By Kate Blake- Admin MV and EH
The Hollywood Reporter analyzed the season premiere ratings for a slew of new and returning shows and looked at how much their season premiere numbers increased when you look at DVR numbers. The super competitive Monday night with Heroes vs Prison Break and Terminator vs Chuck saw big gains for those shows ( not Chuck- it was just outside this list). All 4 of these series are on against the number one rated Dancing with the Stars and Monday Night Football. Too many choices on Monday night is the bottom line!
Moving on to Tuesday- 90210 and Privileged are the big DVR winners for the CW. Both of these new female friendly dramas/ dramedy in the case of Privileged- saw significant ratings boosts from DVR viewings. I have a lot of friends with kids who are DVRing 90210 and watching it when the kiddies are in bed- so much for only attracting the youth audience!
Lipstick Jungle continues to struggle with live viewings but has significant gains when DVR numbers are added in. I am guessing by the number of hits on the trailers for the show that we have posted on The Entertainment Hotline that people must be watching it online as well.
Thursday night the CW and ABC both saw big increases with Smallville and Grey’s Anatomy getting DVR boosts as did NBC with The Office.
I don’t mention the Fringe numbers as those are a bit goofy. FOX as may recall did a HUGE encore of the series premeire which boosted its numbers way over what it is doing on a weekly basis. Bones and House continue with strong live viewings as well as DVR numbers.
What do the DVR numbers mean? Well for one thing they show a stronger reflection of what regular people actually watch. DVR numbers are not Nielsen family ratings which have been for decades the only marker used to quantify a show’s success. DVR numbers come from anyone who is a cable or satellite subscriber who has authorized their provider to collect viewing date about thier DVR habits. You do this when you set up your system- if you have any questions ask your provider. I am a DirecTV customer and have opted in on all three of my DVRs when I set them up initially.
DVR numbers have several sets of viewing statistics that are collected. First is time shifted viewing which is where you watch the show while it is still on but come in say 20 minutes late, or you watch it within a few hours of it airing. Next round of numbers- how many people watch the show they recorded within 24 hours. Then they collect within 7 days and then within 14 days. Also collected- how many times do you repeat your viewing- say re-watch a show.
The power in the DVR numbers is that day time dramas like Days of Our Lives which for years was the number one recorded soap but not the number one show with live viewings- can now quantify how many people actually tune in to their series. You are seeing all of the television landscape change as a result of fewer people watching ads. Product placement is key. Smallville was downright obnoxious last season when the entire episode 713 Hero revolved around a magic version of Stride Gum- but everyone knew the name of the product by the end of the episode. Gossip Girl’s premiere was brought to you by Vitamin Water. Plenty of other shows have done the same thing- showing cars and all kinds of tech devices and making sure you see the logos. Terminator is being brought to you by Dodge this fall and My Own Worst Enemy just premiered with the new Camaro and some new mini-van thing from Chevy. Sorry- the mini-van did not do it for me.
Does this mean your show is safe even though its numbers were lower? We will have to wait and see but the networks are in a state of flux, having to change the business model they have used to measure success for a very long time. Sorry Hollywood- but technology has surpassed the once mighty Nielsen box. It is time to catch up with the rest of us!