Basic cable, in week 12 of the 1995-96 prime-time season, delivered its highest prime-time rating ever during an "official" Nielsen 30-week season. Basic cable had a 19.5 rating for the week ended Dec. 10, a gain of 26.6% over the 15.4 rating it had the same week a year ago. The major broadcast networks, meanwhile, set a new record low with a 36.3 gross rating, down 4.3% from a year ago. All four networks were down. The Big 3 each lost at least a full prime-time rating point from last season, while Fox was down only marginally by one-tenth of a rating point. Independents and public TV stations were down slightly, while pay TV was up. Despite having five of the top seven shows of the week, NBC
placed second with a 10.6 rating behind ABC's 11.1. CBS
had a 9.4 rating, while Fox had a 7.1.