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Ratings: Fox’s ‘Empire’ Steady in Penultimate Episode, Dominates Wednesday

One week from its second-season finale, Wednesday’s explosive episode of Fox’s “Empire” dominated on the ratings front, while CBS saw another good outing from “Survivor” even though its “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders” underwhelmed without its progenitor’s lead-in support.

According to preliminary national estimates, released a few hours later than usual by Nielsen due to a processing delay, “Empire” averaged a 3.6 rating/12 share in adults 18-49 and 9.7 million viewers overall in the 9 o’clock hour. Holding steady week to week, the Fox soap was Wednesday’s No. 1 program in just about every category, towering over the runner-up in adults 18-49 (CBS’ “Survivor”) by 71%, and more than doubling the night’s No. 2 program in adults 18-34 (ABC’s “Modern Family”). Leading off the night for Fox, “Rosewood” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 4.3 million viewers overall) was also on par with last week, placing third in its timeslot in 18-49.

Elsewhere, “Survivor” dominated at 8 p.m. for CBS (2.1/8 in 18-49, 9.4 million viewers overall) one week from its season finale. It was steady week to week and beat the ABC comedies in the hour by 24% in 18-49 (2.1 vs. 1.7). The net saw a steeper dropoff than usual at 9 p.m., though, as “Criminal Minds” gave way to “Criminal Minds: Beyond Border” (fourth-place 1.1/4 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall). In its regular 10 p.m. timeslot, “Beyond Borders” delivered comparable numbers (1.1/4 in 18-49, 5.9 million viewers overall), down a tenth from last week for its lowest score to date.

At NBC, “Law & Order: SVU” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall) bounced back from its low last week, rising 0.3 to place third for the 9 p.m. hour. Lead-in “Heartbeat” (0.7/3 in 18-49, 4.3 million viewers overall) was a tick lower than last week, but lead-out “Chicago PD” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 6.7 million viewers overall) was up a tenth to win at 10 p.m. in all key categories.

ABC’s comedy lineup was on the low side, with “The Middle” (1.6/6 in 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall), “The Goldbergs” (1.8/7 in 18-49, 6.1 million viewers overall), “Modern Family” (2.1/7 in 18-49, 7.1 million viewers overall) and “Black-ish” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 5.4 million viewers overall) all looking likely to match or set new lows. Closing out the night, “Nashville” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall) was up a tick from the last couple of weeks.

And at CW, both “Arrow” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 2.2 million viewers overall) and “Supernatural” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.8 million viewers overall) were back up a tenth after sliding last week.


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