1971–72 United States network television schedule

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This was the television schedule on all three United States television networks for the fall season beginning in September 1971. All times are Eastern and Pacific, with a few exceptions, such as Monday Night Football. This season would be the first time the prime time schedule would be shortened to three hours (with the exception of Sunday and Tuesday), giving the 7:30 p.m. slot back to local stations, as implemented in the Prime Time Access Rule.

New fall series are highlighted in bold.

Each of the 30 highest-rated shows is listed with its rank and rating as determined by Nielsen Media Research.[1]

     Yellow indicates the programs in the top 10 for the season.
     Cyan indicates the programs in the top 20 for the season.
     Magenta indicates the programs in the top 30 for the season.

The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) was in operation, but the schedule was set by each local station.

Sunday[edit]

Network 7:30 PM 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Local The F.B.I. (17/22.4) The ABC Sunday Night Movie (26/20.8)
CBS Fall The CBS Sunday Night Movies Cade's County Local
Summer The Life of Leonardo da Vinci
NBC The Wonderful World of Disney (19/22.0) The Jimmy Stewart Show Bonanza (20/21.9) The Bold Ones: The New Doctors / The Lawyers

Monday[edit]

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Fall Nanny and the Professor Local ABC NFL Monday Night Football (25/20.9)
Winter Monday Night Special The ABC Monday Night Movie
CBS Fall Gunsmoke (4/26.0) Here's Lucy (10/23.7) The Doris Day Show (23/21.2) My Three Sons Arnie
Winter The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour (27/20.2)
NBC Fall Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (22/21.4) NBC Monday Night at the Movies
Summer The Baseball World of Joe Garagiola (8:00) / Monday Night Baseball (8:15)

Tuesday[edit]

Network 7:30 PM 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC The Mod Squad (21/21.5) Movie of the Week (5/25.6) Marcus Welby, M.D. (3/27.8)
CBS Fall The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour Hawaii Five-O (12/23.6) Cannon (28/19.8) Local
Summer The Jerry Reed When You're Hot You're Hot Hour
Follow-up The John Byner Comedy Hour
NBC Fall Ironside (15/23.0) Sarge The Funny Side Local
Follow-up Sarge The Funny Side Nichols
Winter The Search for the Nile
Summer Ponderosa

Note: The NBC 1972 summer series Ponderosa consisted of reruns of Bonanza episodes from the 1967-1970 period. More recent reruns of Bonanza also aired that summer under the show '​s original name in its regular Sunday evening time slot.

Wednesday[edit]

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Fall Bewitched The Courtship of Eddie's Father The Smith Family Shirley's World The Man and the City
Winter The Courtship of Eddie's Father ABC Comedy Hour The Persuaders! Local
Spring The Smith Family The Marty Feldman Comedy Machine
Summer The Super The Corner Bar ABC Comedy Hour Presents the Kopykats
CBS Fall The Carol Burnett Show (23/21.2) Medical Center (13/23.5) Mannix (7/24.8)
Summer The David Steinberg Show
NBC Adam-12 (8/23.9) The NBC Mystery Movie: Columbo / McCloud / McMillan & Wife (14/23.2) Night Gallery

Note: The ABC 1972 summer series ABC Comedy Hour Presents the Kopykats consisted of reruns of ABC Comedy Hour from earlier in the year.

Thursday[edit]

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Alias Smith and Jones Longstreet Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law
CBS Fall Bearcats! CBS Thursday Night Movie
Winter Me and the Chimp My Three Sons
NBC Fall The Flip Wilson Show (2/28.2) Nichols The Dean Martin Show
Follow-up Ironside
Summer Dean Martin Presents the Bobby Darin Amusement Co.

Friday[edit]

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC The Brady Bunch The Partridge Family (16/22.6) Room 222 (28/19.8) The Odd Couple Love, American Style
CBS The Chicago Teddy Bears O'Hara, U.S. Treasury The New CBS Friday Night Movies (30/19.5)
NBC Fall The D.A. World Premiere Movie Local
Winter Sanford and Son (6/25.2)

Saturday[edit]

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Fall Getting Together Movie of the Weekend The Persuaders!
Winter The Sixth Sense
Summer The Ken Berry "Wow" Show
CBS All in the Family (1/34.0) Funny Face (8/23.9) The New Dick Van Dyke Show (18/22.2) The Mary Tyler Moore Show (10/23.7) Mission: Impossible
NBC Fall The Partners The Good Life NBC Saturday Night at the Movies
Winter Emergency!

References[edit]

  1. ^ Highest-rated series is based on the annual top-rated programs list compiled by Nielsen Media Research and reported in: Brooks, Tim & Marsh, Earle (2007). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows (9th ed.). New York: Ballantine. ISBN 978-0-345-49773-4.

Additional sources[edit]

  • Castleman, H. & Podrazik, W. (1982). Watching TV: Four Decades of American Television. New York: McGraw-Hill. 314 pp.
  • McNeil, Alex. Total Television. Fourth edition. New York: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-024916-8.
  • Brooks, Tim & Marsh, Earle (1985). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows (3rd ed.). New York: Ballantine. ISBN 0-345-31864-1.