Sunday isn’t the only hotly contested night of series television this fall:
— CBS apparently has won Monday nights, keyed to the success of its stiffly priced new sitcom Cosby. But after debuting with a big bang four weeks ago as the No. 6 show, Cosby has steadily dropped down the Nielsen ladder (it finished at No. 15 last week). That could give hope to ABC’s Dangerous Minds and NBC’s retooled The Jeff Foxworthy Show, which so far have floundered. ”Cosby‘s lead-in helps keep people on CBS for the night,” says CBS’ Kelly Kahl. ”But we are aware that everybody does have a remote.”
— ABC can breathe a small sigh of relief now that Spin City is a certifiable hit. But Tuesdays, overall, are still up for grabs. ABC’s heavyweight lineup of Roseanne, Tim Allen, and Michael J. Fox should be clobbering NBC. One problem? NBC’s stepfamily comedy Something So Right is decking ABC’s Life’s Work in the 8:30 slot.
— The true battle of the network stars is being waged on Wednesdays. CBS’ The Nanny has dominated the early part of the evening, beating ABC’s Ellen. But ABC has had more luck at 9, where Grace Under Fire has consistently beaten NBC’s lauded NewsRadio. ”NewsRadio is best served as a satellite show and not leading off the hour,” concludes NBC’s Warren Littlefield. ”So there will be mid-season replacements.”
— With NBC’s Must See juggernaut (from Friends to Seinfeld to ER), ”the idea on Thursday is to win second,” says CBS’ Kahl, whose network claims that honor. Adds ABC’s Ted Harbert, ”You have to duck for cover.”
— ABC’s got a mixed blessing on Fridays with its new teen tandem, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, which is winning its time slot handily, and Clueless, which is, like, not. But no one can claim victory until Oct. 25, when Fox unveils Millennium, from The X-Files‘ Chris Carter (see page 42).
— Saturday night’s all right for fighting. CBS continues to rule with Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and Walker, Texas Ranger, but NBC has gained a modest toehold with its new creep-out lineup of Dark Skies, The Pretender, and Profiler. Once again, good triumphs over evil…at least on the weekend.