The first Sunday-night contest of the May Nielsen ratings sweeps was widely expected to be a battle between two high-profile TV movies, NBC’s Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker docudrama Fall from Grace and ABC’s The Story of the Beach Boys: Summer Dreams. To the surprise of almost everyone, the winner was CBS, with the Hallmark Hall of Fame drama Caroline?, which drew an audience of 28 million. Fall from Grace was close behind, with 27 million viewers; Summer Dreams, with 18 million, was third.
As the networks near the deadline for decisions on their fall lineups, several low-rated shows are receiving one-week tests in new time slots to see whether their audiences grow. That may help CBS’ Sydney and NBC’s Mancuso FBI — when moved to new nights, both series won their highest ratings ever. But the NBC comedies ALF and 227, which attracted about 7 percent of the viewing audience in a special Sunday airing, are likely targets for cancellation.
In millions of viewers
1. America’s Funniest Home Videos ABC, 39.6
2. Cheers NBC, 31.8
3. The Simpsons Fox, 30.4
4. Tim Conway’s Funny America ABC, 29.9
5. A Different World NBC, 29.5
87. The Outsiders Fox, 6.3
88. ALF NBC, 6.0
89. 21 Jump Street Fox, 5.8
90. (TIE) Alien Nation Fox, 5.4
The Tracey Ullman Show Fox, 5.4