Here are the first ten programs from the nineteenth week of the 1972-1973 television season, which ran from Monday, January 15th, 1973 through Sunday, January 21st. There were a total of 65 programs broadcast during the week and The Los Angeles Times published the complete Nielsen report on February 2nd, 1973. Once again, All in the Family topped the Nielsen chart for CBS, but a pair of NBC specials ranked second and third. “The Bob Hope Christmas Show,” broadcast from 8:30-10PM on Wednesday, January 17th, was second for the week with a 34.1 rating while “Jack Benny’s First Farewell Special,” broadcast from 9-10PM on Thursday, January 18th, was third with a 32.6 rating.
Due in part to the strength of these two specials, NBC was able to average a 20.6 Nielsen rating for the week (down from a 20.8 rating); CBS was second with a 19.1 rating (down from a 21.0 rating) and ABC third with an 18.6 rating (up from a 17.5 rating).
Here’s the Top Ten, complete with Nielsen ratings:
|1.||All in the Family||CBS||37.5|
|2.||Bob Hope Christmas Show||CBS||34.1|
|3.||Jack Benny Special||NBC||32.6|
|4.||Sanford & Son||NBC||29.3|
|5.||The Wonderful World of Disney||NBC||28.7|
|6.||The NBC Sunday Mystery Movie (“Columbo”)||NBC||28.5|
|8.||Bridget Loves Bernie||CBS||26.1|
|9.||The Mary Tyler Moore Show||CBS||25.5|
|10.||The Flip Wilson Show||NBC||24.9|
Here’s how the networks fared on Wednesday, January 17th, an evening NBC dominated with its line-up of Adam-12, “The Bob Hope Christmas Special” and “Cole Porter in Paris,” another special. CBS broadcast “Strange Creatures of the Night,” a National Geographic special, Medical Center and Cannon. And ABC aired The Paul Lynde Show, The ABC Wednesday Movie (Female Artillery) and Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law.
Time ABC CBS NBC 8:00PM 16.3/24 19.7/28 (avg) 26.5/39 8:30PM 16.0/23 (avg) 19.7/28 34.1/49 (avg) 9:00PM 16.0/23 14.7/21 (avg) 34.1/49 9:30PM 16.0/23 14.7/21 34.1/49 10:00PM 16.7/29 (avg) 18.7/33 (avg) 19.2/34 (avg) 10:30PM 16.7/29 18.7/33 19.2/34 Average 16.3/25 17.7/27 27.9/42
Notice that ABC, despite ranking third for the evening as a whole, was second behind NBC during the 9-10PM hour due to the weak performance of Medical Center on CBS. Note also that NBC’s “Cole Porter Special” was unable to capitalize on its huge lead-in, barely beating Cannon on CBS during the 10-11PM time slot. NBC’s share of the audience dropped from 49% to 34% while ABC and CBS jumped from 23% to 29% and 21% to 33%, respectively.
On Saturday, January 20th, ABC premiered a new schedule that included two new sitcoms: Here We Go Again, A Touch of Grace, The Julie Andrews Hour and “Three Remarkable Women.” CBS broadcast its regular powerhouse lineup of All in the Family, Bridget Loves Bernie, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show and The Carol Burnett Show. NBC opened the evening with a half-hour “Presidential Inauguration” special, which was followed by The NBC Saturday Movie (The Apartment).
Time ABC CBS NBC 8:00PM 11.5/17 37.5/56 8.9/13 8:30PM 14.6/23 26.1/33 16.6/27 (avg) 9:00PM 12.7/20 (avg) 25.5/40 16.6/27 9:30PM 12.7/20 24.6/39 16.6/27 10:00PM 12.7/22 (avg) 20.9/36 (avg) 16.6/27 10:30PM 12.7/22 20.9/36 16.6/27 Average 12.8/21 26.0/40 15.3/25
The premiere of Here We Go Again ranked 64th out of 65 programs for the week, ahead of only NBC’s “Presidential Inauguration” special. The premiere of Touch of Grace fared slightly better, ranking 54th for the week, but The Julie Andrews Hour then sank back to 60th, while “Three Remarkable Women” was 59th. For the evening as a whole, the networks averaged a 54.1 Nielsen rating and a 86% share of the audience, meaning more than half of all television households in the nation were watching one of the networks and 86% of all television households watching television that evening were tuned into one of the networks.
Programs of note broadcast this week include The ABC Tuesday Movie (The Night Strangler starring Darren McGavin, a sequel to The Night Stalker; a weekly series, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, would air during the 1974-1975 season), which ranked 14th for the week with a 23.4 rating and “Return to Peyton Place,” a prime time special recapping NBC’s daytime serial of the same name, which ranked 58th with a 12.9 rating.
- (Historical TV Ratings) Nielsen Top Ten, January 1st – January 7th, 1973
- (Historical TV Ratings) Nielsen Top Ten, January 22nd – January 28th, 1973
- (Historical TV Ratings) Nielsen Top Ten, January 29th – February 4th, 1973
- (Historical TV Ratings) Nielsen Top Ten, January 8th – January 14th, 1973
- (Historical TV Ratings) Nielsen Top Ten, February 26th – March 4th, 1973