Ratings Winners Losers Fall TV

DVR Playback Winners & Losers: Which Fall Shows Got the Biggest Bumps?

Fox’s Empire still lords over the broadcast TV landscape, topping this fall’s charts with a 7.3 demo rating once Live+7 DVR playback is factored in.

The musical sudser’s success is due in part to a meaty DVR bump of 2.3 rating points — the largest absolute gain of any broadcast series.

That said, ABC’s Quantico and NBC’s The Blacklist are among four shows that enjoy the greatest percentage gain via DVR playback — 100 percent — each thus doubling their Live+Same Day rating to a 3.0.

Though advertisers famously assign a premium to “live” viewing, the networks are gradually seeing a degree of success in monetizing delayed playback. (At the very least, they will argue, Live+7 numbers illustrate a show’s “potential” audience.)

Listed directly below are the Live+7 DVR rankings in the demo, followed by the best (and worst) gainers, and then the Bottom 3 performers by network.

Underneath the blue dotted line, for the 11 of you still reading, are the same rankings for total audience, which is always “fun” to look at.

Empire, Fox 7.3
The Big Bang Theory, CBS 6.1
Modern Family, ABC 4.7
Scandal, ABC 4.1
Blindspot, NBC 4.1
The Voice: Monday, NBC 3.9
Grey’s Anatomy, ABC 3.9
How to Get Away With Murder, ABC 3.8
The Voice: Tuesday, NBC 3.6
The Goldbergs, ABC 3.2

Quantico +100% (to a 3.0 rating)
The Originals +100% (to a 0.8 rating)
The Blacklist +100% (to a 3.0 rating)
Grimm +100% (to a 1.8 rating)
Elementary +89% (to a 1.7 rating)
Supernatural +86% (to a 1.3 rating)
The Vampire Diaries +83% (to a 1.1rating)
Castle +82% (to a 2.0 rating)
Nashville +82% (to a 2.0 rating)
Scream Queens +82% (to a 2.0 rating)

Empire +2.3 (to a 7.3 rating)
The Big Bang Theory +2.1 (to a 6.1 rating)
Modern Family +1.9 (to a 4.7 rating)
Blindspot +1.8 (to a 4.1 rating)
How to Get Away With Murder +1.7 (to a 3.8 rating)
Scandal +1.6 (to a 4.1 rating)
Grey’s Anatomy +1.5 (to a 3.9 rating)
Quantico +1.5 (to a 3.0 rating)
The Blacklist +1.5 (to a 3.0 rating)
Criminal Minds +1.2 (to a 2.9 rating)
Law & Order: SVU +1.2 (to a 2.8 rating)
Gotham +1.2 (to a 2.7 rating)
Limitless +1.2 (to a 2.7 rating)

Significant Mother +0% (to a 0.2 rating)
Wicked Offer +0% (to a 0.2 rating)
The Simpsons +19% (to a 2.5 rating)
Undateable +25% (to a 1.0)
Bob’s Burgers +27% (to a 1.4)
Rosewood +29% (to a 2.2 rating)
Mom +31% (to a 2.1rating)
Madam Secretary +31% (to a 2.7 rating)
Truth Be Told +33% (to a 0.8 rating)
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend +33% (to a 0.4 rating)

ABC: Wicked City (1.1), Blood & Oil (1.5), Dr. Ken (1.7)
CBS: CSI: Cyber (1.4), The Good Wife (1.6), Elementary (1.7)
The CW: Wicked Offer (0.2), Significant Mother (0.2), Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (0.4)
Fox: Minority Report (1.2), The Grinder (1.4), Bob’s Burgers (1.4)
NBC: Truth Be Told (0.8), Undateable (1.0), The Player (1.4)


The Big Bang Theory, CBS 20.9 million
NCIS, CBS 20.8 million
Empire, Fox 17.7 million
NCIS: New Orleans, CBS 16 million
Blue Bloods, CBS 14.5 million
The Voice: Monday, NBC 14.1 million
Blindspot, NBC 13.9 million
The Voice: Tuesday, NBC 13.8 million
Dancing With the Stars, ABC 13.8 million
60 Minutes, CBS 13.7 million

Quantico +86% (to 9.5 million)
The Originals +75% (to 1.7 mil)
The Vampire Diaries +74% (to 2.2 mil)
The Blacklist +71% (to 11.9 mil)
Scream Queens +69% (to 4.7 mil)
Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD +66% (to 6.5 mil)
Blindspot +66% (to 13.9 mil)
Elementary +65% (to 8.8 mil)
Grimm +65% (to 6.2 mil)
Jane the Virgin +61& (to 1.7 mil)

Blindspot +5.5 mil (to 13.9 mil)
The Big Bang Theory +5.4 mil (to 20.9 mil)
Empire +5.1 mil (to 17.7 mil)
The Blacklist +4.9 mil (to 11.9 mil)
Quantico +4.4 mil (to 9.5 mil)
Modern Family +4.4 mil (to 12.6 mil)
How to Get Away With Murder +4.1 mil (to 11.2 mil)
Scandal +4.0 mil (to 12.5 mil)
Blue Bloods +4.0 mil (to 14.5 mil)
NCIS +3.9 mil (to 20.8 mil)

