While we’ve seen an assortment of ratings data over the past couple of weeks, today marks what is really the first time that the live+7 data has come out for any show since the official premiere week (starting on September 26). For those uninformed, “live+7” basically just means the cumulative sample of those watching live and those watching via DVR in the week following the show’s airing. It’s the best way to actually gauge an audience watching via television while the internet is still the Pandora’s Box that ratings operators are scared to open.
We’re not going to go through every show here (since that would be tiresome and not particularly interesting), but there are a few clear standouts that prove that there are just as many people watching network TV as ever, despite some declining live ratings; more are just doing it by their own terms.
1. “The Big Bang Theory” (8.6) has the largest live+7 rating of the week of any non-football show. That. Is. MASSIVE, and probably the only time that a show since “Friends” has been this dominant.
2. “Sleepy Hollow” (5.3) may not have finished with that same number, but it grew an impressive 71% with DVR viewing included. Typically, any show that draws over 60% is worth pointing out.
3. Other shows to post big gains include “Elementary” (up 67% to a 3.5), “Hostages” (up 67% to a 3.0), “New Girl” (up 62% to a 3.4), and “Glee” (up 60% to a 3.2).
4. Some shows, including ‘Trophy Wife” and “Back in the Game,” are posting tiny DVR figures. That’s not good, since it means that if some of these live viewers go, there won’t be much to replace them.
One little theory that we’ve always had here is that these figures are a bit more valuable than are let on sometimes. While DVR users may not see all of the commercials, they are probably a little more focused on watching them since they are trying to see when to start and stop their recording devices. You can’t discount these figures entirely if you are advertisers, and now more than ever, having good figures gives you a good shot of coming back for more.
Of course, we’ll be back with some more of this data in the weeks ahead, especially as we start to see how some of the DVR-friendly shows on The CW fare, and if they impact the figures of some of the other shows.