The Year in DVR Playback: Modern Family, The Following, Hannibal Among Biggest Gainers

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Ratings The Following RisesThe final tallies for broadcast TV’s 2012-13 season are in, and Modern Family enjoyed the biggest gains from Live+7 DVR playback — aka those who watched recorded programs within a week of broadcast.

Elsewhere, The Big Bang Theory got even bigger and freshman fare such as The Following and Revolution locked in Season 2 renewals with significant surges.

RELATED | The DVR Ratings Surge: Why Your Playback Habits Matter (and Why They Don’t)

In absolute ratings gains, ABC’s Modern Family enjoyed the largest add-on, rising 2.2 points in the demo (to a 6.4), CBS’ Big Bang Theory averaged a boffo 7.2, thanks to a bump of 1.9, while Fox’s The Following and NBC’s Revolution both tacked on 1.7 to hit 4.3 and 4.2, respectively. (Pause for perspective: Versus Revolution‘s 4.2, time slot rival Castle wound up with a 3.0, up 50 percent.) Rounding out the Top 5, ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy grew 1.6 to average a 4.7 rating.

In terms of percentage gains in the 18-49 demo, NBC’s recently renewed Hannibal surged 77 percent, to a 2.3 rating, while Grimm (2.8) and the squashed Smash (1.4) both rose 75 percent. Rounding out the Top 5 were ABC’s ended Private Practice (2.4, up 71 percent) and Revolution (4.2, up 68 percent).

RELATED | TVLine’s 2013 Renewal Scorecard: What’s Coming Back? What’s Cancelled?

Turning to total viewers, which some people (myself included) like to look at: Modern Family again topped the list, adding 4.5 mil to its weekly average (hitting 15.5 mil). The Big Bang Theory grew 4.3 mil to squeak past the 21 mil mark. The Following and CBS’ Elementary each added 3.9 mil, averaging 11.9 mil and 14.6 mil respectively. At No. 5 was Revolution, adding 3.8 mil to its weekly haul (10.8 mil).

Percentage-wise, Hannibal (averaging 5.2 million viewers) and Smash (4.6 mil) saw their total audiences swell 62 percent with Live+7 playback factored in. The CW’s unzipped 90210 (1.2 mil) and Fox’s New Girl (6.7 mil) each rose 55 percent, while Revolution (10.8 mil) saw a 54 percent lift.

RELATED | TV Season Champs: NCIS Outdraws Sunday Night Football, Top-Rated New Comedies All Got Axed

And who got the least DVR love? Among scripted fare still on the air, Fox’s The Cleveland Show, American Dad and The Simpsons, ABC’s The Neighbors and The CW’s The Carrie Diaries each only grew 20 percent or less.

Comments (19)

  • There are certain shows we let collect on our DVR for times when we need a half hour show to hold us over before bedtime. The Simpsons is one of them. We still watch them, but just not right away. If only they can devise a way for a little commercial banner to pop up during fast forwarding, a lot of decent shows will be saved.

    Comment by R.O.B. – June 11, 2013 09:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • That’s such a great idea!

      Comment by Aprilcot – June 11, 2013 10:51 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I concur with R.O.B. It just seems easier to watch half hour shows right away. Hour long shows are treated more like an “event,” and it’s fun to watch 2 or 3 in a row. The half hour comedies are fun time killers that get watched as they come.

    Comment by Brett Heitkam – June 11, 2013 09:43 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So, according to this, then, Grey’s Anatomy was the highest rated network drama at a 4.7 average rating in the 18-49 demo for the 2012-13 season.

    Comment by Luke – June 11, 2013 09:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Correctamundo: GREY’S (4.7), NCIS (4.4), THE FOLLOWING (4.3)

      Comment by Matt Webb Mitovich – June 11, 2013 10:02 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Of course, this tally excludes all repeats, so I’m betting GA falls behind TF, which had none, and NCIS, which only had a few in its regular timeslot, when those are included.

