Nielsen Bottom 10, December 25th-31st, 1972

The final week of 1972 was a Nielsen “black week” and no national television ratings were issued. If you’re not familiar with the concept of a “black week,” learn all about them by reading my Nielsen Black Weeks article. Simply put, until 1973 there were four weeks during the year when Nielsen didn’t release national TV ratings: in late April, late June, late August and late December.

Television critics liked these weeks because the networks used them to offload “prestigious” programs that would otherwise draw low ratings. But “black weeks” were also often filled with repeats.

Do you remember watching documentaries or news specials on television during the last week of 1972?


4 Comments

  • Doc Funnypants says:

    With the death of President Harry Truman happening on the 26th of December, it’s possible one or more networks aired a special about his life and the funeral when it took place. I’d like to know for sure if that happened.

    • Karen Martin says:

      You Tube has a 90 minute video of CBS news coverage of former President Harry S Truman’s funeral. I’m sure that was shown during daytime hours, and not during prime time.

      My brief Internet search didn’t find any reference to 1972 television specials about Truman. My guess is that there was nothing beyond his funeral, plus the networks’ evening news probably devoted much of their 30 minute broadcasts to the former president.

      My guess is that the only death of a president to receive primetime programing was coverage of President Kennedy’s assassination.

  • James G Shell says:

    I recall watching coverage of Truman’s funeral in the daytime while on Christmas vacation from school. I also remember daytime coverage of the Apollo 17 mission. Lyndon Johnson attended Truman’s funeral, and died himself about a month later.

  • Stephen Z. says:

    It is possible CBS at least might have interrupted their programming on the night of December 26th. The Hawaii Five-O episode Death Wish on Tantalus Mountain was scheduled to be rerun that night. It was rerun on July 17th 1973 . In those days, shows usually were not rerun more than once in the same season. I believe when President Eisenhower died on March 28th 1969, programming on CBS was affected. The Wild Wild West episode Night of the Tycoons which was supposed to have aired that night was pushed back to April 11th 1969.

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