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CW Gets a Big Boost From DVRs

Numbers for ‘Melrose Place,’ ‘90210’ look a lot sweeter when delayed viewing is factored in.

 The CW might just want to go ahead and change its name to The DVR.

Just-in Nielsen data shows that, as expected, the network continues to get a big boost when ratings from DVR playback of its shows is factored in. And, like last season, "90210" remains the biggest beneficiary of TiVo-like devices.

The Sept. 8 season premiere of the Zip show grew its audience by an eye-popping 73 percent in the CW’s core demo of women 18-34 when comparing live-only viewing (1.92 rating) to live viewing plus seven days of DVR playback (3.32).

Last fall, the premiere of "90210" added 39 percent more young women when DVR data was factored in. Today’s data would seem to indicate the show increasingly becoming must-TiVo TV for its audience.

Most media outlets report the so-called live-plus-day number when reporting ratings. That stat includes viewers who watch a show when it’s on, as well as anyone who watches via DVR that evening. By that measure, "90210" was up a still impressive 34 percent.

As for the other CW shows which premiered earlier this month:

–Struggling freshman "Melrose Place" was up 54 percent in women 18-34 and added 43 percent more viewers when comparing live viewing to live-plus seven day. (Using live plus same day as the benchmark, the increase is 26 percent in the female demo).

–New hit "Vampire Diaries" was even stronger when factoring in DVRs. It soared 64 percent in adults 18-34 (32 percent when using live-plus same day).

Other networks are anxiously awaiting DVR data for their premieres. Fox’s "Dollhouse," for example, was catatonic in the live plus same day Nielsens but may add a big number of viewers once DVR numbers are in.

Nielsen still takes a little more than two weeks to compile DVR data, so figures for most of the big fall premieres won’t be in until early to- mid-October.