Ratings: Fox’s ‘Empire’ Adds Viewers for Ninth Straight Week Heading Into Finale

UPDATE: In updated national estimates from Nielsen released Thursday afternoon, Fox’s “Empire” got its expected upward adjustment, rising 0.2 to a 5.8 rating/17 share in adults 18-49 to match its high set the previous week. The biggest week-to-week jump (8%) came among adults 18-34 (5.8/17) and women 18-34 (6.8/24), with the soap posting a ninth straight week of growth in the latter.

In total viewers, the revised total for last night’s “Empire” approached 15 million (14.92 million), rising nearly 600,000 from last week.

Fox’s “American Idol” also was revised up, gaining 0.1 to a 2.4/8 in 18-49 and a total-viewer count of 9.71 million.

Over at CBS, “CSI: Cyber” (1.7/6 in 18-49, 9.71 million viewers overall) was revised down a tick, likely the result of being pre-empted for college basketball in a small part of the country. It ended up retaining 94% of its premiere demo rating.


Daylight Saving Time may have sapped the ratings strength of mere mortal television shows over the past week, but it had little effect on Fox phenom “Empire,” which on Wednesday grew its audience for a ninth consecutive airing heading into next week’s two-hour finale.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “Empire” averaged a 5.6 rating/17 share in adults 18-49 (down a tick from last week’s prelim score) to more than double the rating of any other program on the night. The show’s five-week growth streak in 18-49 looks likely to come to an end, but currently standing at an un-rounded 5.644 in the prelims, “Empire” figures to finish at either a 5.7 or 5.8 (last week’s final score) in the nationals.

And in total viewers, it gained about 400,000 to set yet another high with 14.7 million.  The updated track: 9.90 million (Jan. 7), 10.32 million (Jan. 14), 11.07 million (Jan. 21), 11.35 million (Jan. 28), 11.47 million (Feb. 4), 11.96 million (Feb. 18), 13.02 million (Feb. 18), 13.90 million (Feb. 25), 14.33 million (March 4) and now a preliminary 14.7 million.

Last night’s episode of “Empire” drew a series-high 750,258 tweets during the live broadcast, according to Nielsen Social Guide/Twitter. As a result, its average for the season (451,270) is now ahead of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” (444,029) and ABC’s “Scandal” (354,085).

“Empire” again more than doubled its “American Idol” lead-in (2.3/8 in 18-49, 9.3 million viewers overall) though the music reality competition was up a couple of ticks from last week to edge out CBS’ “Survivor” (2.2/8 in 18-49, 9.4 million viewers overall) both head-to-head and as the night’s No. 2 program in 18-49.

Following “Survivor” (2.2/8 in 18-49, 9.4 million viewers overall), CBS delivered comparable numbers at 9 p.m. with “Criminal Minds” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 10.4 million viewers overall), which was up 0.2 from last week’s low and placed a solid second for the 9 o’clock hour. In its second week, “CSI: Cyber” (1.8/6 in 18-49, 9.7 million million viewers overall) held at last week’s premiere rating — which bested the demo score for all but one episode of “Stalker” to air in the timeslot — and beat the combined ratings of the repeat dramas airing opposite it on NBC and ABC.

Note that the ratings for CBS programs will be adjusted slightly in the nationals due to college basketball pre-emptions in about 2% of the country.

ABC opened the night with a special repeat of “The Goldbergs” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 4.6 million viewers overall), followed by another encore in its regular timeslot (1.2/4 in 18-49, 4.3 million viewers overall). The comedy has had a strong sophomore season, and the Alphabet may be considering using it to lead off the night next fall.

The back half of ABC’s night featured a repeat “Modern Family” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall), a clips/bloopers special episode of “Black-ish” that performed well (1.5/4 in 18-49, 4.6 million viewers overall) and a special repeat of last week’s “American Crime” premiere (0.7/2 in 18-49, 2.7 million viewers overall) in advance of the new drama’s second episode in its regular timeslot tonight.

NBC went with repeats of its regular Wednesday dramas “The Mysteries of Laura” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall), “Law & Order: SVU” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall) and “Chicago PD” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 4.7 million viewers overall).

CW aired a repeat “Arrow” (0.3/1 in 18-49, 1.2 million viewers overall) and the season finale of “The 100” (0.4/1 in 18-49, 1.3 million viewers overall). Current Tuesday drama “Supernatural” will assume the 9 p.m. hour on Wednesday starting next week.

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