'This Is Us' Ratings Grow as NBC Drama Nabs Key Victory Over 'Empire'

THIS IS US - The Trip Episode 109 -Sterling K. Brown -Chrissy Metz-Justin Hartley-H 2016
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

This Is Us continues to defy ratings norms and expectations.

Nine episodes in, the NBC drama just matched its series high and scored a rather notable DVR feat. With live-plus-three-day ratings in for the week of Nov. 28, This Is Us outperformed Fox's Empire to rank as broadcast's highest-rated drama. This Is Us earned a 4.2 rating among adults 18-49, edging past Empire's 4.0 rating (per Nielsen Media).

This fall season's big — and, depending on how you look at it, only — true breakout hit, the Nov. 29 episode of This Is Us also averaged 14.5 million viewers in live-plus-three-day returns. Its growth, which has been matched by live-plus-same-day, is rather rare these days. The last show to post such week-to-week improvement in its freshman year, albeit much more dramatically, was Empire.

Multiplatform data does not come on the most timely schedule, but initial indicators for This Is Us were strong. It ranks as the most-watched new series on NBC's digital platforms. 

Empire is still broadcast's top drama, season-to-date, with an average 5.4 rating in the key demo. It outpaces This Is Us by s significant margin, almost a full ratings point, likely leaving its top status safe for the 2016-17 season.