NBC, CBS In Dead Heat

In the latest Nielsen ratings, held back a day because of the Memorial Day holiday, NBC and CBS tied for the top prime rating, with 12 shares and 6.8 households. The period covered included the final three days of the May sweeps.

The top shows for the week were the standbys, Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS), Law and Order (NBC), Becker (CBS), West Wing (NBC) and CSI (CBS), with Raymond scoring a 17 share/7.5 household.

The rest of the top 10 was Frasier (NBC) and Jag, Judging Amy, King of Queens and the ACM Awards (all CBS).

ABC scored with the season finale for NYPD Blue, ranked 12th. Fox had Ally McBeal's final episode, ranked 19th, and Boston Public's season finale, 24th.

NBC also scored with the NBA conference playoff finals, with a game between Los Angeles and Sacramento achieving a rating 15% higher than a year ago.

The top sports show for the most recent week, which doesn't include that game, was the Preakness, also on NBC, which scored a 16 share/6.5 household. NBA playoffs won the next two spots, followed by WWF Smackdown (UPN) and Colonial golf (CBS).

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Spongebob (Nick) was the top cable show for the most recent week, winning three of the top five spots, with a top ranking of 3.7 household and 3.9 million viewers. WWF Entertainment (TNN) and the NBA playoffs (TBS) also made the top five.

Syndicated winners for the most recent week were Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, Friends, Seinfeld and Entertainment Tonight, with Wheel scoring an 8.6 household with 9 million viewers.

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