Nielsen Bottom 10, November 20th-26th, 1972

Week 11 of the 1972-1973 season started on Monday, November 20th, 1972 and ended on Sunday, November 26th, 1972. The highest-rated program was All in the Family on CBS with a 36.5/54 Nielsen rating/share. Here are the 10 lowest-rated programs:

## Program Network Rating
49 Carol Burnett CBS 15.0/26
50 NBC Saturday Movie (How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying) NBC 14.7/26
51 Sixth Sense ABC 14.5/26
52 Dick Van Dyke CBS 14.6/21
53 Sandy Duncan CBS 13.3/20
54 SEARCH NBC 13.2/21
55 Bill Cosby CBS 12.6/21
56 Anna & King CBS 12.6/19
57 Tuesday NBC Movie (West Side Story) NBC 11.4/17
58 Alias Smith & Jones ABC 10.8/17

For the record, program titles are written exactly the way they were published in 1972.


“‘All in the Family’ Tops Ratings Again.” Los Angeles Times. 6 Dec. 1972: D24.

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13 Replies to “Nielsen Bottom 10, November 20th-26th, 1972”

  1. Suprising that Carol Burnett would be in the bottom 10. I have her book about the series, so I’m going to see if it was a rerun. Strange thing about Sandy Duncan: in 1971, she did a sitcom called “Funny Face” which was in the top 20, but it had to be suspended when she got a tumor that required eye surgery. Everyone always thinks she has a glass eye, but in fact she’s only blind in one eye. Anyway, CBS promised to give her another chance but moved her from Saturday at 8:30 after All In the Family to Sunday at 8:30 after MASH, Competing with ” The FBI” and the NBC Mystery Movie killed the show, but Duncan got to make a comeback when she replaced Valarie Harper on “The Hogan Family”.

    1. Update on previous post: Carol Burnett had a first-run episode with Vincent Price and Ray Charles, but it still ranked in the bottom, Also, Sandy Duncan lost part of her sight because a brain tumor that turned out to be benign. Duncan is retired but still alive.

      1. Update on the update: Duncan has not retired, she still performs in stage plays including “The Glass Menagerie”, “Driving Miss Daisy” and “Finding Neverland”.

  2. I am surprised that the ratings for “The New Dick Van Dyke Show” were so low. Did they improve later in the season? It did return for another season after this. Could it be that CBS had signed a deal to air the series for a certain number of seasons no matter what the ratings were?

  3. I don’t know about that, I’m guessing they gave producer Carl Reiner the benefit of the doubt. However, in an effort to save money the last season, the series moved from Arizona to Los Angeles. 3 seasons weren’t enough and as a result NDVD is rarely seen in reruns, not even streaming.

    1. Thank you, Charles. I just answered my own question. I looked at the Wikipedia entry about this show, and it said CBS signed a three year contract. Because they could not cancel it after season two, they retooled the format in an effort to increase the ratings.

      1. I just read that post and you’re right. Such a contract would never be written today unless the show was a proven success and NDVD was hardly a sure thing. If a performer wanted such a contract today, the network would have at least insisted on a buy-back clause. In this case, Van Dyke would have proably been paid for the third season, but no episodes would be shot. Freddy Silverman was running CBS in 1973, so he proably though he could save NDVD.

  4. Wasn’t Carol Burnett briefly on Mondays in the fall of 1972?

    That may have accounted for the very low ratings, since “NFL Monday Night Football” (then on ABC) had become a phenomenon in the ratings

    I believe her show was moved to another night shortly afterwards and again became a hit.

    1. The show started on Monday but switched to Wednesday in 1971. Its biggest numbers came when it moved to Saturday in 1973.

  5. Anna and the King had the most bizzarre pedegree===SAMANTHA EGGAR continued her career bountifully with THE COLLECTOR and a host of other successful films/= but without a musical emphasis/ or distinct style.. it didnt catch the right mode//… Guest appearances held it through the basic run—- i dont recall it being taken off YoU tUBE a few years back….copywrites or otherwise…(..i dont even recall its original production studio … NOT desilu????? meh..)

    1. The show was produced by Fox, the same studio that produced MASH which ran right after AATK. The king of course was Yul Brenner.

  6. The New Dick Van Dyke Show ran on Saturday nights its first two seasons, and got fairly decent ratings. CBS moved it to Monday nights its third season and it got annihilated in the ratings by Monday Night Football. The same thing happened to Bill Cosby’s variety show.

  7. 1972-73 was an interesting scheduling year as it was the first time NBC programmed Sunday night without “Bonanza” in 11 years. CBS went with what ended up being a disastrous comedy night on Sundays (ending with the ill-fitting “Mannix”), but was able to salvage “MASH” the following year by moving it to Saturday. NBC developed the Sunday Mystery Movie and hit the jackpot with “Columbo,” “McCloud,” and “McMillan and Wife” all hits, which sunk CBS. While Carol Burnett was doing OK on Wednesday nights at 8, at mid-season, she was shuffled over to Saturdays at 10, where her show hit its true zenith in quality and ratings. Almost all of CBS’s moves mid-season were successful, and they received a completed unexpected bonus as “The Waltons” shocked all the networks by becoming a Top 20, and next season, a Top 5, hit.

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