NBC’s ‘The Blacklist’ Sets DVR Playback Record

The Jan. 20 episode, sans a 'Voice' lead-in, swells to 14.3 million viewers and a 3.9 rating in 18-49

"The Blacklist" Enters Make or Break

NBC’s “The Blacklist” continues to burnish its credentials as the TV season’s hottest new show, setting a DVR playback for its second original episode of the year.

“The Blacklist” padded its same-night viewership total for the Jan. 20 installment by 5.430 million — a record for any U.S. broadcast or cable series, according to Nielsen — going from 8.83 million in the previously reported “Live + same-day” ratings to 14.26 million in “Live+3,” or three days’ worth of DVR playback.

This narrowly tops the previous record, also set by “The Blacklist,” of a L+3 gain of 5.426 million viewers. In fact, “The Blacklist” now accounts for the seven biggest total-viewer increases of all time.

The surge for a January episode is noteworthy because it comes at a time when “The Blacklist” does not benefit from a “The Voice” lead-in. So, while the James Spader drama’s same-night averages (2.3 in 18-49, 8.83 million viewer overall) were below what it did when the music contest funneled into it a considerably larger base of viewers, “Blacklist” clearly has a large group of followers who make sure to catch up on their DVRs, irregardless of when it airs.

On a percentage basis, the L+3 lift for the Jan. 20 episode of “The Blacklist” stands at 61% in total viewers and 70% in adults 18-49 (2.3 to 3.9) — both highs for the show.

For the season, “The Blacklist” is the top-rated new series in key demos as well as total viewers. Competitively on Jan. 20, it bested the season finale of Fox’s “Sleepy Hollow” — perhaps the second most impressive newcomer of the season — by 17% in L+3 18-49 rating (3.90 to 3.34).