House Season’s Top Time-Shifted Series

He may have shrugged the Vicodin monkey off his back, but Dr. Gregory House seems to inspire another habit in his loyal viewers.

Per Nielsen live-plus-seven-day ratings data, Fox’ House is this season’s most time-shifted program on network TV, as 5.04 million viewers catch up with the ornery doc via their DVRs. That represents a 30 percent increase from the show’s live deliveries (11.5 million).

Last season, House attracted a time-shifted audience of around 3.3 million viewers, according to Horizon Media senior vp, research, Brad Adgate.

In the period between Sept. 21 and Nov. 29, five of the 10 most time-shifted shows originally aired on Thursday nights: ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and Flash Forward, NBC’s The Office, and CBS’ The Mentalist and Survivor: Samoa.

Grey’s Anatomy adds 4.97 million DVR viewers to its weekly live delivery (12.9 million viewers), as time-shifting accounts for 28 percent of the show’s total weekly draw. The Office’s time-shifted draw makes up 38 percent of its overall audience, adding 3.81 million viewers.

While the older-skewing NCIS is seen by some 3.59 million DVR users, the delayed access makes up just 16 percent of the series’ total delivery. The procedural averages a weekly draw of 18.6 million viewers, making it the most-watched series on broadcast TV. With time-shifted viewing, that number jumps to 22.2 million total viewers.

That said, NCIS is actually growing its DVR audience. Last season, the CBS drama averaged 2.5 million time-shifted viewers, about 1.1 million fewer (-46 percent) than fall 2009.

Adgate notes that the DVR also helps age down the broadcast TV audience. In nearly every case, a series’ median age drops by more than one year upon application of L7 data.