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October 9, 2015

DVRs help Fox's Friday nights

by Brad Trechak, posted Mar 3rd 2009 9:03AM
DollhouseWell, it looks like my initial concerns regarding Fox's low ratings for the Friday night sci-fi double feature might be unfounded. It looks like the new Live+7 DVR data has given a 30% boost to Dollhouse's ratings and a 36% boost to The Sarah Connor Chronicles. The gains are considered very high, particularly for a Friday night.

This is a bit of a relief to me because it sends a signal to Fox that another season of either show (both of which I enjoy) would be a good idea. If anything, this information is further proof that the current ratings system is obsolete and should be replace by something else (damned if I know what, though. The trick is to get advertisers to trust whatever new system they adopt).

It's also a sign that, unlike myself, some sci-fi fans actually go out on Friday nights and can wait until later to watch their favorite Friday night shows. Good for them.

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regarding Bittorrenting, I don't even understand the draw at this stage, I mean with Hulu and tv.com out there, bittorrenting shows that you like is almost self-destructive behavior; it'll just hurt your shows' run.

Hulu et al. are even more IMMEDIATE than torrenting would be. If you tend to fall for shows that have to fight for ratings, I think using Hulu et al. could spare us some future gloom! If you're torrenting stuff, you're pissing in the well.

Hulu is pretty reliable AND watching TSCC and other shows on it should HELP TO ENSURE FUTURE SEASONS. Are people TRYING to shoot themselves in the foot here?

March 22 2009 at 6:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Joss and Eliza both said in recent interviews that the show gets really good from episode 6 on. The first 5 episodes are network influcenced creations. They put thier influence on the pilot and on the next 3 episodes. Eliza and Joss have both said that the series really picks up on episode 6, and its Joss's vision from that point on. So, for all you saying this is not what you expected from Whedon, now you know why.

March 03 2009 at 2:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

God I hope this is good news. You never really know how a network is going to react, especially Fox. Last weeks episode of Dollhouse wasn't that great, but I really want to see the show get a chance to get its legs under it.

And I just LOVE Sarah Connor. Can't get enough.


March 03 2009 at 1:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Diego M

oh that's good stuff. with strong dvd sales and 36% more uses that's not too shabby about 5million viewers for a friday night. not bad. and it's mostly all in the key demo too. my brother and i love the show we always try to watch it live and dvr it cuz there are so many details in SCC that you have to go back, or scenes with summer glau...

either way, i hope this at least lets fox keep the season till the back nine end.

i hope there is a 6 episode season or a tv movie to bring closure to us SCC fans after the back nine end.

March 03 2009 at 12:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The acting and the writing on Dollhouse are craptastic at the moment.

March 03 2009 at 12:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Advertisers need to change - not just the networks and ratings methods.

I'm not sure how much DVR viewing will mean to advertisers since most people skip the ads when watching recordings. The main exception has been shows like Fringe which only have 1 or two ads per break - then it's old fashioned head to the bathroom :)

Personally, I don't have much problem w/ product placement (provided it doesn't overtly change the script) & that's really the only way for advertising to hit all people's viewing methods (event bittorrent).

People would probably have less problem with ads if they were of the 10 second variety (like Hulu).

The fact that commercial breaks have become so frequent and so long has really driven people to avoid them.

I watched some old Magnum episodes online from Netflix & the hour long 80s programs are ~50 minutes as opposed to 42 minutes for an hour long show now.

March 03 2009 at 11:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The networks are going to say "yawn" because a recorded show does not mean a WATCHED show. If a DVR sent information back to the networks about if/when you watched a show then that might matter to them, but the privacy police will (rightly) scream if/when DVRs start sending that info (and more).

Keep in mind that some show ads (automobiles for instance) are time sensitive, expiring within a few days of viewing so if you watch a show a week later or a month later then you've killed that ad's effectiveness. Things like this are going to keep DVR metrics on the sidelines for the near future.

March 03 2009 at 10:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to GerryofNorVA's comment

Actually, I am pretty sure that live+7 tracks viewing, not recording. All of the DVR companies track what you watch - they do not include individually identifiable information in the in te tracking though - so they know how many people watched something, but they do not know if *you* were one of them specifcially. How else do you think TIVO can announce the most rewound moment of Superbowl every year. They track all sorts of things, and can even tell advertisers which commercials were skipped what % of the time. The only company that did not do this was ReplayTV...and we can see how that worked out.

As for what SciFi fans are doing on Friday night, they aren't going out silly! They are watching BSG live!

March 03 2009 at 11:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Arrested Development never made a blip on the outdated Neilsen's ratings.

Is the top (or second) most-watched show on all time on Hulu. 'Nuff said.

March 03 2009 at 10:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

In the vein of the current ratings system being obsolete, I think iTunes and Hulu downloads also need to be taken into consideration.

The biggest shame is the number of pirated downloads both Dollhouse and TSCC receive. According to this link: http://tvbythenumbers.com/2009/02/26/top-10-most-pirated-tv-shows-on-bittorrent-february-16-22/13608 for the February 16-22 window, Terminator was the #9 and Dollhouse #10 most downloaded shows on BitTorrent.

It makes you wonder how Fox and other networks are (or if they even bother) looking at the new way people view television.

March 03 2009 at 9:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Some of Fox's cancelled shows have been in the Top 10 most DVR'd shows, but the networks obviously weren't paying attention to that data back then.

March 03 2009 at 9:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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