NEW YORK, Dec. 13 -- The Nielsen TV ratings for last week shake down to a seasonal pattern, with 'E.R.' the only new show making a regular appearance on the top 10 program list. The ratings for the week ending Dec. 11 put 'Home Improvement' back at the top of the list, a spot that has been successfully challenged several times recently by 'Grace Under Fire,' the A.C. Nielson Co. reported Tuesday. The competition is a matter of joy for one of the networks -- ABC -- which has both shows. 'Home Improvement' got an unusually high rating of 22.3 and a 33 percent share of viewers, and 'Grace Under Fire' rated 21.5-32. Indeed, ABC is emerging as the dominant network for the 1994-95 TV season, with a 12.2 rating and 20 percent share of the viewing audience so far. Last week it registered 12-19, followed by NBC with 11.7-19 and CBS 10.7-17. Fox made a showing of 7.2-12 with only 15 hours of programming, compared to the networks' 22. ABC took Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday audiences. CBS claimed its usual dominance on Saturday and Sunday, leaving NBC with its hold on Thursday only. ABC and NBC each took four of the top 10 spots and CBS claimed two. The list included 'E.R.,' NBC's popular medical drama, in third place, followed by 'Seinfeld;' 'NYPD Blue;' '60 Minutes;' ABC's Monday night football game, Los Angeles Raiders vs. San Diego Chargers; NBC's Sunday night movie, 'National Lampoon Christmas,' a rerun; 'Murder, She Wrote;' and 'Mad About You.'
Dropping down to the top 20 list, only three other shows introduced this season were included. They are NBC's 'Madman of the People,' No. 13, NBC's 'Friends,' No. 16, and 'Me and the Boys,' No. 19. ABC was the leader, as it always is, in evening news coverage, registering 11-21. CBS was second with 9-18 and NBC third with 8.8-17. Each rating point represents about 942,000 households. A share is the percentage of TV sets in use that are tuned into a particular show or network. ------
The top 10 programs for the past week, according to Nielsen, were: 1. 'Home Improvement' (ABC) 22.3-33. 2. 'Grace Under Fire' (ABC) 21.5-32. 3. 'E.R.' (NBC) 21-35. 4. 'Seinfeld' (NBC) 20.7-31. 5. 'NYPD Blue' (ABC) 19-32. 6. '60 Minutes' (CBS) 18.2-29. 7. Monday football, Los Angeles vs. San Diego (ABC) 17.7-29. 8. Sunday night movie, 'National Lampoon Christmas' (R) (NBC) 15.6- 25. 9. 'Murder, She Wrote' (CBS) 15.4-23. 10. 'Mad About You'(NBC) 15.1-25.