The reincarnation of "Hawaii Five-0" is benefiting from the power of the little, red "record" button on your television’s remote control.
The number of people who recorded the Sept. 20 "Five-0" premiere and watched it within seven days increased that episode’s audience by 3.4 million viewers, according to Nielsen ratings information released by CBS today. That gave the premiere an estimated 17.6 million viewers.
"Five-0" is the top-rated new show of the fall TV season and tops the list of the top 15 shows — new or otherwise — captured on digital video recorders by viewers and watched later in the first seven days, CBS said.
"It was an extraordinary first week of the season for the DVR and CBS prime time programing," said David Poltrack, chief research officer for CBS and president of CBS Vision. "The playback audience for ‘Hawaii Five-0’ alone exceeds the population of Chicago, the third-largest city in the U.S."
The network, which estimates that 38 percent of American homes have digital recording devices, initially expected its premiere episode would increase to nearly 16 million once viewers played back the show. The reality was much better, though.
Poltrack said that the research data released today underscores how technology is influencing TV watching trends. Premiere week playback ratings were 17 percent higher than last year’s, he said.
"The DVR continues to influence viewing habits and redefine how we analyze ratings," he said. "The industry can no longer count on their accustomed overnight scorecards to fully evaluate the performance of television programs."
"Five-0" won its timeslot for three weeks in a row. Last Monday, it drew 12.24 million viewers, not including DVRs.