A lot of people had put ABC’s new Kiefer Sutherland drama series Designated Survivor on its DVR/VOD list. More than 5 million of them. The 10 PM drama has emerged as the biggest Live+3 gainer so far this season in total viewers among new and returning series with +5.3 million viewers, surpassing the season premiere of CBS’ venerable comedy The Big Bang Theory (+4.43 million). This is the biggest viewer L3 gain since the debut of ABC’s How To Get Away With Murder in September 2014.

In adults 18-49, Designated Survivor gained +1.5 rating in the first three days of playback, the biggest for a new series this season and second overall to Big Bang‘s 1.6. Designated Survivor‘s 18-49 L3 lift, which topped NBC This Is Us‘ +1.4, tied Fox’s mega hit Empire as the biggest gain for any new TV series debut in two years, since ABC’s HTGAWM (+1.9  on 9/25/15).

The big lift has improved the standing of Designated Survivor, which had a solid but not remarkable Live+Same Day debut (2.2 in 18-49, 10 million). In L3, it overtook Empire as Wednesday’s most-watched program by 1.4 million viewers (13.9 million). The ABC drama also edged Fox’s Lethal Weapon to rank as the highest-rated series premiere of the night among adults 18-49 (3.7 vs. 2.9 rating) after being tied in L+SD. Beyond the L3 ratings, Designated Survivor has added an additional +0.25 rating points in Multiplatform + 3 Day viewing, bringing its 3-day MP average to a 3.95 adults 18-49 rating.

Designated Survivor also posted the biggest % Live+3 lifts on Wednesday, +68% in 18-49 and +53 in viewers. Honorable mention for NBC veteran Law & Order, whose 18th (!) season premiere logged the night’s second largest demo % gain, growing +61% to a 2.9 in 18-49.

Here is L+3 data for the Wednesday series:

…………………………….18-49                         total viewers

……………………………..L+SD  L+3   % lift  L+SD    L+3      % lift

NBC

Blindspot                        1.3       2.0   +54%   6082    8284    +36%

Law & Order: SVU        1.8       2.9   +61%    7818    10531   +35%

Chicago PD                      1.6      2.4    +50%   6874    9829   +43%

ABC

The Goldbergs             2.0       2.6     +30%    6900    8351       +21%

Speechless                    2.0       2.6     +30%    7384     9165      +24%

Modern Family           2.6        3.8     +46%    8238     11111      +35%

Black-ish                       2.0       2.7     +35%     6394     8417      +32%

Designated Survivor    2.2       3.7      +68%    1040    15317     +53%

Fox

Lethal Weapon             2.2        2.9      + 32%    7932     1099     +27%

Empire                            4.2       5.5       +31%     10868    13927   +28%

CBS

Survivor                          2.3        2.8       +22%      9449      11138  +18%

Big Brother                     2.0       2.6        +30%      6308      7721   +22%