Ratings: Fox’s ‘Empire’ Grows in Week Two, Dominates in Demos

After its monster bow a week ago, Fox’s “Empire” looked even more impressive Wednesday by becoming the first rookie drama of the season to post ratings gains in its second week and standing as easily the night’s No. 1 show in young adults.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “Empire” averaged a 4.0 rating/12 share in adults 18-49 and 10.3 million viewers overall during the 9 o’clock hour, rising sharply in the demo from its timeslot-leading lead-in from “American Idol” (2.9/9 in 18-49, 10.7 million viewers overall). The music contest, which was down only a bit from its premiere and was Wednesday’s most-watched program overall, is likely benefiting from its new skedmate.

“Empire” was up 5% in the demo from its week-ago premiere for the top score for any broadcast drama since the series premiere of “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” in September 2013. ABC’s “How to Get Away With Murder,” which had tied “Empire” as this season’s top premiere in 18-49, fell 16% in its second week (3.8 to 3.2).

The Fox soap impressively dominated its tough drama competition, drawing more young adults than the combined tune-in for CBS’ “Criminal Minds” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 10.2 million viewers overall) and NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 6.8 million viewers overall). “Criminal” was up a tick from its low set with its most recent episode (2.1), and “SVU” matched its season low.

“Empire” beat runner-up ABC by 40% in teens, 60% in adults 18-49, 38% in adults 25-54 and by 113% in adults 18-34. In fact, “Empire” was so dominant in all under-55 categories that it even edged out CBS’ “Criminal Minds” in total viewers.

Also hitting lows were the ABC comedies in the 9 o’clock hour, “Modern Family” (3.0/9 in 18-49, 9.3 million viewers overall) and “Black-ish” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall), with the latter Anthony Anderson-led rookie likely losing African-American viewers to “Empire” in a rare head-to-head showdown of series fronted by African-Americans.

Despite the lower-than-usual scores in the 9 o’clock hour, ABC’s comedy block as a whole was up 20% vs. the comparable night a year ago (2.4 vs. 2.0).

At 8 o’clock, ABC’s “The Middle” (2.2/7 in 18-49, 7.8 million viewers overall) and “The Goldbergs” (2.3/7 in 18-49, 7.2 million viewers overall) were a solid second to “American Idol” in 18-49, down a bit from their season highs of the previous week. Sophomore “Goldbergs” has matched or exceeded its lead-in with every original episode this season.

CBS won the 8 p.m. drama battle, with “The Mentalist” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 9.4 million viewers overall) steady week to week and sending NBC’s “The Mysteries of Laura” to its low (1.1/3 in 18-49, 6.3 million viewers overall).

In Wednesday’s 10 p.m. drama battle, it was a draw in 18-49 between CBS’ “Stalker” and NBC’s “Chicago PD” (1.5/5), with the former pulling ahead in total viewers (7.8 million to 6.7 million); both shows were a tick above their season lows. ABC’s repeat “Forever” ran third among the broadcasters (0.7/2 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall).




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