Diversity continues to flourish this broadcast season. ABC’s Fresh Off The Boat, the first Asian American family comedy on TV in two decades, logged the second-highest-rated comedy series debut this season only behind ABC’s Black-ish, the first broadcast black family sitcom in years. And Fox’s black “Dynasty” drama Empire continues to be on fire, hitting more series highs.
Fresh Off The Boat debuted at 8:30 PM with a 2.5 in adults 18-49 and 7.9 million viewers. In the demo, it built onto its lead-in, The Middle (2.2, even with its most recent original January 14). That was up +9% from the most recent original of The Goldbergs in the 8:30 PM time slot, which had the same lead-in, and just behind Black-ish‘s 3.3 in September. A second new episode of Fresh Off The Boat at 9:30 PM stayed on par, logging a 2.4.
Proving that the TV universe can expand when there is compelling content, both Fox’s Empire and the ABC comedies did well in the 9 PM hour.
Empire (4.6 in 18-49, 11.5 million viewers) was up week-to-week in both categories despite facing originals on both ABC and NBC vs. repeats last Wednesday. This is the fourth consecutive total viewer increase for the hip-hop family drama and new series highs in viewership and 18-49. In the demo, Empire posted the highest-rated drama telecast of the season except for the post-Super Bowl Blacklist.
Despite Empire‘s growing strength, Modern Family came back from a two-week break to a 3.4 in 18-49, up +13% from its last original on January 14. Fresh Off The Boat at 9:30 (2.4) was up +41% from the series premiere of Mixology in the time period last February and up +20% from the most recent Black-ish original in the half-hour.
Empire, Modern Family and Fresh Off The Boat, all from 20th TV, ranked as the three highest-rated scripted series of the night. No. 3 overall was Fox’s American Idol (3.0), up a tenth from its fast national last week. Fox won the night in 18-49 (3.8) for a fifth consecutive Wednesday and in total viewers (11.2 million).
It was a good start for Fresh Off The Boat, which could use some solid sampling as it moves next week into its challenging regular time slot on Tuesday where it won’t get much support.
At 10 PM, ABC’s Nashville (1.3) returned from hiatus down -13% from its fall finale on December 10.
NBC’s The Mysteries Of Laura (1.0) was even with its most recent original on January 14, tying a Live+Same Day low. Ditto on both fronts for Law & Order: SVU (1.3). Chicago P.D. (1.6) ticked up a tenth with the conclusion of yet another Dick Wolf series crossover. This was the firefighter’s best number since the previous crossover on November 12.
CBS’ The Mentalist (1.2) was down -8% from last week. Criminal Minds (2.0) was down -5%, tying a series low in Live+SD. Stalker (1.3) was down -13%, logging its lowest rating yet.
CW’s Arrow (1.2) was up +9% from last week to post the drama’s highest rating since the December 3 Arrow-Flash crossover episode. The 100 (0.6) was up +20% from last week to match a season best.