CBS' "Mike & Molly" was the most engaging new show this season, according to The Nielsen Company.
Nielsen says network comedies are on the rise -- 5% higher in viewer engagement versus last year. New comedies are now outperforming new dramas by 7% this year. Nielsen says "Mike & Molly" ranks No. 1 in viewer engagement in all major demographic groups.
Overall, there is a 2% increase in program engagement for this season's new shows versus last season. After "Mike & Molly," Fox comedies "Raising Hope" and "Running Wilde" and NBC's "The Event" were tied for second place. ABC's "No Ordinary Family" came in after it.
Dave Kaplan, senior vice president of Nielsen's advertising effectiveness business, stated: "Some may think of high-action dramas as the most gripping shows, but the significant gain among comedies is a clear indication that genre alone doesn't dictate audience attention levels. It's all about the program."
Kaplan says "program engagement" is a measure of receptivity, one of Nielsen's "4 Rs" of advertising effectiveness (reach, receptivity, resonance, reaction). Generally, older audiences, 35+, show higher engagement with new shows than younger viewers, 13-34.
The company says this year's new CW drama "Nikita" shows 19% higher engagement for the older viewers -- which is unusual for a network that traditionally skews younger. The new CBS series "The Defenders" program engagement increased by 6% for viewers 35+ versus younger audiences.
Nielsen also noted that NBC's new "Law & Order: Los Angeles" is pulling in better engaged women viewers -- 6% higher than male viewers.