Originally created 05/07/99

'Noah's Ark' gives NBC a boost



NEW YORK -- If NBC manages to come from behind and capture the year's Nielsen Media Research ratings crown, it can thank Noah's Ark for keeping it afloat.

Opening night of the biblical miniseries on Sunday scored the highest ratings for a TV movie this year, leading NBC to an easy victory during opening week of the May "sweeps" period, where ratings are watched closely to set advertising rates.

With less than a month to go in the TV season, CBS leads NBC for the household ratings crown by one-tenth of a percentage point. NBC has a slightly wider lead over Fox in the ratings among adults aged 18-49, which advertisers covet.

For the week, NBC had a 9.5 rating and 16 share, easily eclipsing CBS's 8.1 rating and 14 share. ABC had a 7.1 rating and 12 share, while Fox was at 6.3 and 11.

Among the emerging networks, the WB had a 3.0 rating and 5 share and UPN had a 2.3 rating and 4 share.

Prime-time ratings compiled by Nielsen Media Research for April 27-May 3. Top 20 listings include the week's ranking, with rating for the week and season-to-date rankings in parentheses.

Top TV shows

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. The NBC Sunday Night Movie: Noah's Ark Part I, 20.9, 20.7 million homes.

2. (1) ER, NBC, 18.6, 18.4 million homes.

3. (3) Frasier, NBC, 15.1, 15.0 million homes.

4. (2) Friends, NBC, 13.9, 13.8 million homes.

5. (8) Touched by an Angel, CBS, 12.7, 12.6 million homes.

6. (7) 60 Minutes, CBS, 12.5, 12.4 million homes.

7. (5) Veronica's Closet, NBC, 12.3, 12.2 million homes.

8. Will & Grace, NBC, 12.1, 12.0 million homes

9. (11) Everybody Loves Raymond, CBS, 11.1, 11.0 million homes

10. Ally McBeal, Fox, 11.0, 10.9 million homes

11. (12) NYPD Blue, ABC, 10.8, 10.7 million homes

12. (10) 20/20-Wednesday, ABC, 10.4, 10.3 million homes

13. Dateline NBC-Monday, 9.9, 9.8 million homes.

13. (18) JAG, CBS, 9.9, 9.8 million homes.

15. (9) The CBS Sunday Movie: The First Wives Club, 9.8, 9.7 million homes

16. Becker, CBS, 9.4, 9.3 million homes.

17. Dateline NBC-Wednesday, 9.2, 9.1 million homes.

17. (18) Law and Order, NBC, 9.2, 9.1 million homes.

17. The Practice, ABC, 9.2, 9.1 million homes.

20. Dateline NBC-Tuesday, 9.1, 9.0 million homes.

21. (15) Dateline NBC-Friday, 9.0

22. (17) Providence, NBC, 8.9

23. 100 Years of Great Women, ABC, 8.8

24. 60 Minutes II, CBS, 8.5

25. Walker, Texas Ranger, CBS, 8.4

25. World's Scariest Police Chases, Fox, 8.4

27. 20/20-Monday, ABC, 8.3

28. Dateline NBC-Sunday, 8.2

28. The X-Files, Fox, 8.2

30. World's Most Amazing Videos, NBC, 8.1

31. The King of Queens, CBS, 8.0

32. (14) The Drew Carey Show, ABC, 7.9

33. (13) Home Improvement, ABC, 7.8

34. The Norm Show, ABC, 7.7

35. Cosby, CBS, 7.6

35. LA Doctors, CBS, 7.6

35. Robbie Knievel 2, Fox, 7.6

35. Spin City, ABC, 7.6

35. Sports Night, ABC, 7.6

40. Homicide: Life on the Street, NBC, 7.4

40. Just Shoot Me, NBC, 7.4

40. The Wonderful World of Disney: Phenomenon, ABC, 7.4

43. Dharma & Greg, ABC, 7.3

43. The Family Guy, Fox, 7.3

43. Nash Bridges, CBS, 7.3

43. The Simpsons, Fox, 7.3

47. Chicago Hope, CBS, 7.2

47. Promised Land, CBS, 7.2

49. The CBS Tuesday Movie: The Patty Duke Show, 7.0

49. Diagnosis Murder, CBS, 7.0

49. Sabrina the Teenage Witch, ABC, 7.0

52. Martial Law, CBS, 6.9

53. Party of Five, Fox, 6.8

54. Kids Say the Darndest Things, CBS, 6.7

55. Funny Flubs and Screw Ups, CBS, 6.6

55. The Hughleys, ABC, 6.6

57. It's Like, You Know, ABC, 6.5

58. Candid Camera, CBS, 6.4

58. Futurama, Fox, 6.4

58. (X) Mad About you, NBC, 6.4

61. Caroline in the City, NBC, 6.3

62. The ABC Monday Night Movie: Mr. Murder, Part 1, 6.2

62. Bloopers, ABC, 6.2

64. Boy Meets World, ABC, 6.1

65. Newsradio, NBC, 6.0

66. Beverly Hills, 90210, Fox, 5.9

66. (X) Home Improvement, ABC, 5.9

66. Mad About You, NBC, 5.9

69. 3rd Rock from the Sun, NBC, 5.8

69. AMW: America Fights Back, Fox, 5.8

71. Everybdy Loves Raymond, CBS, 5.6

71. PJs, Fox, 5.6

73. (X) Futurama, Fox, 5.5

73. King of the Hill, Fox, 5.5

73. Melrose Place, Fox, 5.5

76. The ABC Saturday Night Movie: Happy Gilmore, 5.4

76. COPS 2: Palm Beach, Fox, 5.4

76. Early Edition, CBS, 5.4

76. Payne, CBS, 5.4

80. Everything's Relative, NBC, 5.3

81. The Pretender, NBC, 5.2

82. America's Funniest Home Videos, ABC, 4.7

82. Mr. Murder, Part 2, ABC, 4.7

82. The NBC Movie of the Week: Bulletproof, 4.7

85. COPS: Arizona, Fox, 4.5

86. World's Most Dangerous Magic II, NBC, 4.2

87. 7th Heaven, WB, 4.1

87. Dawson's Creek, WB, 4.1

89. WWF Smackdown!, UPN, 4.0

90. Millennium, Fox, 3.7

90. World's Funniest!, Fox, 3.7

92. Charmed, WB, 3.6

93. Guinness World Records: Primetime, Fox, 3.5

94. Star Trek: Voyager, UPN, 3.4

95. Felicity, WB, 3.1

96. For Your Love, WB, 3.0

97. The Steve Harvey Show, WB, 2.9

98. Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, WB, 2.8

98. The Jamie Foxx Show, WB, 2.8

98. Rescue 77, WB, 2.8