Nielsen Top 10, October 23rd – October 29th, 1972

Here are the first ten programs from the seventh week of the 1972-1973 television season, which ran from Monday, October 23rd, 1972 through Sunday, October 29th, 1972. There were a total of 61 programs broadcast during the week and The Los Angeles Times published the complete Nielsen report on November 8th, 1972. All in the Family was once again in the top slot for CBS but Bridget Loves Bernie was way out of the Top Ten at 18th (with a 22.5 rating, down from a 28.3 rating the week before when it ranked fourth). Why? Probably due to competition from NBC’s Saturday Night Movie (It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World), ranked eleventh for the week. Two other movie nights were in the Top Ten” The CBS Thursday Movie (Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner) and The ABC Tuesday Movie (Short Walk to Daylight, which was actually a made-for-TV movie). There was also one television special in the Top Ten, the premiere of “You’re Elected, Charlie Brown” (the title was changed to “You’re Not Elected, Charlie Brown” in future airings).

For the week as a whole, CBS averaged a 20.1 Nielsen rating (up from a 19.2 rating the week before), NBC a 19.4 (down from a 22.8) and ABC an 18.8 (up from a 17.2). NBC’s huge drop was due to having the World Series the week before. Here’s the Top Ten, complete with Nielsen ratings:

## Program Net Rating
1. All in the Family CBS 32.1
2. Marcus Welby, M.D. ABC 27.3
3. The FBI ABC 25.8
4. The CBS Thursday Movie CBS 25.7
5. The ABC Tuesday Movie ABC 25.5
6. Sanford and Son CBS 25.4
7. The Flip Wilson Show NBC 25.4
8. Here’s Lucy CBS 25.4
9. “You’re Elected, Charlie Brown” CBS 24.9
10. Hawaii Five-O CBS 24.8

Here’s how all three networks fared on Saturday, October 28th. ABC aired Alias Smith and Jones, The Street of San Francisco and The Sixth Sense. CBS broadcast All in the Family, Bridget Loves Bernie, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show and Mission: Impossible. NBC filled its three hours of prime time with It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

 8:00PM 10.2/16 32.1/51 24.6/40
 8:30PM 10.2/16 22.5/36 24.6/40
 9:00PM 13.4/21 20.8/33 24.6/40
 9:30PM 13.4/21 20.8/33 24.6/40
10:00PM 11.3/19 16.9/29 24.6/40
10:30PM 11.3/19 16.9/29 24.6/40
Average 11.6/19 21.2/35 24.6/40

Despite starting off with a 50% share of the available audience, CBS ended the evening with a 29% share, ultimately ranking second behind NBC. ABC was barely on the map with its lineup; all three of its Saturday programs were in the Bottom Five. Streets of San Francisco ranked 57th, The Sixth Sense 59th and Alias Smith & Jones dead last at 61st. Although It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World averaged a 40% share for the entire evening, it likely had a much lower share during the 8-8:30PM time slot when it competed with All in the Family.


“All in the Family Leads Nielsen Again.” Los Angeles Times. 8 Nov. 1972: D22.

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2 Replies to “Nielsen Top 10, October 23rd – October 29th, 1972”

  1. “A Short Walk To Daylight”, originally a 90 minute “TUESDAY MOVIE OF THE WEEK”, was eventually expanded (by its producer, MCA/Universal) into an overseas theatrical film, with additional footage and subplot; that version was syndicated to local stations by the late ’70s.

  2. The subway scenes of “A Short Walk to Daylight” were filmed at the abandoned IND Court Street station in Brooklyn. Today, that station is home to the New York Transit Museum.

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