×

‘Modern Family’ tops DVR playback

It's one of 20 shows to gain at least 1 full demo ratings point

The rich get richer when it comes to DVR viewing, which is up sharply this season as a component of overall viewing of primetime skeins.

Nielsen’s “live-plus-7” numbers for premiere week, released Monday, show a record number of series achieving milestone DVR playback levels within seven days of a program’s bow.

Overall for the week of Sept. 19-25, a whopping 20 primetime broadcast series gained at least 1 rating point in adults 18-49 from their live-plus-same day ratings — up from 13 for premiere week a year ago. And in total viewers, 10 skeins grew by at least 3 million — up from just two shows last year.

ABC’s “Modern Family” gained the most during premiere week, rising 2.4 ratings points and 4.7 million viewers. The biggest winners in the delayed DVR viewing derby still tend to be the top shows (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “Two and a Half Men,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “The Office,” etc.).

The growth in DVR gains for top shows isn’t too much of a surprise, given that DVR penetration has grown to 42% of U.S. TV households this season, compared to 38% last season.

Of course, the live-plus-7 lifts are a mixed blessing for the networks. While it’s reassuring for

net execs to see year-to-year rat declines evaporate for some shows — or even turn to gains — the numbers aren’t all that relevant for advertising sales, which are based on a so-called C3 ratings, or the viewership of commercials during the live telecast and within three days of premiere. As live-plus-7 numbers balloon, the nets are sure to push Madison Avenue to add a few more days to the C3 measuring stick.

From a network-wide basis, CBS (0.7 ratings gain in adults 18-49) grew by a bit more than both ABC and Fox (0.6), with NBC gaining by four-tenths of a ratings point; one of the reasons why NBC lags its rivals in 7-day lift is that viewing of its No. 1 program, “Sunday Night Football,” is primarily done live or on same-night delay.

CBS also grew most in total viewers (gaining 2.1 million viewers to 14.22 million), followed by ABC (gaining 1.51 million to 11.38m), Fox (up 1.31 million to 9.68m) and NBC (up 0.92 million to 8.42m).

The CW grew from a 0.7 to 1.0 in adults 18-49 and from 1.64 million viewers overall to 2.17 million.

Among other tidbits from the live-plus-7 numbers for premiere week:

• Thursday may not have as many monster hits as in years past, but the 9 o’clock hour was still home to two of the six biggest 18-49 gainers in Week 1: ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” (up 1.7) and NBC’s “The Office” (1.4).

• Among new shows, Fox’s “New Girl” was the biggest gainer in 18-49 rating (rising 1.5 points from 4.8 to 6.3). Other rookies getting good same-week DVR sampling included NBC’s “Up All Night” (up 1.1 points to 3.5), CBS’ “2 Broke Girls” (up 1.1 points to 8.1), ABC’s “Pan Am” (up 1.0 to 4.1) and “Revenge” (up 0.9 to 4.2), NBC’s “Whitney” (up 0.9 to 4.2) and CBS’ “Person of Interest” (up 0.9 to 4.0).

• Thursday may not have as many monster hits as in years past, but the 9 o’clock hour was still home to two of the six biggest 18-49 gainers in Week 1: ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” (up 1.7) and NBC’s “The Office” (1.4).

n Among percentage gainers on the Big Four, seven shows grew by 40% or more: “Grey’s Anatomy,” “CSI,” “Up All Night,” “Law & Order: SVU” (NBC), “Fringe” (Fox), “Community” (NBC) and “Harry’s Law” (NBC). The CW, which works from a smaller ratings base, also saw all of its scripted series grow by 40% or more.

• Thursday may not have as many monster hits as in years past, but the 9 o’clock hour was still home to two of the six biggest 18-49 gainers in Week 1: ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” (up 1.7) and NBC’s “The Office” (1.4).

• Friday series show up high on DVR-lift percentage rankers because it’s the least-watched night live and the shows are relatively low-rated: In adults 18-49, CW’s “Supernatural” grew by 62% (0.8 to 1.3), Fox’s “Fringe” by 53% (1.5 to 2.3), CW’s “Nikita” by 50% (0.6 to 0.9), and CBS’ “Blue Bloods” by 35% (2.0 to 2.7).

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth WarrenSecond 2020

    ABC News Sets Moderators, Rules for Third Democratic Debate

    ABC News has announced the moderators for the third Democratic debate, as well as the qualification rules. The debate will be held on Thursday, Sept. 12, and will spill over to Friday, Sept. 13 if more than 10 candidates qualify. The moderating team will consist of chief anchor George Stephanopoulos, “World News Tonight” anchor and [...]

  • James Corden Paul McCartney Carpool Karaoke

    James Corden Got a Little Help From Paul McCartney on His Drive to the Emmys

    Saying “Baby, I could drive your car” has proven to be a very good strategy for James Corden — never more so than when he put Paul McCartney into the highly sought passenger seat. The primetime special “Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney, Live From Liverpool” is a contender in five Emmy categories this year, [...]

  • Starz Logo

    Starz Orders Horror Comedy Pilot 'Shining Vale'

    Starz has put out a pilot order for “Shining Vale,” a horror comedy which hails from “Divorce” creator Sharon Horgan and “Trial & Error” co-creator Jeff Astrof. The prospective series is about a dysfunctional family that moves from the city to a small town into a house in which terrible atrocities have taken place. But no one [...]

  • Bethenny Frankel at the showtime Emmy

    Bethenny Frankel to Exit 'Real Housewives of New York' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Bethenny Frankel is stepping away from the “Real Housewives” franchise. Variety has learned exclusively that Frankel is poised to exit Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of New York” ahead of its upcoming twelfth season. Frankel first joined the acclaimed reality series back when it premiered back in 2008 before exiting the series in 2010 during the [...]

  • Dolly Parton

    BBC Commissions Dolly Parton Feature Documentary

    The BBC has commissioned a feature length documentary about country music legend Dolly Parton, it announced Wednesday. The documentary, tentatively titled “Dolly’s Country” will air on BBC Two this fall as part of a season of programs dedicated to country music. The broadcaster announced earlier in the day that it had acquired Ken Burns’ upcoming [...]

  • UCP to Develop Ann Shen’s 'Bad

    UCP to Develop Ann Shen’s 'Bad Girls Throughout History' as Anthology Series

    Universal Content Productions (UCP) is developing an anthology series based on Ann Shen’s book “Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World.” The project will be titled “Bad Girls,” with each episode featuring a different influential woman throughout history, including famous figures like Ada Lovelace, Rosa Parks, Mata Hari, and Ruth Bader [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content