UPDATED: In updated national estimates from Nielsen, “Empire” was revised up to a 5.4 rating in 18-49 and 13.9 million viewers overall, gains of 42% and 40%, respectively from the show’s Jan. 7 premiere.

CBS’ “Survivor” edged up to a 2.4/7 in the demo and 10.04 million viewers overall, while ABC saw 0.1 declines for both “Black-ish” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 6.63 million viewers overall) and “Nashville” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 4.86 million).


It’s getting increasingly difficult to describe the ratings performance of Fox’s rookie soap “Empire,” which moved past the “megahit,” “phenom” and “unprecedented” stages weeks ago.

On Wednesday, “Empire” added nearly 1 million more viewers to approach the 14-million mark while growing yet again in the key young-adult demo of adults 18-49 (up a tick to a 5.3 rating/15 share), according to Nielsen national estimates. In 18-49, it bested the night’s former champ, ABC’s “Modern Family,” by more than 50%.

“Empire” has now grown seven consecutive weeks in total viewership since its Jan. 7 premiere: 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) and now a preliminary 13.8 million.

And in adults 18-49, it’s been up six times in those seven weeks: 3.8/11, 4.0/12, 4.4/13, 4.3/13, 4.6/14, 4.8/15; 5.2/15; and now a preliminary 5.3/15.

Last week, “Empire” moved ahead of CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” as the week’s top broadcast series in 18-49 for the first time (5.2 vs. 4.5). Only AMC’s “The Walking Dead” topped it overall (6.9 rating).

Fox won Wednesday even though “American Idol” dipped (2.6/8 in 18-49, 10.2 million viewers overall). The music competition still led its hour in all key categories.

Elsewhere, ABC saw some spikes for comedies promoted during the Oscars. Though “The Middle” was down leading off the night (2.0/7 in 18-49, 7.4 million viewers overall), “The Goldbergs” (2.5/8 in 18-49, 7.6 million viewers overall) — with its “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”-themed episode featuring an appearance by Charlie Sheen — grew 0.3 week-to-week, built on its lead-in by a best yet 0.5 and matched its season high.

“Modern Family” (3.4/10 in 18-49, 9.3 million viewers overall) and “Black-ish” (2.3/8 in 18-49, 6.7 million viewers overall) also edged up, and “Nashville” gained a tenth at 10 (1.4/4 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall).

CBS saw a solid season premiere for “Survivor” (2.3/7 in 18-49, 9.9 million viewers overall from 8 to 9:30 p.m.), with its 30th edition opening nearly on par with last year’s spring premiere in 18-49 (2.4) while up about 500,000 in total viewers (from 9.4 million). That makes thde debut of this edition of “Survivor” the show’s most-watched since the show’s 25th edition in September 2012.

Last fall’s 29th edition of the show premiered with a 2.8 demo rating and wrapped in mid-December with a 2.4.

“The Amazing Race” followed with its own 90-minute premiere at 9:30 p.m. (1.5/4 in 18-49, 6.1 million viewers overall), on par with its year-ago premiere on a Sunday and up from the low 1.1 demo rating it delivered with its most recent season opener on its new night of Friday last fall. “Race” shifts to its Friday-at-8 slot this week.

NBC had a good night, and seemed to benefit from the absence of CBS crime drama competition. A visit from Eric McCormack (Debra Messing’s co-star on “Will & Grace”) helped “The Mysteries of Laura” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 7.6 million viewers overall) jump 27% (0.3) from last week to match its top rating in its last 13 original episodes.

“Law & Order: SVU” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 7.7 million viewers overall) matched its top rating since Jan. 7, and though “Chicago PD” dipped at 10 p.m. (1.5/5 in 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall), it has now either tied or won outright in 18-49 among the Big Three networks at 10 p.m. with nine of its last 10 originals.

At CW, “Arrow” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 2.9 million viewers overall) was down from last week, but “The 100” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.8 million viewers overall) had the same prelim score it’s had for weeks.