"Grand" had a grand premiere on NBC as NBC won the prime time ratings race for the 82nd time in the past 83 weeks - but look out, folks, here comes Fox's "The Simpsons."

"Grand" came in fifth on the Nielsen ratings list reported Tuesday, in one of those protected berths NBC can provide a new sitcom. It followed "Cheers," which was the No. 1 show of the week.The show it displaced, "Dear John," won its time period but came in tied for 33rd in its new Wednesday home, replacing "My Two Dads." That's not as good as its 10th-place finish the previous week when it was still on the Thursday schedule, but a marked improvement on "Dads" which, in its last Wednesday showing, came in 57th.

Preston Beckman, NBC's director, audience research, said the show is keeping the comedy audience from "Night Court" and providing better audience flow into the 10 p.m. time period and "Quantum Leap."

For a real success story, take a look at "The Simpsons," the outrageous adult cartoon show on Fox. It tied for 28th, despite the fact that its lead-in, "America's Most Wanted," tied for 64th. In its premiere the previous week, "The Simpsons" was in 48th place.

Not only did the scrappy "Simpsons" make it without a big lead-in, but it brought the show following it, "Married . . . With Children," into 31st place - even though it was a repeat.

For the record, "The Simpsons" this week scored the highest of any Fox show in that time period. It came in second in its time period, besting "Full House" on ABC and "Sister Kate" on NBC, beaten only by Angela Lansbury and "Murder, She Wrote" on CBS.

In the Sunday movie competition, CBS won with "The Operation," in eighth place. NBC's "Perry Mason: The Case of the Poisoned Pen," tied for 21st, while ABC's "Jekyll & Hyde" ranked 51st.

ABC did better with its Monday movie, "Unspeakable Acts," which ranked 24th. The NBC Monday movie, "Blue Bayou," was 49th, while the CBS Monday comedy lineup had "Designing Women" in 19th; "Murphy Brown," 25th; "Newhart," 27th; "Major Dad," 44th; "Doctor, Doctor," 52nd; and the fading "Famous Teddy Z," 67th.

NBC won the ratings race for the week ending Jan. 21, according to the A.C. Nielsen Co., with a 14.6 rating and a 23 share. ABC took second place with a 13.5 rating and a 22 share while CBS was third with a 12.8 rating and a 20 share.

The 18-week-old season-to-date ratings show NBC with a 14.8 rating and a 25 share, ABC with a 13.0 rating and a 22 share, and CBS with a 12.3 rating and a 20 share.

In the evening news ratings, ABC's "World News Tonight" with Peter Jennings was No. 1 with an 11.8 rating and a 21 share. "CBS Evening News" with Dan Rather and "NBC Nightly News" with Tom Brokaw tied for second place, each with a 10.8 rating and a 19 share.

Each ratings point represents about 921,000 households and a share is the percentage of TV sets tuned to a particular show.

The top 10 programs for the week ending Sunday, Jan. 21, according to the A.C. Nielsen Co., were:

1. Cheers (NBC)

2. (tie) The Cosby Show (NBC) and Roseanne (ABC)

4. 60 Minutes (CBS)

5. Grand (NBC)

6. Different World (NBC)

7. Murder, She Wrote (CBS)

8. The Operation, CBS Sunday movie

9. Wonder Years (ABC)

10. Unsolved Mysteries (NBC)