CBS Makes it Two Weeks in No. 1
NEW YORK (AP) _ CBS wore down NBC with a pair of successful movies early in the week, then got a boost from football on Sunday to win the A.C. Nielsen Co. ratings for the second straight week.
The keys to CBS’ win were ″At Mother’s Request,″ the two-part movie which concluded on Tuesday night, and ″Footloose,″ which aired Monday, said Gerald Jaffe, NBC’s vice president for research projects.
The New York Giants-Washington Redskins football playoff game also helped CBS on Sunday night, when the network is traditionally strong anyway. The post-game show spilled over into prime-time and became the fifth-highest rated show of the week.
CBS won the week of Jan. 5-11 with an average rating of 18.3, followed by NBC at 17.6 and ABC at 14.0. For the 16 weeks of the season, NBC’s average rating is 17.9, followed by CBS at 16.0 and ABC at 14.1.
NBC had the top three shows, ″The Cosby Show,″ ″Family Ties″ and ″Cheers,″ followed by CBS’ ″60 Minutes,″ a tie between NBC’s ″Golden Girls″ and CBS’ NFL postgame show for fifth place, NBC’s ″Night Court,″ ABC’s ″Growing Pains,″ CBS’ ″Murder, She Wrote,″ and two shows tied for 10th place: NBC’s movie ″Mercy or Murder,″ and ABC’s ″Who’s the Boss?″
NBC News produced the week’s lowest-rated program, the documentary ″The Arms, Men & Money″ on Tuesday night, and the highest-rated nightly news program.
″NBC Nightly News″ had a 13.2 rating and 22 share, followed by the ″CBS Evening News″ at 12.9 and a 22 share and ABC’s ″World News Tonight″ with an 11.3 rating and a 19 share.
Each rating point represents 874,000 homes with television; the share is the portion of sets in use during a time period.
NBC expects to win the prime-time race this week, said Jaffe, but is conceding the following week to CBS, which has the Super Bowl telecast on Jan. 25.
″Mercy or Murder,″ starring Robert Young as an elderly man who kills his wife, was the week’s highest-rated movie, average 23.8 on Sunday night despite a slow start against the final half-hour of ″Murder, She Wrote.″
Part two of ″At Mother’s Request″ on Monday night ranked 13th for the week, and the Tuesday night film, ″Footloose,″ tied NBC’s ″Remington Steele″ movie of Monday night for 19th place.
″At Mother’s Request″ starred Stefanie Powers in the true story of Francis Schreuder, the heiress who browbeat her son into killing her father.
NBC’s version of the story, starring Lee Remick, will be broadcast later this season.
Two Wednesday night shows on ABC, ″Perfect Strangers″ and ″Head of the Class″ had their best ratings of the season, and ″Dynasty″ rounded off the night by beating ″Magnum P.I.″ on CBS.
The Nielsen company said that some sort of record was apparently set in Denver on Sunday during the Denver Broncos-Cleveland Browns playoff game, which the Broncos won in overtime. During the final hour, 90 percent of the set in use in Denver were tuned to the game.
″I have never heard of a 90 share in a local market,″ said Joan Laverde, manager of press relations for Nielsen. ″We can’t confirm it definitely without days and days of research, but it’s the highest I’ve ever seen.″
The game, on NBC, did not count in the prime-time ratings.