TiVo: Viewers Still Open to Commit


As the industry waits for Nielsen ratings numbers that are slower to come than in previous seasons due to new measurement of digital video recorder (DVR) viewing, DVR pioneer TiVo has offered a quick glimpse at which new shows are already yielding long-term commitments from viewers.

For the second consecutive year, TiVo has released a list of its Top 50 Season Passes after the conclusion of the network's premiere week, which ended on Sept. 30 this year and on Sept. 25 in 2006. "Season Passes" are shows that TiVo subscribers have elected to record on a season-long basis by programming their TiVo units to store them each week, and such episodes often remain in storage on the TiVo unit long after the broadcast season is over.

Broadcast network fare has the edge in the expanded TiVo Season Pass Top 100, with 29 of the shows coming from basic and premium cable networks. Two new shows, ABC's Private Practice and NBC's Bionic Woman, broke into the Top 50 at No. 18 and No. 43, respectively. For new series, that is a slight improvement over last year, when only one show, NBC's Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, cracked the Top 50, at No. 12.

"It's a good early indicator of what caught the most attention," says Todd Juenger, TiVo VP and general manager of audience research and measurement, who believes increased DVR adoption is pushing networks to more elaborately promote new shows. (For a complete listing and analysis, go to broadcastingcable.com.)