Wicked Offer +3% (to 516,000 viewers)
Significant Mother +10% (to 660K)
Truth Be Told +16% (to 2.6 mil)
The Simpsons +18% (to 5.7 mil)
Undateable +19% (to 3.2 mil)
Madam Secretary +21% (to 12.6 mil)
Life in Pieces +21% (to 10.4 mil)
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend +21% (to 1.07 mil)
NCIS +23% (to 20.8 mil)
Dr. Ken +23% (to 7.0 mil)

ABC: Wicked City (3.8 mil), Blood & Oil (5.7 mil), Fresh Off the Boat (5.9 mil)
CBS: 2 Broke Girls (8 mil), CSI:Cyber (8.3 mil), Elementary (8.8 mil)
The CW: Wicked Offer (516K), Significant Mother (660K), Crazy Ex (1.07 mil)
Fox: Bob’s Burgers (3 mil), Minority Report (3.3 mil), The Grinder (4.1 mil)
NBC: Truth Be Told (2.6 mil), Undateable (3.2 mil), Best Time Ever (5.5 mil)

Want scoop on any of the above shows? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Elissa says:

    Grey’s Anatomy is a beast, the numbers this season are great

  2. Shaun says:

    How are these numbers even calculated?Are the DVRs monitored?

  3. Mr. Tran K says:

    They left out Supergirl in the DVR rankings. BUMMED

  4. B says:

    Even though the numbers are still low, I’m glad to see The Originals double its demo and add more viewers as well. I’m surprised The Grinder is so low. Still think the whole system is messed up and makes too many assumptions about demo viewers’ watching and purchasing habits.

  5. N says:

    Where is The Middle?

  6. Cory says:

    There’s been virtually NO DVR info on Sleepy Hollow. I know I’m probably one of the few who cares but could you guys share SH’s info? I might consider trading you my soul in exchange, ha. :)

  7. ndixit says:

    Where does Brooklyn Nine-Nine fall in DVR rankings? I never see its DVR ratings anywhere.

  8. LADY_in_MD says:

    So if a show is not on the list does that mean more people watch it live?

  9. Lola says:

    Where is SHIELD, other than in the category where it made the list? I’m fairly curious haha

  10. JP says:

    Where’s The Flash?

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      26th in demo (2.3 rating), 42nd in total audience (5.7 mil), DVR gains of 64%. The CW’s No. 1-rated and most-watched series.

  11. DarleneH says:

    Can’t watch CSI Cyber on DVR. Ball games run over and I get Good Wife..

  12. sokyratis555 says:

    It’s sad that crazy ex can’t even surpass vampire diaries and originals ratings. So hope the golden globe nomination will give it a little boost

  13. Kori says:

    Hi, Matt do you have Arrow’s ratings?

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      46th in demo (1.7 rating), 63rd in total viewers (4 mil), DVR gains of 70%. The CW’s No, 2 show in both measures.

  14. Mary Kate says:

    Love articles like this. Thanks so much!

  15. ndixit says:

    Where is Gotham on these lists? I thought it was a huge DVR earner. Fox seems absent in general from these lists.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:


      GOTHAM is 28th in demo (2.7), 54th in audience (6.9 mil), DVR gains of 80%.

      (Also: There actually was a tie for 10th on the third chart; GOTHAM, SVU and LIMITLESS have been added.)

  16. percysowner says:

    Where does Supernatural fall?

  17. Patrick says:

    So, basically, the cast of BBT can have whatever they want, as long as they are willing to do the show.

  18. eric7740 says:

    How about Once Upon A Time???

  19. ndixit says:

    For a show that is so often belittled as an ‘oldie’ show, NCIS is right up there in the top 10 in the total demo ratings. And that is in its thirteenth year. And on top of that it’s pretty much neck and neck with TBBT in terms of top total audience. That’s pretty amazing.

    • leo says:

      That’s the result of consistant quality writing, a mixture of drama, comedy and fearless stories that go up to and at times over the precipice. Everyone it seems is expendable and that gives this series it’s edge.

  20. Emor says:

    Since no one seemed to get this article was simply a top ten results list, maybe you should just release all the info. Certainly would cut down on the question/response needs.

  21. Nichole says:

    Disappointing to see Elementary on the worst lists :( Really enjoying the few episodes we have seen so far this year with John Noble in them :) Still in the top 10 out the the ridiculous number of shows I watch though :D I like it that some of the networks and other cable channels are following Netflix with putting up the entire series at once, love to binge watch a show, especially if it’s a bit of a slow build for the first few episodes :)

  22. JIm J. says:

    I always wondered why “The Simpsons” and “Bob’s Burgers” were such terrible DVR gainers. Is the entire Fox Network Sunday lineup like this? I mean, where do “Family Guy”, “The Last Man on Earth”, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”, and the other two shows I mentioned fall on these DVR playback lists?

  23. Andrea says:

    Matt, do the networks regard the live + 7 DVR numbers in the same way that the live only numbers are regarded when determining cancellation or renewal of a series? Or are the live-only numbers considered the best and the live +7 DVR numbers considered the “second-best”? Thanks for the numbers. It’s interesting to see them laid out like this. Glad to know both NCIS and NCIS: NOLA are doing well

  24. Marco says:

    Can I ask how the Chicago shows are doing? Since none of them are on any of the lists, should we be worried and glad (that none of them are on the ‘worst’ lists) or just worried?

    • Chicago Dan says:

      Both Fire and PD were renewed in November for next season. Med will be announced soon (probably right after the crossover). Nothing to worry about there. Those shows will be on NBC for a long time.

  25. IMHO says:

    Any info on the Walking Dead ?
    What show has the highest rating on cable ?