Heroes and Diaries beat (well, sort of) Idol

Contributed by
Nov 17, 2014

What do Heroes, The Vampire Diaries, Smallville, Fringe and Supernatural all have in common? They all beat American Idol and NCIS when it comes to the increased percentage of viewers when DVR and +7 viewing was factored in during the week of Jan. 25, according to TVbytheNumbers.com.

In fact, those shows all top the list, making their relatively small audiences (at least when compared with a mega-hit like Idol) look downright respectable. Heroes was number one, with a 27 percent gain in viewership. The struggling series added more than a million viewers to its total, and it did even better in the coveted 18-49 rating, gaining 33 percent and going from a 1.89 same-day rating to a 2.52 live +7 rating.

While the jury is still out as to what these numbers really mean (especially considering that many people skip through the commercials), sci-fi and fantasy shows tend to do very well when it comes to DVR increased percentages.

Unfortunately, that didn't help poor Dollhouse. which always gained a significant percentage bump. The series was canceled by Fox and ended its run earlier this year. But still, adding a million or two viewers on top of marginal ratings makes a case for keeping shows like NBC's Heroes and Chuck around for another season.

Here are the top 10 ranked sci-fi/fantasy shows for the percentage increase in 18-49 viewers, their LIVE+SD (live plus same day DVR viewing, up to 3 a.m. the morning after a show airs), their LIVE+7 (live viewing plus 7 days' worth of DVR viewing) and total percentage of the increase.

1. Heroes (NBC)1.892.5233%
2. Vampire Diaries (The CW)1.752.2830%
3. Smallville (The CW) 1.09 1.41 29%
4. Medium (CBS) 1.84 2.36 28%
5. Fringe (Fox)3.06 3.92 28%
6. Better Off Ted (ABC)0.98 1.24 27%
10. 24 (Fox)3.40 4.19 23%
12. Ghost Whisperer (CBS) 1.93 2.36 22%
13. Chuck (NBC) 2.50 3.04 22%
17. Supernatural (The CW)1.24 1.47 19%

Here are the top 10 ranked sci-fi/fantasy shows for the percentage increase in total viewers by the millions, their LIVE+SD (live plus same-day DVR viewing, up to 3 a.m. the morning after a show airs), their LIVE+7 (live viewing plus 7 days worth of DVR viewing) and total percentage of the increase.

1. Heroes (NBC) 4,293 5,469 27%
2. Vampire Diaries (The CW) 3,707 4,644 25%
3. Smallville (The CW) 2,498 3,066 23%
4. Fringe (Fox) 9,039 11,009 22%
5. Supernatural (The CW) 2,720 3,267 20%
8. Better Off Ted (ABC) 2,524 2,976 18%
9. 24 (Fox) 10,839 12,673 17%
11. Chuck (NBC) 6,981 8,137 17%
13. Medium (CBS) 8,034 9,358 16%
17. Ghost Whisperer (CBS) 8,208 9,324 14%

So what do you think? Should DVR viewership be included when making decisions as to what TV shows to renew or cancel?

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