'Studio 60' Gets Bump from DVRs

The initial ratings for NBC's "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" often don't look that great. A week later, though, they generally look somewhat better.

The first-year series from "West Wing" creator Aaron Sorkin is the most "time-shifted" series on television this season, according to ratings provider Nielsen. That means a greater percentage of its viewers record the show and watch it later than anything else on the broadcast networks.

At the beginning of 2006, Nielsen started tracking two different ratings systems as a way to measure the impact of digital video recorders. "Live plus same-day" ratings -- the ones reported on Zap2it every morning -- measure the number of people who watch a given show as it airs or within the next few hours. In "Studio 60's" case, that number hovered around 8 million people for much of the fall.

Nielsen also tracks "live plus seven" ratings, which includes people who watch a recorded copy of a show within the next week. "Studio 60" adds nearly 11 percent to its total audience in those ratings; including reruns, its average is closer to 9 million viewers for the season.

All but one of the top 10 time-shifted shows air on NBC or The CW, suggesting that people may not be breaking their habit of watching higher-rated networks (CBS, ABC) live but are sampling other shows thanks to their DVRs. "Studio 60's" lead-in, "Heroes," already draws a big same-day audience, but it's second in the time-shifted ratings as well, adding 9.1 percent more viewers in the following week.

The rest of the top 10 are "Gilmore Girls," which adds 7.9 percent more viewers; "America's Next Top Model," 7.7 percent; "30 Rock," 7.5 percent; "Friday Night Lights," 7.5 percent; "The Nine," 6.7 percent; "Supernatural," 6.7 percent; and "Kidnapped," "One Tree Hill" and "Smallville," all at 6.6 percent.