With next season's schedules all but inked in, NBC calmly revealed that the Huntley-Brinkley news, already 80% sold, will be the biggest-grossing show on television. Its $21,000 per minute of commercial is not really all that bigBonanza, the top-rated series, gets $63,000 a minutebut when it is multiplied by five times every half hour, five times a week, 52 weeks a year, it gets staggering. About $27 million, in fact.
Walter Cronkite, who holds down the same time slot at CBS, gets more per minute ($24,500) but only runs four minutes of commercials on every half-hour show. Thus Cronkite will gross about $25.5 million next year, tops at least for his network. Says one NBC spokesman: "Unless ABC puts Peyton Place on five nights a week, Huntley-Brinkley has no competition."