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'Modern Family' sets DVR playback record

Sofia Vergara and Ed O'Neill, who play Gloria

Sofia Vergara and Ed O'Neill, who play Gloria and Jay on "Modern Family" in a scene from the show. "Modern Family" is nominated for an Emmy award in the best comedy category. Credit: ABC

Sure it's a catatonic week in TV, but under any circumstances, this merits a note: the Dec. 7 original telecast of "Modern Family" scored what ABC is calling an industry record -- 5 million views on DVR playback.

This, as fans will recall, was the Christmas episode (when the fam thought of spending Chirstmas together a week earlier) titled "Christmas Express."

Adding the 5 million views to the so-called "in pattern" viewership of 12 million gave that episode a total of 17 million viewers. Yes, that's a huge number.

The DVR numbers are now a vital part of industry measurement and are added to a show's total after Nielsen tabulates 'em -- usually takes at least a week -- so that all playbacks can be captured and added to a so-called "live-plus"' figure.

Advertisers don't particularly like the live-plus-7 because they assume that their ads have been fast-forwarded (great assumption) but it's still a figure that can mean the difference between life and death for a more modestly rated series, like "Fringe," for example, which gets excellent playback too. 

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