Here are the top ten programs for the two-week period running Sunday, December 25th, 1955 through Saturday, January 7th, 1956. The first table lists the top ten by households and the second by rating.
Only the inclusion of the 1956 Rose Bowl (played between the Michigan State Spartans and the UCLA Bruins on Monday, January 2nd, 1956) suggested that this particular two-week period was filled with holidays and football games. All the other programs on both lists are the same regularly-scheduled programs that have been filling the top ten all season.
ABC’s Disneyland featured “Man and the Moon” on Wednesday, December 28th, 1955 and the first half of “When Knightood Was in Flower” on Wednesday, January 4th, 1956.
|Number of TV Homes Reached|
|2.||I Love Lucy||CBS||14,672,000|
|3.||Rose Bowl Football Game||NBC||14,426,000|
|6.||You Bet Your Life||NBC||12,074,000|
|7.||I’ve Got a Secret||CBS||11,618,000|
|10.||Ed Sullivan Show||CBS||11,337,000|
|Percent of TV Homes Reached|
|2.||I Love Lucy||CBS||43.5|
|3.||Rose Bowl Football Game||NBC||41.8|
|6.||You Bet Your Life||NBC||35.4|
|7.||I’ve Got a Secret||CBS||35.2|
|10.||Ed Sullivan Show||CBS||34.0|
Copyright 1956 by A. C. Nielsen Co.
Note: Prior to July 1960, Nielsen ratings were not based on the total number of television households in the United States. From 1950 to 1953, ratings were a percentage of households in cities/markets in which the program was broadcast. From 1953 to 1960, ratings were a percentage of households capable of viewing a program.
“Latest Ratings: Nielsen.” Broadcasting*Telecasting. 6 Feb. 1956: 29.