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OSCARS LIFT ABC TO EASY WIN

ABC, with an estimated 81 million viewers for its top-rated, 31/2-hour Academy Awards telecast, swept to an easy victory in the weekly prime-time ratings contest.

With six of the top 10 shows, including the 10th-rated, pre-Oscar "Barbara Walters Special," ABC averaged a 13.5 rating and a 23 percent audience share for the week of March 27 to April 2, according to ratings from the A.C. Nielsen Co.NBC was second with an 11.0 rating and an 18 share, and its hits "ER," "Seinfeld" and "Friends" finished second, third and fourth, respectively. CBS was shut out of the Top 10, earning a 9.7 rating and 16 share.

ABC, with two weeks remaining in the 1994-95 season, won Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday nights. It was the top-rated network among households and had half of the top 10 shows for the season to date.

Fox Broadcasting Co., which programs just 15 of the 22 prime-time hours, had a 6.6 rating, 11 share.

Of the two emerging "fifth networks," United Paramount Network had a 3.0 rating, 5 share - 11/2 points below its season-to-date average - and the WB Network had a 1.7 rating, 3 share.

A single rating point is 1 percent of the nation's estimated 95.4 million TV homes, or 954,000 households, according to Nielsen Media Research. Share is the percentage of sets tuned to a specific network during a particular time period.

ABC's "World News Tonight" led evening newscasts with a 9.8 rating, 19 share, its 134th victory in 135 weeks; "NBC Nightly News" was second with an 8.0 rating, 16 share, and "CBS Evening News" had a 7.7 rating, 15 share.

Two series premiered on CBS. Patty Duke's one-hour drama "Amazing Grace" was 53rd, and the premiere of Tom Conti's courtroom drama, "The Wright Verdicts," tied for 55th with "Picket Fences."

Here are the Top 15 shows, their networks and ratings:

1. "The Academy Awards," ABC, 32.5; 2. "ER," NBC, 22.8; 3. "Seinfeld," NBC, 20.7; 4. "Friends," NBC, 19.2; 5. "Home Improvement," ABC, 18.2; 6. "Grace Under Fire - Wed," ABC, 18.1; 7. "Grace Under Fire - Tue," ABC, 16.5; 8. "20/20," ABC, 16.4; 9. "Mad About You," NBC, 16.3; 10. "Barbara Walters Special," ABC, 15.9; 11. "Hope & Gloria," NBC, 15.7, 15.0 million homes

12. (tie) "Frasier," NBC, and "60 Minutes," CBS, 15.6; 14. (tie) Ellen, ABC, and "Primetime Live," ABC, 15.3.