Nielsen Ratings/Historic/Network Television by Season/1950s

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This is a listing of the average top shows for seasons in the 1950s.

Contents

1950–1951 Season

Top 20 shows (ranked by total viewers)

  1. Texaco Star Theater NBC
  2. Fireside Theatre NBC
  3. Philco Television Playhouse NBC
  4. Your Show of Shows NBC
  5. Colgate Comedy Hour NBC
  6. Gillette Cavalcade of Sports NBC
  7. The Lone Ranger ABC
  8. Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts CBS
  9. Hopalong Cassidy NBC
  10. Mama CBS
  11. Robert Montgomery Presents NBC
  12. Martin Kane, Private Eye NBC
  13. Man Against Crime CBS
  14. Kraft Television Theatre NBC
  15. The Toast of the Town CBS
  16. Aldrich Family NBC
  17. You Bet Your Life NBC
  18. Arthur Godfrey & His Friends CBS
  19. Armstrong Circle Theatre NBC
  20. Lights Out NBC

1951–1952 Season

Top 20 shows (ranked by total viewers)

  1. Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts CBS
  2. Texaco Star Theater NBC
  3. I Love Lucy CBS
  4. The Red Skelton Show NBC
  5. The Colgate Comedy Hour NBC
  6. Arthur Godfrey & His Friends CBS
  7. Fireside Theatre NBC
  8. Your Show of Shows NBC
  9. The Jack Benny Show CBS
  10. You Bet Your Life NBC
  11. Mama CBS
  12. Philco Television Playhouse NBC
  13. Amos 'n' Andy CBS
  14. Gangbusters NBC
  15. Big Town CBS
  16. Goodyear Television Playhouse NBC
  17. Pabst Blue Ribbon Bouts CBS
  18. The Lone Ranger ABC
  19. Gillette Cavalcade of Sports NBC
  20. All Star Revue NBC

1952–1953 Season

Top 20 shows (ranked by total viewers)

  1. I Love Lucy CBS
  2. Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts CBS
  3. Arthur Godfrey & His Friends CBS
  4. Dragnet NBC
  5. Texaco Star Theatre NBC
  6. The Buick Circus Hour NBC
  7. The Colgate Comedy Hour NBC
  8. Gangbusters NBC
  9. You Bet Your Life NBC
  10. Fireside Theatre NBC
  11. The Red Buttons Show CBS
  12. The Jack Benny Show CBS
  13. Life with Luigi CBS
  14. Pabst Blue Ribbon Bouts CBS
  15. Goodyear Television Playhouse NBC
  16. The Life of Riley NBC
  17. Philco Television Playhouse NBC
  18. Mama CBS
  19. Your Show of Shows NBC
  20. What's My Line? CBS
  21. Strike It Rich CBS

1953-1954 Season

Top 20 shows (ranked by total viewers)

  1. I Love Lucy CBS
  2. Dragnet NBC
  3. Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts CBS
  4. You Bet Your Life NBC
  5. The Bob Hope Show NBC
  6. The Buick-Berle Show NBC
  7. Arthur Godfrey & His Friends CBS
  8. Ford Theatre NBC
  9. The Jackie Gleason Show CBS
  10. Fireside Theatre NBC
  11. The Colgate Comedy Hour NBC
  12. This Is Your Life NBC
  13. The Red Buttons Show CBS
  14. The Life of Riley NBC
  15. Our Miss Brooks CBS
  16. Treasury Men in Action NBC
  17. All Star Revue NBC
  18. The Jack Benny Program CBS
  19. Gillette Cavalcade of Sports NBC
  20. Philco Television Playhouse NBC

1954-1955 Season

Top 20 shows (ranked by total viewers)

  1. I Love Lucy CBS
  2. The Jackie Gleason Show CBS
  3. Dragnet NBC
  4. You Bet Your Life NBC
  5. Toast of the Town CBS
  6. Disneyland ABC
  7. The Bob Hope Show NBC
  8. The Jack Benny Program CBS
  9. The Martha Raye Show NBC
  10. The George Gobel Show NBC
  11. Ford Theatre NBC
  12. December Bride CBS
  13. The Buick-Berle Show NBC
  14. This Is Your Life NBC
  15. I've Got a Secret CBS
  16. Two for the Money CBS
  17. Your Hit Parade NBC
  18. The Millionaire CBS
  19. General Electric Theater NBC
  20. Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts CBS

