TV Article

The Ratings

On the strength of a 39-year-old TV pilot that cost $5,000 to produce, CBS found itself in an unusual position as week two of the May sweeps ended: just one-tenth of a point behind first-place NBC in the Nielsen ratings. I Love Lucy: The Very First Show, which never had aired and had been thought to be lost, attracted 30 million viewers to become the second-highest-rated entertainment special of the season-right behind the Oscars. CBS had more good luck with its Sunday-night movie, The Untouchables, which drew 25 million viewers. That was enough to beat ABC's Burning Bridges and NBC's pilot for a (now unlikely) fall series Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again.

Two shows that returned to the schedule for a second chance are apparently even less popular with viewers this time around. Back-to-back episodes of ABC's Elvis in a new Saturday time slot received the lowest ratings ever for the series, and a double Friday-night airing of the revamped Hardball dropped NBC to a distant third for the evening.

TOP FIVE

In millions of viewers

1. America's Funniest Home Videos ABC, 36.6
2. Roseanne ABC, 32.6
3. Cheers NBC, 30.8
4. I Love Lucy: The Very First Show CBS, 30.1
5. The Cosby Show NBC, 28.3

BOTTOM FIVE

87. Booker Fox, 6.7
88. (TIE) ALF NBC, 6.2
Capital News ABC, 6.2
90. The Tracey Ullman Show Fox, 6.1
91. The Outsiders Fox, 5.9

Originally posted May 18, 1990 Published in issue #14 May 18, 1990 Order article reprints
Advertisement

From Our Partners