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Ratings Archives: Spring 1996

The Spring of 1996 didn't have a lot of change from the previous months of the 1995-96 TV season. NBC still dominated, winning the season crown, by more than a full ratings point, over ABC. The top three series were ER, SEINFELD and FRIENDS. The top two freshmen series were also NBC products. CAROLINE IN THE CITY (#4) and THE SINGLE GUY (#6). CBS was way of the mark for the season. It finished in third place, nearly two full rating points behind #1 NBC. It's only top 10 program was 60 MINUTES and its only other two programs in the top 20 were THE NANNY and MURPHY BROWN.

NBC premiered short lived, but very popular BOSTON COMMON in between FRIENDS and SEINFELD. It held very up well, with good retention numbers out of FRIENDS, usually within 5% - 10%. If you don't remember BOSTON COMMON, it was the series that blasted Anthony Clark (YES DEAR) on the scene. He Captured something that was not around at the time, a nerdy, weird goofiness. His co-star was then unknown Traylor Howard (TWO GUYS, A GIRL AND A PIZZA PLACE). 

in 1996, Movies still made a huge impact on the ratings. NBC, ABC and NBC still had their Sunday Movie of the Week. On May 4, 1996. NBC aired the theatrical movie THE FUGITIVE. ABC's movie was AN UNFINISHED AFFAIR, while CBS HAD Part 1 of SEASON IN PURGATORY. Between the thee movies, they attracted over 42 million viewers. Yes, times have changed.

Attached with the ratings include the Network upfront schedules of all six networks.

Nielsen Broadcast ratings charts for Fenruary 26, 1996 to May 26, 1996
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