8:41am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: 'Empire' Returns to Series Low After Hiatus
So much for escapism. On the first night and since the conclusion of the presidential election, a few scripted series dropped from previous episodes. Most notably, on Fox, Empire hit a series low for live-plus-same-day showings.
The drama was still the No. 1 program of the night among adults 18-49 — but with an average 2.9 rating in the key demo, it was down a whopping six-tenths of a point from its last original episode almost a month ago and three-tenths below the previous series low logged on Thanksgiving eve last year. Among total viewers, Empire's dive was not as steep, and it averaged 8.1 million viewers.
Season-to-date, Empire is now just behind The Big Bang Theory as the No. 2 series on broadcast. It's averaging a 5.4 rating among adults 18-49 with seven days of DVR.
Empire's 9 o'clock hour was the hardest hit on Wednesday. CBS' Criminal Minds was off three-tenths of a point, and NBC's Law & Order: SVU dropped two-tenths of a point, with each earning a 1.3 rating in the key demo.
The rest of the night was not too shabby. Fox still easily won, further aided by an even Lethal Weapon. The drama earned a 1.8 rating among adults 18-49.
ABC's The Goldbergs got a two-tenths of a point bump to a 2.0 rating among adults 18-49. Fellow comedies Speechless (1.7 adults), Modern Family (2.3 adults) and Black-ish (1.6 adults), as well as Designated Survivor (1.2 adults) were all steady.
On CBS, Survivor spiked from lows against the World Series. It was up 23 percent, to a 1.9 rating in the key demo. Code Black also jumped — albeit to just a 0.9 rating.
NBC had flat outings of Blindspot (1.0 adults) and Chicago P.D. (1.3 adults), and The CW had steady episodes of Arrow (0.7 adults) and Frequency (0.3 adults). For Arrow, it did mark a season high among total viewers. The show was up to nearly 2 million viewers.