Carol Burnett made a triumphant return to CBS Monday night, drawing a sensational 18.8 rating and a 30 share in the 10:00 p.m. hour. Moreover, she did it opposite ABC's usually potent Monday Night Football, which managed to produce only an 11.3/18 for the hour. The Burnett variety special helped CBS win the night with an average 14.3/21, well above ABC, the usual Monday-night winner, which drew a 10.8/16. Fox was third with a 7.5/11, followed by NBC with a 7.3/11.
Fox's premiere telecast of the box-office blockbuster Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace produced solid if not spectacular ratings for the network Sunday night, giving it a win among 18-48 year olds. In overall households, however, it placed second to CBS. Nevertheless, the big lure of the movie for younger viewers put Fox in a position to challenge NBC for a sweeps win in that key demo for the month. CBS averaged a 10.0 rating and a 15 share for Sunday night, followed by Fox with a 9.7/15. ABC landed in third place with an 8.7/13, while NBC trailed with a 6.8/10.
After drawing a lowly 4.7 rating and a 9 share on Friday night, ABC's new drama Thieves has been canceled, the online edition of Broadcasting & Cable reported Monday, citing unnamed insiders. The publication said that the show is not expected to be back on the air this week; however, a replacement has not been decided on.