The American League's soggy 2-0 victory over the National League in Major League Baseball's 61st All-Star Game helped lift CBS to a close, second-place finish for the week.

The National League was held to two hits in a game that the rain delayed for 68 minutes during the seventh inning. The All-Star showcase averaged an 18.5 rating and a 33 share, and was the first event in CBS's $1.1 billion deal with Major League Baseball. Its rating was slightly higher than the 18.2 the game averaged on NBC last year.

NBC narrowly won the week of July 9 -- its ninth consecutive prime-time ratings victory and its 40th in 43 weeks -- with a 9.8 rating and a 19 share; CBS followed one-tenth of a ratings point behind, at 9.7/19; and ABC came in third, with a 9.1/18.

The premiere of CBS's "Northern Exposure" Thursday night had a 9.2/17, tying for 46th with Part I of NBC's repeat miniseries "Poor Little Rich Girl."

NBC's special telecast Friday night of "Bret Maverick" earned a 7.3/16 in a three-way tie for 57th place, while "Yellow Rose" earned only a 6.3/13 in a tie for 64th with "Super Jeopardy!"

TV RATINGZZZZ

Following are the top 20 network prime-time shows last week, ranked according to the percentage of the nation's 92.1 milllion TV households that watched, as measured by the A.C. Nielsen Co. A share represents the percentage of actual sets-in-use tuned to a particular program when it aired.

...RATING...................................SHARE...NETWORK

1....18.5....Baseball's All-Star Game..........33.......CBS

2....16.2....Cheers............................29.......NBC

3....14.5....The Simpsons......................27.......FOX

4....14.4....The Cosby Show....................28.......NBC

5....14.0....Roseanne..........................24.......ABC

6....13.9....Love-Hate: Marriage...............25.......NBC

7....13.6....All-Star Pre-Game Show............27.......CBS

.....13.6....A Different World.................26.......NBC

9....13.3....Designing Women...................24.......CBS

10...13.2....60 Minutes........................30.......CBS

11...13.1....Empty Nest........................27.......NBC

.....13.1....America's Funniest Home Videos....26.......ABC

13...13.0....Murphy Brown......................23.......CBS

14...12.6....Unsolved Mysteries................25.......NBC

.....12.6....Married ... With Children.......22.......FOX

16...12.3....The Golden Girls..................26.......NBC

.....12.3....Grand.............................22.......NBC

18...12.2 ...The Wonder Years..................22.......ABC

19...11.9....Primetime Pets....................22.......CBS

20...11.6....Who's the Boss?...................23.......ABC