Funny How Time Shifts Away

Tanya Giles by Tanya Giles, Strategic Insights & Research, Viacom Entertainment Group

Interesting piece in Monday’s New York Times from Bill Carter and Brian Stelter on the sizeable shifts we see in the standings for  TV’s top-rated shows when Nielsen’s Live+7 ratings — or, ratings that factor in seven days of added viewing  through DVR  playback — are compared to the Nielsen Live ratings most commonly used to rank programming.

As their case in point, Carter and Stelter note that, while Fox’s American Idol and NBC’s The Voice still rule the roost in Live ratings, ABC’s Modern Family takes the top spot when we look at Live+7 ratings.

Love the quote from one of Modern Family’s creators in acknowledging this victory, because it hints at a broader trend that we’re seeing across our own networks:

“On behalf of all the comedies that were wiped out by ‘Idol’ over the past 10 years, it’s very gratifying,” said Steve Levitan, one of the creators of “Modern Family.”

That trend is how much strength comedy programming — in particular, sitcoms — gains in ratings when DVR playback is factored in. By all accounts, the sitcom — once left for dead — has made a Lazarus-like recovery across broadcast and cable. But that recovery is even more impressive when you factor in DVR playback.

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