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October 6, 2015


Fall TV 2011: Which Shows Are You DVRing This Year?

by Chris Harnick, posted Oct 15th 2011 12:00PM
Fringe DVR RatingsSince Nielsen started keeping track of DVR playback, some shows that seemed like they were on death row showed tremendous gains in key ratings demographics.

According to the New York Times, new comedies 'Up All Night' and 'New Girl' had tremendous gains in the 18-49 demographic after Nielsen factored in DVR playback. 'Up All Night' jumped from 2.4 rating to a 3.5 rating. 'New Girl' debuted to a 4.8 rating -- already a great number for a new comedy -- but went up to a 6.7 rating when delayed viewing was factored in. 'Whitney' also went up from a 3.3 rating to a 4.2 rating.

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Moral Quandry: DVRs Waste Energy ... Should We Keep Using Them?

by Jean Bentley, posted Jun 15th 2011 3:00PM
TiVo, DVR, cable boxThe miracle device known as the DVR -- the digital video recorder, for those of you living in the middle ages -- had to have at least one downside, right?

Sadly, this one is hard to ignore. According to a new report, the magical machines that Americans use to parse the crowded primetime TV schedule use a cumulative 27 terawatt-hours of electricity every year. The Los Angeles Times puts it into perspective: That's the same amount of energy per year as nine coal-burning power plants.

And that energy? Not cheap. It costs consumers nearly $3 billion every year, with $2 billion of that coming when the boxes are off.

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Do You Skip Commercials on Your DVR?

by Jean Bentley, posted Dec 22nd 2010 11:30AM
TivoTo fast forward or not to fast forward? That's the question faced by DVR users about eight times an hour -- every time yet another commercial break rolls around. Do you watch as if you didn't have the power to move time forward (woah, it sounds really serious when you put it like that), or do you zoom through those suckers on 3x speed?

Back in the Tivo heyday, one of the main selling points of the service was the power to pause live TV. The lesser-advertised benefit was the fact that an hourlong show took just 42 minutes to watch when you skipped through the commercials -- though it's understandable why they wouldn't be too vocal about that fact, since the networks (and their advertisers) would likely get cranky.

According to a report in The New York Times, Nielsen ratings for commercials in primetime shows actually go up by 44 percent when DVR playback within three days is taken into account. "Some people still say, 'Nobody watches commercials.' That's not true," said Patricia McDonough, senior vice president of planning, policy and analysis at Nielsen.

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What's On Your DVR: Which Fall Shows Are You Deleting or Keeping?

by Rich Keller, posted Oct 23rd 2010 2:00PM
What fall shows are piling up on your DVR and which ones have been erased?We're about a third of the way through the 2010-2011 television season, which so far can be best described as "feh," "meh" or "neh." Regardless, you've probably been loading up your DVR with new and existing shows just to see how mediocre they really have become.

Unfortunately, you've filled it up so much that the DVR is warning you to sit your butt down and watch some of these programs, or it's not going to have enough room to record the newest edition of 'Campus PD.' So you have no other choice but to delete items that you wanted to give a chance but really have to time to see.

Which begs this question: what are you still hanging on to and what has been deleted from your DVR? Let's tell you what we've done first before you tell us your DVR sob stories.

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'Hawaii Five-0' Premiere the Most DVR'd of All Time, But It Doesn't Really Matter

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 18th 2010 5:30PM
'Hawaii Five-0'As DVR penetration continues to grow, at around 40 percent now, its presence gives one rookie show something to crow about. In a season where there are no breakout stars among the newcomers, it's something to note that the premiere of CBS's 'Hawaii Five-0' is now the most DVR'd show of all time, according to The Washington Post.

While experts are still trying to figure out how to make money from the DVR, the industry has agreed that these "Live+7" numbers will be the figure that count for the history books.

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'The Big Bang Theory''s Extra One Minute Is Ruining My Life

by Jean Bentley, posted Sep 23rd 2010 5:00PM
'The Big Bang Theory' CastI love 'The Big Bang Theory.' I really do. But the extra minute tacked onto tonight's season 4 premiere is pretty much ruining my life. To be fair, it's all my DVR's fault.

On a normal night, my DVR's two-channel recording capability is a godsend -- I can run errands, go out to dinner or even read a book and not worry about missing my favorite shows. But on a crowded Thursday night when there are series on literally every single major broadcast network that I want to watch, scheduling the DVR is a very strategic process.

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DVR Usage Way Up, What Are Your Habits? (POLL)

by Chris Harnick, posted Aug 17th 2010 4:30PM
Community and The Big Bang TheoryDVRs are a lifesaver, especially when you've got tough viewing choices -- we're looking at you, Thursday nights, with 'Community' and 'The Big Bang Theory' airing at the same time. A new study has found that the use of DVRs and video-on-demand services has skyrocketed when compared to three years ago.

According to Media Life, a study by International Communications Research done for Comcast found that, of the viewers surveyed, 62 percent time-shifted programming. That's up 60 percent from last year and 84 percent compared to three years ago.

The Tuesday installment of 'American Idol' was the most time-shifted show last season, adding 5.6 million viewers to each episode from time-shifted viewing.

So, what's your DVR usage like?

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DVRs Give 'The Office,' 'Big Bang Theory' Extra Laugh Tracks

by Chris Jordan, posted Aug 4th 2010 8:56PM
Sitcoms 'The Office' and 'The Big Bang Theory' are must-see TV -- at least in any given seven-day period, thanks to DVR use, according to a report at The Wrap.

