'Jay Leno' and the least DVR'ed shows of the season

jayleno_290.jpgWhen NBC was hyping "The Jay Leno Show" over the summer, one of the things executives kept saying is that the show would be "DVR-proof," meaning that people would want to watch live -- commercials and all -- so as not to miss anything.

Well, that's turning out to be true. But it's not quite the bonus the network was hoping it to be.

In both raw numbers and percentage of viewers, "The Jay Leno Show" is among the least-recorded shows of the season so far, according to seven-day DVR figures from the start of the season through Oct. 25. Leno's average of 5.57 million viewers per night goes up less than 4 percent, to 5.8 million, when DVR use is factored in.

Either way, that's not a lot of eyeballs. And with at least one study suggesting that even when they fast-forward, people still register some impression of ads, being "DVR-proof" is not necessarily a good thing. (I've also heard anecdotally that people use the 10 o'clock hour, when Leno airs, to catch up on shows they've recorded earlier or on previous nights. That obviously detracts from both Leno's show and the dramas on ABC and CBS.)

The DVR numbers for Leno's show are, however, in line with a couple of unscripted shows where the emphasis is on seeing things as they happen. ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" gets only about a 4-percent bump for each of its weekly airings, while less than 3 percent of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition's" viewers watch the show more than a day after it airs.

They also have much bigger audiences to start with than "Leno" -- "DWTS" averages just under 17 million same-day viewers on Monday and 13.59 million on Tuesday, while "EM: Home Edition" has an audience of 10.56 million on Sunday nights.

As you might expect, live sports programs are at the very bottom of the heap. NBC's Sunday NFL pre-game show, "Football Night in America," adds fewer than 10,000 people, and "Sunday Night Football" and ABC's prime-time college game on Saturdays each add fewer than 25,000 more viewers.

Leaving out sports, here are the weakest DVR performers for the 2009-10 season through Oct. 25 in terms of viewers added:

"America's Most Wanted" (FOX): Same-day viewers, 5.037 million; 7-day viewers, 5.126 million, +89,000

"Cops" (FOX): 4.397 million to 4.508 million, +111,000

darylmitchell_michaelstrahan_brothers_290.jpg "Brothers" (FOX, Fridays): 2.397 million to 2.517 million, +120,000 >>

"America's Funniest Home Videos" (ABC): 7.992 million to 8.131 million, +139,000

"The Beautiful Life" (The CW): 1.047 million to 1.214 million, +167,000 (canceled after two episodes)

"60 Minutes" (CBS): 13.925 million to 14.111 million, +186,000

"The Jay Leno Show" (NBC, Tuesday): 6.184 million to 6.371 million, +187,000

"Supernanny" (ABC): 4.527 million to 4.717 million, +190,000

"The Jay Leno Show" (Monday): 5.143 million to 5.343 million, +200,000

"The Jay Leno Show" (Thursday): 5.066 million to 5.287 million, +221,000

"The Jay Leno Show" (Friday): 5.543 million to 5.764 million, +221,000

The smallest percentage gains are:

"60 Minutes": +1.3% (13.925 million to 14.111 million)

"America's Funniest Home Videos": +1.7% (7.992 million to 8.131 million)

"America's Most Wanted": +1.8% (5.037 million to 5.126 million)

"Cops": +2.5% (4.397 million to 4.508 million)

"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (ABC): +2.7% (10.558 million to 10.844 million)

"The Jay Leno Show" (Tuesday): +3.0% (6.184 million to 6.371 million)

"Dateline" (NBC, Friday): +3.1% (7.167 million to 7.389 million)

"The Jay Leno Show" (Monday) +3.9% (5.143 million to 5.343 million)

"The Jay Leno Show" (Wednesday): +3.9% (5.903 million to 6.133 million)

"The Jay Leno Show" (Friday): +4.0% (5.543 million to 5.764 million)

"Dancing with the Stars" (ABC, Monday): +4.0% (16.981 million to 17.658 million)

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TV's most-DVR'ed shows, Oct. 5-11
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