TV Ratings: 'Empire' Finally Takes a Hit, Still Huge on Wednesday

The Fox giant loses some of its premiere steam in live-plus-same-day returns, while 'Code Black' has a middling debut on CBS.
Fox Network/Photofest

The waiting game to see when Empire takes a drop is over. After last week's near-record-sustaining premiere, which saw the Fox drama maintain the upward momentum it's had since the premiere, the show finally took a hit — albeit an inevitable one.

Empire's second episode of its sophomore run averaged a 5.4 rating among adults 18-49 and nearly 13.7 million viewers. In the key demo, that's an 18 percent hit from the previous week, but both of those drops are likely less reflective of any audience loss than they are about some of the viewers choosing to not watch the show immediately.

The premiere proved that there is a robust time-shifting audience for Empire. Last week's Empire, which nabbed a 6.7 rating among adults 18-49 and 16 million viewers on premiere night, rose to a wild 8.7 rating in the key demo and 22.5 million viewers with just three days of time-shifting.

As for lead-in Rosewood, the new drama was also down by a similar percentage — losing half of a point from its series premiere to a 1.9 rating among adults 18-49.

Wednesday night also brought another series premiere with CBS' Code Black. The drama nabbed a so-so 1.6 rating among adults 18-49 and an audience of 8.5 million viewers. For those keeping track, that's not quite up to where Stalker was when it premiered in the 10 p.m. hour last year. That was after the return of Criminal Minds, off 26 percent from last fall with a 2.0 rating among adults 18-49, and a reasonably steady episode of Survivor (2.3 adults).

ABC's Wednesday comedy block was steady in the 8 p.m. hour with The Middle (2.2 adults) and The Goldbergs (2.3 adults), but Modern Family shed three-tenths of a point at 9 p.m. — and Black-ish lost a stinging six-tenths of a point from its premiere last week, pulling a 1.8 in the key demo. Nashville, also steady, grabbed a 1.2 rating with adults 18-49.

Over on NBC, The Mysteries of Laura and Law & Order: SVU were both steady with last week's premieres for a respective 1.2 and 1.7 rating among adults 18-49. Chicago P.D. returned to the schedule at 10 p.m., and it averaged a 1.7 rating in the key demo as well.

And The CW, still prepping for its own premiere week, aired the special iHeartRadio Music Festival to a 0.4 rating in the key demo.

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