UPDATE, 2:01 PM: And things have just gotten higher and higher for the Fox series. With final numbers now in, Empire has broken its own record of this morning with a 5.4/15 rating and 13.90 million viewers. In adjusted numbers, that’s up 3% from the final ratings of 5.2/15 from last week. In total audience, Empire rose up 7% from the 13.0 million of its February 18 show. Early ratings in the AM today had the Lee Daniels, Brian Grazer and Danny Strong-created drama with a 5.3/15 rating and 13.8 million viewers.
In another final ratings news, the Season 30 debut of Survivor, American Idol and Arrow all moved up a tenth. That leaves last night’s debut of the CBS veteran show as being tied with the Season 28 opener of February 26 last year for its lowest premiere ever. ABC’s Nashville and black-ish went down a tenth from this morning’s numbers as did The CW’s The 100.
PREVIOUS, 8:O6 AM: The Legacy album might be stopped, at least for the time being, but it seems Empire (5.3/15) can’t be stopped by the usual ratings rules. It certainly couldn’t be quelled last night by the double debut of new seasons of Survivor and The Amazing Race. Perhaps “unprecedented” or “juggernaut” are becoming too weak now to describe the Fox hip-hop family drama’s results as it has hit a new high for the seventh consecutive week.
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In early fast nationals numbers, last night’s Empire was up 2% from last week’s final numbers. Compared to the 5.1 preliminary result of its February 18 episode, it rose 4%. In total viewers, Empire on Wednesday was watched by 13.8 million to easily be the night’s top show. That’s also a 6% bop up from last week’s total audience.
Those rises were indicated in meter market ratings earlier this morning where the series created by Lee Daniels, Brian Grazer and Danny Strong got a 9.2/14. That’s a 4% rise over its February 18 show, which got an 8.8/13 – the previous record holder. In fast nationals, last week’s primetime-topping episode went on to get a 5.2/15 rating in adults 18-49 with 13.0 million total viewers. Long story short: Fox has come back strong as the Terrance Howard and Taraji P. Henson series started out with an impressive 3.8 rating and 9.9 million viewers in its January 7 debut and has never looked back. In fact , up 39% from its debut, Empire has grown more than any new network drama since the first year of House back in 2004. Obviously quickly renewed by the network for a second season, there are four more episodes of breakout hit Empire left in its freshman season with a double shot on March 18 – will the rise continue?
With American Idol getting a 7.1/11 in MM results, Fox ended up easily winning the night overall. With 55 of 56 markets reporting, the network had a 8.1/13 result – a rise of 12% from last week. NBC was second with a 5.2/8, CBS next with a 4.7/8 and ABC fourth with a 4.6/7. We’ll update with more fast nationals for Survivor’s 30th season debut, Amazing Race’s 26th season premiere, Modern Family, Arrow and other shows on last night later.
UPDATE, 9:12 AM: Though Empire’s new highs handed Fox the night both among adults 18-49 and viewership with a rating of 4.0/12 and a total audience of 11.966 million, there were other things on TV last night. For one, there was Empire lead-in American Idol (2.6/8), which was fairly steady with last week with a 7% dip.
On CBS, it was a night of class warfare and premieres with Survivor 30: Worlds Apart (2.3/7) and a new cycle of The Amazing Race (1.5/4) with both shows overlapping with Empire in primetime. Pitting white-collar contestants against blue-collar contestants and no-collars too, the Mark Burnett produced show slipped 4% in the key demo from the Season 28 debut of February 23 last year, a Sunday. Compared to the fall Survivor Season 29 premiere of September 24, 2014, last night’s 90-miniute Survivor season opener was down 18% to hit a premiere low in preliminary numbers. The Amazing Race was even with its Season 24 opener of February 23 last year. However, compared to its fall Season 25 debut of September 26, 2014, last night’s 9:30 – 11 PM TAR was up a strong 36%.
The CW saw some double-digit changes too – up and down. Arrow (1.0/3) fell 17% from last week while The 100 (0.6/2) was up 20% to match a season high in the 18-49 demo.
While ABC started off with The Middle (2.0/7) down 9% from last week, the rest of the network’s night saw rises. The Goldbergs (2.5/8) and Modern Family (3.4/10) were up 14% and 10% from last week. Black-ish (2.3/5) and Nashville (1.4/4) rose 5% and 8% respectively. It was a bit more of a roller coaster on NBC last night. Mysteries of Laura (1.4/4) was up a healthy 27% from its February 19 show to nearly hit a high for the freshman show. Part of that growth for the Debra Messing freshman likely had to do with a guest appearance by Eric McCormack that constituted a Will & Grace reunion of a sorts. On the other hand, Law & Order: SVU (1.6/4) was flat with last week while Chicago P.D. (1.5/5) dropped 12%
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