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NBC wins gold ratings

The spectacle and glory of the Olympics turned immediately into ratings gold for NBC.

With nine of the Top 10 shows and a 1-2-3 finish for the Atlanta games' first three nights, NBC won the week of July 15-21 with a 14.7 rating, 27 percent audience share that bettered CBS and ABC's ratings combined.

Third-ranked CBS narrowly won a fourth consecutive week in second place, with a 6.5 rating, 12 share to ABC's 6.4 rating, 12 share. Fox, with 15 prime-time hours, earned a 3.9 rating, 7 share.

The WB led Hollywood's "emerging" networks with a 2.3 rating, 4 share, for five hours of prime time; UPN, with six prime-time hours, had a 2.2 rating, 4 share, according to Tuesday's ratings from Nielsen Media Research.

ABC's top-ranked World News Tonight led the evening newscasts with an 8.4 rating, 18 share; NBC's Nightly News was second, with a 7.4 rating, 17 share, and CBS' Evening News had a 6.1 rating, 14 share.

The Top 10 shows, their networks and ratings, were: Olympics _ Opening Ceremony, NBC, 23.6; Olympics _ Sunday, NBC, 22.9; Olympics _ Saturday, NBC, 17.2; Seinfeld, NBC, 13.8; 3rd Rock from the Sun, NBC, 11.6; Friends, NBC, 10.8; Mad About You (Thursday), NBC, 10.8; ER, NBC, 10.4; Home Improvement, ABC, ABC, 10.2; NBC Monday Night Movie: Awake to Danger, NBC, 10.2.

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