During the Great Shut-in of 2020 I've been working on organizing my Cher stuff. Mind you I haven't done this since before I moved to LA, which was in 2002. So I've got a mess of stuff from the last 18 years! I'm finding some good lost things about which I will surely blog.
This is the first article I pulled out, "Heres to the Death of Broadcast" by James Poniewozik (Time Magazine). There's a breakout box in the article called "The Small Screen Get’s Smaller" and it depicts percentages of households watching CBS prime-time benchmark shows over the decades.
Although it stops in 2008, it's a fascinating comparison between what The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour was getting in comparison to American Idol.
|Years||Most Popular Show on CBS||Percentage Watching All Networks|
|1952-53||I Love Lucy - 67%||75%|
|1962-63||The Beverly Hillbillies - 36%||55%|
|1972-73||All in the Family - 33%
(S&C were at most 20-23%)
|1982-83||60 Minutes - 26%||51%|
|1992-93||60 Minutes - 22%||37%|
|2002-03||CSI - 16%||22%|
|2007-08||American Idol - 16%||18%|
See the decline? Which has undoubtedly increased now with our streaming TV options like Netflix. Even though The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour and other Cher-related shows of the 1970s weren't in the top 5, they were still drawing more people than today's most popular shows.