Better light is being shed on the ratings for the week of Sept. 22 — widely considered to be the official launch of this TV season — now that Live + 7 Nielsen numbers have come in. (Whereas the fast nationals reported every morning capture live viewing plus same-night DVR playback, Live + 7 includes any recorded show watched up to a week later.)
Among the superlatives being bandied about, ABC can tout that Grey's Anatomy and its season premiere enjoyed the largest gain of any show, adding 2.7 million total viewers once Live + 7 is factored in. That brings the the hit drama's premiere audience to 21.2 mil. With DVR marketplace penetration now at 20 percent (up eight percent year-over-year), Grey's' playback increase was up 29 percent from last season's average.
While ABC saw a total of four shows (including Housewives, Boston Legal and Brothers & Sisters) gain a million or more viewers, CBS had five — the most of any network — in that esteemed club: CSI: Miami (which added 1.47 mil to its original premiere audience of 17.3 mil), NCIS (leaping to 19.4 mil), Without a Trace, freshman hit The Mentalist and Criminal Minds.
House and Sarah Connor are giving Fox its greatest gains in DVR playback, with both shows goosing their numbers by some 15 percent. For House, that means an increase in excess of two million.
The Peacock's best boast is that Heroes, which opened to softer-than-expected numbers, saw its performance in the 18-49 demo soar 20 percent with Live + 7. The CW, meanwhile, points out that 90210 gains nearly a full rating point in the netlet's "sweet spot" of women 18-34.