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TV Ratings: ‘Empire’ Returns Down on Eve of Jussie Smollett’s Arraignment

The midseason premiere of “Empire” on Wednesday night was down in the Nielsen ratings compared to the show’s last original episode.

Airing at 8 p.m. on Fox, “Empire” drew a 1.3 rating in adults 18-49 and 4.4 million viewers. That is down a little over 10% in both measures compared to the midseason finale in December. This also marks the first time the show has returned down in the Live+Same Day ratings for a midseason premiere. Still, “Empire” was one of the highest-rated shows of the night, losing only to “Survivor” (1.5, 7.6 million) for the night.

“Empire” returned the night before series star Jussie Smollett was due to be arraigned in Chicago stemming from accusations that the actor and musician staged a racist and homophobic attack against himself. On Thursday morning, Smollett pleaded not guilty to 16 counts filing a false police report.

Later on Fox, “Star” (1.1, 3.7 million) returned mostly even.

After “Survivor” on CBS, the two-hour finale of “The World’s Best” averaged just a 0.6 and 3.7 million viewers.

On ABC, “The Goldbergs” (1.1, 4.8 million) was even, while “Schooled” (1.0, 3.9 million) ticked up. “Modern Family” (1.2, 4.6 million) was mostly even, while “Single Parents” (0.8, 3.4 million) was up in both measures. “Whiskey Cavalier” (0.6, 3.7 million) was down in both measures from last week.

On The CW, “Riverdale” (0.3, 1 million) ticked up in total viewers and “All American” (0.2, 0.63 million) ticked up in the demo.

NBC aired only repeats.

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