Nielsen: Top Time-Shifted TV Shows

American Idol judges Cable delivers the most top TV programs when it comes to the percentage of its audience that time-shifts viewings.

Led by Sci-Fi Channel's "Battlestar Galactica," cable had eight of the top 13 time-shifted shows. "Battlestar" has a whopping 53% of its household viewing--more than half of its overall viewing--watching after its original episode premiere. This data comes from Nielsen Media Research, Jan. 1 to Nov. 30, 2008, and includes time-shifted playback of up to seven days.

Sci Fi Channel had three shows in total that made the top 10. The other two were series, "Sanctuary" and "Eureka," which earned 35% and 34% of their respective audiences via DVR playback.

Sci Fi Channel's sister network, USA Network, had four in the top 10, including "Burn This," which came in second to "Battlestar" at 37%. Also on the list was "Psych" (29%), "In Plain Sight" (28%), and "The Starter Wife" (27%).



Broadcast's best came from NBC's "Heroes" (35%), Fox's "90210" (35%), Fox's "Fringe" (27%) and CW's "America's Next Top Model" (27%).

In terms of the actual number of viewers, the big broadcast shows generally get the big number of time-shifted viewing. Fox's "American Idol" on Tuesday grabbed an average 2.153 million households. The Wednesday "Idol" results edition pulled in 1.945 million. NBC's "Heroes" was next at 1.832 million, followed by ABC's "Lost" at 1.793 million.

The best results for CBS were from "The Mentalist," this year's big new show. It brought in nearly 1.5 million added households from DVR playback.

Top 10 "Time-shifted" Prime-Time Programs

Ranked by Increase in Households       

Rank    Programs                          Network     Net gain-households (000)

1          American Idol - Tues.         Fox           2153   
2          American Idol - Weds.        Fox           1945   
3           Heroes                             NBC          1832   
4          Lost                                  ABC          1793   
5           Fringe                              FOX          1602   
6           House                              FOX          1454   
7            The Mentalist                   CBS          1445   
8            Survivor: Gabon                CBS          1396   
9            Grey's Anatomy - Thur       ABC          1358   
10          Bones                              FOX          1331   

Source: The Nielsen Company


Top 10 "Time-shifted" Prime Time Programs

Ranked by Percent Difference  

Rank    Programs                                 Network          % Increase in Rating   

1          Battlestar Galactica (Orig)     SCIFI               53%    
2          Burn Notice                         USA                37%    
3          Heroes                               NBC                35%    
3          90210                                CW                  35%    
3          Sanctuary                            SCIFI              35%    
6          Eureka                                SCIFI              34%    
7          My Boys                              TBSC              32%    
8          Psych                                  USA                 29%    
9          In Plain Sight                       USA                 28%    
10        America's Top Model - 5        CW                  27%    
10        Fringe                                 FOX                27%    
10        The Starter Wife                   USA                27%    
10        The Office                            NBC                 27%    


2 comments about "Nielsen: Top Time-Shifted TV Shows".
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  1. Rick Sebok from OnSite Network, December 17, 2008 at 9:03 a.m.

    From an advertiser, this data could be turned from good to great by including how many (and which) commercials were viewed versus skipped.

  2. S.e. Olson from Why We Watch, December 17, 2008 at 10:37 a.m.

    You have a typo in the article...USA's top scoring show is called 'Burn NOTICE' not 'Burn This'...the table below is correct

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