Here are the top ten programs for the two-week period running Sunday, March 11th through Saturday, March 24th, 1956. The first table lists the top ten by households and the second by rating.
I Love Lucy was at the top of both charts once again. A repeat (“Changing the Boys’ Wardrobe”) from Season 3 aired on Monday, March 12th while a new episode (“Lucy Gets a Paris Gown”) aired on Monday, March 19th.
The Jack Benny Program aired on Sunday, March 11th while Private Secretary aired on Sunday, March 18th.
ABC’s Disneyland featured “Stormy, the Thoroughbred” on Wednesday, March 14th and “The Goofy Sports Story” on Wednesday, March 21st.
NBC broadcast the 28th Academy Awards on Wednesday, March 21st starting at 10:30PM. Jerry Lewis hosted from Los Angeles while Claudette Colbert hosted from New York City. Marty won Best Picture. The special ranked 6th for the week with a 37.4 rating. That gave the network three programs in the Top 10 alongside Dragnet and You Bet Your Life.
|Number of TV Homes Reached|
|1.||I Love Lucy||CBS||16,602,000|
|3.||Ed Sullivan Show||CBS||14,286,000|
|5.||Jack Benny Show||CBS||13,163,000|
|9.||You Bet Your Life||NBC||12,145,000|
|Percent of TV Homes Reached|
|1.||I Love Lucy||CBS||49.1|
|3.||Ed Sullivan Show||CBS||42.6|
|4.||Jack Benny Show||CBS||39.7|
|9.||You Bet Your Life||NBC||35.6|
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. 23 Apr. 1956: 52.