UPDATE, 2:10 PM: The Empire has grown even more than was first reported. With final numbers in, the Lee Daniels, Brian Grazer and Danny Strong-created Fox drama went up from the new highs of this morning’s preliminary ratings of 5.1/15 among adults 18-19 and 12.94 million total viewers. With a tenth added on among the key demo, the final result and the new new high for Empire is 5.2/15 with 13.0 million viewers. That unprecedented rise six weeks in a row after the series’ debut was only made sweeter for Fox by the fact that lead-in American Idol rose a tenth as well to a 2.8/9, making it even with last week’s show.
After taking small hits from their respective February 11 shows, Arrow and Modern Family went up 9% and 3% each from this morning’s numbers to 1.2/4 and 3.1/9. Everything else pretty much stayed the same except for The CW’s The 100 and CBS’ Stalker. The former fell 16% from preliminary numbers to a 0.5/1 to basically be even with last week. With minor market collage basketball preemptions part of what was factored in, the freshman latter stumbled 7% to hit a new low of 1.2/4 among the 18-49s.
PREVIOUS, 9 AM: As they say, all good things must end and what goes up must go … well, in the case of Empire (5.1/15), up even more. With an investor showcase for the big IPO, last night’s “Our Dancing Days” episode was full-tilt boogie featuring a killer performance and fall from Courtney Love’s Elle Dallas, some “Money For Nothing,” a medical revelation and Cookie stepping up to the podium literally and figuratively. The Taraji P. Henson- and Terrence Howard-led drama was also amazingly up 6.2 % among adults 18-49. While not the biggest jump from week to week, (that would be the 10% rise from Week 2 to Week 3), it is the sixth consecutive uptick for Empire since the strong 3.8 of its January 7 debut.
Easily the night’s highest-rated show, Empire was also the most watched show in primetime again with viewership of 12.94 million. That’s also a new high, with a rise from last week where 11.96 million tuned in.
Besides being a near broadcast miracle, last night’s rise came with lead-in American Idol (2.7/9) slipping a slight 3% among the demo from last week and amid some greater-than-usual competition. All of which still meant that Fox won the night with a 3.9/12 rating and 11.69 million viewers.
As for those good things ending, after seven seasons, CBS’ The Mentalist (1.3/4) came to a close last night with a two-hour finale. The 8-10 PM had a wedding with Simon Baker and Robin Tunney but of course it wasn’t all that easy for the crime drama. Moved to Wednesdays at 8 PM upon its midseason return January 7, this 13-episode cycle has seen the Bruno Heller-created show struggle in relative terms from the heights it once occupied on Sundays and Thursdays in earlier seasons. Compared to the one-hour Season 6 finale of May 11, 2014 at 10 PM, last night’s series ender was down 13% to hit a finale low for the series.
Week-to-week, things were steadier with last night’s Mentalist dipping 7% from its February 11 episode. Viewershipwise, the series saw its best performance this season since the 10.89 million who watched the November 27, 2014 premiere, with 10.15 million tuning in last night. Compared to the 9.69 million who watched the Season 6 finale, The Mentalist’s viewership was up almost 5%. Lead-out Stalker (1.3/4) finished off CBS’ night with a dip of 7% from last week to tie its season low in preliminary numbers. CBS did see some college basketball preemptions in several smaller markets that might bring adjustments later.
The CW’s Arrow (1.1/4) was even with last week while The 100 (0.6/2) rose 20% from its February 11 show. On NBC it was also a night of rises with The Mysteries Of Laura (1.1/3) up 10% from last week’s low. Law & Order: SVU (1.6/4) and Chicago P.D. (1.7/5) rose 14% and 21%, respectively.
Modern Family (3.0/9) was the second-highest-rated sow of the night but the ABC comedy took a 9% dip in the demo from last week. The rest of the network’s night was a bit of a roller coaster with The Middle (2.2/7) up 5% while The Goldbergs (2.2/7) was even. Black-ish (2.2/6) rose 5% from its February 11 episode while Nashville (1.3/4) tumbled 7%.