Nielsen Top Ten, March 20th-April 2nd, 1967

Here are the Top Ten programs from the 28th and 29th weeks of the 1966-1967 season according to the Nielsen ratings. I’m able to continue providing these lists thanks to a generous reader who would like to remain anonymous. Note that these aren’t the two-week combined NTI reports but the individual Top Ten lists for each week. Once again there were no sporting events and no specials but there were two movies during the first week. One was on ABC and was first for the week.

For the 28th week of the season, which ran Monday, March 20th, 1967 through Sunday, March 26th, 1967, ABC threw a huge wrench into the usual workings of the season and captured the top spot with its broadcast of The Robe on Sunday, March 26th, 1967. It ran from 7-9:30PM. It was ABC’s only program in the Top Ten. Another movie, Lillies in the Field, was third for CBS. It was broadcast on Friday, March 24th from 9-11PM. NBC was only able to place two shows in the Top Ten.

## Program Net Rating
1. The Robe (Movie) ABC 31.0
2. The Red Skelton Hour CBS 30.7
3. Lillies of the Field (Movie) CBS 30.0
4. Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. CBS 28.8
5. The Andy Griffith Show CBS 28.3
6. The Lucy Show CBS 28.0
7. Green Acres CBS 27.4
8. Daktari CBS 25.8
9. The Dean Martin Show NBC 25.5
10. The Virginian CBS 24.8

For the 29th week of the season, which ran Monday, March 27th, 1967 through Sunday, April 2nd, 1967, NBC did much better, tying for first and taking the fourth spot as well. Poor ABC was shut out completely. And there were no movies, no sporting events, no specials, just regularly scheduled weekly scripted shows.

## Program Net Rating
1. The Andy Griffith Show CBS 29.7
  Bonanza NBC 29.7
3. The Red Skelton Hour CBS 27.9
4. The Dean Martin Show NBC 27.6
5. The Lucy Show CBS 26.9
6. Family Affair CBS 26.0
7. Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. CBS 25.5
8. Green Acres CBS 25.3
9. Daktari CBS 24.8
10. The Beverly Hillbillies CBS 24.1

2 Comments

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    CBS’ Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night schedules were a key factor in the network having eight of the “Nielsen Top Ten” rated shows during this period:
    [all times are Eastern]

    MONDAY

    7:30 GILLIGAN’S ISLAND
    8:00 MR. TERRIFIC
    (both of these were cancelled at the end of the season in favor of “GUNSMOKE” moving from Saturday nights, thus saving the series from cancellation for another eight years)
    8:30 THE LUCY SHOW {#6/5}
    9:00 THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW {#5/usually #1}
    9:30 FAMILY AFFAIR {#6}
    10:00 TO TELL THE TRUTH
    10:30 I’VE GOT A SECRET
    (these classic Goodson-Todman panel shows reached the end of the line in prime-time, going off about a month later, although “TRUTH” continued in daytime until 1968)

    TUESDAY

    7:30 DAKTARI {#8/9}
    8:30 THE RED SKELTON HOUR {#2/3}
    9:30 PETTICOAT JUNCTION
    (believe it or not, its sponsor, Procter & Gamble, after four years of impressive ratings following Red Skelton, decided to “drop” the show in favor of a new sitcom that would appeal to a “younger, urban audience” in the same time period that fall, Persky & Denoff’s “GOOD MORNING WORLD”; CBS found other sponsors for “PETTICOAT”, moving it to Saturdays)
    10:00 CBS REPORTS {“CBS NEWS HOUR”}
    (“Mr. CBS”, founder/chairman Bill Paley, told soon-to-be ex-network president James T. Aubrey in 1964, “news and documentaries are what made CBS what it is today”, when “The Smiling Cobra” insisted series like “CBS REPORTS” was a “drain” on the network’s prime-time schedule, and they could make money if only they were eliminated. Fortunately, Paley cared about news, current events and documentaries, and overruled Aubrey [and other executives who had the same opinion], and saw to it that “CBS REPORTS” stayed on the weekly schedule until 1971 [alternating with “60 MINUTES” between 1968 and ’71], after which it remained a series of regular specials throughout the ’70s)

    WEDNESDAY

    7:30 LOST IN SPACE
    8:30 THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES {#10}
    9:00 GREEN ACRES {#7/8}
    9:30 GOMER PYLE, U.S.M.C. {#4/7}
    10:00 THE DANNY KAYE SHOW
    (a cross between Sid Caesar and Carol Burnett, this beloved comedian’s variety hour reached the end of the line after four seasons, ending that summer, due to the popularity of NBC’s “I SPY”)

    If “THE SUNDAY NIGHT MOVIE” on ABC [9pm(et)] scheduled a “blockbuster” feature lasting more than two hours, such as “The Bridge on the River Kwai” (1957) or “The Robe” (1953), both of which appeared on TV for the first time during the 1966-’67 season, viewers would automatically make it a #1 rated show.

  • W.B. says:

    Both “The Robe” and “The Bridge on the River Kwai” later aired occasionally on WABC-TV’s (New York) “The 4:30 Movie” after those films were entered into syndication to local stations. As was another film that had its TV debut on ABC’s movie show, the 1963 Richard Burton/Elizabeth Taylor “Cleopatra.”

    It should also be noted that this was the last season ABC’s film skein was called “The Sunday Night Movie”; beginning in the 1967-68 season, it was rechristened “The ABC Sunday Night Movie,” with a second night added: “The ABC Wednesday Night Movie.”

Leave a Comment