Nielsen Bottom 10, December 11th-17th, 1972

Week 14 of the 1972-1973 season started on Monday, December 11th, 1972 and ended on Sunday, December 17th, 1972. The highest-rated program was All in the Family on CBS with a 34.0/55 Nielsen rating/share. Here are the 10 lowest-rated programs:

## Program Network Rating
61 Apollo-NBC NBC 12.5/22
62 “Lennon-Ono-one-to-one Concert” ABC 12.0/21
63 Apollo-ABC ABC 11.6/20
64 Julie Andrews ABC 11.5/20
65 Anna & The King CBS 11.1/18
66 Bold Ones NBC 10.9/17
67 The Men ABC 10.8/17
68 America NBC 10.4/18
69 Apollo-ABC ABC 10.0/16
70 Alias Smith & Jones ABC   9.6/16

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


“All in the Family Keeps Top Rating.” Los Angeles Times. 1 Jan. 1973: G24.

I’m still looking for the full Nielsen chart for the week of December 18-24, 1972. I can only find the Top 10 and I need the 10 lowest-rated programs for that week. Please contact me if you can help.

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4 Replies to “Nielsen Bottom 10, December 11th-17th, 1972”

  1. The “Apollo” shows were probably special reports on the moonwalks of the Apollo 17 mission, which probably aired a half-hour at a time.

    I recall that the moonwalks aired in prime-time, but except for the final one on December 13, 1972, network specials generally aired from 5:30 to 6 P.M., 7:30 to 8 P.M., and from 11:30 P.M. until astronauts Gene Cernan (who passed away a few months back) and Jack Schmitt returned to their lunar module (all times Eastern).

    For the last moonwalk (which was also the last time men have walked on the moon up to the present), NBC News (and maybe the other networks as well) was able to get an hour from 10 to 11 P.M. Eastern to show more of the final moonwalk. After the usual late local news, the networks came back at 11:30 to cover the final hour or so of the last moonwalk.

    FYI: ABC, CBS, and NBC had all aired every moonwalk of the Apollo 11, 12, 14, and 15 missions live and in full from start-to-finish. However, for Apollos 16 and 17, there was much less network coverage (although I’ve heard that during Apollos 16 and 17, the Houston TV stations carried much more coverage, locally produced, since Mission Control was right in the Houston area and it wouldn’t cost those stations very much to take the NASA pool feed from the control center, which included the video and air-to-ground of the moonwalks)

    Chances are, ABC, CBS, and NBC aired these special reports at the same time, hence, the ratings for each one were somewhat low, but combining all three networks’ simultaneous specials, a lot of people actually tuned-in.

  2. Does anyone know how McMillan and Wife rated on Wednesday December 13, 1972? That episode was originally scheduled for December 24th, but Rock Hudson demanded it not be shown that day because no one would watch on Christmas Eve. NBC rescheduled McMillan for a special Wednesday outing and aired a new installment of McCloud on December 24th. I’m curious what their ratings were.

  3. I lived through it,and there were more students interested in the transistor radio they carried arround now than any astronaut and men interested in meeting with groups of other men or smoking a pipe or reading a newspaper and women with looking pretty than any astronaut.Except for NASA there wasn’t any audience at all for Apollo Apollo 13 until they announced “Houston,we have a problem.”How many people know that the Eagle’s landing gear is still on the ground 30 feet away from the flag Neil Armstrong planted in the sea of tranquility on day 9-that would be July 12,1969 while Buz Aldrin photographed him from the third rung of the lunar landing module and Michael Vollins orbited the moon in the Columbia.Also,because of that small audience,not that many people know the Eagle had to be ejected and then recovered on the other side of the moon because there was an explosion im one of the oxygen tanks

    1. In 1995 there was a Tom Hanks movie entitled Apollo 13, which grossed more than $355 million. Even today, close to 30 years after that film was released, there are still people who search out Tom Hanks films to watch, so I would imagine many people born after the Apollo space project ended are aware that Apollo 13 was in danger of never safely returning to earth.

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