This was the television schedule on all three United States television networks for the fall season beginning in September 1971. All times are Eastern and Pacific, with a few exceptions, such as Monday Night Football. This season would be the first time the prime time schedule would be shortened to three hours (with the exception of Sunday and Tuesday), giving the 7:30 p.m. slot back to local stations, as implemented in the Prime Time Access Rule.

New fall series are highlighted in bold.

The highest-rated show for the year is colored in lime. The top ten highest-rated shows are colored in yellow. The top 20 highest-rated shows are colored in cyan. The top 30 highest-rated shows are colored in magenta.

The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) was in operation, but the schedule was set by each local station.

Fall schedule Edit

Sunday Edit

PM 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
ABC The F.B.I. #17 22.4 rating The ABC Sunday Night Movie #26 20.8 rating
CBS The CBS Sunday Night Movies (began at 7:30) Cade's County Local
NBC The Wonderful World of Disney* #19 22.0 rating (began at 7:30) The Jimmy Stewart Show Bonanza #20 21.9 rating The Bold Ones: The New Doctors / The Lawyers
  • Title change from NBC's Wonderful World of Color effective July 18, 1971.

Monday Edit

PM 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
ABC Nanny and the Professor Local ABC NFL Monday Night Football #25 20.9 rating
CBS Gunsmoke #4 26.0 rating Here's Lucy #11 23.7 rating The Doris Day Show #24 21.2 rating My Three Sons Arnie
NBC Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In #22 21.4 rating NBC Monday Night at the Movies

Tuesday Edit

PM 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
ABC The Mod Squad #21 21.5 rating (began at 7:30) Movie of the Week #5 25.6 rating Marcus Welby, M.D. #3 27.8 rating
CBS The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour (began at 7:30) Hawaii Five-O #12 23.6 rating Cannon #29 19.8 rating Local
NBC Ironside #15 23.0 rating (began at 7:30) Sarge The Funny Side Local

Wednesday Edit

PM 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
ABC Bewitched The Courtship of Eddie's Father The Smith Family Shirley's World The Man and the City
CBS The Carol Burnett Show #23 21.2 rating Medical Center #13 23.5 rating Mannix #7 24.8 rating
NBC Adam-12 #9 23.9 rating The NBC Mystery Movie: Columbo / McCloud / McMillan & Wife #14 23.2 rating Night Gallery

Thursday Edit

PM 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
ABC Alias Smith and Jones Longstreet Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law
CBS Bearcats! The CBS Thursday Night Movies
NBC The Flip Wilson Show #2 28.2 rating Nichols The Dean Martin Show

Friday Edit

PM 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
ABC The Brady Bunch The Partridge Family #16 22.6 rating Room 222 #28 19.8 rating The Odd Couple Love, American Style
CBS The Chicago Teddy Bears O'Hara, U.S. Treasury The New CBS Friday Night Movies #30 19.5 rating
NBC The D.A. World Premiere Movie Local

Note: On NBC, the sitcom Sanford and Son #6 (25.2 rating) premiered on January 14, 1972 at 8:00.

Saturday Edit

PM 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
ABC Getting Together Movie of the Weekend The Persuaders!
CBS All in the Family #1 34.0 rating Funny Face #8 23.9 rating The New Dick Van Dyke Show #18 22.2 rating The Mary Tyler Moore Show #10 23.7 rating Mission: Impossible
NBC The Partners The Good Life NBC Saturday Night at the Movies

Mid-Season Schedule Edit

Summer ScheduleEdit

Pickups and CancellationsEdit


  • Castleman, H. & Podrazik, W. (1982). Watching TV: Four Decades of American Television. New York: McGraw-Hill. 314 pp.
  • McNeil, Alex. Total Television. Fourth edition. New York: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-024916-8.
  • Brooks, Tim & Marsh, Earle (1985). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows (3rd ed.). New York: Ballantine. ISBN 0-345-31864-1.

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