Ratings: ABC Comedy Block Strong Wednesday; Fox’s ‘Empire’ Up From Season Low

Courtesy of Adam Taylor/ABC

As it nears its fall finale, Fox’s “Empire” picked up some ratings steam last night, rising from last week and topping the night’s next highest-rated performer in the young adults demo — ABC’s “Modern Family” — by more than 50%. “Modern” and the rest of the ABC comedy block had a good night with Thanksgiving episodes, posting some of their best numbers since September.

According to preliminary “live plus same-day” nationals from Nielsen, “Empire” averaged a 4.4 rating/14 share in adults 18-49 and 11.2 million viewers overall, up 5% (0.2) from last week’s season low and expected to again finish as the week’s No. 1 broadcast entertainment series (and No. 2 overall to AMC’s “The Walking Dead”). It’s a good sign for the soap, though an episode scheduled for next week on lighter-watched Thanksgiving Eve could thwart its momentum; the show will wrap the first half of its season on Dec. 2 and won’t return until late March.

Kicking off the night for Fox, “Rosewood” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall) was steady and again placed third for its timeslot in 18-49.

Elsewhere, ABC ran second in 18-49 thanks to its rising family comedy block of “The Middle” (2.0/7 in 18-49, 7.9 million viewers overall), “The Goldbergs” (2.2/7 in 18-49, 7.1 million viewers overall), “Modern Family” (2.8/9 in 18-49, 8.4 million viewers overall) and “Black-ish” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall). Momentum came to a halt at 10 p.m., though, with “Nashville” (1.0/4 in 18-49, 4.4 million viewers overall).

“The Middle” held at last week’s demo rating while hitting a seven-week high in total viewers, and “The Goldbergs” hit seven-week highs across the board; last week’s “Goldbergs” saw its second largest 18-49 lift of the season in Live+3 (up 0.82 to 2.91). “Modern Family,” which also had its best results since September, was the night’s No. 2 program (behind “Empire”) in 18-49, 25-54 (3.6/10), adults 18-34 (2.0/8) and teens 12-17 (1.6/8). And “Black-ish” matched its best ratings since its season-two premiere.

At CBS, both “Survivor” (2.0/7 in 18-49, 8.9 million viewers overall) and “Criminal Minds” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 8.0 million viewers overall) were down a tenth from last week to match their season lows. “Code Black” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall) was at the same number it has been in five of the previous six weeks; the rookie hospital drama has been consistent while its lead-in has declined, but it’s still at a fairly modest number.

At NBC, “The Mysteries of Laura” returned from last week’s preemption with an average 1.1/4 in 18-49 while hitting a season high in total viewers. It was followed by “Law & Order: SVU” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 6.3 million viewers overall) and “Chicago PD” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall), which matched or set season lows in most categories one week after a special episode of “The Voice” leading off the night lifted both shows.

CW’s “Arrow” (1.0/4 in 18-49, 2.6 million viewers overall) was up a tick from last week while “Supernatural” held at a 0.7/2 while averaging about 1.8 million total viewers.

NBC enjoyed another dominant performance in late-night, with “Last Call with Carson Daly” at 1:35 a.m. impressively matching the same preliminary 18-49 score (0.4) of CBS’ “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” even though it starts two hours later. Daly also doubled up the 12:35 a.m. rating of CBS’ “Late Late Show with James Corden” (0.2) despite starting an hour later. In metered-market household results, NBC’s “Tonight Show” averaged a 2.7 rating/7 share, followed by CBS’ “Late Show” (2.0/5) and ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (1.9/5).

In finals for the week of Nov. 3-9 released this morning, NBC’s “Tonight Show” delivered its largest margin of victory to date over originals of “Late Show” — winning by 70% in 18-49 rating (0.95 vs. 0.56). CBS’ “Late Show” and ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” tied for second place (0.56), and NBC’s 12:35 a.m. show “Late Night with Seth Meyers” pulled to within 0.08 of Colbert and Kimmel. In total viewers, “Tonight Show” averaged 3.265 million viewers for the week, followed by “Kimmel” (2.399 million), “Late Show” (2.381 million), ABC’s “Nightline” (1.544 million) and NBC’s “Late Night” (1.493 million). This was the second straight win in total viewers for Kimmel over Colbert.


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  1. Louisiana says:

    I quit watching season 2, can’t say much about it to many celebs and homophobic scenes. Season 1 was the ish..

  2. Will SVU be renewed for a season 18? if NBC doesn’t get MOL away from it, trouble could be on the horizon. Debra Messing takes down Kelli Giddish and Mariska Hargitay. What a shame that would be.

    • cadavra says:

      Yeah, really sucks that more people are watching a fresh, lively series than one which has been running on fumes for the past few years.

  3. I watched “Empire” to see my favorite Rosie O’Donnell. I just love America’s favorite funny lady! Can’t wait to see her on “Mom’s” in a few weeks! Hope she gets her own sitcom. That would be great!

  4. Mr. J Cooper says:

    Empire is only up a few ticks from last week and continues to be dreadful in season two. It is obvious that the gay storyline, as it does in “How to Get Away With Murder” are turning off millions.

  5. T says:

    I know Nashville has two more originals to air in Dec, but seeing as it was down to a .9 at 9:30, why is ABC airing a rerun of it next Wed? ABC smartly airing reruns of its Wed night shows on Thanksgiving eve but wouldn’t they be better served with another hour of reruns of two of their family comedies from 10-11? Wouldn’t that provide a far better lead in to local news/Kimmel on the last night of sweeps? Wouldn’t advertisers promoting Fri sales pay more for a show that gets 3 mil and a 1.0 vs. under 2 million and a .5?

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