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One of the things that irritate me in a discussion of how TBBT has changed for the worse is the inevitable claim that “the ratings are up so you are wrongâ€. The fact that it seemed to be true made it worse. There is a huge jump in the ratings from the last episode of season 4 to the first episode of season 5. It just didn’t look right to me. So, with all the zeal of a Global Warming scientist looking for data to support his conclusions, I went hunting.

And I found something.

http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/media_entertainment/nielsen-estimates-number-of-u-s-television-homes-to-be-114-7-million/

http://www.fiercecable.com/story/nielsen-dvr-usage-boosts-primetime-tv-ratings/2011-10-11

The short version is that due to the census and the way DVR viewing is counted, some shows have picked up a lot of viewers.

A Quote:

Compared to the 2010 season, broadcast networks saw an increase of nearly 25 percent in ratings from their premiere week from viewers that watched programs on a DVR within seven days of their broadcast premiere. Among the winners: ABC's Modern Family picked up nearly 5 million viewers from DVR usage, CBS's Two and a Half Men grew its audience by 4 million, and Fox's Glee increased its audience by 3 million viewers from DVR usage.
The big bang theory got more than a 25% increase from DVR viewers. One of the big winners, so they say.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/artman2/publish/Television_44/Big-lift-for-comedies-from-DVR-playback.asp

I have taken the liberty of making a chart showing where the ratings would be under the old methods.

For some reason I can't make it bigger.

Discuss.

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As far as I understand, the daily ratings we see and discuss do not include seven days' worth of DVR viewing. Unless they were estimating the ratings, it would not be possible to do so just one day after the show has aired. So I don't think the ratings included in your graph did include the 25% increase caused by DVR viewership. I'm not sure whether the ratings we discuss include this, but I know Nielsen do also measure same-day DVR viewings up to 3AM. I don't know how recent a change that is but that could cause some ratings inflation.

The 7-day DVR ratings tend to be released much later showing how much a show's ratings improved when you factor in DVR viewings for the following week. These generally don't get much press except for the occasional league table showing which shows benefited most. This is the sort of thing the Live+7 ratings are used for: http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2011/12/12/live7-dvr-ratings-two-and-a-half-men-house-hawaii-five-0-top-absolute-gains-90210-tops-gains-in-week-10/113385/ They're not really used to see how a show is performing in the "real" ratings.

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So you mean some one is watching what I record on my DVR and when I watch it? Too many people watching me O_O

Usually not. :D The TV ratings are collected from a small sample group who have devices attached to their television and sometimes have to fill in diaries. Those people will obviously know they're part of the sample group. The same methods are used for measuring DVR viewings. The data doesn't come from cable companies spying on what people play on their DVR. :D

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Well, I thought I'd drop in after being away for a while and here is a topic near and dear to my heart.

I don't think it is really fair to add in the DVR use - after all, people have been downloading shows to watch if they couldn't watch the original broadcasts for longer than the show has been on (I certainly did that when I missed shows due to business travel). I think that the new ratings formula makes it hard to really compare to previous seasons.

I tried to find raw data, but couldn't so I guess one just has to use an assumption. The links Disgusted found show at 27.5 percent boost for the one show, so what I did was give a 25% boost to all previous shows. If you check my sig, the transition from season 4 to season 5 looks a lot smoother now - much more realistic.

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After looking into this some more, I don't think that the ratings we have seen include this 7 days of DVR watching. It seems to be the broadcast day plus DVR watching only for the following 3 hours or so. I am not sure where the other ratings are posted, but the ratings I have seen and used are always updated in a day or two.

I do, of course notice the disconnect between seasons 4 and 5. I don't know what that is all about. It sure looks artificial, but until there is a more definite reason, I'll take that ratings boost out of my sig until further notice.

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Back in november at about sweeps time I saw the article that gave me the idea for this thread. It discussed specifically how the ratings formula was changed in august before the new season. I bookmarked it so that after the holiday break I could do my little chart with data from the first half of the season. When I went back the article was gone.(I saw that bigfoot, I swear!) So, I linked to what I could find.

Anyone who tells you they know exactly how the Nielson ratings are calculated is a liar or breaking a confidentiality agreement. I certainly don't know. It's a black box. However, if there is noise in the media about how the ratings will be changing to reflect DVR viewing, and then a show has a large jump in ratings for no apparent reason, it makes me wonder. One of the articles mentions that there is resistance from the advertisers to using the new DVR adjusted ratings. I am sure there is also pressure from the networks to "count every vote". Maybe they slipped a DVR bump into the overnight ratings to make the networks happy. There is no way of knowing.

In scientific methodology, if you are running an experiment and measuring temperature, and you change your thermometer to a different one, the new thermometer has to read the same as the old one, or the new results can't be directly compared to the old ones. The fact is they changed the system, so comparing season 5 ratings to previous seasons ratings is bogus.(hokum, if you prefer.) Thats all I'm saying.

