Sitcom ends after 10-seasons with high marks
“Murphy Brown” has gone out with style, ending its 10-season run on CBS with its highest rating in nearly 20 months.The farewell “Murphy” earned a 12.3 rating, 19 share, best for that series since Sept. 30, 1996, and good enough to propel CBS into the slot lead that hour with non-sports programming for the first time since last June. Indicative of CBS’ demographic woes on the night, “Murphy” was still fourth for the hour in adults 18-49, and third in CBS’ target demo, adults 25-54. ABC snagged the night in the 18-49 and 25-54 demos with “Creature, Part 2,” which bit off a 10.1/16 in households. That gives the Peter Benchley thriller a two-night 10.0/16 average, ranking it seventh out of 10 multiple-parterres aired on the nets this season. At 8 p.m., “World’s Scariest Sea Creatures” (7.5/13 in homes) swam to ABC’s best 18-49 rating in that slot since Oscar night. NBC finales strong NBC was a close second in homes behind CBS and in key demos behind ABC with hourlong season closers for “Suddenly Susan” (9.1/16) and “Caroline in the City” (9.3/14), both of which hit their highest Monday ratings since Jan. 5. The hourlong “Murphy Brown” signoff beat its average for this past season by 68% and more than doubled its second-to-last episode, which faded to a lowest-ever firstrun tally of 5.4/8. Compared with CBS’ season averages in that slot, “Murphy” was up by 58% in adults 18-49 and 64% in adults 25-54. “Murphy” had been a Monday institution on CBS for most of its 10-season run, peaking in 1992-93 with a 17.9/26 average the year of the title character’s pregnancy and childbirth experiences. It was the fourth-highest-rated farewell for a longrunning sitcom in the past four seasons, behind “Seinfeld” (41.3/58), “Full House” (14.6/25) and “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” (13.1/22). “Murphy” topped such prominent wraps as “Roseanne” (11.6/19) and “Wings’ ” (10.2/16). In other Monday results, UPN’s “Love Boat” (2.1/4) hit lowest-yet depths and trailed WB’s slot competition, a “7th Heaven” rerun (3.0/5). At 9 p.m., “‘The Virtual Ed Sullivan Show” (1.6/3) looked stiff, creaking to UPN’s weakest rating that hour since Aug. 5, 1996. Each household rating point represents an estimated 980,000 homes, or 1% of the country’s TV homes. Each adults 18-49 rating point reps 1.23 million viewers, 1% of the U.S. total. A share is the same sort of percentage, except it measures only the homes or viewers watching TV during the timeslot involved.
Want Entertainment News First? Sign up for Variety Alerts and Newsletters!