Nielsen Ratings, Part 1: 'Blood' Tops 'crossings'

Posted: February 25, 1986

Blood was thicker than Crossings on Sunday night. But not by much.

In the Battle of the Network Mini-Series, part one of CBS's racy Blood & Orchids nipped the opening chapter of ABC's Crossings in the 12-city overnight Nielsen ratings.

Blood, starring Kris Kristofferson and Jane Alexander in a potboiler about the unjust arrest of four native Hawaiians following the beating of a Navy officer's wife on Oahu in the late 1930s, scored a 20.6 rating and 30 percent audience share between 9 and 11 p.m.

In the same time slot, Crossings, featuring Cheryl Ladd, Lee Horsley and Jane Seymour in Danielle Steel's romantic World War II saga, notched a 19.7/ 29. The Fifth Missile, NBC's doomsday thriller starring David Soul, had a 14.7/22.

Despite the strong lead-in of CBS's Murder, She Wrote (24.4/35), Blood couldn't pull away from Crossings in the first hour, delivering a 20.2/29 to Crossings' 20.1/29.

Locally, it was Crossings all the way. Between 9 and 11, the show had a 24.3/34 on Channel 6, while Blood had a 21.3/30 on Channel 10 and Missile a 19.4/27 on Channel 3.

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NBC yesterday announced that All Is Forgiven, its new sitcom starring Bess Armstrong as a soap-opera producer, will take over the 9:30 p.m. Saturday slot beginning March 29. Marla Gibbs' 227 will return in May.

Forgiven, created by the Cheers troika of Les and Glen Charles and Jim Burrows, also features Terence Knox (last seen as suspected rapist Dr. Peter White on St. Elsewhere) as Armstrong's husband and Carol Kane (Taxi) as one of her colleagues.

Forgiven will be "sneak-previewed" at 9:30 p.m. on March 20 and March 27,

bumping Night Court.

Channel 12 flash: The public station's spring money drive will feature a controversial new wrinkle - live, on-air pitches during the 4-to-7 p.m. block, which includes Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood and Sesame Street. Previously, only taped pitches were run during that time slot.

"Live breaks are always more immediate and effective," says Channel 12 president Rick Breitenfeld, who expects to take some heat from angry parents. ''It's imperative that those who applaud our children's programming become aware that it has to be paid for.

"The parents of children who watch Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street are among the most vocal supporters of public broadcasting. We want to translate that vocal support into financial support."

About three live pitches will air each weekday. Goal for the spring drive, which begins Saturday and is scheduled to continue until March 16, is a record-breaking $1.2 million. Last March's fund-raising campaign brought in a record $1.1 million.

Casting calls: Offbeat filmmaker Paul Bartel (Eating Raoul) will write, direct and star in the March 16 episode ("Secret Cinema") of NBC's Amazing Stories. Eve Arden plays a woman who thinks she's going bananas when, unbeknownst to her, hidden cameras start filming her every move.

Alec Baldwin and Albert Salmi, who played a TV evangelist and his father on CBS's Knots Landing, will be reunited on NBC's Dress Gray, a four-hour mini- series to air March 9-10. Salmi portrays a military-academy officer and Baldwin is a cadet accused of murder.

Don Johnson, who plays Sonny Crockett on Miami Vice, reportedly has been offered the role of Col. Travis - why not Davy Crockett? - in an NBC telemovie about the Alamo. The project is in script development. . . . Stevie Wonder, who appeared last week on NBC's The Cosby Show, will host this week's Friday Night Videos with Cosby regular Malcolm-Jamal Warner. . . .

Robert Wagner hopes to film sequences of his TV movie, The Samantha Smith Story, in the Soviet Union. . . . Look for the never-before-seen daughter of obedient servant Chao-Li (Chao-Li Chi) to arrive, fresh from China, on CBS's Falcon Crest. No casting yet for the role. . . . NBC News may air reruns of Main Street, its monthly teen-oriented afternoon show, in prime time over the summer. The critically acclaimed series, hosted by Bryant Gumbel, has two more scheduled broadcasts.

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