Nielsen Top Ten, September 26th-October 9th, 1966

Here are the first ten programs from the second Nielsen Television Index (NTI) for the 1966-1967 television season, covering the second two weeks of the season, from Monday, September 26th, 1966 through Sunday, October 9th, 1966. They were published in the October 31st, 1966 edition of Broadcasting. These ratings are the average of both week’s programming except in the case of special programming like the last game of the 1966 World Series (broadcast by NBC on Sunday, October 9th) and a Bob Hope special called “The Bob Hope Comedy Special” (broadcast by NBC on Wednesday, September 28th).

Installments of The NBC Saturday Movie were Rear Window on Saturday, October 1st and The Joker is Wild on Saturday, October 8th. And the installments of The ABC Sunday Movie were Move Over, Darling on Sunday, October 2nd and The Young Lions (Part 1) on Sunday, October 9th.

## Program Network Rating
1. The World Series (Sunday) NBC 33.4
2. Bonanza NBC 30.0
3. The Bob Hope Show (Special) NBC 27.4
4. The Red Skelton Show CBS 25.7
5. The Andy Griffith Show CBS 24.8
6. The Lucy Show CBS 23.8
  The NBC Saturday Movie NBC 23.8
8. Rat Patrol ABC 23.7
9. The Jackie Gleason Show CBS 23.4
10. The ABC Sunday Movie ABC 23.1

“NBC Leads Second Nielsen.” Broadcasting. 31 Oct. 1966: 64.

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3 Replies to “Nielsen Top Ten, September 26th-October 9th, 1966”

  1. The “Bob Hope Chrysler Special” [Wednesday, 9pm(et)], the first of the 1966-’67 season (and the last alternating with his weekly “CHYRSLER THEATER” anthology), featured Bob and a “reunion” of his various female movie co-stars, including Lucille Ball, Joan Collins, Joan Fontaine, Dorothy Lamour, Virginia Mayo, Jane Russell, Vera Miles, Janis Paige, et. al.- and “special guest appearances” by Ken Murray (who was a old pro himself at attracting glamourous women, for his “Blackouts”) and Paul Lynde (always good for a laugh)…and, of course, Jerry Colonna. The special was heavily promoted [naturally, Bob appeared on Johnny Carson’s “TONIGHT SHOW”, before it aired, to give it a thorough plug, as usual], and of course, it was one of the most watched shows the week it aired.

    “THE JACKIE GLEASON SHOW” had just begun its arc of ‘The Honeymooners’ “Trip To Europe” episodes (virtually the same scripts used on Gleason’s variety show in early 1957, expanded to a full hour with a slightly different supporting cast [MacRae & Kean replacing Meadows & Randolph], color, songs and lavish production numbers by Lyn Duddy & Jerry Bresler), and those segments were usually in the “Top Ten” through the end of 1966.

    The surprise hit on Monday nights was “THE RAT PATROL”, coming within ONE ratings point of perennial champ Lucille Ball. Three weeks on the air, and it was an unexpected success at 8:30pm(et)- which, of course, spelled the demise for NBC’s “ROGER MILLER SHOW”, who couldn’t hold the viewers tuned in to “I DREAM OF JEANNIE” at 8.

    “BONANZA”, of course, continued its “choke-hold” on Sundays at 9pm, although “THE SUNDAY NIGHT MOVIE” on ABC, IF it scheduled the right “network premiere” of a feature film viewers were actually looking forward to seeing {including “MOVE OVER, DARLING” (1963) and “THE YOUNG LIONS” (1958)}, came awfully close. This meant very few viewers tuned in to see Garry Moore’s ill-fated revival of his beloved variety series; he threw in the towel by the end of ’66.

    1. Garry Moore had left his stint hosting I’VE GOT A SECRET mainly because he was disgusted with notorious CBS-TV president James Aubrey canceling his variety hour, despite the fact Moore realized it could use some freshening and was willing to make changes. With this return, Moore did add new features, including prototype music videos produced by Jay Ward, Mr. ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE.

  2. I thought back then, the World Series was played in the afternoon (even during the week).

    It’s possible that the Sunday game might have began at 4:05 P.M. Eastern time (after regional AFL games on NBC earlier that day), with the conclusion of the game and the postgame show “spilling over” into prime-time, allowing the game to “count” as a prime-time program..

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