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Grey's Anatomy Wins DVR Double Gold In First Full Olympics Week

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March 8th, 2010


During the first full week of the Winter Olympics, Grey's Anatomy took the rare DVR double gold with both the largest absolute ratings gain after airdate from DVR viewing, adding 1.5 adults 18-49 ratings points, and the greatest % increase in adults 18-49 ratings, increasing its airdate ratings by 40%.

Of course that week (February 15-21), saw NBC completely in Winter Olympics coverage (and our DVR data doesn't include sports programming), and most of the other broadcast networks with very few scripted shows in original episodes.

The top 5 shows for absolute ratings increase included two other ABC shows (Private Practice, Lost) and the Tuesday and Wednesday airings of American Idol. As has been typical this season, Smallville was near the top of the % increase by DVR viewing, boosting its adults 18-49 rating by 37%, as did Private Practice.

Compare any of the shows below with their networks overall average Live+7 DVR adults 18-49 ratings increases for the week: CW (15%), Fox (12%), CBS (8%), ABC (16%), NBC (n/a).

Disclaimer: all the numbers we have seen point to a scenario where the additional days of DVR viewing beyond the Live+SD numbers play almost no role in a shows’ fate.  In a recent conversation with the head of research for a broadcast network he agreed that perhaps 10% of the viewing beyond the Live+SD period serves to increase the C+3 commercial ratings that are used to price advertising, so it's not going to save shows with bad Live+SD ratings.

Note that the tables below contain adults 18-49 demo program ratings, not millions of viewers.

To see the previous week's most DVR'd TV Shows lists click here.

Those of you interested in DVR viewing numbers might enjoy:

When Do DVR’d Shows Get Watched? Same Night or After?

Doing My Part To Combat DVR Misinformation

Largest 18-49 Demo Increase From DVR Viewing for Broadcast TV Shows (February 15-21):

Rank Programs Net 18-49 Live+SD (rating) 18-49 Live+7 (rating) Post Airdate 18-49 Ratings Increase Post Airdate 18-49 Rating Increase from DVR Viewing % of 18-49 Viewing By DVR Post Airdate
1 GREY'S ANATOMY ABC 3.72 5.20 1.5 40% 28%
2 American Idol-WED FOX 6.97 8.27 1.3 19% 16%
3 LOST ABC 4.52 5.70 1.2 26% 21%
4 Private Practice ABC 2.78 3.80 1.0 37% 27%
5 American Idol-TUE FOX 9.21 10.17 1.0 10% 9%
6 Undercover Boss CBS 4.84 5.63 0.8 16% 14%
7 24 FOX 2.78 3.56 0.8 28% 22%
8 Desperate Housewives ABC 3.69 4.38 0.7 19% 16%
9 BROTHERS & SISTERS ABC 2.47 3.05 0.6 23% 19%
10 SURVIVOR: HEROES-VILLAINS CBS 3.94 4.52 0.6 15% 13%
11 Human Target FOX 2.11 2.58 0.5 22% 18%
12 BACHELOR, THE ABC 4.05 4.46 0.4 10% 9%
13 Amazing Race 16 CBS 2.86 3.25 0.4 14% 12%
14 Simpsons FOX 2.94 3.32 0.4 13% 11%
15 Smallville CW 0.99 1.36 0.4 37% 27%
16 COLD CASE CBS 2.33 2.64 0.3 13% 12%
17 American Dad FOX 2.80 3.10 0.3 11% 10%
18 CLEVELAND FOX 2.80 3.09 0.3 10% 9%
19 Big Bang Theory, THE CBS 3.61 3.89 0.3 8% 7%
20 DEEP END, THE ABC 1.13 1.40 0.3 24% 19%
21 FORGOTTEN, THE ABC 1.66 1.89 0.2 14% 12%
22 One Tree Hill CW 0.93 1.14 0.2 23% 18%
23 Family Guy FOX 3.16 3.36 0.2 6% 6%
24 Life Unexpected CW 0.86 1.04 0.2 21% 17%
25 How I Met Your Mother CBS 2.11 2.28 0.2 8% 7%

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The 18-49 Demo Increase From DVR Viewing ranks which of the top broadcast shows [by Live+7 viewers] had the largest absolute adults 18-49 ratings increase in viewing by DVR in their adults 18-49 Live+7 audience numbers from viewers watching shows after the airdate on their digital video recorders (DVRs).

