In his book The Other Side of Oz, Buddy Ebsen makes reference to "Nielsen's top 100 list of the all-time highest rated programs." [p. 238]
Where can I find the most recent update of this list? thanks.
Hi Glen Godwin,
What a good question. Neilsen doesn't make their information public, they make their money by selling the information to the broadcasters. Broadcasters are not permitted to divulge their Neilsen numbers, but can make references to them for the purpose of selling ad time. Neilsen releases a watered down weekly ratings to various media outlets that are allowed to publish this info for the public (this is what you read in your local paper, they often buy it from Tribune Media Services). However, the info belongs to Neilsen, and Tribune, and others, are not permitted to retain the information and use it to make better information out of it (like a top 100 list). This makes finding the answer to your request difficult. The book, "The Complete Directory of Prime Time Television" available in Morty's Mall
contains Neilsen top 25 lists for each season from 1947 to present.
You can also order "2000 Report on Television" from the Neilsen ratings company for $30 plus shipping from their web site at: www.nielsenmedia.com
This report includes "Top 25 Telecasts of All Time" as well as a whole bunch of demographic information. This is one of a handful of publications available to the public.
"The People's Almanac Presents The Book of Lists" (1988) (no longer in print) contains a list of the highest rated episodes of top TV series. It has a listing for the 44.0 share the jackrabbit episode of "The Beverly Hillbillies" got in 1964. You can check it's availability on eBay here.
So the answer to your question is, I don't know. A resource that many people have forgotten about in this internet information age, is your public library. Call and ask for the reference desk. Sometimes they've been able to give me the answer to a question right on the phone, as if it was sitting on her desk when I called.
Hope I've helped. If you find a better answer to your question, please let me know. I'd like to have that information too.