Nielsen Bottom 10, September 10th-16th, 1973

Last fall, I started posting the weekly Bottom 10 programs from the 1972-1973 season. Today, I’ll start doing the same thing with the 1973-1974 season. However, I only have access to complete weekly rankings and ratings, courtesy of The Los Angeles Times, for the first 15 weeks of the season. So, that’s where I’ll have to stop.

As was the case with the 1972-1973 season, I won’t be providing much in the way of analysis each week. I’m leaving that up to my readers. But I will offer details on any specials, news, or sports programs that are in the Bottom 10 each week.

(Back in 2016, I posted the Bottom 10 programs from each week of the 1987-1988 season. Start here.)

We kick things off with the first week of the 1973-1974 season. It began on Monday, September 10th, 1973 and ended on Sunday, September 16th, 1973. The highest-rated program was Planet of the Apes (broadcast as an installment of The CBS Friday Night Movies) on CBS with a 33.6/57 Nielsen rating/share. Here are the 10 lowest-rated programs:

## Program Network Rating
49 “Furst Family-Washington” ABC 11.9/21
50 Room 222 ABC 11.2/19
51 NBC Movie (“Drive Hard, Drive Fast”) NBC 11.0/18
52 Calucci’s Department CBS 10.2/18
53 Adam’s Rib ABC 10.2/17
54 Odd Couple ABC   9.0/16
55 NFL Players-Awards Dinner CBS   9.0/15
56 Love, American Style ABC   8.6/15
57 Love Thy Neighbor ABC   8.5/16
58 “America Goes Public” NBC   6.6/13

ABC aired unsold sitcom pilot “The Furst Family of Washington” on Tuesday, September 11th from 8-8:30PM. The network reworked the concept into That’s My Mama starring Clifton Davis and Theresa Meritt. It premiered in September 1974.

CBS aired “The NFL Players Association Awards Dinner” from 9-11PM ET on Friday, September 14th. Buddy Hackett and Peter Falk served as co-hosts.

NBC carried the seven-hour “America Goes Public” telethon raising money for the Democratic National Committee live on Saturday, September 15th from 7PM to 11PM ET and from 11:30PM to 2AM ET. The telethon was extended to an eighth hour at the last minute. I’m not sure if NBC aired the extra hour.


“CBS Leads Ratings, but New Shows Lag.” Los Angeles Times. 27 Sep. 1973: E18.
“Democrats Seek $6.2-Million in 8-Hour Telethon.” New York Times. 16 Sep. 1973: 42.

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7 Replies to “Nielsen Bottom 10, September 10th-16th, 1973”

  1. Interesting that the DNC held a telethon in 1973. Although the party controlled both chambers of Congress, they incurred a lot of debt in the unsuccessful McGovern campaign. Today there’s so much soft money neither party has to go begging on TV, instead they bug us with Emails!

  2. It is interesting that they bothered to rework “The Furst Family of Washington” when the ratings for it were so low. I would think they would have been more inclined to do that if the ratings were at least mid-way up the list.

  3. Both Room 222 and Love American Style would make it until January and that would be it. They both premiered in 1969. I remember Room 222 as a really good, realistic (for its time) show about high school. Remember Karen Valentine as well! But LAS was just a kinda cute show. The theme song to it was cool and it also had the Happy Days pilot as one of its segs. This week they got crushed by the network premiere of Planet of the Apes. Those damn dirty apes! :)

      1. When I said POTA, I meant the series! The movie was a blockbuster for CBS and became a series the following year!

  4. I did a little bit of Google searching on “America Goes Public”. A telethon benefitting the Democratic National Committee? Huh?

    I’ve never heard of a telethon for national parties before. Apparently, the DNC did three of these. According to one book I found, ABC changed their plans to air “Rosemary’s Baby” that night after the organizers protested that the horror film would be a “draw” that would decrease ratings for the telethon.

    These three specials probably deserve an in-depth article on how they came about and what happened with them – it’s probably the most obscure television I can think of.

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