was once thought to be the final nail in network television's coffin,
could actually help a few low-rated series from being put to pasture.
The New York Times
reports that DVR ratings are becoming key factors when network
programmers are deciding the fates of struggling shows. Most programmers
are now taking into account ratings a full week after a show's
scheduled airdate, even though advertisers only pay for "commercial plus
The process will come into play next week in Los Angeles, when network execs gather to decide the fates of shows like Chuck, Lie to Me, The Chicago Code, Brothers & Sisters, V and The Defenders.
One show that was on the brink of cancellation was Fringe, but most likely due to this new model was renewed for a fourth season; Fringe
only averaged a 1.7 rating in the key 18-49 demo, but when a full week
of DVR playback is factored in that number jumps to 2.5. NBC's Parenthood has similar numbers.
Network execs are trying to persuade advertisers to buy into the new model, but as the Times
reports, it does not look promising. Most advertisers only care about
the "here and now" and have little interest in going past the current
DVR penetration is currently at 40%, up only slightly from 38% a year ago.