4:26 pm - 11/13/2012

DVR ratings: 'Nikita' season 3 gains, 'Nashville' stays strong

The week of October 22 proved to be a rather impressive one when it came to DVR ratings. How much so? Let’s just leave it at this: there are so many shows this week that gained more than our meaningful 45% in the 18-49 demographic that we have to change our criteria a little bit. If everyone is making huge gains via DVRs, they are suddenly a little less impressive. With that in mind, the shows we are focusing on this week are those who need assistance via recordings to stay alive, and also those who still have a reasonable shot of being back for another season. (Sorry, “Private Practice” and “Fringe”: although they each made huge gains of over 75%, their shows are ending this year regardless.)

Just a note for those curious: this week featured a Presidential debate, which explains why “Revolution” is not on this list as it has been as of late. (Data via TVbythenumbers.)

“Nikita” – The great news here is the show’s season 3 episode this week grew an incredible 100% following its initial airing. The problem? 100% of a 0.2 is still pretty bad. For now, we’re sticking with the prediction that Maggie Q and company will receive a fourth season for syndication purposes, but The CW may air the episodes in the off months or the summer, where they are not sacrificing a timeslot to make it happen.

“Last Resort” – The fact that this show is still gaining more than 60% is impressive, but its initial rating in a 1.3 is still so bad that its 2.1 after the DVR numbers is still not that great. Our general rule is that if your show with recording figures is still lower than the show that either precedes or follows you (in this case “Grey’s Anatomy”), you are in trouble.

“Nashville” – Not only is the show still posting a 2.0 rating, but it is gaining 60% after the fact. While ABC will probably take a wait-and-see approach for the spring, Connie Britton should expect to be around for a full season.

“Grimm” – Even when “Grimm” had one of its best performances ever in a 2.0 rating, it still gained 60% to a 3.2. Don’t expect NBC to send this show out to pasture anytime soon given its DVR figures and its difficult Friday timeslot.

“Hart of Dixie” – It’s not the 0.8 rating and 60% gain that The CW probably loves; at this point, it may just be the fact that this is the only show on the first two nights of the week that is consistently drawing a 0.5. “Hart of Dixie” is no ratings smash, but it’s surviving well enough to probably get a season 3.

Also, an “honorable mention” shoutout has to go to both “Elementary” and “666 Park Avenue” for each gaining more than 54%. However, the latter show is still a goner.

Update: “Nashville” has now received a full season.

Largest 18-49 Demo Percentage Increase From DVR Viewing for Broadcast TV Shows:

ShowsNet18-49 L+SD (Rating)18-49 L+7 (Rating)Post Airdate Increase (Absolute)Post Airdate Increase (%)
Private Practice-10/23ABC1.
AMERICA'S TOP MOD-13COLLG-10/26CW0.40.70.375.0%
Gossip Girl-MON-10/22CW0.40.70.375.0%
Grey'S ANATOMY-10/25ABC3.04.91.963.3%
Last Resort-10/25ABC1.32.10.861.5%
Hart Of Dixie-10/23CW0.50.80.360.0%
30 Rock-10/25NBC1.21.90.758.3%
666 PARK AVE-10/28ABC1.62.50.956.3%
New Girl-10/23FOX2.74.21.555.6%
Vampire Diaries-10/25CW1.32.00.753.8%
Mentalist, THE-10/28CBS1.82.70.950.0%
Chicago Fire-10/24NBC1.82.70.950.0%
Beauty And The Beast-10/25CW0.60.90.350.0%
Modern Family-10/24ABC4.97.32.449.0%
NEW NORMAL-10/23NBC1.72.50.847.1%

Source 1 2

Someone needs to explain to me why "everyone...making huge gains via DVRs" means that they are "suddenly a little less impressive." Shouldn't that be a sign to the networks that people are changing the way they watch television and that the networks need to adjust their perception of ratings and their strategies accordingly?
ediesedgwick 13th-Nov-2012 09:53 pm (UTC)
I actually think people would be willing to buy episodes that aren't TV rips if they got to keep them (not the iTunes rental thing) and it was available online as episode goes on air. Have one price to stream and one price to buy. The standard tv season has 22-24 episodes, charging $3/ep for a full download is manageable and still works out to more than a DVD set. Depending how much tv you want, it can also work out to less than paying for cable.

