‘Big Bang’ Gets Biggest Bang From DVRs

But “American Idol's” Tuesday performance shows were the most-watched in time-shifted mode

The CBS sitcom "The Big Bang Theory" has recorded the largest gain in time-shifted viewing among series over the past three seasons, with its audience watching via DVR growing by 230 percent, according to an analysis of Nielsen data.

Fox's "American Idol" Tuesday night performance show was the most-watched in time-shifted mode during the 2009-10 season. NBC's "The Office" had the highest percentage of its audience watching in time-shifted mode each week.

To get the findings, Horizon Media executive vice president of research Brad Adgate compared Nielsen live ratings to live plus seven-day viewing data.

"Big Bang" had 869,000 time-shifted viewers during the 2007-08 season, which was only 10.3 percent of its total audience. In 2009-10, that grew to 2.04 million viewers or 19.7 percent of its viewers — a 230 percent increase.

Other shows that have more than doubled their time-shifted viewing since the 2007-08 season are CBS drama "NCIS," CBS newsmagazine "60 Minutes," CBS sitcoms "Rules of Engagement" and "How I Met Your Mother," ABC's "The Bachelor," Fox's animated series "Family Guy" and CW drama "Gossip Girl."

As for "American Idol," its performance show was watched by 5.6 million viewers in time-shifted mode. The "Idol" results show was the second most-watched show in DVR mode with 4.9 viewers.

"The Office" had 36.1 percent of its audience watch the show in time-shifted mode, up from 22.6 percent in 2007-08, The number of viewers time shifting "The Office" grew from 1.85 million to 3.2 million, a 73 percent increase.

The programs least likely to be time shifted, Adgate found, are live sports, regularly scheduled repeats like CBS' "Crimetime Saturday" block of procedural dramas, and some unscripted programs such as ABC's "America’s Funniest Videos," and "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and Fox's "Cops."