The 2016-2017 TV Season-to-Date in L+7 Total Viewers


We at TVTH have become fascinated this season with DVR lift. It can turn moderate hits into big hits. It can make or break a show’s renewal chances. And it provides some interesting insights into viewership habits for specific shows.

We’ve been tracking DVR lift for the Top 25 shows each week in terms of lift viewership, lift percentage (which can be misleading if a show draws 2 million viewers with a 100% lift yet still only generates 4 million viewers) and total L+7 viewership.

Below is our chart of the Top 25 DVR-lifted shows on network broadcast in lift viewership — averaged from 9/19-12/4.

Please see our Notes and Other Observations below the chart and join in the discussion.

L+7 Viewership Lift (000)
Ranking Program Network Average
1 Designated Survivor ABC 6,983
2 The Big Bang Theory CBS 5,339
3 This Is Us NBC 5,033
4 The Blacklist NBC 4,759
5 Bull CBS 4,319
6 Blue Bloods CBS 4,128
7 Modern Family ABC 4,009
8 Empire FOX 3,914
9 NCIS CBS 3,872
10 NCIS: New Orleans CBS 3,760
11 Timeless NBC 3,684
12 Chicago P.D. NBC 3,590
13 Scorpion CBS 3,569
14 Grey’s Anatomy ABC 3,537
15 Criminal Minds CBS 3,497
16 HTGAWM ABC 3,409
17 Code Black CBS 3,327
18 Chicago Med NBC 3,326
19 Law and Order: SVU NBC 3,018
20 Madam Secretary CBS 2,918
21 Hawaii Five-0 CBS 2,874
22 Blindspot NBC 2,782
23 Elementary CBS 2,762
24 Lethal Weapon FOX 2,754
25 Pure Genius CBS 2,719

Notes and Other Observations:

  • ABC’s Designated Survivor has ranked #1 every week since its record-breaking premiere in September — often more than doubling on its live viewership.
  • Nearly half of the Top 25 are CBS shows — suggesting a surprising mix of younger viewers and/or a growing number of older viewers embracing the DVR technology.
  • 7 of the Top 25 are NBC shows, 4 are ABC shows and 2 are FOX shows.
  • 6 of the Top 25 are new shows.
  • Six of the Top 25 are currently 8pm shows. Eight are currently 9pm shows. And 11 are currently 10pm shows — all clearly portending viewers holding off on viewing 10pm shows to either go to bed, wind down for the evening and/or watch something mindless as they settle into bed.
  • Nine of the Top 25 are currently Wednesday shows — perhaps suggesting that time-shifting peaks at midweek (or at least with midweek shows). Six are currently Thursday shows. Four are currently Tuesday shows. And two each are currently Monday, Friday and Sunday shows.
  • Wednesdays at 9pm is the most DVR’d time period — with four of the five broadcast networks represented in the Top 25.
  • CBS’s entire Tuesday night lineup, FOX’s entire Wednesday night lineup (note that FOX only broadcasts 8-10pm) and NBC’s entire Wednesday night lineup rank in the Top 25.


What are your thoughts and insights?


Source: Spoiler TV for the L+7 viewership numbers.

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