Here are the Top Ten programs from the 26th and 27th weeks of the 1966-1967 season according to the Nielsen ratings. I’m able to continue providing these lists thanks to a generous reader who would like to remain anonymous. Note that these aren’t the two-week combined NTI reports but the individual Top Ten lists for each week. Also of interest is the fact that during this period there were no specials, sporting events or movies in the Nielsen Top Ten, just regular weekly programming.
For the 26th week of the season, which ran Monday, March 6th, 1967 through Sunday, March 12th, 1967, CBS captured eight of the Top Ten slots in the Nielsens. NBC’s best performer was Bonanza, which ranked 4th, while ABC’s was The Lawrence Welk Show in eighth place.
|1.||The Red Skelton Hour||CBS||31.3|
|2.||The Andy Griffith Show||CBS||28.8|
|3.||The Jackie Gleason Show||CBS||27.1|
|5.||The Lucy Show||CBS||25.7|
|8.||The Lawrence Welk Show||ABC||23.7|
|9.||The Ed Sullivan Show||CBS||23.5|
|10.||The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour||CBS||23.4|
For the 27th week of the season, which ran Monday, March 13th, 1967 through Sunday, March 19th, 1967, NBC did a little better, placing three shows in the Top Ten. ABC could only manage to place Bewitched tenth.
|1.||The Red Skelton Hour||CBS||29.5|
|2.||The Andy Griffith Show||CBS||28.6|
|3.||The Dean Martin Show||NBC||27.9|
|4.||The Jackie Gleason Show||CBS||27.1|
|5.||The Wonderful World of Disney||NBC||26.6|
|6.||The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour||CBS||25.9|
|7.||The Lucy Show||CBS||24.9|
Look at all those titles in the form of “The BLANK Show” or “The BLANK Hour.” The Lawrence Welk Show, The Andy Griffith Show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, The Dean Martin Show, the list goes on. And so many of them were comedy/variety. Was the 1966-1967 season the high water mark of the genre?