‘Ten Commandments’ – Made in 1956 – Wins Nielsen Ratings

Charlton Heston (1923-2008), who plays the lead character, was a liberal early in his career but became more conservative in the 1980s, campaigning for Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, and serving as president of the National Rifle Association from 1998 to 2003.

“The Ten Commandments,” a movie made 58 years ago starring the conservative Charlton Heston as “Moses,” and which is broadcast by ABC every year at Easter, won the Nielsen ratings for adult viewers ages 18-49 and for total viewers on Saturday, April 19, pulling in 5.87 million viewers and beating NBC, FOX and CBS.

“The Ten Commandments” was broadcast by ABC from 8-11PM ET on the night before Easter and during the Jewish observance of Passover (Apr. 14-22). The 1956 movie, filmed in Technicolor and shown every year since 1973 as part of ABC’s Movie of the Week programming, tells the Biblical story of Moses and his deliverance of the Jewish people from Egyptian slavery – the Exodus.


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