The combination of a bad-weather day, an exciting game and a rare Ravens win sent viewers to their television sets in relative droves Sunday.
According to Tony Patino, Channel's 2's research director and this week's sole and official "Media Watch" ratings provider, Sunday's Ravens-Pittsburgh game got a 20.0 rating and drew a 37 share of the audience, one of the strongest performances of the year, easily outdistancing the St. Louis-New Orleans game on Channel 45, which got an 8.7/15 at 4 p.m.
Over the final hour of the game, the share of the audience grew, reaching a high of 46, meaning that nearly half the TV sets that were on at that time were watching the Ravens. That strong performance pulled along the "Fifth Quarter," Channel 11's post-game show, which did a 17.1/31.
The long Thanksgiving weekend was apparently a good one for football viewing, as other games performed well. For instance, the Thursday meeting between Detroit and Kansas City on Channel 11 did a 14.4/32, and the Redskins-Cowboys showdown on Channel 45 drew a 13.0/32, a number that likely could have been higher had the game not also been available on Washington's Channel 5, a station that's more accessible to the southern part of the Baltimore market.
Meanwhile, Saturday's Florida-Florida State clash of the college titans got a 7.0/17 on Channel 2, the best local college football number of the season, though this Saturday's Army-Navy game could approach it.
The other strong performer this weekend was CBS's presentation of that "Ice Wars" taped skating show, which got a 5.5/13 on Thursday and an impressive 12.2/21 in prime-time Friday night on Channel 13.
The hoops scene
The first serious men's college basketball matchups of the year, the "Great Eight" doubleheaders, with seven of the last eight teams from last season's NCAA tournament, tip off tonight and tomorrow from Chicago's United Center, at 7: 30 each night.
Brad Nessler and Dick Vitale will call the action and Dan Bonner will work the sidelines as Mississippi State meets No. 2 Wake Forest in tonight's opener, and No. 6 Kentucky takes on Purdue in the nightcap. On Wednesday, it's Georgetown and Massachusetts in the first game, and top-ranked Kansas taking on No. 4 Cincinnati in the second game.
It would be nice to say that HBO's "Rebound: The Legend of Earl 'The Goat' Manigault," airing tomorrow night at 11, is the next great basketball film, in the tradition of "Hoosiers."
It would be nice, but it would be inaccurate. Despite the best efforts of star Don Cheadle, in the role of Manigault, a New York playground legend of the 1960s and former Maryland star Joe Smith, who plays Connie Hawkins, the movie is cliche-ridden and offers little insight into the life of Manigault.
Bet you thought Fox's top football team of Pat Summerall and John Madden had lost a bet as they turned up to call Sunday's Saints-Rams game. How else could a thoroughbred pair get such a nag of a contest?
Well, a network spokesman explained that the game was the closest one the two could get to after Thursday's game in Dallas, which is a prime consideration with Madden's fear of flying.
And because the two men and their production team will be in New Orleans at season's end for the Super Bowl, it made sense for all parties concerned to check out and get comfortable with the Superdome.
Pub Date: 12/03/96