Nielsen Top Ten, November 21st-December 4th, 1966

Here are the first ten programs from the sixth Nielsen Television Index (NTI) report for the 1966-1967 television season, covering the eleventh and twelfth weeks of the season, from Monday, November 21st, 1966 through Sunday, December 4th, 1966. They were published in the December 26th, 1966 edition of Broadcasting [1]. Note that the Nielsen ratings are the average of both week’s programming except in the case of special programming or pre-emptions.

Of note during this period was The NBC Saturday Movie. On Saturday, November 26th NBC broadcast its first “World Premiere Movie” as a segment of its regular Saturday movie series. It was called Fame is the Name of the Game and starred Anthony Franciosa and Jill St. John, among others. The movie spawned a ninety-minute television series called The Name of the Game, in which Gene Barry, Anthony Franciosa, and Robert Stack rotated as star. It ran from 1968 to 1971.

The other installment of The NBC Saturday Movie was Stalag 17 on December 3rd. The two installments of Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color were “The Moon Spinners, Part Two” (on Sunday, November 27th) and “The Moon Spinners, Part Three” (on Sunday, December 4th). The only special during the period was “The Jack Benny Hour,” broadcast by NBC on Thursday, December 1st (pre-empting Star Trek). The special ranked 5th with a 26.2 Nielsen rating.

## Program Net Rating
1. Bonanza NBC 34.3
2 The Red Skelton Show CBS 28.9
3. The Lucy Show CBS 28.5
4. The Andy Griffith Show CBS 26.3
5. The Jack Benny Hour (Special) NBC 26.2
6. The NBC Saturday Movie NBC 25.1
7. The Jackie Gleason Show CBS 25.0
8. Green Acres CBS 24.3
9. The Ed Sullivan Show CBS 24.2
10. Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color NBC 23.3

Sources: 1 “NBC-TV Claims 1.3 Lead in Nielsens.” Broadcasting. 26 Dec. 1966: 42.


1 Comment

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    “THE JACK BENNY HOUR”, on December 1, 1966 [pre-empting “STAR TREK”], was his first NBC special in a little more than a year; his November 3, 1965 special (the first after his weekly series had ended) was not a success, and Benny decided to wait until the fall of ’66 to create another one; he decided the previous special (with guests Bob Hope, Elke Sommer, The Beach Boys and Walt Disney {in a filmed sequence}) looked too much like an episode of his weekly series, and wanted something “special” that would make this one a success. He made sure he had a stronger lineup of guest stars; the Smothers Brothers (who had appeared as his guests on the final episode of his weekly series in April 1965), Trini Lopez and Phyllis Diller. For eye appeal, he presented a parody of a beauty contest with several gorgeous “contestants” and himself satirizing “Bert Parks”. And for old times’ sake, he brought back Mel Blanc as “Sy” [“The Litttle Mexican”, as his character was unofficially known]- Jack could never get through one of his routines with “Sy” without trying NOT to crack up- as part of a “Tijuana Brass” take-off. The elements worked, as the special was Jack’s first “Top 10” ratings success in several years.

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