Here are the top ten programs for the two-week period running Sunday, March 25th through Saturday, April 7th, 1956. The first table lists the top ten by households and the second by rating.
I Love Lucy topped both charts once again. A new episode (“Lucy in the Swiss Alps”) aired on Monday, March 26th with a repeat (“Too Many Crooks”) airing on Monday, April 2nd.
The Jack Benny Program aired on Sunday, March 25th while Private Secretary aired on Sunday, April 1st but didn’t rank in the Top 10.
ABC’s Disneyland featured “Tribute to Joel Chandler Harris” on Wednesday, March 28th and “Where Do the Stories Come From?” on Wednesday, April 4th.
CBS aired “Highlights of The Greatest Show on Earth” from 7:30-8:30PM on Tuesday, April 3rd. The special was sponsored by General Foods. It was broadcast live from Madison Square Garden and featured a preview of the 1956 Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus. Bob Cummings served as master of ceremonies with help from his wife Mary Elliott and two of their children.
|Number of TV Homes Reached|
|1.||I Love Lucy||CBS||15,198,000|
|4.||Ed Sullivan Show||CBS||12,671,000|
|5.||Jack Benny Show||CBS||12,390,000|
|8.||You Bet Your Life||NBC||11,302,000|
|9.||Greatest Show on Earth||CBS||11,267,000|
|10.||I’ve Got a Secret||CBS||10,706,000|
|Percent of TV Homes Reached|
|1.||I Love Lucy||CBS||44.8|
|4.||Ed Sullivan Show||CBS||37.8|
|5.||Jack Benny Show||CBS||37.1|
|7.||Greatest Show on Earth||CBS||34.7|
|You Bet Your Life||NBC||33.1|
|10.||I’ve Got a Secret||CBS||32.2|
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. 7 May. 1956: 52.