Turns out a little bit of Courtney Love, some unexpected paternity and one very awkward dinner is a very good thing for Fox’s Empire (4.7/14) – or at least keeps the party going. For an extraordinary ratings gravity defying fifth week in a row since its strong January 7 debut, the numbers among adults 18-49 and overall viewership were up again for the Lee Daniels, Brian Grazer and Danny Strong-created hip hop dynasty drama. With an appearance by the Hole frontwoman as the almost washed up Elle Dallas, last night’s 9 PM broadcast saw a 2% rise among the demo over Empire’s February 4 show. With 11.9 million viewers, Empire was up 3% over last week. While these are obviously highs in both categories for the freshman and also preliminary numbers, it should be noted that the Fox series’ ratings stayed the same in the finals last week.
Once the jewel in Fox’s crown itself, Empire lead-in American Idol (2.7/9) was down 12% among the demo last night. Still Fox easily won the night in both the demo and viewers with a 3.7/12 rating and an audience of 11.16 million with Empire the highest-rated and most watched show of the night.
And, despite some college basketball preemptions in a few markets, it was a competitive night in Empire’s 9 PM slot on Wednesday to some degree. Sure, CBS’ Criminal Minds (2.0/6) was even with last week’s series low but NBC’s Law & Order: SVU (1.4/4) was up 8% in the demo coming off a low last week. ABC’s double Valentine’s themed comedy shot of Modern Family (3.3/10) and black-ish (2.2/6) saw the former slip 2% from last week but the latter stride forward 16% from its last original of January 14. That black-ish result is the best the new series has done in the demo since December 10 last year. The CW’s The 100 (0.6/2) had the best result of the slot and the night in terms of growth with a 20% rise from last week – which was even stronger in some sense being that lead-in Arrow (1.0/3) was down 17%.
In general, CBS had a good night with The Mentalist (1.5/5) up 25% from last week at 8 PM and freshman Stalker (1.4/4) bopping up 8% from last week’s low. Over on NBC, The Mysteries Of Laura were up 10% at 8 PM while Chicago P.D. took a 13% hit to tie a series low in early numbers.
ABC’s night started with The Middle (2.1/7) and The Goldbergs (2.3/7), which were down 5% from last week and even with its last new show of January 14 respectively. In its second week back from winter break, Nashville (1.4/4) was up 8% from its season low of February 4.