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Olympics give CBS the medal

Winter Olympic Games coverage put CBS atop the latest television ratings race.

The network won every night of last week's programing to prevail in overall standings, according to figures released Wednesday by A.C. Nielsen Co. (Complete list appears on page 23).

CBS had a 19.3 average rating, reaching nearly 7-million more homes than NBC, which had an 11.9 average rating. ABC was third with 11.5. Each ratings point represents 921,000 TV households.

CBS captured eight Top 10 spots, with 60 Minutes landing in first for the week. Prime-time Olympic coverage claimed spots two through six (Tuesday, Sunday, Thursday, Monday and Saturday nights, respectively).

The only entertainment programs to break the top rankings were ABC's Roseanne, which finished seventh, and Home Improvement, which landed in the No. 8 spot.

Friday and Wednesday prime-time Olympic coverage finished ninth and 10th, respectively.

The last time CBS won eight of the top 10 slots was for the week ending June 17, 1984, a period that reflected CBS' heyday with favorites such as Dallas.

CBS is slightly ahead in comparative average ratings figures against ABC's coverage of the 1988 Winter Olympic games held in Calgary, Canada.

For the first nine days of the 1988 games, ABC earned an 18.5 average. For the same period this year, CBS garnered an 18.9.

Last week's counter-programing by ABC and NBC broke the top 20, with part two of the ABC miniseries Burden of Proof finishing 16th and NBC's made-for-TV movie In the Best Interests of the Children tying for 12th.

In the network news wars, ABC won again, this time with an 11.1 average, followed by CBS with 10.7 and NBC with 9.4.

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