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Neil

Lucy Show/Here's Lucy ratings

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AHA!  So the 2nd half of the season, it would actually still have been in the top 20!  (#19). One notch ahead of Monday Night Football.

As it stood at season's end, HL and Monday Night Football/ABC Monday Night movie were pretty much neck and neck.  Football got a 21.2, Movie 20.2, HL, a strong second with a 20.0.  NBC Monday Movie finished out of top 30.   Which means during the last half of season, HL won its time slot over ABC and NBC movies.

Does this chart have anything about the New Dick Van Dyke Show?

How many shows are on the list in all?  During the time of Life with Lucy  they were not counting Fox yet and, depending on week, there were only 65-70 shows.   LWL's 2nd week (John Ritter) was #57 which wouldn't be so bad today but that put it in the bottom 10, where it stayed.  The last show received its worst rating. Despite the appearance of Audrey Meadows and a 1/2 page picture ad in TV Guide, it was 2nd to last for the week, followed by the unfortunate Ellen Burstyn Show. 

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Here's Lucy was not in the Top 20 in the spring (it was #21), but yes, it had beaten both ABC's and NBC's movies (by 1.2 and 3.2 points, respectively). Incidentally, it had lost to both ABC's football and NBC's movies in the fall (by 2.1 and 0.9 points, respectively). 

The New Dick Van Dyke Show also improved in the spring -- 19.4 vs. 17.8 -- but it was still lower rated than ABC's movie. By that time, both Reiner and Lange refused to return, and with Van Dyke announcing that he was an alcoholic, CBS was ready to wash its hands of a show whose average barely made the Top 40 at season's end, and (likely) only did so because it was next to Lucy.

And to answer your other question, there were 72 shows listed for the fall's list, 63 for the winter/spring's, and 81 in the final annual average. 

Also, Variety's conclusive "Season Average" from May 1974 differs slightly from the common Top 30 that's been published and posted ad infinitum. Variety's list specifically includes premiere weeks and goes until April 21st. Marsh and Brooks' tome only vaguely cites September to April. 

According to Variety, NFL Football came in at #18 with a rating of 21.3. Here's Lucy and ABC's spring movie tied at #26 with a 19.8. And NBC's movie was at #31 with a 19.0. According to Marsh and Brooks (what you're citing), NFL was at #19 with a 21.2, ABC's movie was at #26 with a 20.2, and Lucy was at #29 with a 20.0.

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Yes, I'm a ratings-buff...so appreciate any further information you have.  You're right in that I get my figures from the Marsh and Brooks book, the only source I have except for old newspaper articles I find here and there (and whiz-kid encyclopedia-brain: our own Harry Carter).  These lists very rarely go beyond the top 20 (and sometimes the bottom 10).   I've seen the Variety season rundown for the full season of 71-72 and it, too varies from the M&B book listing.  Here's Lucy comes in at #8, not #10 as is usually cited.   However, I've never seen 2 separate lists for each half season so very interesting.

One more question: what was the ranking of "The New Dick Van Dyke Show" in the fall and winter of 73-74?    I only saw some 3rd season episodes of NDVD (which if you say it fast sounds like "The Nude Dick Van Dyke Show")  I thought it was pretty good.  Certainly nothing embarrassing.   TNDVDS was to the original like TLS to I Love Lucy.  A good show, but nothing could top the revered classic.  Of course, TLS fared better than Dick's return.  I find it ironic that the Emmy recognition (in nominations) came to TLS (supporting for Gale, directing, writing) when the quality of the show was going downhill.  Also ironic (to me) is that my favorite TLS season, the 2nd received no Emmy nods, not even for Lucy.  I'll give it to "Dick Van Dyke" over "The Lucy Show" (only bowing to the greater public's taste, not my own) but "The Farmer's Daughter"?  Or (perhaps) the strangest Best Comedy nomination ever: The Bill Dana Show??   I don't really remember much about "Daughter", so maybe it was an LOL-fest!

SOME DAY I'm going to get access to all the ratings figures.

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The New Dick Van Dyke Show was at #36 (17.8) for the period counting September 10, 1973 through January 13, 1974. It was at #31 (19.4) for the period counting January 14 through March 24, 1974. And in Variety's final season average, counting premiere to April 21, the show was at #40 (18.2). Also, for reference, Lucy's previous lead-out, The Doris Day Show, was axed at #37, with an 18.6.

I say that to note that Van Dyke's numbers behind Lucy weren't the improvement CBS wanted and it would have been on the bubble regardless of whether Lucy was renewed. The show-curdling departures of Hope Lange and Carl Reiner, Van Dyke's announced alcoholism, and Lucy's decision to leave (thus giving Van Dyke's show no companion) likely just made the choice easy for Silverman and Wood. 

Incidentally, I've seen the entire run of The New Dick Van Dyke Show. I personally don't think the final year's premise shift was rejuvenating, yet the quality basically stayed the same. I think The Lucy Show is an apt comparison, for while the scripting was never on par with the star's earlier series, it did give him some memorable chances to clown, which were worth the figurative price of admission and deserve to be seen more often today. 

 

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