Programming: At the Halfway Mark

Ratings-wise, as they say at the networks, the first half of the 1967-68 TV season has been seismographic. In one recent six-week period, the Beverly Hillbillies jounced from the No. 1 position to 27th, Ed Sullivan from 19th to third, Dean Martin from 20th to seventh. Significance-wise, say the programming vice presidents, these sharp fluctuations signal the era of the "selective viewer."

In the past, producers operated on the axiom that if viewers could be hooked in the first three weeks of a new series, they would stick with it all season. So why bother about quality? Now, says NBC's...

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