By EW Staff
Updated June 12, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

NBC suits must be breathing a sigh of relief. During the week of May 18-24, the heir to Jerry’s Must See throne, Frasier (1st and 2nd), ended its fifth season at the top of the weekly ratings heap. In other finale news, CBS’s Murphy Brown (3rd) parted in style, while Carey Lowell’s send-off helped propel NBC’s Law & Order (10th) into the top 10. Viewers gave Ally McBeal its highest ranking to date (11th) and a warm reception to Brandon and Kelly’s Beverly Hills, 90210 non-wedding season ender (18th). On the sports front, NBC scored a slam dunk the week of May 25 with the final game of the Bulls-Pacers series.

TOP 15 MAY 18 — 24

VIEWERS* LAST WEEK

1 21.3 FRASIER NBC, Tuesday, 9:30 p.m. — 2 17.7 FRASIER NBC, Tuesday, 9 p.m. 12 3 17.5 HOME IMPROVEMENT ABC, Tuesday, 9 p.m. 29 17.5 MURPHY BROWN CBS, Monday, 9 p.m. — 5 17.3 DATELINE NBC NBC, Tuesday, 10 p.m. 6 6 16.9 SEINFELD (R) NBC, Thursday, 9 p.m. — 7 16.2 MOVIE: PETER BENCHLEY’S CREATURE, PART 2 ABC, Monday, 9 p.m. — 8 15.2 NYPD BLUE ABC, Tuesday, 9:30 p.m. — 9 14.9 ER (R) NBC, Thursday, 10 p.m. 3 10 14.8 LAW & ORDER NBC, Wednesday, 10:09 p.m. 21 11 14.4 CBS: THE FIRST 50 YEARS CBS, Wednesday, 9 p.m. — 12 14.4 ALLY MCBEAL Fox, Monday, 9 p.m. 17 13 14.3 VERONICA’S CLOSET (R) NBC, Thursday, 9:30 p.m. — 14 14.2 3RD ROCK FROM THE SUN NBC, Wednesday, 9:41 p.m. — 15 14.1 DATELINE NBC NBC, Monday, 10 p.m. —

TOP 15 MAY 25 — 31

1 30.6 BASKETBALL: PACERS VS. BULLS NBC, Sunday, 7:33 p.m. — 2 20.0 BASKETBALL: BULLS VS. PACERS NBC, Friday, 9:13 p.m. — 3 17.7 BASKETBALL: PACERS VS. BULLS NBC, Wednesday, 9:12 p.m. — 4 16.7 SEINFELD (R) NBC, Thursday, 9 p.m. 6 5 15.4 DATELINE NBC NBC, Sunday, 10:24 p.m. — 6 15.3 20/20 ABC, Monday, 9 p.m. — 7 14.7 60 MINUTES CBS, Sunday, 7 p.m. 19 8 14.5 MOVIE: WHAT THE DEAF MAN HEARD (R) CBS, Sunday, 9 p.m. — 9 14.3 ER (R) NBC, Thursday, 10 p.m. 9 10 14.2 HOME IMPROVEMENT (R) ABC, Tuesday, 9 p.m. 3 11 13.9 VERONICA’S CLOSET (R) NBC, Thursday, 9:30 p.m. 13 12 13.8 DATELINE NBC NBC, Monday, 10 p.m. 15 13 12.8 PRIMETIME LIVE ABC, Wednesday, 10 p.m. — 14 12.7 TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL (R) CBS, Sunday, 8 p.m. 33 15 12.6 FRIENDS (R) NBC, Thursday, 8 p.m. 26

*IN MILLIONS WEEKS OF MAY 18-24 AND MAY 25-31, 1998 (R) RERUN SOURCE: NIELSEN MEDIA RESEARCH

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