September 8, 1986
tracks several network tv prime time shows, based on the number
of share points by which the programs
won or lost their time periods. Power share ratings are
listed for the previous three weeks under the program name.
This methodology helps demonstrate whether a program that is
highly rated is really dominant or whether a weak show is
stronger than it might otherwise appear. Source: A.C.
Nielsen Co.'s national rights.
Stories" (NBC); Week ending 8/31 (minus 1); 8/24 (minus 2);
8/17 (DNA). The amazing story here is that
this show has had an erratic performance since joining the NBC
Monday lineup in June, and there is no apparent reason for the
swings. During the past four weeks, "Amazing
Stories" appears to have settled around a 24 share.
But the show has
dipped as much as 6 share points some weeks, raising the old
notion that anthologies are not models of consistency.
Nevertheless, the recent signs of strength are encouraging,
given that it had a poor track record on Sunday, its previous
night, and the fact it will be on Mondays come the '86-87
(CBS); 8/31 (minus 12); 8/24 (minus 7); 8/17 (minus 8).
"Magnum" has had a taste of what life will be like
when it faces off with "Dynasty" this fall: Very
difficult. CBS pitted the show against
"Moonlighting" this summer, possibly to test it
against a strong female-oriented show. The results have
been, well, less than satisfactory. Except for a blip in
mid-August, "Magnum" has been pulling only 18 to 19
shares. It achieved a 22 share average against
"Cosby" during the regular season.
(ABC); 8/31 (plus 11); 8/24 (plus 10); 8/17 (DNA).
"Growing Pains" has become a model of consistency for
ABC; rarely does the show dip below a 30 share and rarely does
it exceed 32. And this was during the summer, when its
episodes were repeats. All signs point to a megahit for
the network this fall. "The Cosby Show" also
pulled solid and consistent numbers during its first summer in
repeats. Although "Pains" lacks the star appeal
of "Cosby" (Alan Thicke will never be a Bill Cosby),
look for the show to add at least 5 share points.
"CBS Sunday Night
Movie"; 8/24 (plus 5); 8/17 (plus 8); 8/10 (plus 6).
CBS has come up with a winner on the Sunday movie even when it
presents gems with titles like "He's Fired; She's
Hired" or "One Cooks, the Other Doesn't."
Thanks is certainly due to lead-in "Murder, She
Wrote," and the competition rarely serves up anything
tempting enough to break the audience's CBS Sunday fix.
Life was not always so easy for the network this summer,
though. Both NBC and ABC traded victories in the Sunday
movie slot in June and July.
Strangers" (ABC); 8/31 (minus 2); 8/24 (plus 6); 8/17
(minus 5). "Strangers" has had a very
respectable run against very formidable odds since moving to its
current Wednesday 8 p.m. (ET) berth in early August -- the same
spot it will air in come fall. No, the show hasn't beaten
"Highway to Heaven," but it wasn't expected to.
It was expected to beat CBS, which it has done every week.
CBS will oppose the show with a new half-hour sitcom --
"Together We Stand" -- in the fall. But the battle for
Wednesday at 8 p.m. may be over already.