1976-77 Ratings History

Written Foregoing Support by Bridger Cunningham (former TVRG Writer) 
Sex, violence and the weather sells.  Just ask newscasters, or ABC executives in 1976.  Controversy ran rampant as ABC's new drama, Charlie's Angels, sported three leading heroines whose decision to forego wearing bras led to the network's ratings jiggling into 1st.  As if our seductive angels had not stirred enough controversy, another sultry trio consisting of John Ritter, Suzanne Somers and Joyce DeWitt dabbled in enough controversy of their own as their spring pilot for Three's Company developed a devilish following.  "It [wouldn't] reach into the top 10 this season, yet doused the network in its sweet perfume enough to smell vice.  That controversy aside, ABC took nearly half of the top 30, and ode thanks to two wholesome 50's throwbacks, Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley. 

Preaching social relevance became the passing fad of the 70's, as The Mary Tyler Moore Show was absent from this chart during its final season.  One Day at a Time continued strong, while Norman Lear preacher All in the Family took a slide this season, thanks to a reviling episode exploring a near-rape of a beloved principle.  NBC's icy fortunes continued as it registered another season in 3rd Place, yet it managed to squeak 3 top-20 places in a schedule still plastered with social issues and vice sexual fantasies. 

To check out other years' ratings, visit the Ratings History Library.

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