‘Empire’ Episode 2 Audience Grows to 18 Million in Delayed Viewing

Fox’s hip-hop soap opera also grows 40 percent in key demographic

Last Updated: October 5, 2015 @ 1:20 PM

“Empire” continues to post impressive delayed viewing numbers.

The second episode of season two grew from 13.7 million viewers to 18 million in live + 3 days of DVR and VOD playback, an increase of  31 percent, according to Nielsen estimates.

The hip-hop soap opera also grew 40 percent in the advertiser-coveted adult 18-49 demographic, going from a 5.5 rating/17 share to a 7.7/24. That puts “Empire” more than two full ratings points above its nearest competition in L+3 for last week thus far; CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” followed with a 5.6/19.

The show’s premiere episode the previous week saw even higher numbers, going from 16.2 million viewers to 22.5 million. It also went from a 6.5 rating/20 share to an 8.7/27.

Most top-rated scripted series fall in numbers in their sophomore seasons, including “The Blacklist,” which went from a 3.8 rating in its series premiere to 3.5 in its Season 2 premiere, down 8 percent; “2 Broke Girls,” which fell 48 percent from 7.1 to 3.7; and “Hawaii Five-0,” which went from 3.9 to 3.4, down 15 percent.

“Empire’s” season two premiere marked the highest Season 2-versus-Season 1 premiere gain (up 76 percent) for a scripted show across all of broadcast since “House.” The Hugh Laurie drama rose 119 percent to a 5.9 in its Season 2 premiere, versus a 2.7 from its series debut.