1973-74 Top 30 -- ABC Wrangles 10 Entries Due To Popular Movie Nights; An End to the Lucille Ball Era

Written Monitoring Edited Movies by Bridger Cunningham

Ratings Data prior to 1984 is scarce, to TV Ratings Guide will post what is available and may update overall network ranks and sitcom scorecards when available.

CBS marked a 19th season in 1st Place; not much to report.  The shocking trend is 8 movie nights registered in the top 30.  Home-use VCRs made their debuts in the 70's and would not become a common household fixture until well into the 80's with a top-loading mechanism.  Back on the color tube, CBS sitcoms followed in the issue-driven trend of 1st Place All in the Family.  Salty Sanford and Son gave NBC its leading icon of the 70's and was well-needed as only 3 shows registered in the top 30.  Irony would hand 10 of those spaces to 3rd Place ABC, which exhibited speculative growth since landing its record-setting 1st Place hit, Dr. Kildare, in 1970.

Image result for here's lucy finaleThe Six Million Dollar Man and nostalgic sitcom Happy Days made debuts this season, both registering in the top-20 for the alphabet network.  Sophomore hits The Streets of San Francisco, The Rookies and Kung Fu held respectable measures down in the 20's.  And 1974 marked the end of an era as Here's Lucy went black after 6 seasons.  Its marquee star, Lucille Ball, birthed the sitcom as we know it in 1951 and until this season delivered 18 seasons of canned laughter.  Here's Lucy struggled in its last seasons, barely grazing the top 30.  It would be 12 seasons until Lucille Ball returned to television in ABC's failed venture, Lucy.  Rest in peace Lucille, as your legacy lives on with sitcoms still viable in the 2010's.

Source -- http://fbibler.chez.com/tvstats/by_5_yr_period/top_programs_1970-1975.html