5:00am PT by Rick Porter
TV Long View: DVR Catchup Slows Broadcast Bleeding, But Not by Much
Delayed viewing will always make a given show's ratings look better, but the first set of complete DVR numbers from the 2018-19 TV season show it's hardly a cure-all for losses of viewers on the front end.
Top-10 shows like ABC's Grey's Anatomy and NBC's This Is Us recovered a little bit of their season-to-season declines with three days of extra viewing. Those series are also still well behind where they were in the same measure last season. CBS' Young Sheldon and Fox's 911 are either flat or actually lost a little bit relative to their same-day numbers.
Grey's Anatomy is ABC's top-rated show among adults 18-49, coming in at a 2.6 rating in the demographic after three days of delayed viewing. That's about 13 percent behind its three-day average in 2017-18 (3.0), and also bit of an improvement on the nearly 19 percent decline the series had in the same-day ratings.
CBS' Young Sheldon, the top-rated comedy that will return next season, was down 22.6 percent in the 18-49 demo in the same-day ratings and remains at exactly that number after three days. Fox's top drama, 911, retreated slightly, going from a 21 percent dip in the same-day ratings to being down 22 percent after three days.
This Is Us, meanwhile, narrowed its losses from 34.5 percent in the same-day 18-49 ratings to just under 32 percent after three days. (The declines are somewhat steeper than they might otherwise be as the NBC drama had a post-Super Bowl airing in 2018.)
Even Chicago Fire, which was up in the same-day ratings, is off slightly year to year after three days. Through May 12, it was even with last season in the seven-day tally.
Some of those lost viewers may have migrated to digital platforms, which Nielsen doesn't measure in these ratings. But while delayed viewing makes up some, it can't plug all the leaks.
Below are the top 25 non-sports shows (including ties) for the 2018-19 season in live-plus-3 ratings, along with comparisons to their averages from 2017-18 where applicable.
|Rank||Show||Network||Live +3 18-49 rating||Plus/minus vs. 2017-18|
|1||The Masked Singer||Fox||3.5||n/a|
|2||The Big Bang Theory||CBS||3.4||-0.6 (-15%)|
|3||This Is Us||NBC||3.2||-1.5 (-31.9%)|
|4||Grey's Anatomy||ABC||2.6||-0.4 (-13.3%)|
|Young Sheldon||CBS||2.4||-0.7 (-22.6%)|
|7||The Bachelor||ABC||2.3||+0.1 (+4.5%)|
|8||The Good Doctor||ABC||2.1||-1.1 (-34.4%)|
|America's Got Talent: The Champions||NBC||2.1||n/a|
|12||Modern Family||ABC||2.0||-0.5 (-20%)|
|The Voice - Monday||NBC||1.9||-0.5 (-20.8%)|
|16||Chicago PD||NBC||1.8||-0.2 (-10%)|
|Chicago Fire||NBC||1.8||-0.1 (-5.3%)|
|19||A Million Little Things||ABC||1.7||n/a|
|Chicago Med||NBC||1.7||-0.2 (-10.5%)|
|The Voice - Tuesday||NBC||1.7||-0.5 (-22.7%)|
|23||Law & Order: SVU||NBC||1.6||-0.3 (-15.8%)|
|Last Man Standing||Fox||1.6||even (vs. 2016-17 on ABC)|
|The Goldbergs||ABC||1.6||-0.3 (-15.8%)|
|American Idol - Sunday||ABC||1.6||-0.4 (-20%)|
|The Titan Games||NBC||1.6||n/a|
|Ellen's Game of Games||NBC||1.6||-0.6 (-27.3%)|
|Rank||Show||Network||Live +3 viewers (millions)||Plus/minus vs. 2017-18 (millions)|
|1||The Big Bang Theory||CBS||16.88||-2.02 (-10.7%)|
|3||Young Sheldon||CBS||13.93||-2.56 (-15.5%)|
|4||This Is Us||NBC||12.23||-5.21 (-29.9%)|
|5||Blue Bloods||CBS||12.15||-1.14 (-8.6%)|
America's Got Talent:
|8||The Good Doctor||ABC||11.24||-5.48 (-32.8%)|
|10||The Masked Singer||FOX||10.88||n/a|
|11||Chicago Fire||NBC||10.85||+0.85 (+8.5%)|
|12||60 Minutes||CBS||10.65||-0.8 (-7%)|
|13||Chicago Med||NBC||10.58||+0.1 (+1%)|
|14||The Voice - Monday||NBC||10.38||-1.49 (-12.6%)|
|16||Chicago PD||NBC||10.19||-0.31 (-3%)|
|17||NCIS: New Orleans||CBS||9.92||-2.69 (-21.3%)|
|20||The Voice - Tuesday||NBC||9.66||-1.75 (-15.3%)|
|21||Hawaii Five-0||CBS||9.65||-1.59 (-14.1%)|
|22||NCIS: Los Angeles||CBS||9.56||-1.15 (-10.7%)|
|23||Grey's Anatomy||ABC||9.41||-1.69 (-15.2%)|
Source: Nielsen, THR research
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