Originally created 09/18/98

TV sports dominate the ratings



NEW YORK -- Sports, specials and newsmagazines -- there was no sign of an entertainment series among last week's top 10 TV shows.

Mark McGwire's historic 62nd home run, the Emmy Awards and the return of Monday Night Football dominated viewers' attention as prime-time television neared the start of its fall season.

A repeat ER, ranked 12th, was the first entertainment series to show up on the list, according to Nielsen Media Research's weekly rankings released Tuesday.

NBC won the week with an 8.6 rating and 15 share. ABC finished second with a 7.2 rating and 12 share, followed by CBS's 7.0 rating and 12 share, Fox's 6.8 rating and 12 share, the WB's 2.4 rating and 4 share and UPN's 1.7 rating and 3 share.

NBC's four-hour telecast of the Emmy Awards drew an average of 19.3 million viewers. It was the highest-rated Emmy telecast since 1994.

ABC's jump into second place was fueled by the return of Monday Night Football and the premiere match of New England against the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos. It was the most-watched show of last week.

Fox's broadcast of Mr. McGwire's 62nd home run -- the shot that broke Roger Maris' single-season record -- finished third for the week behind Monday Night Football and the Emmys.

In the evening-news competition, NBC's Nightly News and ABC's World News Tonight tied for first with 7.6 ratings and 17 shares. The CBS Evening News had a 6.3 rating and 14 share.

A rating point represents 994,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation's estimated 99.4 million TV homes. Share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

Here are prime time ratings as compiled by Nielsen Media Research for Sept. 7-13. 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 99.4 million TV homes. Each ratings point represents 994,000 households.

1. (4) NFL Monday Night Football, ABC, 14.8, 14.7 million homes

2. (X) Emmy Awards, NBC, 13.6, 13.5 million homes

3. (X) Major League Baseball on Fox Special: Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis, Fox, 12.9, 12.8 million homes

4. (17) PrimeTime Live, ABC, 11.0, 10.9 million homes¼

5. NFL Monday Night Showcase, ABC, 10.9, 10.8 million homes

6. (7) 60 Minutes, CBS, 10.3, 10.2 million homes

7. (23) Dateline NBC-Monday, NBC, 9.9, 9.8 million homes

8. ( 22) NFL Monday Night Blast, ABC, 9.4, 9.3 million homes

8. (17) 20/20, ABC, 9.4, 9.3 million homes

10. (10) CBS Sunday Movie: Goodfellas, CBS, 9.2, 9.1 million homes

10. CBS Tuesday movie: Under Siege, CBS, 9.2, 9.1 million homes

12. ER, NBC, 8.9, 8.8 million homes

13. NBC Sunday night movie: Race Against Fear, NBC, 8.6, 8.5 million homes

13. Seinfeld, NBC, 8.6, 8.5 million homes

15. Dateline NBC-Tuesday, NBC, 8.5, 8.4 million homes

16. Law and Order, NBC, 8.4, 8.3 million homes

17. Frasier, NBC, 8.1, 8.1 million homes

18. The Drew Carey Show, ABC, 7.9, 7.9 million homes

19. Fox NFL Sunday-Postgame, Fox, 7.8, 7.8 million homes¼

19. Just Shoot Me, NBC, 7.8, 7.8 million homes

21. Dateline NBC-Wednesday, NBC, 7.7

21. Dharma & Greg, ABC, 7.7

23. (X) Law and Order, NBC, 7.6

24. Whose Line Is It Anyway?, ABC, 7.5

25. Dateline NBC-Friday, NBC, 7.4

25. 48 Hours, CBS, 7.4¼