The Nielsens differentiated between network and independent airings for shows in every time period including early fringe. This makes evaluating a clear 'winner' more complicated considering that the same show could rank in two totally different places between the two charts. Here then are the top ten kid rated shows aired during early fringe (4:30-7:30 p.m. Monday-Friday) for network affiliates as reported for the November 1985 ratings period, plus a few animated shows that fell outside the top 10.
|Kids' Rank/Share||Household Rank/Share||Program||# of Stations||Nov '84 Shr||Feb '85 Shr||May '85 Shr|
|01/36||40/17||He-Man & MotU||15||20||20||18|
|03/34||33/18||Tom & Jerry||4||21||16||20|
|08/24||08/23||Gimme A Break||12||21||22||20|
|08/24||16/21||Laverne & Shirley||3||20||22||23|
Other animated shows outside the kids' top 10
|13/20||62/07||Challenge of the GoBots||6||12||13||11|
Many of the same animated shows dominate much like they do on the independent stations' top ten for the same period. The Transformers, Thundercats, G.I. Joe, He-Man and She-Ra show up here just like on the independents list but what is different are their ranks. Most notably He-Man goes from 10th among kids on independent stations to first on the networks. Transformers and Thundercats stay about the same at the middle of the list. Big shout out to GoBots for cracking the top 20 on both charts. The come from nowhere surprise is Voltron, who on the independent stations was ranked 37th but on the networks ties for 8th place! Such grand variances in network/independent ranking as illustrated by He-Man and Voltron almost make me wish there was one consolidated early fringe list with the network and independent shares combined. I imagine it could be done if the ratings points for each show were combined between the two, assuming a single ratings point accounts for the same number of households on each list. But since the independents had a much larger proportion of animated shows than the network affiliates did, many cartoons that ranked outside of the network top 50 but made it on the independent list would get left out. Shows like Robotech, M.A.SK. and Tranzor-Z are notably absent from the network list, not to mention Woody Woodpecker who dominated the independent list for multiple ratings periods in a row but doesn't crack the network top 50. I guess if all I'm interested in was the top ten it might work.
NEXT TIME ON RATINGSTASTIC CARTOONOCALYPSE: The February 1986 independent sweeps!
1Philip H. Dougherty (1984, January 25). GOBOTS SET U.S. INVASION. The New York Times.
2Robin L. Palley (1984, July 25). LOOK OUT, CABBAGE KID. Philadelphia Daily News.