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TV: Beatles Create Shift in Ratings

Mar. 8, 1964 - “The Beverly Hillbillies,” which had been the top-rated television show for two seasons, slipped downhill in the latest Nielsen rating, coming in third behind NBC’s “Bonanza.” It was the first time the CBS program had been out of the No. 1 spot since it gained that position the week after its debut in the fall of 1962.

For the first time in seven years, “The Ed Sullivan Show” was in first place in Nielsen’s national ratings for the two-week period ended Feb. 23. This was attributed to the appearance of the Beatles on the Sullivan show at the time the audience survey was made.

The shows that finished in the 4th thru 15th positions were listed in this order: Dick Van Dyke, “My Favorite Martian,” “Petticoat Junction,” Andy Griffith, Bing Crosby (a special show), “The Lucy Show,” “Candid Camera,” Danny Thomas, “Lassie,” “I’ve Got a Secret,” Red Skelton, “Gunsmoke,” and Jackie Gleason. The last two shows were tied for 15th place.

In related news, Jack Paar announced today he would continue on the air next season. “I’m sorry I ever learned to spell the word ‘irrevocable,’” he said.

Last December, Mr. Paar had announced an “irrevocable decision” not to appear on television during the 1964-65 season. Today, he said he had been largely influenced by NBC’s decision to schedule the Jack Benny show at 9:30 p.m. Friday next season, right ahead of the Paar show. This would give him the “strong lead-in” he has always wanted, Mr. Paar said.


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