'Carol's Second Act' Has Most Attentive Viewing Among Series Premieres

Depending on the Nielsen metric, CBS comedy Carol's Second Act was either the third- or fourth-most-watched series premiere in the week of Sept. 23. 

In terms of how closely its viewers watched, however, the Patricia Heaton-led series may be the No. 1 newcomer of the fall.

That observation comes form TVision, a marketing technology firm that uses computer vision technology to, essentially, watch how people watch TV. The company maintains a panel of 5,000 households and uses its tech to scan who's in the room when a given program is on and detect whether those viewers are actively looking at the screen. It then syncs that information with audio recognition for what's playing to come up with what it calls an attention index.

By that measure, Carol's Second Act and fellow CBS comedy Bob Hearts Abishola had the most attentive viewers of any broadcast series debut in the first two weeks of the 2019-20 season. Both had an attention score of almost 123 (122.9 for Carol, 122.7 for Bob) for their initial airings, where 100 is the average for all shows. 

Fox's Prodigal Son (119.4), ABC's Stumptown (116.7) and the CBS drama Evil (113.9) rounded out the top five in TVision's attention index. All 14 network primetime premieres, plus the debut episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show in syndication and the premiere of HGTV's A Very Brady Renovation, scored above average.

TVision also measures what it calls "ad viewability," which tracks whether people were in the room with an opportunity to see a commercial as it played. On average, that happens 71 percent of the time for same-day viewing. By that measure, the NBC comedy Perfect Harmony came out on top (despite modest Nielsen ratings) with a 96 percent score, followed by A Very Brady Renovation (90.7 percent), The Kelly Clarkson Show (87.6 percent), Bob Hearts Abishola (87.2 percent) and Carol's Second Act (83.7 percent). 

Again, all the premieres tracked at least a little bit above average in ad viewability.

TVision's panelists all opt in to having their attention measured, and the company says it collects and processes data in panelists' homes, then aggregates and weights it to come up with the attention and viewability metrics.