TV execs want to budge as little as possible. If they actually rethought their business strategy they would have a better chance of competing with free streams, but not if they are half-assing it by only having new episodes on netflix instant a while after they air. Even the next day isn't fast enough, because anyone who likes the show enough to pay for it already started downloading it 15 min after it was finished.

Edited at 2012-11-13 09:55 pm (UTC)
megalixer 13th-Nov-2012 10:14 pm (UTC)
Oh, I agree with you that they definitely need to rethink their strategies but I think that's half:
a) people with high-tier jobs at networks being old and not internet-savvy, and half
b) legal traffic jams of who licenses what, who has the right to show what, et. al.
And while I think your strategy is a step in the right direction, idk, I just don't think that anything in the current online delivery paradigm, even if it's available much more quickly and a generally better experience, can compete with free. I mean, I don't generally watch TV when it airs so I think I'd pirate anyways - even if $3 isn't that much, if I know I can get it for free for not much hassle then I'm realistically going to do that.

Traditional TV will be around for a while longer because of old people, but I could see a move towards production engineered for the internet, like how Netflix is getting Arrested Development season 4. My personal idea (no idea if it would work or not tbh) would be to have networks work almost like a Kickstarter - produce a pilot, release it for free, and then make the rest of the season if enough people pay to 'subscribe' to it. It wouldn't eliminate piracy but maybe if you could make people feel more directly responsible for the existence of the show then you'd get more people paying.
jaimelannister 13th-Nov-2012 10:23 pm (UTC)
I'd be so interested in what would get made if that system were implemented.
stoicana 13th-Nov-2012 10:31 pm (UTC)
...produce a pilot, release it for free, and then make the rest of the season if enough people pay to 'subscribe' to it.

I have only one qualm with this sort of system and it stems from the fact that with the advent of social networking and its increasing popularity, fans are becoming increasingly vocal (sometimes to the point where it's too too much) about wanting showrunners to listen to them and demanding things of shows that the fans feel they are entitled to as loyal viewers.

I feel like if fans were too also become a dominant source of funding for the shows they watch, this would escalate dramatically and I really do wonder what would happen to the quality of programming.
megalixer 13th-Nov-2012 11:03 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I honestly have no idea how it would end up playing out for a medium like television. I'm taking the idea from the gaming industry because there have been a lot of indie games that have been successfully funded using this model that are pretty much targeting the demographic (late teens - early 30somethings, internet-savvy, desensitized to piracy) that are the most likely to pirate. But obviously that's a different beast than a TV show, the expectation for a game is that you're getting a self-contained product and generally sequel demands will be more focused on gameplay issues than artistic ones.

I do think that you have a valid point but I think there are positive sides to that aspect as well. You definitely wouldn't get the bloated runs with diminishing returns of a lot of US television series have if shows were more reliant on attracting fans devoted enough to pay and not just drawing enough viewers to watch out of curiosity. I think there's a reason that most of the most critically acclaimed shows on TV today are on premium cable, which is sort of the same idea but spread across several shows instead of focused on just one.
frelling_tralk 14th-Nov-2012 04:42 pm (UTC)
And even with $3 per episode not being that much, it all really adds up when you're looking at season passes. For UK itunes I would actually rather watch them on my ipad then find space for the DVD's, but I just can't justify spending what's usually something like £34.99 for a 22 episode season, even though you can buy the DVD's for like £20 on amazon which come with packaging, bonus features, and the option of reselling them (and are usually discounted to around £12 after a while, whilst apple never seem to offer discounts for older shows and films the way the shops do)

Itunes should be cheaper than an actual physical product but it's just the same as paperback books often costing lesss these days than the e-book version. You just feel like a mug ifyou're buying shows on iTunes when the price difference can be so huge. It's annoying though because I'd much rather keep my films and shows all on my ipad and not keep buying DVD's , but if you can pick up film DVD's for £2.99 at Tesco's then why spend the £10.99 that apple is ussually asking for...
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