Show Business: Wages of War

ABC saga storms the ratings

There was banner-headline boasting. "More people relived the war than fought in it," trumpeted the newspaper ad ABC took in seven newspapers and six trade papers to gloat over the ratings storm blown up by The Winds of War. The 18-hour, $40 million extravaganza averaged a 38.6 rating and a hefty 53 share of the audience, placing it close behind the 1977 Roots—also aired by ABC—as the highest-rated mini-series in television history. Said ABC President John Severino: "Absolutely sensational! We're elated!"

ABC also called Winds "the most watched program...

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