P.S. 4ofN, been away for a while, this comment not directed at you. Thanks for the rating sig.

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The addition of the same-day DVR viewings occurred between the third and fourth season, not the latest season. All the ratings since September 2010 have had DVR viewings upto 3AM added. Nielsen actually started measuring DVR viewings in January 2010, but the media generally stuck with the previous measurement system until the end of that season.

As for how it affects the show, since it occurred between the show leaving Monday and going to Thursday, it may have made the drop in the show's ratings look less dramatic. When the show moved from behind Two and a Half Men to an earlier slot on another night, a drop in the ratings was expected. The consensus generally is that the drop wasn't that large, maybe that's due to the DVR ratings.

The DVR ratings might make year-on-year comparisons less reliable, but it can't really be behind a false sense that the show is doing well. Every show on TV now has these DVR figures added, so it would be apparent if the show was actually not performing better.

I really do think the rise we're seeing in Season 5 is due to the show entering syndication. Sticking with ratings, it's performing really well in syndication and is getting around 9-11 million viewers a week in syndication. Most viewers may already be fans but if a million or so aren't, you can see why the original ratings may be going up. TBBT is now beating Two and a Half Men in syndication.

http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2012/01/05/syndicated-tv-ratings-judge-judy-ahead-of-wheel-of-fortune-live-with-kelly-tops-talk-shows/115500/

http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2012/01/18/syndicated-tv-ratings-wheel-of-fortune-back-ahead-of-judge-judy-dr-oz-is-top-talk-show/116905/

http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2012/01/25/syndicated-tv-ratings-wheel-of-fortune-stays-ahead-of-judge-judy-dr-phil-is-top-talk-show-3/117606/

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lol... we're watching you, Disgusted !!!

Plus, we know what you did last summer !! :D

ps: I just checked out the (now closed) Bernadette Crap thread... piss funny.

Your closing post was brilliant /clap :)

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One of the things that irritate me in a discussion of how TBBT has changed for the worse is the inevitable claim that “the ratings are up so you are wrongâ€. The fact that it seemed to be true made it worse. There is a huge jump in the ratings from the last episode of season 4 to the first episode of season 5. It just didn’t look right to me. So, with all the zeal of a Global Warming scientist looking for data to support his conclusions, I went hunting.

And I found something.

http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/media_entertainment/nielsen-estimates-number-of-u-s-television-homes-to-be-114-7-million/

http://www.fiercecable.com/story/nielsen-dvr-usage-boosts-primetime-tv-ratings/2011-10-11

The short version is that due to the census and the way DVR viewing is counted, some shows have picked up a lot of viewers.

A Quote:

Compared to the 2010 season, broadcast networks saw an increase of nearly 25 percent in ratings from their premiere week from viewers that watched programs on a DVR within seven days of their broadcast premiere. Among the winners: ABC's Modern Family picked up nearly 5 million viewers from DVR usage, CBS's Two and a Half Men grew its audience by 4 million, and Fox's Glee increased its audience by 3 million viewers from DVR usage.
The big bang theory got more than a 25% increase from DVR viewers. One of the big winners, so they say.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/artman2/publish/Television_44/Big-lift-for-comedies-from-DVR-playback.asp

I have taken the liberty of making a chart showing where the ratings would be under the old methods.

For some reason I can't make it bigger.

Discuss.

Poor ratings at the start of a show may indicate that she show hasn't been "found" yet. Was MASH seasons 1&2 better than season 5? Probably. Were they lower rated? Definitely. That is your best defense. HOWEVER! Was season 8 & 9 of Roseanne (a hit from episode 1) better than seasons 1-7 or higher rated? Definitely not. Were shows like The Odd Couple & Newsradio great shows? Yes! Were they ratings hits? No. A small audience does not indicate a bad show. A loyal audience that has abandoned ship is a trustworthy guide for when it's time to pack it in. 2 cents baby! Who got 2cents! Who got it!

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I remember reading the forward to a Star Trek novel in the mid 80's. The author was talking about why almost 20 years after the series was cancelled, people were still interested enough to write novels and keep the "universe" alive. This was before TNG and the movies.

The author's point was that while a "normal" TV show attracted viewers with a broad, shallow appeal, Star Trek was narrowly targeted to appeal greatly to a specific viewership. Yes, Virginia, there were nerds back then.

If you look at the early TBBT episodes <4 there was a lot of science stuff.

http://thebigblogtheory.wordpress.com/

Recognize that? Thats the science advisors blog. See any recent activity? They are just paying lip service now to the cool nerdy stuff.

Look at the posts from the last few months, has the quality of the posts gone up or down? Half the people (charitably) can't form a cogent sentence, let alone a paragraph. Is that the target audience? I guess s****d people are easier dupes for the advertisers.

Its telling that Lorre & Co. think that the show has to be dumbed down to appeal to a wide audience. Star Trek proves them wrong.

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