Here are the Top Top entertainment specials broadcast during the 1964-1965 season. The list was published in the May 24th, 1965 issue of Broadcasting . The most-watched special was the February 22nd, 1965 showing of Cinderella on CBS. It drew a 42.3 Nielsen rating and was seen in more than 22 million households. The color extravaganza starred Lesley Ann Warren as Cinderella and Stuart Damon as Prince Charming. The cast also included Ginger Rogers, Celeste Holm and others). It was the second time the Rodgers and Hammerstein take on the fairy tale had been seen on television. Julie Andrews starred in the first, aired in 1957 (also on CBS); a third version, starring Brandy Norwood, was broadcast in 1997 on ABC.
Other specials included the Academy Awards, the Miss America Pageant and a whole bunch of “personality” specials starring Danny Thomas or Bob Hope. You don’t often see specials on television these days, aside from awards shows. For the record, the 2009 Academy Awards drew a 20.6 Nielsen rating . As for the Miss America Pageant, it hasn’t been seen on network television since September 18th, 2004 when ABC’s broadcast drew a paltry 6.8 rating . Sad.
|2.||Miss America Pageant||09/12/1964||CBS||40.3||21,200,000|
|3.||Danny Thomas Special||03/14/1965||NBC||38.9||20,460,000|
|5.||Bob Hope Christmas Show||01/15/1965||NBC||36.0||18,940,000|
|6.||Wizard of Oz||01/17/1965||CBS||34.7||18,250,000|
|7.||Bob Hope Special||02/12/1965||NBC||27.4||14,410,000|
|8.||Danny Thomas Special||02/14/1965||CBS||26.5||13,940,000|
|9.||Bob Hope Special||11/20/1964||NBC||25.5||13,410,000|
|10.||Miss Teen-age Pageant||11/13/1964||CBS||25.3||13,310,000|
2 Seidman, Robert. “Academy Awards American Idol and The Mentalist lead broadcast viewing.” TVbytheNumbers.com. 24 Feb. 2009. (Read online).
3 Curran, John. “Pageant ratings drop again, despite gimmicks.” Associated Press. 21 Sep. 2004: BC Cycle.