Originally created 02/26/99

'ER' viewers send NBC soaring to top ratings



LOS ANGELES -- A full plate of "sweeps" fare that included George Clooney's ER farewell sent television viewership soaring last Thursday as NBC kept its lead in the February ratings contest.

There were other winners last week as highly promoted sweeps episodes gave a number of series a ratings boost, including Homicide: Life on the Street and Star Trek: Voyager.

NBC won the week of Feb. 15-21 with a 9.9 rating and 16 share, according to Nielsen Media Research figures released Tuesday. That keeps the network ahead, so far, in the intense period of ratings measurement used to set local ad rates.

CBS was second with a 9.5 rating and 15 share, followed by ABC with a 9.2 rating and 15 share. Fox earned a 6.8 rating and 11 share. WB had a 3.7 rating and 6 share, and UPN had a 2.3 rating and 4 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.

NBC's top-rated ER said goodbye to Mr. Clooney's character Dr. Doug Ross with the biggest audience for an episode of any regular entertainment series this season. Viewership was 15 percent higher than normal for the medical drama.

Among other shows enjoying a sweeps dividend, Star Trek: Voyager posted its highest rating since October 1997 and was struggling UPN's highest-rated program all year with a two-hour episode.

Prime-time ratings compiled by Nielsen Media Research for Feb. 15-21. Top 20 listings include the week's ranking, with rating for the week and season-to-date rankings in parentheses.

An "X" in parentheses denotes a one-time-only presentation. The rating is the percentage of the nation's estimated 99.4 million TV homes. Each ratings point represents 994,000 households.

1. (1) ER, NBC, 23.8, 23.7 million homes.

2. (2) Friends, NBC, 19.0, 18.9 million homes.

3. (3) Frasier, NBC, 18.8, 18.7 million homes.

4. (6) Jesse, NBC, 15.9, 15.8 million homes.

5. (4) Veronica's Closet, NBC, 15.6, 15.5 million homes.

6. (7) 60 Minutes, CBS, 14.9, 14.8 million homes.

7. (9) CBS Sunday Movie: Too Rich: Secret Life of Doris Duke, Part 1, CBS, 14.3, 14.2 million homes.

8. (8) Touched by an Angel, CBS, 14.0, 13.9 million homes.

9. (X) ABC Monday Night Movie: Storm of the Century, Part 2, ABC, 12.2, 12.1 million homes.

9. (27) Dateline NBC-Tuesday, NBC, 12.2, 12.1 million homes.

11. (X) Storm of the Century, Part 3, ABC, 12.0, 11.9 million homes.

12. (20) 2020-Wednesday, ABC, 11.9, 11.8 million homes.

13. (17) JAG, CBS, 11.6, 11.5 million homes.

14. (12) Everybody Loves Raymond, CBS, 11.5, 11.4 million homes.

15. (20) Law and Order, NBC, 11.2, 11.1 million homes.

16. (10) NYPD Blue, ABC, 10.8, 10.7 million homes.

17. (14) Home Improvement, ABC, 10.6, 10.5 million homes.

18. (17) Becker, CBS, 10.5, 10.4 million homes.

19. (13) The Drew Carey Show, ABC, 10.4, 10.3 million homes.

20. (27) Ally McBeal, Fox, 10.3, 10.2 million homes.

21. Dateline NBC-Friday, NBC, 10.2

21. The Practice, ABC, 10.2

23. Providence, NBC, 10.1

23. The X-Files, Fox, 10.1

25. 2020-Friday, ABC, 10.0

25. Walker, Texas Ranger, CBS, 10.0

27. Dharma & Greg, ABC, 9.9

27. NBC Sunday Night Movie: Eraser, NBC, 9.9

27. Spin City, ABC, 9.9

30. (X) Dharma & Greg, ABC, 9.4

30. Homicide: Life on the Street, NBC, 9.4

30. Just Shoot Me, NBC, 9.4

30. (X) World's Shocking Medical Videos, Fox, 9.4

34. The King of Queens, CBS, 9.3

34. Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place, ABC, 9.3

34. Whose Line is it Anyway?, ABC, 9.3

34. Wonderful World of Disney: Mr. Holland's Opus, ABC, 9.3

38. Cosby, CBS, 9.1

39. CBS Tuesday Movie: God's New Plan, CBS, 9.0

40. Diagnosis Murder, CBS, 8.9

40. Sabrina the Teenage Witch, ABC, 8.9

42. The Hughleys, ABC, 8.8

43. 60 Minutes II, CBS, 8.7

43. Kids Say the Darndest Things, CBS, 8.7

43. The Simpsons, Fox, 8.7

46. Candid Camera, CBS, 8.6

46. L.A. Doctors, CBS, 8.6

48. Will & Grace, NBC, 8.3

49. 20/20-Monday, ABC, 8.2

49. NBC Movie of the week: To Serve and Protect, Part 2, NBC, 8.2

49. That '70s Show, Fox, 8.2

52. 48 Hours, CBS, 7.9

52. (X) Confirmation: Evidence of Aliens, NBC, 7.9

54. Martial Law, CBS, 7.8

55. Boy Meets World, ABC, 7.7

55. Early Edition, CBS, 7.7

55. Nash Bridges, CBS, 7.7

55. (X) World's Deadliest Storms, ABC, 7.7

59. World's Wildest Police Videos, Fox, 7.6

60. Brother's Keeper, ABC, 7.5

60. Newsradio, NBC, 7.5

62. (X) Dateline NBC-Monday, NBC, 7.3

63. (X) Tara Lipinski: From This Moment, CBS, 7.2

64. 3rd Rock From the Sun, NBC, 7.1

65. Guinness World Records: Primetime, Fox, 7.0

65. Party of Five, Fox, 7.0

65. Two of a Kind, ABC, 7.0

68. Beverly Hills, 90210, Fox, 6.8

69. Chicago Hope, CBS, 6.7

70. The Pretender, NBC, 6.6

70. Turks, CBS, 6.6

72. 7th Heaven, WB, 6.5

72. COPS 2: Virginia Beach, Fox, 6.5

74. The Profiler, NBC, 6.3

75. Magnificent Seven, CBS, 6.0

76. COPS: Palm Beach, FL, Fox, 5.9

77. Melrose Place, Fox, 5.8

78. AMW: America Fights Back, Fox, 5.7

79. NBA Basketball Game 3: L.A. Lakers at Seattle/

New Jersey at Indiana, NBC, 5.5

79. PJs, Fox 5.5

81. The King of the Hill, Fox, 5.4

82. (X) SNL Special: Best Game Show Parodies, NBC, 5.0

83. ABC Saturday Night Movie: A Very Brady Sequel, ABC, 4.9

83. World's Funniest!, Fox, 4.9

85. Dawson's Creek, WB, 4.8

86. Star Trek: Voyager, UPN, 4.7

87. (X) Love American Style, ABC, 4.2

88. Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, WB, 4.1

89. Millennium, Fox, 4.0

90. Felicity, WB, 3.9

90. (X) The X-Files,' Fox, 3.9

92. Charmed, WB, 3.8

93. 7th Heaven: Beginnings, WB, 3.6

94. Sister, Sister, WB, 3.4

95. Smart Guy, WB, 3.3

96. Zoe Duncan Jack & Jane, WB, 3.0

97. The Jamie Foxx Show, WB, 2.9

97. The Steve Harvey Show, WB, 2.9

99. Moesha, UPN, 2.8

99. Unhappily Ever After, WB, 2.8

101. Dilbert, UPN, 2.7

101. For Your Love, WB, 2.7

101. The Wayans Brothers, WB, 2.7



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