×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

TV Ratings: ‘Empire’ Returns on Par With Midseason Finale

Fox’s “Empire” remains king, even if the viewing audiences it commands has shrunk a little. The midseason return of Cookie Lyon notched a 2.8 rating in the 18-49 demographic and an average audience of 7.89 million in Nielsen’s preliminary fast national ratings, right around where it left off in December (2.7 demo rating, 7.58 million viewers).

Empire” lead-in “Shots Fired,” though, got off to a bit of a slow start, drawing a 1.1 demo rating and 4.67 million viewers. While a 1.1 demo rating isn’t even close to the worst debut an hourlong series has had this TV season, the “Shots Fired” premiere adds another data point to an emerging trend.

Shows like “Shots Fired” and ABC’s “American Crime” and “When We Rise” have made a splash in the industry by daring to tell complex, diverse, politically charged stories about serious issues facing American society on broadcast television, but viewers just don’t seem to be flocking to them: “Shots Fired” bowed below former slot occupants “Lethal Weapon” and “Star” (which, in its timeslot debut, brought in a 1.6 demo rating and 4.72 million viewers). “American Crime” is rounding up to a 0.5 demo rating and averaging 2.29 million viewers in its third season, a drop of more than 40% from the previous installment in the demo, despite being heralded as broadcast’s version of “The Wire.” Dustin Lance Black miniseries about the LGBT civil rights movement “When We Rise” — about which Variety‘s Sonia Saraiya wrote, “The mere existence of ‘When We Rise‘ is almost virtue enough” — averaged a 0.5 demo rating and an audience of 2.26 million for its eight parts. These series do see ratings lifts thanks to delayed viewing, but, in ABC’s case, even increases of 100% put them below what one generally expects from most broadcast series.

CBS’ “Survivor” brought in a 1.7 rating in the demo and 7.9 million viewers, edging out the total audience of “Empire” by a mere 1,000 viewers to win that particular crown. (The numbers you see here are rounded to the second decimal place.) “Criminal Minds” held steady with a 1.3 in the demo and 7.39 million viewers. “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders” brought in a 0.8 and 4.83 million viewers.

NBC’s “Blindspot” came in with a 0.9 demo rating and 4.27 million viewers. “Law & Order: SVU” dipped to a 1.1 and 5.01 million viewers. “Chicago P.D.” drew a 1.2 in the demo and 6.29 million viewers.

ABC’s Wednesday comedy block was in repeats, which didn’t quite help “Designated Survivor.” The Kiefer Sutherland-led drama drew a 1.1 demo rating, compared to last week’s 1.3, and an audience of 5.17 million.

The CW’s “Arrow” held steady with a 0.5 rating in the demo and 1.4 million viewers. “The 100” dipped slightly to a 0.3 and 903,000 viewers.

As a reminder, daily ratings fluctuations tend to amount to mere quantum foam, and many of these series will see lifts of 50% or more once viewing within three and seven days is counted. However, most of those gains won’t translate to the ratings guarantees networks make advertisers.

More TV

  • Batwoman -- "Crisis on Infinite Earths:

    'Crisis on Infinite Earths' Recap: The Return of Two Supermen and a World-Ending Plan

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Two,” the “Batwoman” episode of the 2019 “Arrowverse” crossover. “Crisis on Infinite Earths” set a strong tone with its opener Sunday night, as the Anti-Monitor hurtling through space obliterated Earth-38 and claimed its first superhero victim in Oliver Queen aka [...]

  • Batwoman -- "Crisis on Infinite Earths:

    'Crisis on Infinite Earths' Team Talks Oliver's Fate and Batwoman's Big Move (Spoilers)

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Two,” the “Batwoman” episode of the 2019 “Arrowverse” crossover. The second hour of the CW’s “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover killed off another iconic hero — but brought one back. After Oliver (Stephen Amell) sacrificed himself in event’s first episode, [...]

  • TV News Roundup: TBS Unveils 'Miracle

    TV News Roundup: TBS Unveils Trailer for 'Miracle Workers: Dark Ages'

    In today’s TV news roundup, TBS releases the first look at Season 2 of “Miracle Workers” and Netflix announces the premiere date for “Cheer.” CASTINGS:  Nickelodeon has called on comedian and writer Adam Conover to host its new family game show “The Crystal Maze.“ In the American rendition of the U.K. series, Conover will take [...]

  • Verve

    Verve Raises Assistant Salaries by Up to 40% in Response to Fair-Pay Movement

    Verve has announced a 25-40% pay increase for its assistants and mailroom employees in response to the #PayUpHollywood movement which has been shining a spotlight on the issue of assistant pay in the industry. The agency, which represents #PayUpHollywood co-founder Liz Alper and regular advocate John August, is also changing its hours to shorten the [...]

  • Golden Globes Zodiac signs

    Golden Globes Nominees as Zodiac Signs

    The Golden Globes nominees aren’t the only stars of awards season. Variety turned to astrology to assign Zodiac signs to this year’s nominees. Some selections required a little more nuance — Olivia Wilde’s “Booksmart” is a Virgo with a prominent Sagittarius rising and Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women” is a Sagittarius that wishes it were a [...]

  • Morning Show Apple

    Golden Globe Noms: 'The Morning Show' Turns Apple TV Plus Into a Kudos Contender

    “Euphoric” was the word to describe the atmosphere around the Apple TV Plus offices in Culver City, Calif., on Monday morning as staffers awoke to the news that the fledgling service’s cornerstone drama series, “The Morning Show,” had landed three major Golden Globe Award nominations. Apple Worldwide Video had exactly two employees — heads Jamie [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content