New Nielsen data, as reported by USA Today, shows bigger jumps than ever for many sitcoms and dramas when delayed viewing on DVRs is factored in.
TV executives used to hate DVRs becuase they were eroding their ratings. But this fall, the recording devices are welcomed by many as the numbers have raised their ratings slump substantially.
With the new season just starting, none of the fall shows have shown very brightly, but NBC's post-apocalypse drama Revolution and Elementary look like they may have legs. ABC's Dancing With the Stars and Fox's The X Factor have both shown their audiences slipping.
During the official season premiere week of September 24-30, topped the rankings for the week's DVR viewing adults 18-49 ratings added between the Live+Same Day period and the Live + 7 Day measurement periods with a gain of 2.3 adults 18-49 ratings points.
Network program executives aren't upset yet by the poor ratings because they say that in these days of fragmented media and shortened attention spans, it takes a long time to figure out what's working for both TV executives and media planners.
The ability to skip ads while using DVRs is considered by many media buyers a reason to pay less for TV ads. This is a battle the networks will have to continue to fight. However, the devices are helping the ratings for scripted comedies and dramas, while live sports events are the only programs that are still holding their own against the DVR impact.
Check out the top premiere week viewership increases, by percentage, among viewers 18-49 for episodes airing during official premiere week, Sept. 24-30 (not all were premiere episodes):
Grimm (Fri., NBC) +81%
Revolution (Mon., NBC) +68%
Fringe (Fri., Fox) +64%
Private Practice (Tue., ABC) +63%
Glee (Thu., Fox) +63%
Hawaii Five-0 (Mon., CBS) +61%
New Girl (Tue., Fox) +54%
The Office (Thu., NBC) +52%
666 Park Ave (Sun., ABC) +52%
Up All Night (Thu., NBC) +50%
New Normal (Tue., NBC) +50%
Parenthood (Tue., NBC) +50%
Have DVRs changed your viewing habits? Do you ever watch TV commercials now?