DVR playback boosts hits

'Grey's Anatomy,' 'Hawaii Five-0' among biggest gainers

More shows than ever are padding their ratings totals via DVR playback, including CBS drama “Hawaii Five-0,” which surged to its namesake demo score (a 5.0) with its premiere and remained the season’s top newcomer.

Overall, there weren’t too many surprises in the premiere-week “live plus 7” DVR numbers released Monday. The rich got richer, except, of course, for No. 1 show “Sunday Night Football” on NBC, which saw virtually no gain in seven-day playback. Another big live show, ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” saw minimal gains, while returning faves such as ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Modern Family” and Fox’s “House” jumped the most.

While DVR penetration grew by 15% vs. last year (38% of homes vs. 33% at the start of last year), the volume of playback over seven days increased by 17%, according to CBS research.

As a result, a whopping 13 series gained 1 full ratings point or more in adults 18-49 when comparing premiere week’s previously reported “live plus same-day” numbers to the final live plus 7 DVR playback tallies. A year ago there were only five such shows.

Two of these 13 shows gaining 1-plus points were rookies: “Hawaii Five-0” grew 1.1 points (3.9 to 5.0), and NBC’s “The Event” gained 1 point (3.6 to 4.6). In addition to being two of the season’s most-anticipated new programs, they also air on a night (Monday) that sees lots of live viewing thanks to ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” and ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.”

Of the medium-range hits that netted between a 2 and 3 “live plus same-day” Nielsen rating in 18-49 during premiere week, the biggest percentage gainers were Fox’s “Fringe” (2.2 to 3.1, up 41%), NBC’s “Parenthood” (2.5 to 3.4, up 36%), Fox’s “Bones” (2.7 vs. 3.6, up 33%) and NBC’s “Community” (2.2 vs. 2.9, up 32%).

And notable gainers from a smaller base included a quintet of CW series — “90210,” “Gossip Girl,” “Top Model,” “Smallville” and “The Vampire Diaries” — that gained four-tenths of a ratings point. (In the case, of “90210,” that meant an impressive gain of 44%, from 0.9 to 1.3).

In total viewers, 14 series gained 2 million viewers or more in premiere week — up from just four in the opening stanza of 2009. Leading this list were a pair of CBS 10 p.m. crime shows — “Hawaii Five-0” and “The Mentalist” — that added more than 3 million sets of eyeballs.

CBS, which dominates the total viewer race, could claim seven shows adding 2 million or more viewers, including Friday newbie “Blue Bloods,” whose final premiere-week count stood at 15.25 million.

The network standings didn’t see any real shakeup in the final numbers, with CBS growing by half a ratings point in 18-49 to a 3.8, followed by ABC and NBC (both at 3.2, up from 2.8 in live plus same-day), Fox (3.1, up from 2.6), and CW (1.4, up from 1.1).

The Eye’s winning total-viewer count grew from 12.51 million to 14.06 million.

Also Monday, Fox released C3 data (ratings for commercials in live plus three-day DVR playback), the metric by which advertising has been sold for the past two years; NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” led the way in 18-49 with a 6.9 rating.

The top 10 entertainment series (which included six comedies) were: “Grey’s Anatomy” (5.1), “Glee” (5.0), “Family Guy” and “Modern Family” (both 4.7), “Two and a Half Men” (4.5), “Dancing With the Stars” (4.4), “The Big Bang Theory” (4.3), “The Office” (4.1) and “Dancing With the Stars Results” and “House” (both 4.0).

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