1955-1956 Season

Top 20 shows (ranked by total viewers)

  1. $64,000 Question CBS
  2. I Love Lucy CBS
  3. The Ed Sullivan Show CBS
  4. Disneyland ABC
  5. The Jack Benny Program CBS
  6. December Bride CBS
  7. You Bet Your Life NBC
  8. Dragnet NBC
  9. I've Got a Secret CBS
  10. General Electric Theater NBC
  11. Private Secretary CBS
  12. Ford Theatre NBC
  13. The Red Skelton Show CBS
  14. The George Gobel Show NBC
  15. $64,000 Challenge CBS
  16. Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts CBS
  17. The Lineup CBS
  18. Shower of Stars CBS
  19. The Perry Como Show NBC
  20. The Honeymooners CBS

1956-1957 Season

Top 20 shows (ranked by total viewers)

  1. I Love Lucy CBS
  2. The Ed Sullivan Show CBS
  3. General Electric Theater NBC
  4. $64,000 Question CBS
  5. December Bride CBS
  6. Alfred Hitchcock Presents CBS
  7. I've Got a Secret CBS
  8. Gunsmoke CBS
  9. The Perry Como Show NBC
  10. The Jack Benny Program CBS
  11. Dragnet NBC
  12. Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts CBS
  13. The Millionaire CBS
  14. Disneyland ABC
  15. Shower of Stars CBS
  16. The Lineup CBS
  17. The Red Skelton Show CBS
  18. You Bet Your Life NBC
  19. The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp CBS
  20. Private Secretary CBS

1957-1958 Season

Top 20 shows (ranked by total viewers)

  1. Gunsmoke CBS
  2. The Danny Thomas Show CBS
  3. Tales of Wells Fargo NBC
  4. Have Gun - Will Travel CBS
  5. I've Got a Secret CBS
  6. The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp CBS
  7. General Electric Theater CBS
  8. The Restless Gun NBC
  9. December Bride CBS
  10. You Bet Your Life NBC
  11. The Perry Como Show NBC
  12. Alfred Hitchcock Presents CBS
  13. Cheyenne ABC
  14. The Ford Show NBC
  15. The Red Skelton Show CBS
  16. The Gale Storm Show CBS
  17. The Millionaire CBS
  18. The Lineup CBS
  19. This Is Your Life NBC
  20. The $64,000 Question CBS

1958-1959 Season

Top 20 shows (ranked by total viewers)

  1. Gunsmoke CBS
  2. Wagon Train NBC
  3. Have Gun - Will Travel CBS
  4. The Rifleman ABC
  5. The Danny Thomas Show CBS
  6. Maverick ABC
  7. Tales of Wells Fargo NBC
  8. The Real McCoys ABC
  9. I've Got a Secret CBS
  10. The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp CBS
  11. The Price Is Right NBC
  12. The Red Skelton Show CBS
  13. Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theatre CBS
  14. Father Knows Best CBS
  15. The Texan CBS
  16. Wanted: Dead or Alive CBS
  17. Peter Gunn NBC
  18. Cheyenne ABC
  19. Perry Mason CBS
  20. The Ford Show NBC

1959-1960 Season

Top 20 shows (ranked by total viewers)

  1. Gunsmoke CBS
  2. Wagon Train NBC
  3. Have Gun - Will Travel CBS
  4. The Danny Thomas Show CBS
  5. The Red Skelton Show CBS
  6. Father Knows Best CBS
  7. 77 Sunset Strip ABC
  8. The Price Is Right NBC
  9. Wanted: Dead or Alive CBS
  10. Perry Mason CBS
  11. The Real McCoys ABC
  12. The Ed Sullivan Show CBS
  13. The Rifleman ABC
  14. The Ford Show NBC
  15. Lawman ABC
  16. Dennis the Menace CBS
  17. Cheyenne ABC
  18. Rawhide CBS
  19. Maverick ABC
  20. The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp CBS