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'How To Get Away With Murder' sets a DVR ratings record

Viola Davis plays the lead character in ABC's new hit show
Viola Davis plays the lead character in ABC's new hit show "How To Get Away With Murder"

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There was a time when a TV show’s success was determined by same-day Nielsen ratings — those people who watched the show when it actually aired. While those numbers are still very important, they don't tell the whole story. We simply don't watch TV that way anymore.

Now, the watchers of those-who-watch-TV take into account delayed viewing on DVRs (digital video recorders) and VOD (video on demand). They have new measurement terms such as L+3, which refers to "live plus 3 days" viewers and L+7 --"plus 7 days." And it's those numbers that reveal how many millions of us watch shows at our convenience.

Vulture's West Coast editor Joe Adalian told The Frame host John Horn that while DVR numbers can't necessarily make a poorly-watched show a huge hit, they can make a hit much bigger. ABC's "How To Get Away With Murder" started strong with 14 million viewers when it premiered. But then over the following three days, six million more people watched it on their DVRs. That is a record for a broadcast show. Still more watched it via video-on-demand.

Other new shows that started strong and got stronger when the delayed viewers were counted included:p "Gotham," "Madam Secretary" and "black-ish." 




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