Leading up to its winter finale and the unveiling of its Lee Daniels-directed, storyline-extending, line-blurring Pepsi ad, Fox’s hit drama Empire (4.4/14) last night climbed 5% week-to-week in the 18-49 demo, while standing firm in overall audience with 11.2 million viewers. Empire again was the night’s front-runner in both metrics, delivering Fox another primetime Wednesday win including a full-rating-point advantage in the demo over second-placed ABC. Fox also ranked No. 1 last night with adults 18-34, and teens whose ranks jumped 19% compared with last week.
It’s the first week in a while of relative calm for Empire which, two weeks ago, was buffeted by the CMA Awards on ABC, and last week was impacted by NBC’s special results edition of The Voice. The Fox blockbuster tripped 9% compared to its November 4 episode.
Minus last week’s The Voice special as a lead-in, NBC’s Law & Order: SVU (1.4/4) slid 30% week to week. Last night’s SVU lead-in, Mysteries Of Laura (1.1/4), experienced an 8% decline compared to its last original telecast November 4 (1.2/4). Previous week, The Voice had handily won the 8 PM hour, while this week Laura logged a No. 4 finish in the slot.
And, by extension, following SVU, NBC’s Chicago PD (1.4/5) slid 13%. With The Voice taking a breather, ABC’s The Middle (2.0/7) held steady but The Goldbergs (2.2/7) grew 5%. They put the network back on top in the 8 PM hour with a collective 2.1/7, while CBS’ Survivor retook the top spot among overall audience (8.87M) and adults 25-54 (2.9).
One week earlier, Wednesday’s ratings headlines had been the big contestant cut on The Voice (2.4/8), some stealth strategy on Survivor (2.1/7), and newly intimate alliances on Empire (4.2/13). The top viewership spot had been awarded to NBC with 8.29 million viewers edging out Fox’s 8.18 million, due in large part to the 10.20 million who’d tuned in for that special results edition of its singing competition series.