August 21, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

Could ABC’s yellow-themed marketing campaign finally be paying off? While the beleaguered net finished the ’97-98 season a dismal third, this summer things seem to be looking up. During the week of Aug. 3, the Alphabet unveiled two innovative and well-received alternatives to the usual newsmags and reruns: Barry Sonnenfeld’s quirky drama Maximum Bob (13th), which finished a strong second to powerhouse Dateline NBC (5th), plus the Drew Carey-hosted sketch-fest Whose Line Is It Anyway? (11th), which racked up the highest ratings for an ABC summer series in seven years. The end result? The net finished the week in second place among adults 18-49, up a slot from last week. Now that’s what we call progress.

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TOP 30

VIEWERS* LAST WEEK

1 15.4 SEINFELD (R) NBC, Thursday, 9 p.m. 3 2 14.7 DATELINE NBC NBC, Monday, 10 p.m. 7 3 14.5 JUST SHOOT ME (R) NBC, Thursday, 9:30 p.m. 2 14.5 MOVIE: PHILADELPHIA CBS, Sunday, 9 p.m. — 5 14.3 DATELINE NBC NBC, Tuesday, 10 p.m. 6 6 13.6 60 MINUTES CBS, Sunday, 7 p.m. 1 7 12.8 ER (R) NBC, Thursday, 10 p.m. 5 8 12.3 GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS: PRIMETIME Fox, Tuesday, 9 p.m. 4 9 12.2 TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL (R) CBS, Sunday, 8 p.m. 8 10 11.9 FRIENDS (R) NBC, Thursday, 8 p.m. 10 11 11.7 THE DREW CAREY SHOW (R) ABC, Wednesday, 9 p.m. 20 11.7 WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY? ABC, Wednesday, 9:30 p.m. — 13 11.5 MAXIMUM BOB ABC, Tuesday, 10 p.m. — 11.5 SUDDENLY SUSAN (R) NBC, Thursday, 8:30 p.m. 14 15 11.2 20/20 ABC, Monday, 9 p.m. 10 16 11.0 PRIMETIME LIVE ABC, Wednesday, 10 p.m. 13 17 10.3 20/20 ABC, Friday, 10 p.m. 16 18 10.2 EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND (R) CBS, Monday, 9 p.m. 25 10.2 48 HOURS CBS, Thursday, 10 p.m. 10 10.2 THE SIMPSONS (R) Fox, Sunday, 8:30 p.m. 26 21 10.1 FRASIER (R) NBC, Tuesday, 9 p.m. 20 22 10.0 COUNTRYFEST ’98 CBS, Wednesday, 9 p.m. — 10.0 DIAGNOSIS MURDER (R) CBS, Thursday, 9 p.m. 19 10.0 HOME IMPROVEMENT (R) ABC, Tuesday, 8 p.m. 35 25 9.7 EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND (R) CBS, Monday, 8:30 p.m. 18 26 9.4 LAW & ORDER (R) NBC, Wednesday, 10 p.m. 16 27 9.2 DHARMA & GREG (R) ABC, Tuesday, 9:30 p.m. 60 28 9.1 JAG (R) CBS, Tuesday, 8 p.m. — 9.1 MOVIE: THE RIVER WILD (R) NBC, Sunday, 8:30 p.m. — 9.1 3RD ROCK FROM THE SUN (R) NBC, Tuesday, 9:30 p.m. —

*IN MILLIONS WEEK OF AUG. 3-9, 1998 (R) RERUN SOURCE: NIELSEN MEDIA RESEARCH

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