1. Survivor. CBS, Sunday 28 January. TVR: 17.7.
The greatest survivors, obviously, are the television executives who
commissioned this tattered old pair of pants and then saw it, despite
all odds, climb to the top of the pile. But still, we can be smug that
it isn't the UK top ten, can't we? Robinson Crusoe goes Club 18-30.
2. ER. NBC, Thursday 17 May. TVR: 11.8.
Doctors, nurses, paramedics and all sorts of other caring professionals
in gowns (and those clog things they wear in operating theatres) get
together and smoulder in between stitching people up. Using surgical
3. Friends. NBC, Thursday 27 September. TVR: 11.7.
The one where Joey gets his pension book nicked. The first decade of
these sitcoms is usually the best decade. Remember MASH? Where will you
be when they show the last episode of Friends?
4. West Wing. NBC, Wednesday 3 October. TVR: 9.4.
Epic, world-class, multi-stranded, subtly layered drama about
behind-the-scenes political manoeuvring in a fictional White House.
President Jed Bartlett, played by the awesome Martin Sheen, is so good
you'll want to vote for him.
5. CSI. CBS, Thursday 25 October. TVR: 9.2.
Stands for Crime Scene Investigation. This is an attempt to make
forensic scientists interesting for the forensic science they do, not
necessarily for their attempts to smoulder in between turns at the
microscope. As such, it's been bought over here by Channel 5.
6. Primetime Thursday. ABC, Thursday 23 August. TVR: 9.1.
Current affairs show. Which appears on Thursdays. In primetime. When
they named this one, they got it pretty much on the nail. Clever,
7. The Practice. ABC, Sunday 11 February. TVR: 8.9.
Lots of smouldering actors and actresses - but the really innovative bit
is the fact that they're not, in this instance, playing doctors and
nurses. No, in this one, they're lawyers. From the David E Kelley stable
- you know, things such as Ally McBeal, Chicago Hope, LA Law.
8. Millionaire. ABC, Sunday 11 February. TVR: 8.9.
This was clearly a good night for NBC, with Millionaire preceding The
Practice. In the US version of the show they interrogate mainly fat
people for some reason.
9. Law & Order. NBC, Wednesday 3 October. TVR: 8.4
This is US television's longest running drama series, now in its 12th
season. The wheeze is that the first half of the show is your
conventional cops and robbers, while the second half follows the case
through the criminal courts.
10. Raymond. CBS, Monday 24 September. TVR: 8.4.
You'd have to assume that the promotional campaign is true. Everybody
loves Raymond. But you have to wonder why. Stand-up comic Ray Barone
plays a happily married man who lives a homely life with his wife and
family. Only trouble is, Ray's meddling parents live directly across the
street. And boy do they meddle. With hilarious consequences. It's
somehow reassuring to discover the US can still produce turkeys like
Figures are for 1 January to 28 October 2001, and ranked by Television
Rating (all individuals). Figures courtesy of Nielsen and supplied by