With another Barack Obama name check, the intrigue, backbeats and family feuding cut even deeper in the second week of Empire (4.0/12) and it looks like America was into it. After a very strong debut, the Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson-led family musical drama pulled off the very, very rare feat of actually going up among adults 18-49. In fast national ratings, the Lee Daniels and Danny Strong-created series rose 5% from its January 7 debut. In total viewers, Empire also went up from last week’s 9.90 million to 10.29 million last night. The show was the highest-rated and second most-watched show of the night.

Now Empire isn’t the first new show this season to go up in its second show. ABC’s Forever went from a 1.7 on its September 22 premiere to a 1.8 on a September 23 airing. However, week-to-week, Empire’s uptick was impressive – especially in the context of other debuts’ week-to-week shifts this season. In Live + Same Day, Empire’s 3.8 last week was tied with How To Get Away With Murder for the best new drama series opener demo result this season. Though HTGAWM topped Empire in Live + 3 numbers in its first week, the ABC series stumbled in its second week, going down 13% to a 3.3 in Live + Same Day.

With a 6% slip from its Season 14 debut last week, Empire lead-in American Idol (2.9/9) was in Kansa City for auditions last night. That fairly steady demo result is actually an improvement over the Season 13 Week 2 18-49 rating that saw a 15% drop off from Week 1. And Idol held the top spot in terms of being the most watched show of the night with an audience of 10.66 million, basically steady with last week. Overall, like last Wednesday, Fox won the night among with a 3.4/10 rating and 10.47 million viewers.

In its second week on Mondays, The Mentalist (1.3/4) stayed even while lead-out Criminal Minds (2.2/6) and then Stalker (1.5/5) bopped up 5% and 7% in their winter returns from their respective last originals on December 10 last year. With an audience of 10.17 million, Criminal Minds was the third most-watched show of the night. CBS was the second most-watched network with 9.103 million total viewers.

Over on NBC, both Mysteries Of Laura (1.1/3) and Law & Order: SVU (1.4/4) saw double digit drops. The freshman former was down 15% in fast nationals to its lowest demo result yet. Up against Empire, the latter fell 18% to tie a regular scheduled series low. Ending the night for the network, Chicago P.D. (1.5/5) dipped 6% from its January 7 show.

It was a fairly steady night for ABC and its comedies. The second-highest-rated show of the night, Modern Family (3.0/9) took a 6% slip from last week. Early in the evening, The Middle (2.2/7) dipped 4% from last week’s season high while The Goldbergs (2.3/7) was down 8%. Newbie black-ish (2.0/6) tripped up a mere 5% from its January 7 show.