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ABC’s ‘Napoleon and Josephine’ Also-Ran in Ratings

November 17, 1987

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Napoleon Bonaparte met his second Waterloo on ABC last week as the television miniseries ″Napoleon and Josephine: A Love Story″ ended up in the Nielsen ratings’ version of Saint Helena.

The three-part series, despite its beautiful French background and the tempestuous love story re-enacted by Armand Assante and Jacqueline Bisset, failed to arouse much interest from the viewers.

The first chapter of the David Wolper series on Tuesday was in 15th place. The next night it dropped to 26th place. The third night it fell to 30th place. Saint Helena was the remote Atlantic island where Napoleon was exiled after his defeat by the Duke of Wellington at Waterloo.

Meanwhile, Bill Cosby and his Thursday night colleagues at NBC, plus two ABC comedies and CBS’ ″60 Minutes,″ again dominated the A.C. Nielsen Co. ratings for the week ended Nov. 15.

The second half of NBC’s two-part miniseries ″Billionaire Boys Club″ was eighth and the CBS movie ″Mayflower Madam″ was ninth. The first episode of ″Billionaire Boys Club,″ based on a true story of a group of Beverly Hills, Calif., youths, was 10th last week. ″Mayflower Madam,″ which starred Candice Bergen, was based on the story of Sydney Biddle Barrows.

NBC won the week with an average prime-time rating of 17.1, with CBS second and ABC third by a whisker. The lists compiled by each of the three networks disagreed on the numbers: CBS reported itself tied with ABC with a 13.5 average; NBC put CBS ahead 13.5 to 13.4, while ABC had CBS winning 13.6 to 13.5.

Michael Eisenberg of CBS’ Research said that may reflect the different ways in which the networks count pro football games which spill over into Sunday night prime time.

The networks’ season-to-date ratings are NBC 16.6, ABC 14.2 and CBS 13.8.

The rating is the percentage of the nation’s 88.6 million households with television.

NBC has a strong lead in the November sweeps. In the Nielsen report, which began Oct. 29, NBC has 16.6, CBS 13.9, ABC 12.3. In the Arbitron ratings, from Oct. 28, NBC has 16.3, CBS 13.7, ABC 12.3.

Here are the shows in the Top 10: ″The Cosby Show,″ NBC; ″Cheers,″ NBC; ″Growing Pains,″ ABC; ″Night Court,″ NBC; ″60 Minutes,″ CBS; ″Who’s the Boss?,″ ABC; ″Golden Girls,″ NBC; ″Billionaire Boys Club,″ Part II, NBC; ″Mayflower Madam,″ CBS; ″Murder, She Wrote,″ CBS.

″Pee-Wee’s Playhouse,″ the Saturday morning show CBS tried out in prime time, was in 57th place.

CBS kept its lead among the evening news shows. The ratings: CBS 12.6, NBC 11.3, ABC 11.1.

The lowest-ranked network show was ABC’s ″The Charmings.″ The bottom five were ABC’s ″Sable″ and ″Sledge Hammer,″ the CBS Saturday Movie ″Dead Man’s Folly,″ CBS’ ″West 57th Street,″ and ″The Charmings.″

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