I’m not entirely satisfied with this article but it’s an interesting bit of television history that has been all but forgotten. It’s hard to believe that there used to be weeks when the networks didn’t have to worry about getting low ratings. Read all about Nielsen Black Weeks:
Until the early 1970s, the A.C. Nielsen Company (now Nielsen Media Research), provider of audience measurement information, would not release a national ratings report four weeks out of the year. During these so-called “black weeks,” the networks would fill their schedules with plenty of repeats and the occasional “prestige” program (documentaries and news reports). Learn about the history of the “black weeks” and why they went away.
What would television be like today if there were still “black weeks” four times a year?