Empire ruled the night in its return to Fox’s lineup, clocking a 2.8 demo rating, which was up a notch from the 2.7 logged by its fall finale in the 8 PM hour back on December 14, and up 12% compared to its last fall original in its regular timeslot (2.5) last December 7. But Empire tumbled a precipitous 42% from its year-ago spring return, when it registered 4.8 at 9 PM on March 30, 2016, according to Nielsen’s fast-national stats.
Empire could have used a stronger lead-in.
The premiere of Shots Fired (1.1) had a challenging time beating the collective ABC sitcom repeats (1.0) in the 8 PM hour, as well as NBC’s Blindspot (0.9), which grew relative to its two episodes back in February.
For comparison sake, on the year-ago night, Rosewood had snagged a 1.4 as Empire lead-in. And Fox’s most recent 8 PM Wednesday slot occupant, Lethal Weapon, had started September 21 with a 2.2; its most recent telecast to serve as Empire lead-in had logged a 1.4 on December 7. ( Last week, Lethal Weapon wrapped its freshman season with a 1.3).
CBS’ Survivor dominated the 8 PM hour with a 1.7 rating and 7.9 million viewers.
At 10 PM, NBC’s Chicago P.D. (1.2 , 6.3M) bested ABC’s Designated Survivor (1.1, 5.2M) and CBS’s Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders (0.8, 4.8M) in the demo and overall audience. It’s the 10th consecutive P.D. original to prevail in the hour over its broadcast competitors in the demo in Live+Same Day stats. P.D. will add significant viewership via time-shifting and VOD; so far this season, it’s growing by 73% in the demo once Live+7 data is in, and adding about 3.6M viewers. Designated Survivor however, is this TV season’s biggest demo gainer in L+7, on a percentage basis (136%).
Fox finished first for the night in the demo (1.9) compliments of Empire, while CBS finished first for the night in total viewers, 6.7M, owing to Survivor and 9 PM’s Criminal Minds (1.3, 7.4M).