NEW YORK, Jan. 17 -- NBC's gritty hospital drama, 'E.R.,' maintained its lead in the Nielsen ratings list last week, taking the No. 1 spot ahead of the season's previous favorites, 'Seinfeld' and 'Home Improvement.' The A.C. Nielsen Co. ratings for the week ending Feb. 5 was predictable except for the capture of seventh place by NBC's Monday night movie, 'Pretty Woman' and of ninth place by ABC's Sunday night movie, 'Under Siege.' The American Music Awards presentation ceremonies on ABC was No. 10. 'E.R.,' which was new this season, got a 23.3 rating and 37 percent share of the viewing public, compared to 22.6-33 for Seinfeld and 20-29 for 'Home Improvement.' '60 Minutes' was the ony news magazine on the top 10 list, taking fourth place with 18.8-30, followed by 'Mad About You,' 18.6-28, and 'Grace Under Fire,' 17.7-26. CBS's 'The Piano Lesson,' a TV Hallmark Hall of Fame version of August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, claimed 15th place, followed by 'Walker, Texas Ranger,' in 16th, the show's highest rating ever. A special two-hour episode of CBS's 'Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman,' was in nineteenth place, its second highest rating this seson. ABC was the No. 1 network for the week with 12.8-20. NBC came second with 12.4-20 and CBS trailed with ll-17. Fox made a good showing with 9. 1-14 for 15 hours of prime time programming compared to the other networks' 22 hours. ABC also was No. 1 network for the season so far with 12.1-20.
It dominated Tuesday, Wednesay and Friday audiences, leaving Monday and Thursday to NBC and Saturday and Sunday to CBS. ABC also was the leader, as always, in evening news coverage, registering 10.6-19. CBS was second with 9-16 and NBC was third with 8. 6-16. 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. 'E.R.' (NBC) 23.3-37. 2. 'Seinfeld' (NBC) 22.6-33. 3. 'Home Improvement' (ABC) 10-29. 4. '60 Minutes' (CBS) 18.8-30. 5. 'Mad About You' (NBC) 18.6-28. 6. 'Grace Under Fire' (ABC) l7.7-26. 7. Monday night movie, 'Pretty Woman' (NBC) 17-26. 8. 'Roseanne' (ABC) 15.6-26. 9. Sunday night movie, 'Under Siege' (ABC) 15.4-24. 10. American Music Awards (ABC) 15.4-23.