TV’s New Season and DVRs

 It is a possibility that the death of network TV has been exaggerated (maybe not greatly), since broadcast TV is pumping up to something of a revival this season.  Viewers are actually tuning in to new shows, some of them half hour sitcoms.  ABC’s “Modern Family” and “CougarTown” pulled in very solid ratings, as did CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory”.  Maybe because they’re spending more time at home these days, viewers are actually sticking around to watch these shows, and as DVR penetration continues to increase (see below), more people will be watching them in a time shifted mode.  Hollywood Reporter quotes CBS’ head of scheduling as saying “It was a really terrific week for network TV…Practically every network had something to feel good about.”  Is it too much to hope for that this could signal the long-anticipated demise of the reality show, do you think?

Speaking of DVRs, some reports say that the reason that the DVR accounted for the strength of the new launches.  DVR palyback during prime time hours last week was up 36%.  And viewers were watching four or five hours of prime time shows per night instead of three.  Which, without a DVR would be practically impossible, at least if you only watch one set at a time.  The downside of this is that networks might be competing with themselves, as viewers watch shows that aired earlier in the week.  Sort of like time travel.


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