Massive Turnout for ‘Empire’ Premiere as Fox Crushes the Competition

Sep 24, 2015  •  Post A Comment

Wednesday night’s eagerly anticipated season two premiere of Fox’s drama hit “Empire” drew a huge crowd as Fox rolled to a big ratings win over its broadcast rivals.

TVbytheNumbers.com reports that the 9 p.m. broadcast delivered just over 16 million total viewers, based on Nielsen overnights, by far the largest audience of the night among the broadcast networks. “Empire” averaged a 6.5 rating in the key 18-49 demo, up 76% from the series premiere back in January and just below the show’s all-time best, a 6.9 for the season one finale.

Leading into “Empire,” Fox’s series premiere of “Rosewood” surpassed expectations, delivering a 2.4 average in 18-49 with 7.4 million total viewers.

Going up against “Empire,” the season premiere of ABC’s “Modern Family” managed a 3.1 average in adults 18-49 to rank as the night’s second-highest-rated show in broadcast prime. The rest of ABC’s lineup of season premieres broke down as follows: 2.4 averages in 18-49 for “The Goldbergs” and “black-ish,” a 2.1 for “The Middle” and a 1.3 for “Nashville.”

CBS was the second-highest-rated broadcast network overall, with its 90-minute “Survivor” delivering a 2.4 average in viewers 18-49 and 9.61 million total viewers — the second-highest number of the night, trailing “Empire.” CBS’s 90-minute “Big Brother” had a 2.2 average in 18-49 with 6.49 million total viewers.

Fourth-place NBC saw its two-hour “Law & Order: SVU” season premiere settle for a 1.7 average in 18-49, below last year’s 2.2, while “The Mysteries of Laura” returned to a 1.2 — down from its 2.0 series premiere.

For prime time overall, Fox led the way with a 4.4 average rating in adults 18-49, followed by CBS (2.3 average), ABC (2.1), NBC (1.6) and CW (0.3). In total viewers it was Fox out front with 11.688 million, then CBS with 8.050 million, NBC with 7.797 million, ABC with 7.055 million and CW with 939,000.

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