NBC tops key prime-time demographic for first time since 2003

Published: Sunday, Oct. 7 2012 5:42 p.m. MDT

On the strength of high ratings bolstered by a boost from digital recording devices, NBC announced earlier this week that it is ordering full seasons for three of its brand-new prime-time programs: “Revolution,” “Go On” and “The New Normal.”

The Atlantic Wire’s Richard Lawson detailed which viewing demographics NBC is leading — but he also cautioned that that reign might be short-lived.

“NBC has won premiere week, meaning it wasn't just their shows that were new, it was other networks' too,” Lawson wrote Tuesday. “And NBC won! Not in total viewers … but in the ratings, the 18-49 demographic stuff, NBC was tops last week, with a 2.9 average towering over Fox's second place 2.6. This is the first time NBC has been in that position in nine years. … It's mostly because of football and ‘The Voice,’ and to a lesser extent ‘Revolution.’ That’s fine … (but) NBC's reign is not necessarily going to be eternal. Or even last past a few weeks.”

Regarding the three show renewals, Newsday blogger Veren Gay wrote, “No real surprise here, despite soft-ish numbers for ‘Normal,’ which has improved creatively (meaning, it's actually gotten funny in places) since launch. ‘Revolution’ popped immediately out of the box, thanks to ‘The Voice’ lead-in. … Finally, ‘Go On’ (is a) good show, or certainly promising one.”

The New York Times’ Media Decoder blog elucidated Monday why the viewing habits of consumers with DVRs are rapidly evolving in ways that matter to advertisers: “Three days of delayed viewing (is) now looking like what seven days’ worth of delay looked like last season. That matters, because advertisers pay for only three days of delay — and only for the commercials that are not skipped when the shows are played back.” For example, “Revolution” and “The New Normal” experienced ratings gains of 53 percent and 41 percent, respectively, after accounting for the people who viewed recorded episodes within three days of the original airing.

Jamshid Ghazi Askar is a graduate of BYU's J. Reuben Clark Law School and member of the Utah State Bar. Contact him at jaskar@desnews.com or 801-236-6051.

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