Which Summer 2020 Broadcast TV Series Has Seen the Largest Lifts From DVR Viewing?

It may be alien to some

Roswell New Mexico
The CW

tony maglio ratings report banner With about one week left in August 2020, we wanted to determine which broadcast TV series have benefited the most with one week of (mostly) DVR viewing this summer. The answer, though not the reasons, will likely surprise you. The CW’s “Roswell, New Mexico” has seen the largest lifts, on a percentage basis, of any primetime show from May 21, 2020 to Aug. 8, 2020. As a matter of fact, over seven days of delayed viewing, “Roswell, New Mexico” tripled its “live” ratings among adults 18-49, soaring +200%, according to Nielsen. In terms of total viewers, the “Roswell” growth is also No. 1 among all primetime shows across CBS, NBC, Fox, ABC and The CW, with a +86% lift from its Live + Same Day numbers. Of the Top 10 (percentage) growers in the key demo, half of the Top 10 are on The CW: In addition to “Roswell, New Mexico,” there are DC Comics series “Legends of Tomorrow” and “Stargirl,” and foreign imports “Coroner” and “Killer Camp.” Each of those double their Live + Same Day Nielsen audiences. In total viewers, six of the top 10 are on The CW: In addition to “Roswell,” there’s “The 100” (+80%), “Legends of Tomorrow” (+72%), “Stargirl” (+62%), “Coroner” (+53%) and “In the Dark” (+51%). That all sounds pretty incredible, right? But, if you’ll recall, “reasons.” So here’s why The CW boasts such large lifts: The way percentages work, the lowest starting numbers have the largest opportunity for growth. In the case of “Roswell,” the drama grew from a 0.1 “live” rating to a 0.3 one week later. Plus, “Roswell, New Mexico,” “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” and “Coroner” have two other facts helping them out. First, they all air at 9 p.m., which is The CW’s final hour of primetime. The later a series airs, fewer potential audience members are awake and watching television — that’s why 10 p.m. shows on the networks that nationally program primetime until 11 o’clock tend to see the most growth from DVRs. Additionally, in the time period we studied, “Coroner” had only aired one episode, “Legends of Tomorrow” ran two and “Roswell, New Mexico” aired three. So in the cases of “Legends” and “Roswell,” those seasons wrapped up with a few episodes just barely leaking into what we consider the Summer TV season. TV usage levels get lower as the summer goes on. For “Coroner,” while it didn’t have the benefit of the higher late May/early June TV-usage levels, the lone episode counted here is the Canadian show’s U.S. television debut. Intrigue over the next few days of its stateside premiere likely goosed the Live + 7 Day numbers a bit. With all of that said and explained, this isn’t actually a positive story for any of those shows — or for The CW. To be fair to the Mark Pedowitz-led channel, The CW skews youngest of all the broadcast channels. So while the 18-49 demo is still important to the home of teen and superhero dramas, the younger half of that age range pops much more than the higher end. And total viewers, a statistic that skews even older than 18-49, is less relevant for CW’s ad sales. In terms of actual gains, CBS’ “Big Brother” adds the most net total viewers (Sunday episodes) and adults 18-49 (Wednesday episodes are slightly ahead of Sundays). The Sunday edition gew from 2.97 million viewers to 5.13 million, a gain of 73%.


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