There was a lot of Lee Daniels on primetime last night with the fall finale of Season 3 of Empire (2.7/9) and the preview premiere of Star (2.2/7) right afterwards. And a lot of The Butler director delivered Fox the top two shows of Wednesday night among adults 18-49 with the season finale of Survivor (2.0/7) earning the most watched win.
In a season that has seen the Daniels and Danny Strong created hip hop drama fall to series lows, last night’s 8 PM ‘A Furnace For Your Foe’ episode saw a bop up of 8% in the key demo from last week and a total viewership of 7.57 million. Moving ahead an hour to provide a strong lead-in for Star, Empire was down 39% among the 18-49s from its first fall finale of December 2, 2015 – when it did not face a Survivor finale and was aired at 9 PM.
Down but far far from anywhere near out, Empire did do its job of getting the Queen Latifah and Benjamin Bratt co-starring Star launched. With the fourth best debut on any the Big 4 this season so far, Star was down two tenths from Rosewood’s September 23, 2015 premiere in front of Empire and even with Lethal Weapon’s September 21, 2016 opener in that same 8 PM slot. The real hook will of course be to see how Star does on its own when it opens in the 9 PM slot on January 4 with no Empire for cover.
Overall, Fox won the night with a 2.4/8 rating while CBS was first in total audience with 8.32 million watching
Empire wasn’t the only ender of sorts to see a downward turn last night as the veteran Mark Burnett reality series on CBS took a tumble too. First in viewers with 9.14 million watching between 8 PM and 10 PM, Survivor: Millennials Vs. Gen X was down 10% from the final numbers of the comparable Survivor: Cambodia of December 16 last year – which was an all-time finale low for the show. However, and it could be an adjustable caveat, the winner of this season wasn’t actually named until around 10:13 PM. So, like last year, expect changes in that rating. Lead-out Survivor: Reunion Special (1.4/5) dropped 18% in the demo from last year.
It was all holiday fare on NBC with A Pentatonix Christmas Special (1.4/5) and the 9-11 PM SNL Christmas Special 2016 (1.5/7) putting some decent numbers under the ratings tree.
Facing some heavyhitters, ABC saw Christmas come a little early with The Goldbergs (1.7/6) and Speechless (1.6/6) up 13% and 23% in the demo over last week when they also were up against Hairspray Live! While Modern Family (2.0/7) dropped two tenths from its last original of two weeks ago, black-ish (1.6/5) soared 33% among the 18-49s for its best result in 4-weeks. With its last episode of 2016, the fall finale of Designated Survivor (1.2/4) saw the Kiefer Sutherland POTUS drama bop up 9% over its December 7 show