The traditional Nielsen ratings might say that shows like NCIS and Grey’s Anatomy are on top, but when it comes to younger audiences and non-traditional ways of watching TV, the CW is way out in front.

The official premiere week for television was the week of Monday, September 21, and while the CW’s shows had mostly premiered by then, they were still lumped together at the top of the DVR ratings report when the final +7 numbers came in.  If you’re new to ratings analysis, DVR +7 refers to the numbers of times a show was watched on  DVR within seven days after it originally aired.

For premiere week, the CW saw the highest percentage increase with DVR numbers of any network, and in terms of individual shows, the CW had five of the top 10 shows in terms of percentage increase with the DVR ratings.

Smallville, Melrose Place, 90210 and Gossip Girl all saw increases of more than 30 percent when adding in the DVR numbers, putting them among the top.

Supernatural, which aired its third episode, “Free to Be You and Me,” saw an increase of over 20 percent, up more than 600,000 viewers.

The boost also helped make the CW’s most watched show, freshman hit The Vampire Diaries, an even bigger hit, pumping up its third episode rating to over 4.5 million viewers.

Overall, this news means that while the traditional overnight Nielsen ratings might show how older people still watch their television when it’s on, younger audiences who flock to the CW have changed with the times and watch their shows whenever they want.

The ratings also give the network reason to stay happy and keep many of their shows alive.  A large increase from DVR ratings shows that the people who watch aren’t just casual viewers, but true fans.  When NCIS is getting more than 20 million viewers per week, the 600,000 DVR viewers for Supernatural may not sound that big.

But those are 600,000 viewers who made the conscious decision to record Supernatural and then go back later to watch it.  These fans don’t miss an episode, and they aren’t passively watching.  The CW’s fans are young, passionate and active in the world of new media, and as long as they still exist, the CW will always be able to thrive.

-John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image courtesy of the CW)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.