and one of them was last week when ABC's 'World News Tonight' with Peter Jennings and 'CBS Evening News' with Dan Rather both had a 10.0 rating. ABC had a 20 share, while CBS had a 19 share. The reason for the difference in share points was that 'CBS Evening News' on Thursday night was pre-empted for football.
The Sunday movie battle also went to ABC, with 'Blind Witness' tied for 14th place. NBC's theatrical film, 'Top Gun,' came in 19th and the CBS production, '50 Years of Television,' ranked 26th.
NBC won the week ending Nov. 26 with a 13.8 rating and a 23 share. ABC came in second with a 12.9 rating and a 22 share and CBS was third with a 12.3 rating and a 21 share.
With the November sweeps almost completed, NBC had it wrapped up with a 15.1 rating and a 25 share. ABC had a 12.6 rating and a 21 share while CBS had a 12.1 rating and a 20 share.
The 10-week-old season to date ratings show NBC with a 15.0 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.
Of the new shows, only a handful made it above 50th place on the Nielsen list. 'Major Dad' (CBS) tied for 36th; 'Family Matters' (ABC) tied for 44th; and 'Doogie Howser, M.D.' (ABC) was in 48th.
'Coach,' which had a limited run last season and was brought back to replace 'Chicken Soup' on ABC, made the top 10. The show was in eighth place, which is down from it's first place lead-in, 'Roseanne,' but not the big drop in viewing that cooked 'Chicken Soup's' goose.
Another of last season's limited runs did not fare as well. 'Doctor, Doctor' on CBS tied for 52nd.
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 10 programs for the week ending Sunday, Nov. 26, according to the A.C. Nielsen Co., were:
1. Roseanne (ABC)
2. Wonder Years (ABC)
3. 60 Minutes (CBS)
4. Who's The Boss? (ABC)
5. The Golden Girls (NBC)
6. (tie) Empty Nest (NBC)
Murder, She Wrote (CBS)
8. Coach (ABC)
9. (tie) NFL Monday night football (ABC)
America's Funniest Home Videos (ABC)