Rookie pair look rosier when dust settles

Fox's 'New Girl,' NBC's 'Grimm' are big DVR gainers

Two of the just-concluded TV season’s rookies that started strong before tailing off — Fox’s “New Girl” and NBC’s “Grimm” — recouped a huge part of their “lost” aud with DVR playback.

Nielsen on Tuesday released full-week DVR playback numbers for the May 7-13 sesh that had both shows looking like their fall selves. It’s another reminder that it’s become important to avoid snap judgments of a show’s performance in the same-night ratings releases the next day — especially for younger-skewing shows.

Fox’s May 8 episode of “New Girl” averaged a 2.8 rating in adults 18-49 in the “live plus same-day” Nielsen numbers released the morning after it aired but spiked up 1.5 points to a healthy 4.3 in full-week playback. The Zooey Deschanel comedy has been the top DVR gainer among rookies all season and finished as the No. 2 new show in 18-49 (behind CBS’ “2 Broke Girls”). It’s also very young-skewing: A 34.1 median age makes it the most youthful live-action series on the Big Four.

Such a big boost in DVR playback can make a difference in the final rankings, with “New Girl” vaulting ahead of a few shows (including “2 Broke Girls”) for May 7-13.

At NBC, “Grimm” bowed in late October to a good rating (for Friday) of 2.1 before trailing off, as many shows do, in spring. Its penultimate rookie seg on May 11 averaged a 1.2 rating on the night it aired, but a pickup of 1.1 ratings points over the next seven days nearly doubled its total to a 2.3.

Both NBC and Fox are hoping that more compatible skedmates in the fall will help boost viewership for their top rookies on the nights they air. “New Girl” will be the anchor of a four-comedy Tuesday lineup in the fall, surrounded by newcomers “Ben and Kate” and “The Mindy Project.”

And although comedy “Community” has a small audience, it figures to mesh well with “Grimm” on Fridays. Both are popular among men, and “Community” has a median age of 38.6 while “Grimm” was at 49.2 — downright vernal for a Friday series.

Besides “New Girl,” the biggest 18-49 DVR gainers for May 7-13, the penultimate week of the season, were usual suspects “Modern Family” on ABC (up 2.3 to a 6.7 demo rating), “The Big Bang Theory” on CBS (up 1.5 to a 5.9) and ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” (up 1.4 to 4.9). Also up 1.4 was the season finale of NBC’s “The Office” (going from a 2.3 to a 3.7).

Four rookie series, all dramas, gained 1 point apiece: ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” (from 3.3 to 4.3), CBS’ “Person of Interest” (2.6 to 3.6), ABC’s “Revenge” (2.2 to 3.2) and NBC’s “Smash” (1.8 to 2.8)

In total viewers, “Modern Family” again gained more than 4 million viewers, while four CBS shows picked up 3 million or more: “The Mentalist,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “Blue Bloods” and “Hawaii Five-0.”

Due to the Monday holiday, the weekly ratings report and charts for May 21-27 will run in Thursday’s edition.

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