Here are the first ten programs from the twenty-fourth week of the 1972-1973 television season, which ran from Monday, February 19th, 1973 through Sunday, February 25th, 1973. There were a total of 62 programs broadcast during the week and The Los Angeles Times published the complete Nielsen report on March 7th, 1973. All in the Family on CBS was once again the most-watched program for the week, with NBC’s Sanford and Son in second place. Three specials rounded out the top five: “Highlights of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus” (NBC, 7:30-8:30PM, Sunday, February 25th) “Country Music Hit Parade” (NBC, 8:30-9:30PM, Sunday, February 25th) and “Ed Sullivan Presents the TV Comedy Years (CBS, 9:30-11PM, Tuesday, February 20th).
Two movie nights were also in the Top Ten: NBC Saturday Night at the Movies (I Walk the Line) and The ABC Tuesday Movie of the Week (A Brand New Life). CBS won the week with an average 19.9 Nielsen rating, followed by NBC with a 19.2 rating and ABC with a 17.7 rating. Here’s the Top Ten, complete with Nielsen ratings:
|1.||All in the Family||CBS||31.2|
|2.||Sanford and Son||NBC||28.9|
|3.||“Highlights of Ringling/Barnum Circus”||NBC||27.4|
|4.||“Country Music Hit Parade”||NBC||26.8|
|5.||“Television Comedy Years”||CBS||24.5|
|7.||The Flip Wilson Show||NBC||24.1|
|8.||NBC Saturday Night at the Movies||NBC||23.7|
|9.||The ABC Tuesday Movie of the Week||ABC||23.6|
|10.||Marcus Welby, M.D.||ABC||23.5|
And here are the five lowest-rated programs of the week:
|60.||The Bobby Darin Show||NBC||11.0|
|61.||Touch of Grace||ABC||10.6|
|62.||The Julie Andrews Hour||ABC||8.1|
|63.||The Men (Jigsaw)||ABC||7.4|
|64.||Here We Go Again||ABC||5.8|
Here We Go Again had a 9% share of the audience. That would be considered mediocre even by today’s standards, let alone 1973.
Here’s how the networks fared on Thursday, February 22nd. ABC aired The Mod Squad, Kung Fu and The Streets of San Francisco. CBS broadcast The Waltons and The CBS Thursday Movie (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?). NBC filled its schedule with The Flip Wilson Show, Ironside and The Dean Martin Show.
Time ABC CBS NBC 8:00PM 15.3/23 (avg) 22.8/34 (avg) 24.1/36 (avg) 8:30PM 15.3/23 22.8/34 24.1/36 9:00PM 19.2/29 (avg) 18.2/32 (avg) 22.7/34 (avg) 9:30PM 19.2/29 18.2/32 22.7/34 10:00PM 17.9/30 (avg) 18.2/32 16.4/29 (avg) 10:30PM 17.9/30 18.2/32 16.4/29 Average 17.5/27 19.7/32 16.4/29
Notice that despite losing the 10-11PM hour NBC was still able to win the night by a comfortable margin. Furthermore, even though it performed relatively poorly in the Nielsen ratings The Dean Martin Show would stay on the air until May of 1974.