Here are the first ten programs from the twenty-seventh week of the 1972-1973 television season, which ran from Monday, March 12th, 1973 through Sunday, March 18th, 1973. There were a total of 62 programs broadcast during the week and The Los Angeles Times published the complete Nielsen report on March 28th, 1973. Once again All in the Family was the highest-rated program of the week. In third place was “Acts of Love — and Other Comedies,” an ABC special starring Marlo Thomas that aired on Friday, March 16th from 9-10PM. “The Red Pony,” another special, was in fourth. Based on a John Steinbeck story, the special aired on Sunday, March 18th from 8:30-10:30PM. Just outside the Top Ten was “The Lily Tomlin Show,” a CBS special that aired on Friday, March 16th from 10-11PM.
CBS won the week with an average 20.6 Nielsen rating (equal to its rating the previous week), followed by NBC with a 16.6 rating (up slightly from a 16.4 rating) and ABC with a 16.1 rating (down sharply from a 17.6 rating). Here’s the Top Ten, complete with Nielsen ratings:
|1.||All in the Family||CBS||34.7|
|2.||Sanford and Son||NBC||28.0|
|3.||“Acts of Love — and Other Comedies”||ABC||27.4|
|4.||“The Red Pony”||NBC||27.3|
|8.||The Partridge Family||ABC||24.5|
|9.||The Wonderful World of Disney||NBC||24.3|
Here’s how the networks fared on Friday, March 16th, 1973. ABC aired The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family “Acts of Love — and Other Comedies,” and Love, American Style. CBS broadcast three specials: “The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine,” “Ed Sullivan’s Broadway” and “The Lily Tomlin Show.” NBC filled its schedule with Sanford & Son followed by two-and-a-half hours of hockey (Boston vs. Detroit).
Time ABC CBS NBC 8:00PM 15.8/27 10.9/18 28.0/47 8:30PM 24.5/41 15.3/26 (avg) 7.1/12 (avg) 9:00PM 27.4/46 (avg) 15.3/26 7.1/12 9:30PM 27.4/46 15.3/26 7.1/12 10:00PM 18.5/53 (avg) 23.4/43 (avg) 7.1/12 10:30PM 18.5/53 23.4/43 7.1/12 Average 22.0/38 17.3/30 10.6/18
ABC did quite well with its line-up of regular series and specials. CBS was hurt by its Harlem Globetrotters special, which was a weak lead-in for “Ed Sullivan’s Broadway,” but recovered nicely at 10PM with “The Lily Tomlin Show.” As for NBC, despite the huge lead-in provided by Sanford & Son, viewers simply did not tune in for hockey.