Here are the Top Forty programs from the first Nielsen report of the 1963-1964 season, covering the period running from Monday, September 23rd through Sunday, October 6th. The report was released on Monday, October 28th. Jack Gould reported on these first Nielsens in The New York Times on October 29th . The Beverly Hillbillies topped the list with a 34.9 Nielsen rating. For the period as a whole, CBS averaged a 20.0 rating (down from a 20.3 the year before), NBC a 17.0 rating (down from a 17.7) and ABC a 16.4 (up from a 14.7).
I don’t know the 33rd program because The New York Times printed the 32nd program — The Flintstones — twice. Furthermore, Gould revealed the following day that My Favorite Martian had been accidentally left off the list . Including it pushed everything else down a slot. He didn’t provide its rating. I’ve reprinted the list as it was published; I assume the sixth entry, given as “Petticoat Fever,” was actually Petticoat Junction.
|3.||Dick Van Dyke||CBS||28.1|
|11.||I’ve Got a Secret||CBS||23.9|
|18.||My Favorite Martian||CBS||??.?|
|25.||What’s My Line||CBS||20.5|
|26.||Ozzie and Harriet||ABC||20.3|
|27.||My Three Sons||ABC||20.3|
|30.||To Tell the Truth||CBS||20.0|
|40.||The Greatest Show on Earth||ABC||18.9|
2 Gould, Jack. “TV: Ratings of the Autumn Premieres.” New York Times. 30 Oct. 1963: 79.
- (Historical TV Ratings) Top 10 Specials of the 1964-1965 Season
- (Historical TV Ratings) Top 20 Shows with Teens for the 1964-1965 Season
- (Articles) Programs Cancelled Before They Premiered, 1963-1988
- (Special Features) What America Didn’t Watch – Friday, November 22nd, 1963
- (Artifacts) October 16th, 1963 Hartford Courant TV Listings