'Grey's Anatomy' is the season's DVR champ

greys-anatomy-finale-320.jpg "Grey's Anatomy" may have fallen some in the ratings this season, but it still tops one Nielsen list: It's the most-DVR'ed show on TV.

The ABC series ended the 2009-10 season with the biggest gains from DVR use in both total viewers and adults 18-49, according to the final live-plus-7 ratings for the year. Its 2.83 million-viewer gain per episode just beat the 2.82 million viewers per episode for "The Mentalist." The two shows ran neck and neck in the live-plus-7 rankings pretty much all season.

In the adults 18-49 demographic, "Grey's" added 1.5 points (going from 4.8 to 6.3) per episode, three tenths of a point better than its closest competitor, "House" (4.9 to 6.1).

For the most part, the most-DVR'ed shows are also among the most popular with same-day viewers: Seven of the top 10 shows with the biggest DVR gains in total viewers are also in the top 20 overall, and an eighth, "Lost," was in the top 30.

The biggest show on TV, however, didn't get a very big boost from DVR use. "American Idol" added an average of about 1.8 million viewers between its two weekly episodes -- hardly small potatoes, but less than 10 percent of its total viewership. Because "Idol" airs live to much of the country and viewers vote after the show, the incentive to save it for later is lower than with other shows.

One caveat to all these numbers: The live-plus-7 ratings cover only original episodes of shows that aired in their regular timeslot. Reruns and special airings -- i.e., the "Lost" series finale airing on a Sunday rather than its normal Tuesday spot -- aren't accounted for, so the numbers below won't quite match up with the season ratings as a whole.

Below are the top 10 DVR-aided shows in viewers and adults 18-49.

Total Viewers

1. "Grey's Anatomy" (Same-day 13.26 million, Plus-7 16.09 million; +2.83 million)
2. "The Mentalist" (15.37 million to 18.19 million, +2.82 million)
3. "House" (12.76 million to 15.22 million, +2.46 million)
4. "Lost" (10.08 million to 12.26 million, +2.18 million)
5. "NCIS" (19.33 million to 21.42 million, +2.09 million)
6. "Criminal Minds" (13.7 million to 15.77 million, +2.07 million)
7. "CSI" (14.92 million to 16.96 million, +2.04 million)
8. "The Big Bang Theory" (14.14 million to 16.12 million, +1.98 million)
9. "The Office" (7.8 million to 9.76 million, +1.96 million)
10. "Fringe" (6.25 million to 8.18 million, +1.93 million)

Adults 18-49

1. "Grey's Anatomy" (4.8 rating to 6.3, +1.5)
2. "House" (4.9 to 6.1, +1.2)
t3. "Lost" (4.3 to 5.4, +1.1)
t3. "The Office" (4.0 to 5.1, +1.1)
t5. "The Big Bang Theory" (5.3 to 6.3, +1.0)
t5. "Glee" (4.0 to 5.0, +1.0)
t5. "Private Practice" (3.3 to 4.3, +1.0)
t8. "American Idol" (8.3 to 9.2, +0.9)
t8. "Modern Family" (3.8 to 4.7, +0.9)
t8. "The Mentalist" (3.4 to 4.3, +0.9)
t8. "Fringe" (2.3 to 3.2, +0.9)

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Photo credit: ABC