Ratings: Dolly Parton Destroys ‘Empire’ in Viewers

NBC audience victory over Fox is first against original episode of hip-hop soap this season

Country music just triumphed over hip-hop.

Dolly Parton’s “Christmas of Many Colors” crushed “Empire” in total viewers last night, though the Fox soap still triumphed comfortably in the key 18-49 demographic. Wednesday was the first time this season that Fox didn’t win the battle for most eyeballs on a night with an original “Empire.” The Lee Daniels and Danny Strong drama is still undefeated this year in the main demo, however.

The sequel to last year’s “Coat of Many Colors” scored 11.5 million overall audience members, though had a more-modest 1.7 rating among the key demo. Those numbers are both down a bit from last year, as TheWrap expected. Even so, NBC just delivered its most-watched Wednesday — excluding the Olympics — in nearly nine years.

Fox was first in ratings with a 2.2 rating/8 share in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic and third in total viewers with an average of 7.1 million, according to preliminary numbers. “Lethal Weapon” at 8 p.m. had a 1.6/6 and 6.4 million viewers. At 9, “Empire” posted a 2.8/9 and 7.8 million viewers.

NBC was second in ratings with a 1.7/6 and first in viewers with 11.2 million. At 8, “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” earned a 1.7/6 and 10.5 million viewers. The Parton TV movie followed with a 6 share.

ABC was third in ratings with a 1.6/6 and fourth in viewers with 5.7 million. “The Goldbergs” at 8 had a 1.7/6 and 5.9 million viewers. At 8:30, “Speechless” got a 1.5/5 and 4.9 million viewers. “Modern Family” at 9 scored a 2.2/7 and 6.8 million viewers. At 9:30, “Black-ish” put up a 1.8/6 and 5.4 million viewers. “Designated Survivor” at 10 received a 1.3/4 and 5.5 million viewers.

CBS was fourth in ratings with a 1.5/5, but second in viewers with 7.4 million. “Survivor” at 8 had a 1.9/7 and 8.8 million viewers. At 9, “Criminal Minds” got a 1.4/5 and 7.4 million viewers. “Code Black” at 10 received a 1.0/4 and 5.9 million viewers.

The CW was fifth in ratings with a 0.8/3 and in viewers with 2.3 million. At 8, “Arrow’s” turn in this week’s DC mega-crossover landed a 1.3/5 and 3.5 million viewers. At 9, “Frequency” settled for a 0.3/1 and 1.1 million viewers.

Telemundo was sixth in ratings with a 0.7/2 and in viewers with 1.660 million.

Univision was seventh in ratings with a 0.6/2 and in viewers with 1.745 million.