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Nobody was happier to see the calendar turn to 2015 than Fox, and the net got off to a good start in the new year.

The strong premiere of “Empire,” the return of “American Idol” and “Gotham” and a special NFL playoff game on Saturday night lifted Fox to an easy victory in key demos for the week of Jan. 5-11. The “Empire” opener tied as the season’s top-rated premiere in adults 18-49 (with ABC’s “How to Get Away With Murder”) and joins “Gotham” in giving Fox two of television’s top four series launches in the demo this season.

CBS had a good week too, and not just because of the massive NFL overrun it got on Sunday. The Eye saw numerous weeknight entertainment series match or set season highs in 18-49 as the net placed second in the demo while winning easily in total viewers.

Also of note during the week was a lower but still strong showing for the Golden Globes on NBC, a decent debut for ABC’s “Marvel’s Agent Carter” and good 2015 premieres for hot Monday newbies “Gotham” on Fox and “Scorpion” on CBS.

Overall for the Jan. 5-11 frame, Fox led in adults 18-49 — its first triumph since the week it aired the final two games of the World Series — with a 3.5 rating/10 share; it was followed by CBS (2.4/7), NBC (2.0/6) and ABC (1.4/4). Fox also cruised in adults 25-54 and other demos while CBS drew the most total viewers (12.2 million to 10.4 million for runner-up Fox), according to Nielsen.

Looking at the week, Fox was paced by its Saturday night NFL playoff game between the Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks, which was easily the top-rated primetime program of the week (10.4/32 in 18-49, 31.02 million viewers overall) — even if it was the least-watched of the weekend’s four games.

The net’s big series night was Wednesday, where “American Idol” returned to lower ratings as expected in kicking off its 14th season (3.2/10 in 18-49, 11.20 million) — down about 25% from its opening hour last year. Its Thursday premiere drew similar numbers (3.1/9 in 18-49, 11.23 million viewers overall) and won its two-hour block.

While it’s not the juggernaut it once was, “Idol” on Wednesday helped provide a good lead-in for “Empire” (3.8/11 in 18-49, 9.90 million viewers overall), which finished as the night’s top show in demos. It was the rare network show that drew most of its audience from minorities, with African-Americans comprising roughly 57% of its overall audience and Hispanics making up 10.5%, according to Nielsen.

“Empire” increased to a 5.3 in the demo and 13.1 million total viewers in Live+3, and also drew 1 million additional views across streaming platforms Fox Now and Hulu in the four days after its launch.

The music wasn’t as loud for Fox on Friday as “Glee” returned to kick off its sixth and final season with low numbers (0.7/2 in 18-49, 2.34 average for its two hours).

“Gotham” got the week off to a strong start (2.5/8 in 18-49, 7.06 million viewers overall), winning its hour with the show’s best rating since its third episode.

For CBS, Monday’s “2 Broke Girls” matched its season high in 18-49 (2.4/7, 9.08 million viewers overall), “Mike & Molly” followed with season highs of its own (2.2/6 in 18-49, 9.64 million viewers overall), and “NCIS: Los Angeles” capped the night with a season high in the demo while drawing the timeslot’s largest regular in-season overall audience since Sept. 19, 2011.

One night later, “NCIS” (2.8/9 in 18-49, 19.76 million viewers overall) delivered its top scores since its season premiere and “NCIS: New Orleans” matched its best 18-49 rating (2.5/7) while racking up its largest total-viewer tally to date (17.73 million).

Thursday’s “The Big Bang Theory” was the week’s No. 1 entertainment series in 18-49 (4.6/15) and No. 2 in total viewers (18.10 million) with its best numbers since moving to Thursday in late October. “Mom” followed with series highs (2.7/8 in 18-49, 12.29 million viewers overall) and “Elementary” hit season highs (1.5/5 in 18-49, 8.60 million).

“Hawaii Five-0” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 11.46 million) logged its best demo rating since January while drawing its largest audience since moving to Friday in the fall of 2013. “Blue Bloods” capped the night by matching its season high in 18-49 (1.4/5) and drawing its largest overall aud (12.86 million) since January.

Not hitting a high but racking up its best numbers without an episode of “Big Bang Theory” leading into it was Monday rookie drama “Scorpion” (2.4/7, 12.32 million viewers overall), which was the night’s top show.

Of note at NBC was a good Monday premiere for “Celebrity Apprentice” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 6.48 million viewers overall) despite going up against ABC’s debut of “The Bachelor” debut (2.2/7 in 18-49, 7.76 million viewers overall). These are higher numbers than every telecast from the prior edition of “Celebrity Apprentice” in the spring of 2013.

Despite getting the top-rated lead-in among 10 p.m. NBC dramas across the week (“Apprentice”), “State of Affairs” delivered the lowest 18-49 rating of those Peacock hours (1.0/3). Faring considerably better despite a much smaller lead-in (“A to Z”), Thursday’s “Parenthood” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 4.63 million viewers overall) matched its highest rating since October 2013 as the family drama nears the end of its run later this month.

Sunday’s “Golden Globes” ceremony (5.8/16 in 18-49, 19.31 million viewers overall) was down a bit from the last two years but still outperformed the five years prior to Tina Fey and Amy Poehler coming aboard as hosts. It stands as the top-rated non-sports broadcast in 18-49 since the Academy Awards on ABC on March 2.

ABC had a good week for its weeknight 8 o’clock hour comedies. First, Wednesday’s “The Middle” hit 11-month highs (2.3/7 in 18-49, 8.46 million viewers overall) and “The Goldbergs” (2.5/7 in 18-49, 7.79 million viewers overall) drew its second-best scores to date — despite the arrival of “American Idol” in the hour.

