What Shows Get DVR’d the Most?

I normally post the weekly TV ratings since they come out on Tuesdays but since I’m on vacation this week and I’m on the internet much earlier than usual, the weekly ratings haven’t been published  yet.  So what is a MWTVG to do?  Do I let my readers suffer?  Of course not.  As a professional, I know that the show must go on.  If the Nielsen company can’t get their act together for the readers at MWTVG, then it is up to me to come through (while still using other Nielsen data).

I met someone yesterday who told me that they don’t have a DVR.  Can you believe that?  I couldn’t even fathom life without a DVR.  To me the greatest inventions by humans can be ranked in the following:

1. Fire

2. The Wheel

3. The DVR

4. Ding Dongs

I would put my list up against any historian’s list.  I don’t think it can be argued with.

Anyway, I digress.  Since the weekly ratings weren’t out, I was doing some reading on other ratings that Nielsen reports (because that is one of my jobs here at MWTVG, it is that exciting.  Would you like a job?) and I found the Nielsen DVR ratings.  In general, Nielsen reports ratings for people that watch the show at the time it is aired or who DVR the show on the same day.  This following list gives the shows that have the largest percentage increase of viewers within seven days of the original airing.  It’s pretty interesting (to me and by extension, to all of you) seeing which shows have the largest increase in viewership on DVR.  What’s even more interesting is looking at the total viewership in the Live + 7 category.  NCIS has almost 22 million total viewers.  Amazing.  Look at CBS overall, apparently CBS viewers don’t watch TV unless it’s recorded.  Well, it was interesting to me and I’ve prattled on long enough so here you go, the Live + 7 DVR ratings:

Largest Average Viewership Increase From DVR Viewing for Broadcast TV Shows:

Rank Program Net Viewership Live+SD (000) Viewership Live+7 (000) Post Airdate Absolute Viewership Increase From DVR Viewing (000) Post Airdate % Viewership Increase from DVR Viewing
1 Modern Family-10/31 ABC 10617 15036 4419 42%
2 REVOLUTION-10/29 NBC 7707 11835 4128 54%
3 Big Bang Theory, THE-11/01 CBS 15901 19841 3940 25%
4 ELEMENTARY-11/01 CBS 10492 14091 3599 34%
5 Mentalist, THE-11/04 CBS 9111 12657 3546 39%
6 CASTLE-10/29 ABC 10710 14067 3357 31%
7 Person Of Interest-11/01 CBS 13599 16815 3216 24%
8 Once Upon A Time-11/04 ABC 10151 13239 3088 30%
9 REVENGE-11/04 ABC 7935 11015 3080 39%
10 Criminal Minds-10/31 CBS 12023 15097 3074 26%
11 NCIS-10/30 CBS 18829 21885 3056 16%
12 NASHVILLE-10/31 ABC 5613 8534 2921 52%
13 CSI-10/31 CBS 10951 13732 2781 25%
14 NCIS: LOS ANGELES-10/30 CBS 16281 18921 2640 16%
15 Chicago Fire-10/31 NBC 5523 8135 2612 47%
16 New Girl-10/30 FOX 4750 7258 2508 53%
17 Grimm-11/02 NBC 5695 8172 2477 43%
18 Blue Bloods-11/02 CBS 11049 13508 2459 22%
19 Good Wife, THE-11/04 CBS 9926 12244 2318 23%
20 Vegas-10/30 CBS 10748 13058 2310 21%
21 Two and a Half Men-11/01 CBS 12654 14917 2263 18%
22 Law And Order:SVU-10/31 NBC 6054 8001 1947 32%
23 666 PARK AVE-11/04 ABC 3986 5900 1914 48%
24 CSI: NY-11/02 CBS 10051 11873 1822 18%
25 VOICE-TUE-10/30 NBC 12133 13925 1792 15%

The average viewership increase From DVR Viewing ranks which of the top broadcast shows [by Live+7 viewers] had the largest absolute increase in average viewership by DVR between the Live + Same Day and Live + 7 day ratings measurements.
Do the Live+7 ratings tell us anything about a show’s renewal prospects we didn’t already know from the Live+Same Day ratings?  No.  Click here to learn more.

To see the previous most DVR’d TV Shows lists click here.


DVR (Time-shifted) Adults 18-49 Ratings – Program ratings for national sources are produced in three streams of data LiveLive+Same Day (Live+SD) and Live+7 Day. Time shifted figures account for incremental viewing that takes place with DVRs.

Live+Same Day(Live+SD) ratings include viewing during the same broadcast day as the original telecast, with a cut-off of 3:00AM local time when meters transmit daily viewing to Nielsen for processing.

Live+7 Day ratings include incremental viewing that takes place during the 7 days following a telecast.

DVR Ratings Increase Past Airdate – How many people watched the show on their DVRs within 7 days following the airdate

Until the 2009-2010 season, we used a show’s LIVE program rating or viewership as the base upon which the LIVE+7 day DVR viewing was added. Now, the press seems to be standardizing around using LIVE+SAME DAY DVR viewing as the base for the calculations, so that’s what we do now as well.

Nielsen TV Ratings Data:©2011 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.