America's love affair with Lucille Ball didn' end with her death. Last week's first-ever showing of the pilot for "I Love Lucy" finished at the top of the Nielsen ratings.
"Lucy" tied with "Roseanne" in ratings points, but pulled in a larger share of the audience - 37 percent of those watching TV at the time, compared to 33 percent for "Roseanne."The hour-long special, hosted by Lucy's daughter, Lucie Arnaz, drew a bigger audience than the other two networks combined.
It's the second time in six months that a Lucy special has drawn big ratings. Last December's "I Love Lucy Christmas Special" was the highest rated special of the season and in the Top Ten for the week.
Geez, maybe troubled CBS ought to just buy up all the rights to the 1950s sitcom and show it again in primetime.
Actually, it was a banner week for the Big Eye. In the Sunday night movie battle, CBS' "The Untouchables" shot down "Archie" and "Burning Bridges" to finish No. 9 for the week.
(Apparently, Mr. Spud wasn't the only one who thought "Archie" was enormously stupid. It finished 51st.)
And CBS had four shows in the Top Ten - and this from a network that usually has trouble placing one program up there. "60 Minutes" was sixth and "Designing Women" was 10th.
Mr. Spud is worried that the world may be near an end: CBS finished second for the week and was only a tenth of a rating point behind NBC. And for the first 11 days of the current sweeps period, CBS is averaging a 12.1, just .2 behind NBC (12.3) and well ahead of ABC (11.3).
And there's more evidence that Elvis Presley's following is more the work of a fanatic few than a wide cross section of the nation. Last week's return of the critically acclaimed, well-made "Elvis" was a whopping 82nd.
-THE TOP TEN: 1. (tie) "I Love Lucy (CBS); "Roseanne" (ABC); 3. "Cheers" (NBC); 4. "America's Funniest Home Videos" (ABC); 5. "The Cosby Show" (NBC); 6. "A Different World" (NBC); 7. "60 Minutes" (CBS); 8. "Unsolved Mysteries" (NBC); 9. "The CBS Sunday Night Movie: The Untouchables," (CBS); 10. "Designing Women" (CBS).
-THE FINAL FIVE (OR SIX): 86. (tie) "Capital News" (ABC) and "21 Jump Street" (Fox); 88. "Booker" and "The Outsiders" (both Fox); 90. "ALF" (NBC); and 91. "Tracey Ullman Show" (Fox).
-SPRING RANKINGS: According to NBC research, here's how this spring's new series rank against each other:
1. "Wings" (NBC); 2. "Carol & Company" (NBC); 3. "Twin Peaks" (ABC); 4. "Down Home" (NBC); 5. "Bagdad Cafe" (CBS); 6. (tie) "Equal Justice" (ABC); "Marshall Chronicles" (ABC); 8. "Shannon's Deal" (NBC); 9. "Sugar and Spice" (CBS); 10. "Family For Joe" (NBC); 11. "Working Girl" (NBC); 12. "Small Talk" (CBS); 13. "Sydney" (CBS); 14. "Capital News" (ABC); 15. "Normal Life" (CBS); 16. "Sunset Beat" (ABC).
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: The Beehive State's biggest booster, Roseanne Barr:
"I'm not a cruel or mean person, but I grew up in Utah," she said. "I just don't take (expletive )."
Do you think she'd leave us alone if we named a wing at the State Hospital after her?
AD OF THE WEEK: In the June issue of "Emmy" - which is full of ads submitting various actors and shows "For your consideration" for nominations for the annual broadcasting awards:
"Have some consideration - If you had to be Al Bundy week after week, wouldn't you deserve an award? Ed O'Neill. Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series ("Married . . . with Children")
Maybe the ad should win an award.