And on Friday, “Last Man Standing” (1.6/6 in 18-49, 8.60 million viewers overall) and “Cristela” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 6.61 million viewers overall) had big nights thanks to guest stars Patricia Richardson and Roseanne, respectively. This was the best demo score for “Last Man” since March 2013, and the show’s largest overall audience in the 66 episodes since December 2011; and “Cristela” matched its season high in 18-49 (set with its premiere).

On the down side, Sunday’s “Galavant” (1.3/3 in 18-49, 4.11 million viewers overall) went up against the Golden Globes and dropped more than 30% from its premiere. And that led into a low 0.8 demo rating for both “Resurrection” and “Revenge.”

Tuesday’s debut of “Marvel’s Agent Carter” placed second in its timeslot (1.9/6, 6.91 million viewers overall), topping all scores for “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” this season since its premiere.

Of note outside of primetime was a good week for the three evening newscasts, with NBC’s “Nightly News With Brian Williams” staying on top (10.67 million viewers, including 2.657 million adults 25-54) and opening up some distance in the demo over ABC’s “World News Tonight With David Muir” (9.88 million, 2.405 in the demo). “World News,” though, drew its largest overall audience since February 2007 (when Charles Gibson was anchor).

“CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley” remained third (8.656 million, 2.044 million in the demo) but the program drew the network’s largest audience in the time period since the first week of Katie Couric’s run as anchor in September 2006.

TBS, led by “The Big Bang Theory” repeats, led among cable networks in 18-49 while USA, paced by “WWE Raw,” led in total viewers.

Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta” was the week’s top-rated cable program in 18-49 (1.7/4, 3.53 million viewers overall). Also for the net, “Top Chef” hit season highs in Live+3 (1.1 million adults 18-49, 1.9 million viewers overall) with an episode that featured a tribute to Julia Child.

OWN’s “The Haves and the Have Nots” returned strong Tuesday (1.1/3 in 18-49, 3.22 million) — not quite a series record but the best numbers ever for a season premiere on the network.

TNT’s “Major Crimes” (4.31 million) and Discovery’s “Gold Rush” (4.22 million) drew the most total viewers for the week among cable series.

HBO’s Sunday series “Girls” kicked off its fourth season with low numbers (680,000 viewers) but that was certainly better than the series premiere of “Togetherness” (427,000) that followed at 9:30 p.m. or the second-season premiere of “Looking” at 10 (183,000).  The most popular premium-cable programs of the night were the season premieres of “Shameless” (1.77 million) and “House of Lies” (723,000) on Showtime.

 

WEEKLY PRIMETIME NETWORK RANKINGS

Adults 18-49 (rating/share)
Fox                          3.5/10
CBS                         2.4/7
NBC                        2.0/6
ABC                         1.4/4
Univision                  1.1/3
TBS                         0.8/2
FX                           0.6/2
USA                        0.6/2
Telemundo               0.6/2
Adult Swim              0.5/2
Discovery                 0.5/1

Total Viewers (in millions)
CBS                        12.21
Fox                         10.36
NBC                         7.25
ABC                         5.21
Univision                   2.98
USA                         1.97
TBS                          1.91
Disney                      1.69
FX                            1.56
Fox News                  1.52

WEEKLY PRIMETIME PROGRAM RANKINGS

Adults 18-49 (rating/share)
1.  NFL Playoffs-Saturday: Carolina-Seattle (Fox), 10.4/32
2.  Golden Globe Awards (NBC), 5.8/16
3.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 4.6/15
4.  60 Minutes (CBS), 3.9/10
5.  Empire (Fox), 3.8/11
6.  American Idol-Wednesday (Fox), 3.2/10
6.  Modern Family (ABC), 3.2/9
8.  American Idol-Thursday (Fox), 3.1/9
9.  NCIS (CBS), 2.8/9
10.  Mom (CBS), 2.7/8
11.  Gotham (Fox), 2.5/8
11.  NCIS: New Orleans (CBS), 2.5/7
11.  The Goldbergs (ABC), 2.5/7
14.  Scorpion (CBS), 2.4/7
14.  2 Broke Girls (CBS), 2.4/7
16.  Two and a Half Men (CBS), 2.3/7
16.  The Middle (ABC), 2.3/7
18.  The Bachelor (ABC), 2.2/7
18.  Mike & Molly (CBS), 2.2/6
20.  Black-ish (ABC), 2.1/6

Total Viewers (in millions)
1.  NFL Playoffs-Saturday: Carolina-Seattle (Fox), 31.02
2.  NCIS (CBS), 19.76
3.  Golden Globe Awards (NBC), 19.31
4.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 18.11
5.  NCIS: New Orleans (CBS), 17.73
6.  60 Minutes (CBS), 17.68
7.  Blue Bloods (CBS), 12.86
8.  Scorpion (CBS), 12.32
9.  Mom (CBS), 12.29
10.  Madam Secretary (CBS), 12.13
11.  NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), 11.90
12.  Hawaii Five-0 (CBS), 11.46
13.  American Idol-Thursday (Fox), 11.23
14.  American Idol-Wednesday (Fox), 11.20
15.  Person of Interest (CBS), 10.08
16.  Two and a Half Men (CBS), 10.07
17.  Empire (Fox), 9.90
18.  Mike & Molly (CBS), 9.64
19.  The Good Wife (CBS), 9.58
20.  Modern Family (ABC), 9.29