Nielsen Top Ten, September 12th-25th, 1966

Here are the first ten programs from the first Nielsen Television Index (NTI) for the 1966-1967 television season, covering the two weeks running from Monday, September 12th, 1966 through Sunday, September 25th, 1966. Each NTI report was issued several weeks after the period it covered came to an end. This first report, for example, was released in mid-October. I’m not sure if the networks had earlier access to the NTI reports than media sources.

Please note that because the NTI report covered two weeks, the ratings shown are the average of programming from both weeks except in the case of one-time specials or pre-emptions.

In this first NTI report, ABC’s broadcast of the The Bridge Over the River Kwai from 8-11PM on Sunday, September 25th easily took the top slot with a massive 38.3 rating. The previous Sunday (September 18th) the network broadcast The F.B.I. from 8-9PM and The ABC Sunday Night Movie from 9-11PM (the movie that week was King Solomon’s Mines). None of those programs cracked the Top Ten.

## Program Network Rating
1. The Bridge Over the River Kwai* ABC 38.3
2. Green Acres CBS 25.7
3. Rat Patrol ABC 25.1
4. Bonanza NBC 24.9
  Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. CBS 24.9
6. The Andy Griffith Show CBS 24.6
7. The NBC Saturday Movie NBC 23.6
8. The Lucy Show CBS 23.4
9. The Red Skelton Show CBS 23.3
10. The Beverly Hillbillies CBS 22.4

*Telecast one week only

Notice that NBC’s Bonanza was able to average a 24.9 Nielsen rating despite facing The Bridge Over the River Kwai on Sunday, September 25th.

Source:
“The Ratings: A Photo Finish.” Broadcasting. 17 Oct. 1966: 66-67.


1 Comment

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    …opposite “THE SUNDAY NIGHT MOVIE” and “BONANZA” was CBS’ “THE GARRY MOORE SHOW”, an ill-fated attempt by Moore to revive his beloved comedy/variety hour (featuring more contemporary comedic supporing players, including Chuck McCann), complete with announcer/foil/close friend Durward Kirby [who had left Allen Funt’s “CANDID CAMERA” after five seasons to rejoin Garry]. The one-two punch of ABC’s movie and “BONANZA” brought a quiet end to Garry’s series in January. But CBS was still wildly successful on Mondays {Lucy and Andy, back-to-back} Tuesdays {“THE RED SKELTON HOUR” and “PETTICOAT JUNCTION” from 8:30-10pm(et)}, and Wednesdays {“BEVERLY HILLBILLIES”, “GREEN ACRES” and “GOMER PYLE”, also 8:30-10pm}. ABC’s “THE RAT PATROL”, however, was a unexpected “underdog” against Lucille Ball on Mondays- nobody really expected Christopher George and his crew to come THATCLOSE to her in the ratings!

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