Originally created 08/21/98

ABC has a 'Line' on summer ratings with Carey



NEW YORK -- CBS has Bill Cosby starring in two of its network shows. Maybe ABC has the same thing in mind for Drew Carey.

The comedian's summer replacement series -- Whose Line Is It Anyway? -- is proving a success with viewers. It scored higher ratings during its second week than it did during its premiere, Nielsen Media Research said Tuesday.

ABC's Wednesday night-show even beat The Drew Carey Show in the ratings last week, although Mr. Carey's regular series is in reruns.

NBC narrowly won the week, however, with a 6.6 prime-time average rating and a 12 share. CBS had a 6.5 rating and 12 share, ABC a 5.6 rating and 11 share. Fox had a 4.9 rating and 9 share. The WB was at 2.4 and 4, and UPN 1.8 and 3.

The show, which got a 7.9 rating after drawing a 7.6 rating the week before, isn't on ABC's fall schedule. But its success means the summertime series will likely be seen again when cold winds blow.

"We're thrilled with the performance of the show," ABC spokeswoman Susan Sewell said. "Although there's no official decision on whether it will be a replacement series, that's what we hope for when we try out a show during the summer months."

Top 10 listings include the week's ranking, with rating for the week and season-to-date rankings in parentheses.

An X in parentheses denotes one-time-only presentations. The rating is the percentage of the nation's estimated 98 million TV homes. Each ratings point represents 980,000 households.

1. (7) 60 Minutes, CBS, 11.4, 11.2 million homes.

2. (12) Dateline NBC-Tuesday, NBC, 10.4, 10.2 million homes.

3. (X) Dateline NBC-Wednesday, NBC, 9.7, 9.5 million homes.

3. (11) Just Shoot Me, NBC, 9.7, 9.5 million homes.

5. (2) ER, NBC, 9.4, 9.2 million homes.

6. (1) Seinfeld, NBC, 9.3, 9.1 million homes.

7. (18) 20/20-Friday, ABC, 9.2, 9.0 million homes.

8. 48 Hours-Thursday, CBS 9.1, 8.9 million homes.

9. (22) 20/20-Monday, ABC 8.7, 8.5 million homes.

10. (8) Touched by an Angel, CBS, 8.6, 8.4 million homes.

11. Friends, NBC, 8.5, 8.3 million homes.

12. 48 Hours-Monday, CBS, 8.3, 8.1 million homes.

13. Suddenly Susan-Thursday, NBC, 8.2, 8.0 million homes.

14. CBS Sunday Movie: Friends at Last, CBS 8.0, 7.8 million homes.

15. NBC Sunday Night Movie: Tommy Boy, NBC, 7.9, 7.7 million homes.

15. Whose Line Is It Anyway? ABC, 7.9, 7.7 million homes.

17. PrimeTime Live, ABC, 7.8, 7.6 million homes.

18. Frasier, NBC, 7.6, 7.4 million homes.

19. The Drew Carey Show, ABC, 7.3, 7.2 million homes.

20. Diagnosis Murder, CBS, 7.2, 7.1 million homes.

20. Guinness World Records: Primetime, FOX, 7.2, 7.1 million homes.