Facing Game 5 of the Boston Celtics-Washington Wizards NBA playoffs series TNT, the title of last night’s Empire (2.1/8) was “Absent Child.” However, with brotherly love and the intrigue you expect from the hit hip-hop drama, what was not absent Wednesday was ratings.
After hitting a series low and dipping below 2.0 for the first time ever against an NBA doubleheader last week, the Ilene Chaiken-run Empire bounced back last night, seeing a 17% rise among adults 18-49 from the fast affiliate results of its May 3 episode, which went up a tenth in the finals. All of which returns Empire to being the highest-rated show of the night and, with 8 PM’s Shots Fired (0.8/9) even with last week, puts Fox back on top alone as the night’s highest-rated network with a 1.5/6, beating CBS’ 1.4/5.
On a night that saw Survivor (1.7/7) and Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders (0.8/3) both down a tenth in the key demo, the House of Moonves was tops in total viewership with an audience of 7 million. Fox was in fourth place with 4.68 million.
Even with the return of Shemar Moore last night on the Season 12 finale of Criminal Minds (1.5/6), the procedural was flat compared with the final numbers of last week’s show. However, that May 3 show was adjusted up a tenth from its fast affiliates, as was Empire, so there might be traction to be had later in the day. Right now, Criminal Minds’ Season 12 ender is down 17% from its Season 11 finale of May 4 last year.
Further up the dial, TNT scored a 3.0 in metered-market results for the Celtics’ 123-101 win over the Wizards to take a 3-2 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal series. Up 15% from the comparable first game of May 3, last night was also another win for TNT, which won the night on cable.
As it is that time of year, there was another finale on the Big 4, with Black-ish (1.3/4) ending its third season. With a medical emergency and tears of joy, the Kenya Barris-created series was up a tenth from last week but down 13% in the demo from its Season 2 finale of May 18, 2016. At 10 PM, POTUS drama Designated Survivor (1.0/4) was also up a tenth from last week, as was NBC’s not yet renewed Law & Order: SVU (1.1/4) and the CW’s Arrow (0.6/2) with less NBA pressure.
The rest of ABC’s comedies may have felt the heat from that Celtics-Wizards game: The Goldbergs (1.3/6), Speechless (1.0/4) and Modern Family (1.5/6) all stumbled two tenth from last week to series lows. Looking for a silver lining, ABC notes that Modern Family has been seeing hefty Live+3 lifts against the NBA playoffs and even matching Empire in the metric with a 1.1 ratings-point raise.
NBC’s now renewed Blindspot (0.8/3) was down 11% from its May 3 airing but NBC’s 10 PM offering of Chicago P.D. (1.2/5) was the same, as was the CW’s The 100 (0.3/1) with its final numbers.