NBC and zombies rise, 'Homeland' crashes the Emmys, Zucker returns and more
Overnight ratings mean less and less every morning
The 2011-2012 TV season ended with familiar faces at the top of the ratings charts. Once again, CBS dominated overall. And, once again, FOX pulled out a victory among adults 18-49. But 2012 may be seen a breaking point year when it comes to how we measure ratings and, therefore, how networks measure success and failure. Every morning, HitFix and other sites report on Fast National ratings that measure Live and Overnight viewing, but Live+3 Day viewership has become the standard unit for ad sales, while many shows, even the ones popular in the Overnights, are gaining 40 to 50 percent viewership after Live+7 DVR figures are added in. And networks, starting with The CW, have begun to admit that even DVR-added ratings figures aren't the be-all-and-end-all for how shows measure success, with online and OnDemand viewing, plus iTunes and digital downloads becoming an increasing part of the equation for renewals and cancellations. This may not chance the standards by which we judge "Modern Family" or "The Big Bang Theory" or "American Idol," but for the countless shows in the middle, Overnights may be verging on irrelevant.