Nielsen Bottom 10, March 12th-18th, 1973

Week 27 of the 1972-1973 season started on Monday, March 12th, 1973 and ended on Sunday, March 18th, 1973. The highest-rated program was All in the Family on CBS with a 34.7/56 Nielsen rating/share. Here are the 10 lowest-rated programs:

## Program Network Rating
53 Search NBC 12.2/22
54 “American Idea” Special ABC 12.2/18
55 “What About Tomorrow” ABC 12.1/23
56 Touch of Grace ABC 11.9/20
57 “Harlem Globetrotters” CBS 10.9/18
58 America NBC 10.4/18
59 Julie Andrews ABC   9.7/16
60 “Making Good in America” ABC   8.1/16
61 NHL Hockey NBC   7.1/12
62 Here We Go Again ABC   5.5/ 9

“Making Good in America,” an ABC News special about the values of America narrated by Howard K. Smith, aired from 10-11PM ET on Monday, March 12th.

Variety special “The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine” aired on CBS from 8-9PM ET on Friday, March 16th. NBC aired an NHL hockey game between the Boston Bruins and the Detroit Red Wings starting at 8:30PM ET. And from 10:30-11PM ET, ABC aired “New Hopes for Health,” another What About Tomorrow? documentary.

ABC aired “The American Idea: The Land” from 8-9PM on Sunday, March 18th. Read my spotlight on “The American Idea” to learn more about this special.


“The Bunkers and CBS Top Nielsen Poll.” Los Angeles Times. 28 Mar. 1973: 31.

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8 Replies to “Nielsen Bottom 10, March 12th-18th, 1973”

  1. In comparison:
    62 Here We Go Again ABC 5.5/ 9 1973
    ? Life Sentence CW 0.8/0.3 2018
    And this was the first (and maybe last) week of Life Sentence.

    1. Those numbers aren’t really compatable. There were only 3 networks and no streaming in 1973 so a 5.5 rating today would actually be respectable, at least for a cable network. Life Sentence was an overnight rating which doesn’t consider time-shifting or streaming, the basis on which CW judges. I don’t think It will be cancelled right now, but if those numbers don’t rise, LS might have the same lifespan as HWGA.

      1. I got the numbers from The Futon Critic.They include DVR playback until 3am. But even if the other numbers bring it up a bit, Life Sentence is obviously a very badly performing pilot. A 0.2 on the pilot, even for the CW, means certain death.

      2. Today’s ratings as reported by the media are out of date but the Networks don’t share the numbers that matter. Each network has increased their own research department that mixes their own numbers with the Nielsen numbers. No network pays much attention to overnight (Fox and others have said so publicly). The L+3 (Live plus three days) is a better number but the press and its readers what it now not three days from now. Fox even uses the L+30 (Live plus thirty days).

        Never look at a series ratings without also looking at where it ranks against its network’s other shows. CW is seeking a certain audience that does not watch at home so it uses other numbers (some strange like twitter response). This is why Crazy Ex-Girlfriend gets renewed despite being the lowest rating series on TV all three seasons. Compare Life Sentence numbers to the other series, shows such as Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Dynasty, iZombie have comparable numbers.

        CW will air six nights starting this fall (adding Sunday) and they like series with fewer episodes per seasons than the other networks. So don’t be surprised if they pick-up some really low rated series such as iZombie, Dynasty, and Life Sentence simply to fill space.

  2. Was that NBC’s first NHL telecast? If so, that would explain it being in prime time. NBC telecast the NHL on Sunday afternoons for the next two or three years; I saw only one of those games, but if I recall correctly, the crew was Tim Ryan calling play-by-play, Ted Lindsay providing colour commentary, and Brian McFarlane doing the same hosting duties that he did on Hockey Night in Canada. I think he originated the Peter Puck character on the NBC telecasts before it was shown on HNIC.

    1. NBC carried only two prime-time NHL games during the 1972-73 regular-season and two other prime-time games during the 1973 Stanley Cup Finals (the rest were on Sunday afternoons).

      Both regular-season games featured the Boston Bruins (led by Bobby Orr, at that time the biggest star in hockey). Both games were on Friday nights with 8:35 P.M. Eastern start times, so they would follow NBC’s top-rated sitcom “Sanford and Son”, hoping to keep some of that show’s audience.

      Jack Morrow was correct about the announcing team and the “Peter Puck” features originally on NBC. But while Brian MacFarlene as far as I know, created Peter Puck, the animated features were actually done by Hanna-Barbera Productions.

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