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Elvis King of the Week’s Miniseries

February 9, 1988

NEW YORK (AP) _ NBC topped the Nielsen ratings last week, but Elvis and Priscilla and David and Maddie helped ABC make a strong second-place showing, even before the expected ratings boost from the Winter Olympics.

NBC’s typically high-rated sitcoms headed the list in the weekly Nielsen rankings followed by the first part of the two-part ABC movie, ″Elvis and Me,″ based on the book by the rock ‘n’ roll idol’s widow, Priscilla.

The reunion of David and Maddie on ″Moonlighting″ also made it into the top 10. So did NBC’s special ″Super Bloopers and Practical Jokes.″

The first prime-time outing for NBC’s ″Late Night with David Letterman,″ in a 90-minute, sixth-anniversary special, placed 13th, slightly exceeding the average rating of ″L.A. Law,″ which it pre-empted.

The top 10 shows were: ″The Cosby Show″ NBC, ″A Different World″ NBC, ″Cheers″ NBC, ″Golden Girls″ NBC, ″Elvis and Me, Part 1″ ABC, ″Growing Pains″ ABC, ″Who’s the Boss?″ ABC, ″Murder, She Wrote″ CBS,″ ″Moonlighting″ ABC, and ″Super Bloopers and Practical Jokes″ NBC tied with CBS’ ″60 Minutes.″

CBS’ highest-rated special was the first part of the two-part ″Windmills of the Gods″ at 14th. It had vied with ″Elvis″ on Sunday night. Between the two, the miniseries defeated the movie ″Rambo″ on NBC.

Last week marked the beginning of the February sweeps, when local station ratings are measured for the purpose of negotiating advertising rates, so the networks load up their schedules with specials to help their affiliates.

NBC won the week ending Feb. 7 with an average, prime-time rating of 16.7. ABC was second with a 14.9. CBS had a 13.7. The season-to-date averages after 20 weeks now stand at NBC 16.4, CBS 13.6 and ABC 13.5.

CBS continued its season-long win streak in news. The ″CBS Evening News″ had a rating of 12.2 and a 21 share. ABC’s ″World News Tonight″ had an 11.9 and 20 share, and ″NBC Nightly News″ had a 10.7 and 18 share.

The rating is a percentage of the 88.6 million households with televisions. The share is a percentage of sets in use.

NBC’s put professional wrestling on in prime time for the first time in 33 years. ″The Main Event,″ featuring the melodramatic meeting of Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant for heavyweight title, won its time period with a 15.2 rating and a 25 share. But the ″Miami Vice″ that followed basically matched the series’ average rating for the season, not getting the boost from the wrestling lead-in that NBC had hoped.

CBS scored with the Smothers Brothers’ 20-year reunion special that pre- empted ″The Equalizer,″ prompting discussions of a possible series.

Meanwhile, the only regular weekly variety show on network television this season, ABC’s ″Dolly 3/8″ struggled along on Saturday with a so-so 11.5 rating and a 19 share.

Fox Broadcasting’s highest-rated series, ″21 Jump Street,″ got its highest ever, a 6.5, with an episode dealing with AIDS.

The lowest-rated show of the week was the paid political half-hour by Lyndon LaRouche. It got a 4.9 and a 7 share.

The bottom-rated network shows were: ″Our House,″ ″Houston Knights,″ ″48 Hours,″ ″Ohara,″ ″The Thorns,″ ″The Law and Harry McGraw,″ ″Sledge Hammer 3/8″ ″Bugs Bunny Special″ and ″West 57th.″

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