Fox’s freshman drama Empire will keep getting eyeballs even after its record-setting Season 1 finale last night. Hulu revealed this morning that it has struck a new deal with producer 20th Century Fox Television Distribution that makes the streaming service the exclusive SVOD home of the series for all current and future episodes. The entire first season is available now, and future episodes will be available on Hulu Plus the day after they air on Fox.
Last night’s two-hour season finale of the hip-hop drama was watched by 16.5 million and drew a 6.4 rating, making it the first broadcast series to rise in viewership each week throughout its first 10 episodes, a feat that hadn’t been seen in more than two decades. It was also the highest-rated finale a new series has had since the 9.8/24 ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy drew — in May 2005.
Hulu is going all in on the series, pointing users in its blog to the site’s curated tray of Empire’s hit songs from Season 1 after the Empire soundtrack hit No. 1 on the Billboard’s 200 Album Chart, the first TV soundtrack to do so since 2010, thanks to music by producer Timbaland and guest vocalists Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Courtney Love and Estelle.