'The Office' had the highest percentage of its audience watching via DVR, 36.1 percent or 3.2 million viewers, during the 2009-10 season. 'The Big Bang Theory's' time-shifted audience has grown 230 percent since the 2007-08 season to 2.04 million viewers, which translates to 19.7 percent watching in time-shifted mode last season. That's compared to 869,000 viewers (10.3 percent) in '07-'08.

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TV 101: Why Hulu Plus Will Change The Way You Watch Television

by Jay Black, posted Jul 8th 2010 1:00PM
Hulu PlusLast week Hulu announced plans for its new Hulu Plus service. Immediately following the announcement, internet commenters from around the world did something they rarely do: complained long and loud about the details of the announcement.

"The price is right, but they're still going to have ads? No thanks!" "So let me get this straight, they're giving us access to all the seasons of 'Arrested Development' -- which we already have now, for free! -- except now they want us to pay for them? Choke on your own genitalia and die, Hulu Plus!" said the usually very reasonable denizens of the interwebs.

While I'm never one to doubt the insightfulness of snap decisions, I think in this case the complaints are wrongheaded. Sure, the announced set of features for Hulu Plus leaves a little something to be desired, but get beyond that. What we're seeing right now is a game changer. Hulu Plus is about to take over the way we consume television.

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Mr. Monk and the series ending ratings record

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 7th 2009 10:28AM
monk_natalie_usaTelevision history will show that when USA's obsessive-compulsive detective series Monk ended its eight-season, it went out in a dramatic way. I won't tell you what happened on screen in case it's still in your DVR and you haven't watched it yet. But off screen, Mr. Monk had a happy ending.

The final episode of Monk was seen by approximately 9.4 million total viewers, nearly a third in the all-important 18-49 adult demographic. Obviously, a lot of people cared about how Adrian Monk would say goodbye.

The ratings were not only impressive, there were legendary. The largest number of viewers and demo of any drama series ever on cable. It surpassed TNT's The Closer.

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Viewers at 10PM Would Rather Watch DVR Shows Than 'Jay Leno' -- or Anything Else

by Gary Susman, posted Nov 30th 2009 2:10PM
The Jay Leno Show premiereDon't blame Jay Leno. NBC's risky experiment, gutting its 10PM drama slate to air Leno's low-budget variety hour five nights a week, may not have paid off in ratings, and the move may have made NBC an easy target for scorn and ridicule. But Nielsen ratings numbers suggest that no one could have slowed the slide during the final hour of primetime.

According to the Associated Press, the 10PM hour has become the time when viewers catch up with the shows on their DVR queues. So viewership of first-run shows at 10PM is down at all of the big three broadcast networks.

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What Jason is thankful for

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 26th 2009 2:02PM
GleeI'm not particularly thankful that I'm going to be having my very own battle of the bulge this upcoming week, but I am looking forward to good eats and seeing the family. The older I get, the faster these years wiz by, so it's important that we slow down and take the time to be appreciative of what we have, even if we might always want a little more.

This year, we made the jump from a 1997 model 27" Philips Magnavox television to a massive 52" HDTV. We also picked up a PS3, partially for the Blu-Ray player. So I'm thankful to finally be caught up with the rest of the world in television technology. Who knew it could all be so pretty?

More specifically, I think we're in a great era of television, even as viewer numbers continue to erode. There are just so many good shows on television, and thanks to DVRs and online streaming of those shows, we even have better opportunities to watch them. But what specifically am I thankful for this year?

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Laurence Fishburne to do three-part CSI crossover

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 13th 2009 10:08PM
laurence_fishburne_csiGenerally speaking, the CSI franchise has been a ratings juggernaut for CBS. Still, this season the original CSI has been declining a bit. It started last season when Laurence Fishburne took on the role of Dr. Ray Langston, becoming the main man on the show with William Petersen exiting.

Well, in an effort to perhaps pump up Fishburne's popularity, CBS is doing something unique. For the first time, a CSI character -- Langston -- will crossover to the other two shows in the same week, all part of the same story.

Will it work? Probably. Crossover stunts are always fun and it'll give viewers who watch one of the CSI's or two, to sample the other. That's not as weird as it sounds. I only watch CSI, not NY or Miami.

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Can the DVR Save 'Dollhouse'?

by Gary Susman, posted Oct 13th 2009 3:30PM
DollhouseEliza Dushku's jill-of-all-trades operative Echo finds new danger every week on 'Dollhouse' but now she has a new ally at her back: your DVR. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Fox has granted the modestly-rated series a reprieve -- and an order of 13 episodes -- because its numbers ballooned when viewers who recorded the show and watched it later were accounted for.

The sci-fi drama's season 2 premiere on September 25 drew only a 1.0 share among adults 18-49 during the show's Friday night graveyard airing, but viewership in that group jumped 50 percent when counting 'Dollhouse's' "Live+7" rating -- people who record the show on their DVRs and watch it within seven days.

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FOX says they will air all 13 episodes of Dollhouse

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 13th 2009 11:10AM
DollhouseIt's not the most encouraging news about the long-term potential of the show, but at least Whedonites can rest assured that FOX will honor the entire 13-episode commitment they made to Dollhouse. Scheduling guru Preston Beckman said, "During [November] sweeps we might have to jack up the numbers a little [with other programming], but we plan on completing the order for this show."

Which means if they haven't already decided to yank the show for sweeps period, then they're about to. It doesn't bode well for the series at all, though it's still too early to say if the respectable DVR figures will help things at all. DVR usage is at an all time high, and Dollhouse leads DVR usage, increasing its demo ratings by a whopping 50% (still only to a 1.5).

It's a big deal but I still don't think networks know what to do with DVR numbers. Many of those viewers are skipping commercials, so it may not matter in that sense. But it's telling that the Friday shows are the most DVR'd. It's a sign that their fans want to watch these shows, just not on Friday night.

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