As we recently reported, Netflix has been in discussions for picking up the recently canceled Terra Nova and according to Deadline, they are looking at possibly picking up the serial thriller, The River. Like Terra Nova, The River has done very well (though not as good as Terra Nova) in Live+7 DVR viewing, averaging an increase in viewing of 36%. Unlike Terra Nova, its same day ratings numbers have been generally miserable with the most recent example of garnering only a 1.4 in the 18 – 49 demographic for its season finale on Tuesday. So, considering that The River is not even close to being a bubble-show like Terra Nova was, why do Netflix and ABC Studios have an interest in keeping this going? Well, apparently talks about this are being included in discussions regarding an overall distribution deal of ABC programming and both parties recognize the potential that the show has with a VOD service like Netflix because of the time-shifted DVR numbers.
As we noted in the recent piece regarding Terra Nova and Netflix, these are still just preliminary talks but our main assertion that Nielsen ratings are no longer the sole factor in considering whether a show’s production is continued and DVR numbers have become a very important factor. Read that full piece, here, for more details on why it makes sense for Netflix to pick up other networks’ cast-offs.