Here are the top ten programs for the two-week period running Sunday, January 8th, 1956 through Saturday, January 21st, 1956. The first table lists the top ten by households and the second by rating.
The big event during these two weeks was the second NBC live broadcast of the musical Peter Pan starring Mary Martin, broadcast on January 9th as an installment of NBC’s Producers’ Showcase. The play had originally aired in March 1955.
Disneyland on ABC featured the second half of “When Knighthood Was in Flower” on Wednesday, January 11th and “Tribute to Joel Chandler Harris” on Wednesday, January 18th.
Ford Theatre returned to the top ten for the first time since early December 1955.
|Number of TV Homes Reached|
|2.||I Love Lucy||CBS||14,637,000|
|6.||Ed Sullivan Show||NBC||13,619,000|
|7.||You Bet Your Life||NBC||12,952,000|
|8.||Jack Benny Show||CBS||12,917,000|
|Percent of TV Homes Reached|
|2.||I Love Lucy||CBS||43.1|
|5.||Ed Sullivan Show||CBS||40.8|
|7.||Jack Benny Show||CBS||38.9|
|8.||You Bet Your Life||NBC||38.0|
Copyright 1956 by A. C. Nielsen Co.
Note: Prior to July 1960, Nielsen ratings were not based on the total number of television households in the United States. From 1950 to 1953, ratings were a percentage of households in cities/markets in which the program was broadcast. From 1953 to 1960, ratings were a percentage of households capable of viewing a program.
“Latest Ratings: Nielsen.” Broadcasting*Telecasting. 20 Feb. 1956: 35.