We Look Back At The Top TV Shows of 1972

Categories: Top TV Show Ratings By Season,TV Ratings Reference

Written By

April 19th, 2008

105px-hbosvg.png1972, HBO was launched. Notable TV premieres of the year: Sanford & Son (NBC), Emergency! (NBC), Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids (CBS), The Bob Newhart Show (CBS), M*A*S*H (CBS), Kung Fu (ABC), The Waltons (CBS), and Maude (CBS). It's the year that TV Guide stops using a "C" to denote color programs and begins using a "BW" to denote black & white programs.

Top 20 Prime Time Broadcast Programs, October 1971-April 1972:

RANK

PROGRAM

NETWORK

 

HH RATING

HH SHARE

1

All In The Family

CBS

 

34.0

54

2

Flip Wilson Show

NBC

 

28.2

44

3

Marcus Welby, MD

ABC

 

27.8

49

4

Gunsmoke

CBS

 

26.0

39

5

ABC Movie of The Week

ABC

 

25.6

38

6

Sanford & Son

NBC

 

25.2

41

7

Mannix

CBS

 

24.8

43

8

Funny Face

CBS

 

23.9

40

8

Adam 12

NBC

 

23.9

37

10

Mary Tyler Moore Show

CBS

 

23.7

39

11

Here's Lucy

CBS

 

23.7

35

12

Hawaii Five-O

CBS

 

23.6

35

13

Medical Center

CBS

 

23.5

36

14

NBC Mystery Movie

NBC

 

23.2

36

15

Ironside

NBC

 

23.0

37

16

Partridge Family

ABC

 

22.6

37

17

The F.B.I.

ABC

 

22.4

34

18

New Dick Van Dyke Show

CBS

 

22.2

36

19

Walt Disney

NBC

 

22.0

35

20

Bonanza

NBC

 

21.9

34

For a bit of perspective, the top rated show this season, Tuesday's American Idol, Season To Date HH rating is 16.1 and its share is 24.

There were 2 regular Prime Time Movies (ABC Movie of the Week, NBC Mystery Movie) compared to one in 1982. Commenter Daniel C. notes that the NBC Mystery Movie was more an anthology of a series of shows, see below.

If you count All in the Family and Archie Bunker's Place as the same show, that's the only program to survive in the top 20 from 1972-1982. Although perhaps the ABC Movie of the Week and the ABC Monday Night Movie (1982) could fall into the same group.

There were 8 sitcoms (All in the Family, Flip Wilson Show, Sanford & Son, Funny Face, Mary Tyler Moore Show, Here's Lucy, Partridge Family, New Dick Van Dyke Show).

There were 5 crime dramas (Mannix, Adam 12, Hawaii Five-O, Ironside, The F.B.I.)

There were 2 westerns (Gunsmoke, Bonanza)

60 Minutes and prime time NFL football had yet to reach the long-time plateau on which they both still rest.

On a HH ratings basis, All in The Family was almost 20% more popular than the top show in 1982, Dallas, and more than 1/3 of the nation regularly watched it.

The network v. network competition in the top 20 was more even than 1982 when NBC didn't have a single show: NBC had 7, CBS had 9, and ABC had 4 of the top 20.

HBO logo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2005 Nielsen Media Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 
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