Sure, we know this anecdotally but ad giant Magna Global has been churning out detailed reports during the past few weeks that paint a vivid statistical picture of how DVR viewing is changing the game for all nets. For starters, let's look at median age. For live airings, ABC's median age so far this season is 50; in the DVR universe, it's 39. CBS shaves 10 years from its median age in live (53) versus DVR (43); so does NBC, going from 46 to 36. Fox, already younger-skewing in general than its old network sibs, loses eight years, from a median age of 43 in live viewing to 35 via DVR.
The aud comp stats are equally eye-opening. For live telecasts overall, about 13% of ABC's overall aud falls between the 30-39 age range, compared to 26% with DVR viewing. CBS aud comp jumps from 12% to 26% in the same age group. NBC's comp climbs from 17% to 33% and Fox's grows from 15% to 26%. The gain are not quite as significant in the 12-29 and 40-49 age groups, but they are all in the plus column (ABC's aud comp in 12-29 grows from 9% to 18%), which goes a long way toward answering the question of where in the world all the 49-and-unders have gone this fall.
Among the shows that show significant variances in median age between live and DVR playback:
ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (47 vs. 34)
ABC's "Private Practice" (48 vs. 36)
CBS' "How I Met Your Mother" (48 vs. 35)
CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" (48 vs. 36) -- pictured above
CBS' "CSI" (50 vs. 40)
There are a few shows that get older with DVR viewing, including CW's "Gossip Girl" (23 vs. 27) and "Everybody Hates Chris" (32 vs. 35).