1981-82 Ratings History

Written Ready For a Primetime Bubblebath by Bridger Cunningham (former TVRG Writer) 
Does anyone remember this expression: "Ratings Data prior to 1984 is scarce, the TV Ratings Guide will post what is available and may update overall network ranks and sitcom scorecards when available."  Guess what?  They're available! Behold a rare treasure trove as TV Ratings Guide has uncovered partial ratings data from 1981-82 featuring ranks for the entire season.  TVRG continues to uncover historic ratings  and will work throughout the season to uncover data from 1967-71, 1972-73, and 1979-81. Soaps indeed ruled the roost, followed in a close 2nd by sitcoms.  Dallas, Falcon Crest and Dynasty swept the airwaves and landed in the top 20.  This was the same season which set a low benchmark for NBC, which had nary a single top-20 hit in their grab.  CBS led again, though ABC closed the average gap inside one ratings point.  NBC, however, nearly lost 2 points and rested 2.5 below 2nd place ABC. 

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

Trending Hot:  Oil of Olay, Dove and Palmolive were not the only successfully marketed soaps on the air, as Dalas, Knots Landing, Falcon Crest and Dynasty all bitchslaped the competition with scandals, business and catfights to rocket upward in the ratings.  Sitcoms still performed to bar, although CBS once again reclaimed the dominant lead. 
 Trending Tepid: Movie Nights no longer dominated the leading positions, although they performed solidly.  Police-themed shows made a resurgence, having deactivated many of their sirens following 1977.  Basing sitcoms on popular movies created mixed results as Private Benjamin and 9 to 5 rated decent but pale compared to their networks' monster sitcoms.  Spinoffs continued to exhibit some growth, as Knots Landing farmed from Dynasty and Joanie Loves Chachi found a new hangout for Scott Baio and Erin Moran. 
 Trending Cold: NBC and it's ratings.  Sigh.  ABC's late 70's goldmines began to lose steam, sadly with the trifecta sitcom cancellations of Barney Miller, Taxi and Mork and Mindy.  Oh, and ABC dispensed of Police Squad, some farce of a sitcom Leslie Nielsen spawned.  Foolish ABC, as he took his character Frank Drebin to the silver screen with The Naked Gun trilogy! 
2. /fbibler.chez.com/tvstats/by_5_yr_period/top_programs_1980-1985.html 

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