We Look Back At The Top TV Shows of 1992

Categories: Top TV Show Ratings By Season,TV Ratings Reference

Written By

April 13th, 2008

sci-fi.gif1992, The Redskins defeated the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVI, the Seinfeld episode "The Contest" airs, SciFi Channel launched with a broadcast of Star Wars, Cartoon Network launches in the US, Barney & Friends, Melrose Place and Dateline NBC all premiere, Jay Leno becomes host of the Tonight Show, and these were the top 20 prime time shows for the 1991-92 season:

PRIME TIME TOP 20 PROGRAMS

SEPTEMBER 1991 - APRIL 1992

       

HOUSEHOLD

RANK

PROGRAM

NETWORK

 

rating

SHARE

1

60 Minutes

CBS

 

21.7

36

2

Roseanne

ABC

 

20.2

31

3

Murphy Brown

CBS

 

18.6

27

4

Cheers

NBC

 

17.6

27

5

Home Improvement

ABC

 

17.5

27

6

Designing Women

CBS

 

17.3

26

7

Coach

ABC

 

17.2

27

8

Full House

ABC

 

17.0

27

9

Murder, She Wrote

CBS

 

16.9

25

10

Unsolved Mysteries

NBC

 

16.9

27

11

Major Dad

CBS

 

16.8

25

11

NFL Monday Night Football

ABC

 

16.8

28

13

Room For Two

ABC

 

16.7

26

14

CBS Sunday Movie

CBS

 

15.9

25

15

Evening Shade

CBS

 

15.8

25

16

Northern Exposure

CBS

 

15.5

25

17

A Different World

NBC

 

15.2

24

18

Bill Cosby Show

NBC

 

14.8

24

19

Wings

NBC

 

14.6

23

19

America's Funniest Home Videos ABC  

14.5

22

For a bit of perspective, the top rated show this season, Tuesday's American Idol, Season To Date HH rating is 16.1 and its share is 24. Remember though that in 1992, a ratings point was far fewer households than it is today.

Unlike 1982, when primetime broadcast network viewership was near its peak, by 1992 viewers had begun a long term move towards cable.

As in 1982, we still see both 60 Minutes and Monday Night Football, and a regular movie [CBS Sunday Movie, not ABC].

America's Funniest Home Videos, which began in 1989, appears in the list tied for #19. Besides 60 Minutes and primetime football, it's the only show that survives today, although currently with a season to date viewer ranking of tied for #86.

In 1992, CBS had 5 successful sitcoms in the top 20 [Murphy Brown, Designing Women, Major Dad, Evening Shade and Northern Exposure], but perhaps Murder, She Wrote was the harbinger of the elderly favored crime dramas that were to dominate CBS today.

By 1992, NBC's The Cosby Show and its spinoff A Different World, were past their primes which occurred from the mid to late 1980's, but Cheers was near its peak [which was 1991], and NBC sitcoms still ruled Thursday night, as they would for more than another decade.

Except for football, ABC had only sitcoms in the top 20 [Rosanne, Home Improvement, Coach, Full House, Room for Two].

Today, few sitcoms survive at the top of the ratings, as Robert wrote earlier.

Original SciFi channel logo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2008 Nielsen Media Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 
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