Nielsen Top 10, September 18th – September 24th, 1972

Here are the first ten programs from the second week of the 1972-1973 television season, which ran from Monday, September 18th, 1972 through Sunday, September 24th, 1972. All in the Family captured the top spot, helping newcomer Bridget Loves Bernie rank third (the premiere the previous week ranked sixth). Overall, CBS won the week with a 21.2 rating, NBC came in second with a 19.3 and ABC ranked third with a 16.1. By comparison, NBC won the previous week with a 20.7 rating, ABC was second with a 19.4 and CBS third with a 17.1.

ABC’s drop in the Nielsen ratings was due in part to the performance of the previous week’s The ABC Sunday Night Movie (a broadcast of Goldfinger) which had ranked second. During the second week of the season, The ABC Sunday Night Movie showed The Out of Towners and didn’t rank in the Top Twenty. While premiere week included four movies, the second week had only two: Valley of the Dolls (The CBS Friday Night Movie) and With Six You Get Eggroll (The NBC Monday Movie). Incredibly, the second half of Gunsmoke‘s eighteenth season ranked 10th (the first half, broadcast the previous week, tied for 15th).

Once again I only have the Nielsen ratings for the first two programs but going forward I should have ratings for the entire Top Ten.

Thursday, December 24th, 2009 Update: Bill was kind enough to contribute the remainder of the Nielsen ratings for this week.

## Program Net Rating
1. All in the Family CBS 32.0
2. CBS Friday Night Movie CBS 28.7
3. Bridget Loves Bernie CBS 26.0
4. Hawaii Five-O CBS 25.1
5. The Flip Wilson Show NBC 25.0
6. Maude CBS 24.1
7. Marcus Welby, M.D. ABC 24.0
8. NBC Monday Night Movie NBC 24.0
9. Sanford & Son NBC 23.5
10. Gunsmoke CBS 23.5


“All in Family, CBS Top New Ratings.” Los Angeles Times. 4 Oct. 1972: G16.

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2 Replies to “Nielsen Top 10, September 18th – September 24th, 1972”

  1. Once more, “ALL IN THE FAMILY” is #1 for the week, AND in its time period [Saturdays, 8-8:30pm(et)]; I know, because my family watched it at the time. We even watched “BRIDGET LOVES BERNIE” right after it; we saw nothing wrong with it, but religious groups often have more clout than “average viewers”, and they eventually forced it off the air because of the Irish/Jewish marriage depicted in the story line {think what COULD have happened, had Meredith Baxter “came out” during that period!}. Oh yes, this was the time ABC deleted the final sequence of “The Out-of-Towners” (1970) whenever they showed it on “THE SUNDAY NIGHT MOVIE”, due to a rash of airplane hijackings happening in real life {HIJACKER: “This plane is going to Havana!!”/SANDY DENNIS: “Oh, my GOD…”}. “MAUDE” and “HAWAII FIVE-O” were back-to-back successes on Tuesday nights [8-9:30pm], but “THE NEW CBS TUESDAY NIGHT MOVIES” (90 minute made-for-TV films), which followed at 9:30, didn’t do so well as ABC’s competing “TUESDAY MOVIE OF THE WEEK” from 8:30-10pm, with “MARCUS WELBY M.D.” {#7} at 10. Note that “NBC MONDAY NIGHT AT THE MOVIES” was a “Top Ten” success, but the show scheduled before it, “ROWAN & MARTIN’S LAUGH-IN” (at 8) was left behind by CBS’ competing “GUNSMOKE” {#10}. And indeed, it was the final season for Dan & Dick, as viewers were getting “tired” of their show after almost six seasons on the air…what “taboos” were left to satirize? A major cast upheaval didn’t help, either.

  2. Additional ratings information on the movies:

    2. The CBS Friday Movie – VALLEY OF THE DOLLS (CBS) 28.7HH/50%
    8. NBC Monday Night at the Movies – WITH SIX YOU GET EGGROLL (NBC) 24.0HH/37%

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