The Democrats put on a good show last week but about 2 million fewer Americans watched it than viewed the Democratic National Convention in 1984, it was reported earlier this week.

The Democrats might have gotten even lower ratings if it hadn't been for Jesse Jackson's stemwinder Tuesday night, preceded by Ted Kennedy asking the audience, "Where was George?" Tuesday achieved the highest ratings of the four-day convention.NBC won the ratings race for the week and was the most-watched network for convention coverage, but its ratings sank to their lowest of the 44-week season.

Three-network coverage of the convention achieved a 20.8 rating and a 40 share, compared to a 23.2 rating and a 45 share for the 1984 Democrats.

Greg Kasparian, director of network research services for CBS, said the ratings marked about a 10 percent ratings drop, with 18.4 households viewing, compared to 19.4 million four years earlier.

The numbers people figure on 1.7 viewers per household, which translates into about 27 million people watching this year, compared to 29 million who saw the nomination of the Mondale-Ferraro ticket.

The drop in people watching the Democrats is no reason for Republican high hopes - instead, it marks the explosion in alternatives to network viewing. At one time, the networks had a captive audience, but today it's a viewer's market with independent stations, cable and pay-cable and VCRs all competing for audience.

In the competition among the three networks for convention viewers, NBC had an overall 7.4 rating and 14 share, ABC was second with a 6.9 rating and a 13 share, and CBS was third with a 6.5 rating and a 13 share. Four years ago, CBS and ABC tied for the lead and NBC was last.

While Jackson's Tuesday show was the most popular, the Dukakis acceptance speech and Democratic love-in on Thursday came in second.

In the full prime time ratings race, NBC had a 9.4 rating and an 18 share. CBS was second with a 7.9 rating and a 15 share. ABC was third with a 7.8 rating and a 15 share.

In news, the "CBS Evening News" with Dan Rather was in first place with an 8.6 rating and 19 share, while ABC's "World News Tonight" with Peter Jennings was second with an 8.4 rating and a 19 share. "NBC Nightly News" with Tom Brokaw was third with a 7.8 rating and a 17 share.

Each ratings point represents about 887,000 households and a share is the percentage of TV sets tuned to a particular show.

The 10 prime time shows for the week ending July 24, according to the A.C. Nielsen Co., were:

1. Golden Girls (NBC)

2. (tie) Hunter (NBC)

The Cosby Show (NBC)

4. 60 Minutes (CBS)

5. Deliberate Stranger, Part 1 (NBC)

6. Murder, She Wrote (CBS)

7. Amen (NBC)

8. (tie) 20/20 (ABC)

Sin of Innocence (CBS)

10. Alf (NBC)

11. (38) "Moonraker" - "ABC Sunday Night Movie," 12.1, 10.7 million homes.

12. (28) "227," NBC, 11.7, 10.4 million homes.

13. (X) "Heart and Soul," NBC, 11.1, 9.8 million homes.

14. (49) "Miami Vice," NBC, 10.8, 9.6 million homes.

14. (6) "Who's the Boss?", ABC, 10.8, 9.6 million homes.

16. (71) "Full House-Tuesday," ABC, 10.7, 9.5 million homes.

(BU) The bottom 10 shows were:

48. (107) "Ohara," ABC, 6.1.

49. (102) "Rags To Riches," NBC, 5.9.

49. (42) "Kate & Allie," CBS, 5.9.

51. (X) "Democratic Convention-Monday," CBS, 5.8.

52. (106) "Hotel," ABC, 5.7.

52. (X) "Down Delaware Road," NBC, 5.7.

52. (X) "Democratic Convention-Monday," ABC, 5.7.

55. (89) "Young Harry Houdini," Part 2, - "Disney Sunday Movie," ABC, 5.4.

56. (117) "Johnsons Home-Ltd. Partnership" - "Summer Playhouse," CBS, 5.0.

57. (64) "Frank's Place," CBS, 4.9.

58. (X) "Divided We Stand," ABC, 4.8.