Thursday, June 4, 2020

Weekly Nielsen Ratings: Fall 1981

Below are the full weekly ratings results for the fall 1981-82 television season. Viewership wasn't reported by Nielsen until the fall 1989 season, so up until that point the only metric widely available was the household rating (which is what is reported here in this article). To calculate the estimated number of households watching, just multiply each rating by 799,000 (through w/e October 4) or 815,000 (w/e October 11 onward) as that is what 1 rating point represents. The following are newspaper clippings from the Los Angeles Times, which was the only newspaper in the United States to publish full weekly TV ratings results. Full ratings for the week ending Dec. 27 were not available in the LA Times, so full rankings were provided from the Fort Worth Star Telegram and ratings for the top 10 programs were provided from the Pittsburgh Press. Images can be clicked to enlarge. 

Week Ending September 20, 1981 (full ratings):

Week Ending September 27, 1981 (full ratings):

Week Ending October 4, 1981 (full ratings):

Week Ending October 11, 1981 (full ratings):

Week Ending October 18, 1981 (full ratings):

Week Ending October 25, 1981 (full ratings):

Week Ending November 1, 1981 (full ratings):

Week Ending November 8, 1981 (full ratings):

Week Ending November 15, 1981 (full ratings):

Week Ending November 22, 1981 (full ratings):

Week Ending November 29, 1981 (full ratings):

Week Ending December 6, 1981 (full ratings):

Week Ending December 13, 1981 (full ratings):

Week Ending December 20, 1981 (full ratings):

Week Ending December 27 1981 (full ranks/top 10 ratings):


Source: Nielsen Media Research via The Los Angeles Times, Fort Worth Star-Telegram & Pittsburgh Press

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