American consumers have a long history of banding together and getting so vigorously behind one product that it bloats into an unnecessary cultural phenomenon. Remember the Club? Or the Bowflex? Or health insurance? I’m not foolhardy enough to believe that I’m somehow better than other rampant over-spenders (I own the Club AND the Bowflex), but I do recognize the absurdness of this random product cash grab. Thankfully, not all purchase trends are quite as bizarre or random.

During the early part of the ‘aughts, Tivo swept across the United States faster than AIDS transmitted through Africa. They, along with other generic DVRs, now reside in over fifteen percent of all Uncle Sam domiciles. In an effort to keep up with the trend, Nielson Ratings have now begun tracking programs recorded. This has led to an overall viewer increase in a few particular shows.

The biggest winner on this weekend’s Nielson DVR announcements were ‘House’ and ‘The Office.’ According to, the Rainn Wilson vehicle was rewarded with an over thirty percent jump in total viewers. ‘House’ also saw sharp gains, increasing its audience to over twenty million. Other movers and shakers included ‘Lost’, ‘24’, and ’30 Rock.’

Not surprising, most of the improved ratings were programs heavy with viewers from the 18-49 demographic. I guess they can’t be bothered with scheduling their lives around television shows. Damn young people with their new-fangled VCRs.

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