Here are the top ten programs for the two-week period running Sunday, February 26th through Saturday, March 10th, 1956. The week of Sunday, February 19th was a Nielsen “black week” and no ratings were taken. Read more about “black weeks” here. The first table lists the top ten by households and the second by rating.
I Love Lucy once again topped both charts, this time by a pretty decent margin. The two episodes aired during this ratings period were “Paris at Least” (on Monday, February 27th) and “Lucy Meets Charles Boyer” (on Monday, March 5th).
The Jack Benny Program aired on Sunday, February 26th while Private Secretary (which didn’t crack the Top 10 this week) aired on Sunday, March 4th.
ABC’s Disneyland featured “Trip Through Adventureland–Water Birds” on Wednesday, February 29th and “On Vacation” on Wednesday, March 7th (with Jiminy Cricket as host).
G.E. Theater presented “Try to Remember” on Sunday, February 26th with Ronald Reagan, Kim Hunter, and Angie Dickinson. “A Letter from the Queen” aired on Sunday, March 4th with Paul Muni, Christopher Plummer, and Polly Bergen.
|Number of TV Homes Reached|
|1.||I Love Lucy||CBS||16,953,000|
|3.||Ed Sullivan Show||CBS||14,496,000|
|5.||Jack Benny Show||CBS||13,233,000|
|8.||You Bet Your Life||NBC||12,390,000|
|Percent of TV Homes Reached|
|1.||I Love Lucy||CBS||50.1|
|3.||Ed Sullivan Show||CBS||43.2|
|5.||Jack Benny Show||CBS||40.1|
|9.||You Bet Your Life||NBC||36.3|
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. 9 Apr. 1956: 44.