Live program ratings are higher than virtually all commercial ratings. Throw in the fact that this includes seven days of DVR playback, and you have perhaps the highest measurement for a TV show. On Tuesday, the more important live commercial ratings plus three days of DVR playback will be released--a currency that advertisers linked to deals in last June's upfront advertising market.
Still, some networks are claiming an early-week victory.
NBC says it won the week outright among 18-49 viewers with a 4.2/11, up 2% versus a year ago. It notes that other network averages were down or flat: ABC, 4.1/11 (9%); CBS, 3.7/11 (7%); Fox, 3.0/8 (6%); CW, 1.2/3 (flat).
Previously released Nielsen weekly ratings, which were based on live-plus-same-day data, had NBC and ABC tied for the lead among 18-49 viewers in the first week.
For the first week of the new season, the winners in grabbing some of the highest DVR playback numbers so far--in terms of seven days of program playback--are: "Heroes," followed by "Grey's Anatomy," then "House," "CSI" and The Office." Those shows rose in 18-49 viewers by 27.3%, 20.7%, 19.8%, 18.8% and 26.7%, respectively, in terms of total DVR playback after seven days.
This gave "Heroes" an 8.44 rating; "Grey's" a 9.88 rating, "House" a 8.73, "CSI" a 9.22, and "The Office" a 5.84.
The lower a program's same-day ratings, the lower the tendency for viewers to record and play back programs later in the week. Some of the lower recorded and played-back shows include "K-Ville," which only added 4.5%; CW's "Girlfriends" at 1.5%; and "King of the Hill" at 1.0%.
Shows on the CW, which scored some of the lowest initial same-day ratings, had some of the highest DVR record and playback numbers, in terms of percentage. "Gossip Girls" added 18.1% after seven days of playback to give it a 1.27 rating. "Reaper" improved 20.7% to a 1.74 rating. "Beauty and The Geek" climbed 20.2% to a 1.63 rating. "Smallville" grew 21.8% to a 2.16 rating.