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TV RATINGS

If B-list celebrities want to beat the tar out of each other or be covered with worms, cockroaches and snakes, people will watch.

That's the lesson from last week's Nielsen Media Research ratings, where Fox's Celebrity Boxing and NBC's Fear Factor were potent performers.

Fox's one-hour special drew 15.5-million viewers. The 90-minute edition of Fear Factor attracted more than 17-million viewers.

NBC scored a narrow ratings victory. Its 11.5-million viewers beat CBS' 11.3-million.

ABC had 9.2-million, Fox had 8-million, UPN had 3.7-million, the WB 3.3-million and Pax TV 1.4-million.

NBC's Nightly News had 10.5 million viewers and ABC's World News Tonight had 10.4-million. The CBS Evening News had 9.3-million viewers.

1. Friends, NBC, 13.6

2. Law and Order, NBC, 11.6

3. Survivor: Marquesas, CBS, 11.5

4. 60 Minutes, CBS, 11.2

5. Raymond, CBS, 10.9

6. JAG, CBS, 10.7

7. Becker, CBS, 10.5

7. Leap of Faith, NBC, 10.5

7. Primetime Thursday, ABC, 10.5

10. The West Wing, NBC, 10.0

11. Fear Factor, NBC, 9.8

11. Frasier, NBC, 9.8

13. ER, NBC, 9.4

13. Special Victims Unit, NBC, 9.4

15. Will & Grace, NBC, 9.2

16. Celebrity Boxing, Fox, 9.1

16. The Practice, ABC, 9.1

18. The Guardian, CBS, 8.6

19. Dateline-Tue., NBC, 8.4

20. Dateline-Fri., NBC, 8.2

20. Just Shoot Me, NBC, 8.2

20. King of Queens, CBS, 8.2

23. Dateline-Wed., NBC, 8.1

24. Criminal Intent, NBC, 8.0

25. Beyond the Prairie II, CBS, 7.9

25. NYPD Blue, ABC, 7.9

25. Yes, Dear, CBS, 7.9

28. Watching Ellie, NBC, 7.7

29. Scrubs, NBC, 7.6

30. Boston Public, Fox, 7.5

31. Judging Amy, CBS, 7.4

32. The Amazing Race 2, CBS, 7.3

33. Frasier, NBC, 7.2

34. Max Bickford, CBS, 7.1

35. 20/20-Fri., ABC, 6.9

_ Times wires

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