        Comment by Chicago Dan – June 11, 2013 10:54 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I think in a recent article by TV Line which looked at ratings for the whole season, which included the repeats, The Following stayed at 4.3 (because obviously no repeats), Grey’s dropped to 4.1 and NCIS was at 4.0. (as they both had repeats). Though I do think the figure measuring just the ratings for the original would be a more telling figure.

          Comment by CC – June 11, 2013 06:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I agree with Rob and Brett. I find myself watching my stored half-hour shows (Hot in Cleveland, Cougar Town, The Neighbors) when I need a quick show to watch between other “must see” shows. However, I do not store and sit on my favorite comedies – like Modern Family, BBT, The Middle; those I watch ASAP.

    Here is hoping that a few of the new comedies are good. I have fingers crossed for that Robin Williams/SMG show, the Michael Fox show…

    Comment by RUCookie – June 11, 2013 10:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Have any numbers for cable? Curious what the Walking Dead ended up at.

    Comment by Sg. Grant – June 11, 2013 10:48 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Does anyone ever look at On Demand numbers?
    I have an old DVR with limited space, so shows I know will end up OD I often opt not to record. Most On Demand shows have commercials you can’t skip, so I’d think people would pay attention to those numbers. But I never hear anything about it.

    Comment by DL – June 11, 2013 11:05 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I do the same thing. My Charter DVR doesn’t hold as much as some other DVR’s out there, so if I know it will be on demand or if I have too many things recording I will just watch it on demand. However, it is my understanding, and I could be wrong, that On Demand is included in these DVR Playback numbers. I believe tvbythenumbers mentioned once that on demand viewing is calculated in the same day live ratings as long as you watch by 3 am and that they are added to the DVR numbers any other time.

      Comment by cas – June 11, 2013 11:31 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • On Demand is now the last place I go to watch a show because it seems the shows I watch make you watch ALL the commercials – the entire hour or half hour, no fast forwarding. So some of these shows I find myself looking at the numbers and the reports and if they make it to season 2, I wait for Netflix (speaking of which, if my experience with myself and friends and family was the same as everyone else, Rescue Me would probably be the most watched show of all time – binge watching Rescue Me on Netflix spread around here like a virus). They should compromise and make us watch a 30 second commercial during breaks. They could charge the sponsor more for those – captive audience.

      Comment by R.O.B. – June 12, 2013 05:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It’s a shame these numbers don’t come out sooner. All of my favorite shows are recorded on DVR. I watch HBO and Showtime shows in real time because there are no commercials. But when I watch high drama shows like Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, etc, I don’t want to break up the exciting action with five minutes of commercials every 10 minutes.

    Comment by The Beach – June 11, 2013 11:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • They do. posts the DVR ranking for each week, starting three weeks after the start of the new season in September for a show (that is when the first data comes in). You can track how shows are doing if they make the list. It’s only at the end of the season, do they compile the top shows. And how they did in the HH, and viewership.

      Comment by Bella – June 11, 2013 12:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I DVR pretty much everything because I go to bed so early.

    Comment by Elyse – June 11, 2013 11:22 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Still wish 90210 got that season 6 renewal. Honestly, the loyalty from viewers was still there, but just in the DVR.

    Comment by Jarrod – June 11, 2013 11:42 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I wonder how ratings would pan out if you added in Hulu viewers. I for one don’t have cable – curse of being a full time student and paying for everything on your own – so, all I have to watch programs on is Hulu. I have quite a few shows that I watch on there, but I think that might increase some shows even more.

    Comment by Kristen – June 11, 2013 12:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Looking at the master rating list, Castle came in at #18 with an L+7 rating of 3.0 for the season. Their L+7 viewership was 13.81 million for the season.
    Last season Castle was #28 with an L+7 rating of 3.2 and a viewership of 13.77 million.
    It certainly doesn’t look like the relationship has hurt them in any way. Their rating is slightly down, but everyone’s is, and they moved up from 28 to 18 for the season.

    Comment by badpenny – June 11, 2013 01:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Wait, is The Cleveland Show still on the air? I thought that this past season was its last.

    Comment by Taelor GitMunny Rye – June 11, 2013 05:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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