'Utopia' Bucks Reality Trend With Big DVR Ratings Growth

The second episode shoots up 56 percent in the first round of time-shifting
Ray Mickshaw / FOX

Reality is not a genre that typically sees significant improvement from DVR views. As much as networks have (justifiably) been focusing ratings attention on time-shifting, it's largely an arena for scripted dramas and comedies.

But Utopia's initial DVR boosts show a stronger-than-typical delayed audience for Fox's big unscripted play for the fall — after largely stumbling out of the gate in live-plus-same day showings. The second episode of Utopia rose a full 56 percent in the key demo — the biggest lift of any broadcast show last week (Mon. - Wed.) outside of CBS' Extant.

The average 1.4 rating among adults 18-49, after the DVR lift, put it as No. 3 for that Tuesday — and not the last-place position it was in same-day showings. It's good news for the freshman series, which opened on the eve of the official 2014 fall TV season. Friday's episode averaged just a 0.7 rating in the demo in same-day showings.

Newly-minted Fox Broadcasting chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman say that they're banking on the show to grow.

"We're definitely going to exhibit patience," Walden told The Hollywood Reporter last week. "What exactly that means, it's hard to tell. I'd say that as long as we're feeling creatively satisfied with the show, we're going to do everything in our power to give it an opportunity to thrive and grow."

Utopia adopts its regular twice-weekly schedule this week, airing on Tuesday and Friday.