The “Hallmark Hall Of Fame” umbrella series, once known for high quality and low ratings, emphatically put an end to that stigma during Week 20, ended Feb. 3, when it led the week with a 23.1/35 for “Sarah, Plain & Tall,” the highest-rated made-for-tv movie since NBC’s “The Case Of The Hillside Strangler” in the spring of 1989.

The “Hallmark” bonanza was enough to put the kibosh on ABC’s “Son Of The Morning Star, Pt. 1,” which ran third in its time period with a lackluster 11.7/18. Even so, “Morning Star’s” flop did not deter ABC from winning its second consecutive week, helped no end by a rousing third-place 20.4/31 for “American Music Awards” Monday (Jan. 28). ABC’s week-winning average was a 12.7/20, with CBS second with a 12.4/20 and NBC third with a 12.1/20 – the last-named web’s third consecutive third-place finish in a row, perhaps the most eye-opening news of the week.

CBS’ “George Burns’ 95th Birthday” ran second in its time period on Friday (Feb.1) with a 10.4/19. NBC’s “Sunday Best” premiered on Sunday (Feb.3) with an unimpressive 6/10. CBS’ “Cher… At The Mirage” ran third in its time period Monday (Feb. 4) with a so-so 12.8/21. “Morning Star, Pt. 2” logged a 12.8/20 on that same night to average 12.3/19 for its four hours of airtime, the world multipart return this season.

“Davis Rules” ran third in its Tuesday at 8:30 timeslot and is obviously not the world-saver it was hoped to be. However, on Wednesday (Feb. 6), “Anything But Love” returned to the sked with a time-period winning 14.6/23, before the “Barbara Walters Special” logged an 18.3/31 that put the night in ABC’s quiver.

Finally, the “Cosby”-“Simpsons” faceoff continued to heat up again, as “Cosby” beat “Simpsons” by only three share points, 16.8/26 to 15.2/23. More tangible was the fact that Fox finished second for the night with a 9.7/15, edging CBS (9.5/15) and ABC (9.4) – with “Babes” beating the first half-hour of “The Flash,” 9.6/15 to 7.5/11.

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