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‘Designated Survivor’ Premiere Outpaces ‘Empire’ in Delayed Viewing

New ABC series starring Kiefer Sutherland scores biggest live-plus-three lift in two years for any broadcast show

“Designated Survivor” did much more than just survive premiere week.

The new ABC series starring Kiefer Sutherland saw a significant rise in delayed viewing, adding 5.3 million more watchers and another 1.5 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic in live-plus-three numbers, bringing it to 15.3 million total viewers and a 3.7 rating.

That total-viewers number puts it ahead of Fox’s “Empire” in delayed viewing, as the music-business drama drew 13.9 million viewers in live-plus-three for its Season 3 premiere. That is also the best lift for any broadcast series since the debut of “How to Get Away with Murder” two years ago.

Sutherland plays a cabinet member who becomes president after a bombing takes out the commander in chief and most of his fellow cabinet members.

“Designated Survivor” was not the only new show to perform well in the ratings thus far. The NBC drama “This Is Us” posted an impressive 2.8 rating in the key demo in live-plus-same day numbers when it debuted last week, making it the top-rated premiere for a new show in that measure this season thus far.

In addition, CBS’ new action series “MacGyver” defied the traditional wisdom that its Friday night timeslot wouldn’t translate to ratings success by posting a 1.7 rating and 10.9 million viewers, also live-plus-same day.