1964-65 Ratings History -- ABC Hits its 60's Zenith with 11 Shows Cracking the Top 30

Written in The First Season of Color by Bridger Cunningham


Behold a rare treasure trove of illusive sitcom data.  As promised, TV Ratings Guide continues its ongoing efforts to deliver comprehensive ratings data as it becomes available.  Previously, data before 1984 was non-existent in a comprehensive table or list. The September 2, 2017 bulldozed that Nielsen wall, breaking into the 1983-84 data.  After thoroughly researching the internet for ratings, a Star Trek fan check site unveiled valuable data which resurrected a new chain of ratings to report, as they located valued Nielsen Rankings from the 30th-70th Nielsen rankings from an August 1967 article from American Television history.  When peering further, not only did this article possess the data from 1966-67, but also had 1964-66 data intact.  Nielsen ratings are not revealed, but ranks and shares are reported.  This finding, along with a listing of renewed and cancelled shows for the season, crafted enough data for TVRG to compose a Sitcom Scorecard and Ratings History for the year. 

Trending Hot -- Almost anything ABC touched turned to gold.  Thanks to Bewitched landing a then-unprecedented network record of 2nd Place, it's sitcom roster perked up.  Add a few cutting edge dramas like The Fugitive and Combat, as well as new soap sensation Peyton Place, and the network fired on all cylinders and showed signs it could overtake NBC for 2nd.  It would have to wait 11 years for that victory, but this season showed it was a distinct possibility.  CBS also belted out another successful year with its sitcom blocks of silliness.  Alchemy and dark humor took hold of CBS and ABC as Bewitched and copycat franchises The Addams Family and The Munsters showcased modern families with odd powers.  Overall, this was the era to be a sitcom on TV as ABC and CBS had the craft nearly perfected. 
Trending Tepid -- Westerns still registered high in the roster, though they began to fade as the 60's raged on.  Multiple showing and serialized programming made the rounds this season, thanks to Peyton Place's multiple showings on ABC.  Shopping around for network discards panned out with mixed results.  Movie nights gained prominence, particularly on NBC.  Variety and Gameshows also continued to display with mixed results. 
Trending Cold -- NBC, though still in 2nd place, seemed to experience a rougher time in the mid-60's.  It only nicked 5 places in the Top 30 and covered most of its roster in the Middle of the Pack.  Animated shows also began to lose steam this season, and 50's fares began to fall down the ratings ladder or fall off the roster.
Sources

1. http://americanradiohistory.com/Archive-Television-Magazine/Television-1967-Aug.pdf
2.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1964%E2%80%9365_United_States_network_television_schedule

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