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Fox is Totally Cool in Nielsen Race With PM-Nielsens-List

June 20, 1990

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Fox Broadcasting won ugly, as they say in sports, breaking into the top five in the ratings with TV’s most boorish families, ″The Simpsons″ and the Bundys of ″Married ... With Children.″

″The Simpsons″ was the No. 3 show last week, and the equally grumpy but non-animated brood of ″Married ... With Children″ was No. 4, the A.C. Nielsen Co. said Tuesday.

It was the first time in Fox’s four-year history that it broke into the top five, and the proud parents were jubilant.

″We’re extremely excited about this,″ said Fox spokesman Michael Peikoff.

Fox’s unprecedented ratings were helped by the Big Three networks being knee-deep in reruns.

They also benefited from 10-year-old Bart Simpson’s sawtooth head blazoned across Rolling Stone magazine, T-shirts and the pages of news magazines.

But Fox’s victory was far from sweeping. In overall ratings, NBC was still the No. 1 network, receiving an average rating of 10.4. CBS was second with 9.7 and ABC last with 9.3. Each ratings point represents 921,000 households.

In a top 10 where only one show - ″The Seinfeld Chronicles″ on NBC - was not a rerun, ABC’s ″Roseanne″ was the top-rated program. The wisecracking bar crowd of NBC’s ″Cheers″ was No. 2.

NBC’s ″The Cosby Show,″ which will face off against ″The Simpsons″ in the fall, fell to fifth place.

Here are the top 10 shows, their network and rating:

″Roseanne,″ ABC, 16.8; ″Cheers,″ NBC, 16.7; ″The Simpsons,″ Fox, 14.7; ″Married ... With Children,″ Fox, 14.5; ″The Cosby Show,″ NBC, 14.2; ″A Different World″ and ″Empty Nest,″ tied, NBC, 14; ″Coach,″ ABC, 13.8; ″Designing Women,″ CBS, ″The Golden Girls,″ NBC, ″The Seinfeld Chronicles,″ NBC, tied, 13.6.

There was no news in the network news wars. ABC remained No. 1 by a wide margin with a 9.2 average. CBS had a 7.8 and NBC a 7.5.

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