8:08am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: 'Empire' Rises in Return, Bests Fall Finale
Empire is anything but predictable. The Fox drama, which did suffer some live fatigue in the fall, returned to boosted numbers on Wednesday night — easily besting everything else on broadcast.
Based on Nielsen's Fast National returns, the Wednesday return of Empire averaged a 4.7 rating among adults 18-49 and 12.2 million viewers. Compared to the fall finale, that's an improvement of two-tenths of a point in the key demo and roughly 400,000 viewers. It's promising news for the show, which many guessed might continue to dip.
Through the first 10 episodes of the season, Empire is averaging a 5.0 rating among adults 18-49 on Wednesday nights — a 7.3 rating once seven days of DVR are factored in. That's easily enough to maintain the No. 1 series status it attained during its freshman run. Among total viewers, Empire ranks slightly lower with a live 12.6 million tune-in and 17.7 million viewers with DVR.
Empire's return did assist lead-in Rosewood, though not dramatically. The freshman drama was up four-tenths of a point in the key demo to a 1.4 rating.
Empire faced typical competition on Wednesday night: original episodes of Criminal Minds (CBS) and Law & Order: SVU (NBC) and repeats of ABC comedies. As for that competition, CBS offered the closest — an even 2.1 rating among adults 18-49 for Survivor at 8 o'clock. Criminal Minds (1.8 adults) suffered against Empire, falling nearly 20 percent. Spinoff Beyond Borders remained steady with a 1.4 rating in the key demo.
On NBC, Heartbeat held its time slot premiere score, a 0.9 rating among adults 18-49. And Law & Order: SVU (1.4 adults) and Chicago P.D. (1.5 adults) held steady. ABC did have one original for the night, an even Nashville (0.9 adults).