Largest 18-49 Demo Percentage Increase From DVR Viewing for Broadcast TV Shows (February 15-21):

Rank Programs Net 18-49 Live+SD (rating) 18-49 Live+7 (rating) Post Airdate 18-49 Ratings Increase Post Airdate 18-49 Rating Increase from DVR Viewing % of 18-49 Viewing By DVR Post Airdate
1 GREY'S ANATOMY ABC 3.72 5.20 1.5 40% 28%
2 Smallville CW 0.99 1.36 0.4 37% 27%
3 Private Practice ABC 2.78 3.80 1.0 37% 27%
4 24 FOX 2.78 3.56 0.8 28% 22%
5 LOST ABC 4.52 5.70 1.2 26% 21%
6 DEEP END, THE ABC 1.13 1.40 0.3 24% 19%
7 BROTHERS & SISTERS ABC 2.47 3.05 0.6 23% 19%
8 One Tree Hill CW 0.93 1.14 0.2 23% 18%
9 Human Target FOX 2.11 2.58 0.5 22% 18%
10 Life Unexpected CW 0.86 1.04 0.2 21% 17%
11 Desperate Housewives ABC 3.69 4.38 0.7 19% 16%
12 American Idol-WED FOX 6.97 8.27 1.3 19% 16%
13 Undercover Boss CBS 4.84 5.63 0.8 16% 14%
14 SURVIVOR: HEROES-VILLAINS CBS 3.94 4.52 0.6 15% 13%
15 FORGOTTEN, THE ABC 1.66 1.89 0.2 14% 12%
16 Amazing Race 16 CBS 2.86 3.25 0.4 14% 12%
17 COLD CASE CBS 2.33 2.64 0.3 13% 12%
18 Simpsons FOX 2.94 3.32 0.4 13% 11%
19 48 Hours Mystery CBS 1.20 1.35 0.2 13% 11%
20 PAST LIFE FOX 1.09 1.22 0.1 12% 11%
21 American Dad FOX 2.80 3.10 0.3 11% 10%
22 American Idol-TUE FOX 9.21 10.17 1.0 10% 9%
23 CLEVELAND FOX 2.80 3.09 0.3 10% 9%
24 BACHELOR, THE ABC 4.05 4.46 0.4 10% 9%
25 Vampire Diaries CW 0.70 0.76 0.1 9% 8%

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The 18-49 Demo % Increase From DVR Viewing ranks which of the top broadcast shows [by Live+7 viewers] had the largest percentage adults 18-49 ratings increase in viewing by DVR in their adults 18-49 Live+7 audience numbers from viewers watching shows after the airdate on their digital video recorders (DVRs).
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Definitions:

DVR (Time-shifted) Adults 18-49 Ratings – Program ratings for national sources are produced in three streams of data –LiveLive+Same Day (Live+SD) and Live+7 Day. Time shifted figures account for incremental viewing that takes place with DVRs. Live+Same Day(Live+SD) include viewing during the same broadcast day as the original telecast, with a cut-off of 3:00AM local time when meters transmit daily viewing to Nielsen for processing. Live+7 Day ratings include incremental viewing that takes place during the 7 days following a telecast.

DVR Ratings Increase Past Airdate - How many people watched the show on their DVRs within 7 days following the airdate

% of All Adults 18-49 Viewing By DVR Past Airdate - Of the total viewing of that particular episode, what percentage was done via DVR.

Because of emerging practices in the TV media, and our access to the relevant data, we're making a pretty fundamental change in the way we present DVR data. Up until the 2009-2010 season, we used the show's Live program rating or viewership as the base upon which the Live+7 day DVR viewing was added. Now, the press seems to be standardizing around using Live+Same Day DVR viewing as the base for the calculations, plus our access to Live ratings is somewhat erratic and restricted. While there are both positive and negative aspects to basing increases on Live+SD, after discussion, Robert and I decided to make the change.

Nielsen TV Ratings Data:©2010 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

 
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