Originally created 05/16/02

'ER' leads NBC to ratings victory



NEW YORK - Nearly 29 million viewers watched the final days of Dr. Mark Greene on ER Thursday night, helping NBC to another weekly win during the May ratings "sweeps."

The ER episode was set almost entirely out of the hospital, as actor Anthony Edwards' Dr. Greene character spent his last days in Hawaii before dying of brain cancer. The show was seen by 28.7 million people.

Although networks cram their schedules with special events for "sweeps," the top 10 shows in the ratings were all regular series.

However, CBS had an impressive showing with the movie, Double Jeopardy, and the first part of the Dinotopia miniseries was a top 20 show for ABC. NBC's L.A. Law reunion movie and ABC's Laverne & Shirley reunion were also moderate successes.

Fox's special, The Girl Next Door: The Search for a Playboy Centerfold, drew an underwhelming audience of just under 5 million viewers Friday.

For the week, NBC averaged 12.8 million viewers in prime-time (8.4 rating, 14 share); CBS averaged 12.2 million (7.9, 13); ABC had 9.3 million (6.0, 10); Fox had 7.9 million (5.0, 8); the WB had 4.5 million (2.9, 5); UPN had 4.1 million (2.6, 4); and Pax TV had 1 million (0.8, 1).

A ratings point represents 1,055,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation's estimated 105.5 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

For the week of May 6-12, the top 10 shows, their networks and ratings were:

1. ER, NBC, 18.6

2. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS, 16.5

3. Friends, NBC, 15.4

4. Friends special, NBC, 13.2

5. Law and Order, NBC, 13.0

6. Everybody Loves Raymond, CBS, 12.5

7. Survivor: Marquesas, CBS, 12.2

8. Will & Grace, NBC, 11.5

9. The West Wing, NBC, 11.3

10. Law and Order: SVU, NBC, 11.2.