TV Ratings: 'Empire' Returns Lower, 'Whiskey Cavalier' Slips

The Fox drama's first episode after actor Jussie Smollett was charged with lying to police has its second-smallest 18-49 rating ever.
Chuck Hodes/FOX

Empire returned from a three-month hiatus Wednesday and earned below-average ratings among adults 18-49. 

The Fox drama, airing its first episode after castmember Jussie Smollett was charged with lying to police about an alleged attack on him, posted a 1.3 rating among adults 18-49. That's down 0.2 from both its last episode of the fall and its season average to date. Empire just avoided the series-low 1.2 it set in October 2018. (Smollett pleaded not guilty to the charges Thursday morning.)

Star also returned to Fox Wednesday with a 1.1, off slightly from its fall finale and its season average of 1.2. 

Elsewhere, ABC's Whiskey Cavalier took a hit, falling 33 percent to 0.6 from last week's American Idol-assisted 0.9. The network's comedy block improved a little, however, as Schooled (1.0), Modern Family (1.2) and Single Parents (0.8) all ticked up from their last outings and The Goldbergs held steady at 1.1.

CBS' Survivor led the night in both adults 18-49 (1.5) and total viewers (7.57 million). Its demo rating is even with last week, while the viewer count is up a little, pending updates for local preemptions in a few markets. The World's Best finished its season with a 0.6 in adults 18-49, even with last week.

Riverdale (0.3) and All American (0.2) both held steady week to week on The CW. NBC aired a night of reruns.

Despite the lower returns for Empire and Star, Fox still led the night with a 1.2 rating among adults 18-49. ABC and CBS tied for second at 0.9. NBC averaged 0.6, Telemundo and Univision 0.4 each and The CW 0.3.

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