Earlier this year I went through the 1966-1967 regular season (excluding the summer months) and listed the top ten programs from each week. I’ve decided to start doing the same with the 1972-1973 season. So here are the first ten programs from the very first Nielsen report of the 1972-1973 season, which covered the week running from Monday, September 11th, 1972 through Sunday, September 17th, 1972. Albin Krebs wrote about them in a September 26th, 1972 article for The New York Times. Only one new program — Bridget Loves Bernie on CBS — was in the top ten. Although ABC had the top two programs for the week it was NBC that came out on top with 20.7/34.3 Nielsen rating. ABC was second with a 19.4/31.7 and CBS brought up the rear with a 17.1/28.4.
According to Krebs, a CBS spokesman attempting to explain why his network was in third place pointed out that ABC and NBC had “front-loaded” premiere week with specials and “high-priced theatrical movies,” like Goldfinger. That movie, broadcast on The ABC Sunday Night Movie, ranked second for the week, barely beaten by ABC’s Marcus Welby, M.D.. Three other movies were in the top ten:
No Place to Run The Daughters of Joshua Cabe (The ABC Wednesday Movie of the Week), In the Heat of the Night (The NBC Saturday Movie) and The Anderson Tapes (The NBC Monday Movie). I only know the actual ratings for the top two programs; later weeks should include the ratings for the entire top ten.
Thursday, December 24th, 2009 Update: Bill was kind enough to contribute the remainder of the Nielsen ratings for this week. DuMont has added rating/share information for the four movies in the comments.
|1.||Marcus Welby, M.D.||ABC||31.2|
|2.||ABC Sunday Night Movie||ABC||31.1|
|3.||All in the Family||CBS||28.7|
|5.||ABC Wednesday Movie of the Week||ABC||25.0|
|6.||Bridget Loves Bernie||CBS||24.9|
|7.||The NBC Saturday Movie||NBC||24.7|
|8.||The Flip Wilson Show||NBC||24.2|
|10.||NBC Monday Movie||NBC||23.0|
- (Historical TV Ratings) Nielsen Top Ten, September 18th – September 24th, 1972
- (Historical TV Ratings) Nielsen Top Ten, September 25th – October 1st, 1972
- (Historical TV Ratings) Nielsen Top Ten, December 11th – December 17th, 1972
- (Historical TV Ratings) Nielsen Top Ten, December 18th – December 24th, 1972
- (Historical TV Ratings) Nielsen Top Ten, September 11th – 24th, 1955