Zooey’s ‘New Girl’ Gets Boost from DVR Playback

Zooey Deschanel of "New Girl" (left) and Kat Dennings of "2 Broke Girls" (Photos: Fox, CBS)

Who’s winning TV’s battle of the new “Girls”?

Well, the “Girls” with the most viewers is/are “2 Broke Girls,” the new CBS sitcom about odd-couple waitresses. Just this past Monday, “2 Broke Girls” had more than 11.2 million viewers at 8:30/7:30c, having already established itself as a worthy new member of CBS’s Monday night hit club.

The other “Girl” is “New Girl” on Fox, starring Zooey Deschanel and airing Tuesday nights at 9/8c. “New Girl” is looking like a hit too, but with fewer viewers than “2 Broke Girls.” “New Girl” had 8.654 million viewers the last time it aired two weeks ago (it was preempted last Tuesday for a baseball playoff game on Fox).

So the “Girls” of CBS are beating Fox’s “Girl” in their original airings. But “New Girl” is beating “2 Broke Girls” in another arena that is fast taking on more importance these days – the arena of DVR playback.

Watch a recent episode of “New Girl” here:<

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DVR recording is, of course, one of several options an increasing number of viewers are adopting for watching their favorite shows when it is most convenient for them (some of the other ways include On-Demand, and Web sites such as this one – XfinityTV – on which many shows, recent and not-so-recent, can be viewed).

But it’s the measurement of DVR playback that’s having the most impact, even helping some shows survive, based on time-shifted viewing patterns, that might not have survived in the not-so-distant past based on so-called “live” ratings alone (the numbers they get for their regular time-period airings).

In this arena, “New Girl” is benefiting more than “2 Broke Girls.” In the most recent “DVR playback” report – for the second week of the new fall TV season (Sept. 26-Oct. 2), “New Girl” had a playback viewership of 2.677 million. Add that to the viewership the same episode had in its “live” airing – 9.276 million – and you get an overall viewership of 11.953 million. And that’s a very good number.

By contrast, “2 Broke Girls” had a DVR playback audience of 1.807 million that week and 11.751 million viewers for its “live” airing, for a total of 13.558 million – enough to beat Fox’s “Girl” overall.

Elsewhere in the DVR rankings:

ABC’s “Modern Family” had the most “playback” viewership – an additional 4.457 million viewers, on top of the 13.448 million who watched the sitcom in its “live” airing.

The show with the largest percentage of “playback” viewing, however, was that week’s episode of “Fringe.” The Fox series has been taking it on the chin so far this season, scoring lackluster ratings on Friday nights, including the Friday night of the week in question, when “Fringe” drew a “live” audience of just 3.046 million. And yet, it had 1.607 million “playback” viewers – a viewership gain of 52.8 percent – for a total of 4.653 million (still not great, however).

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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