Ratings: Fox’s ‘Empire’ Debuts Strong, Builds on ‘Idol’ Lead-In

Music drama bows to a big 3.7 demo rating and 9.8 million total viewers

Last Updated: January 8, 2015 @ 9:24 AM

Fox’s new music drama “Empire” had a strong opening on Wednesday, premiering to a 3.7 rating/10 share in the key demo — a night high — and 9.8 million total viewers. That first number was greater than its lead-in, the “American Idol” season premiere.

“Idol” was down pretty heavily from last year’s premiere, which is not unexpected. Also of note, CBS’s “People’s Choice Awards” was down 25 percent from last year.

Fox was first in ratings with a 3.4 rating/10 share in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic and first in viewers with an average of 10.4 million, according to preliminary numbers. At 8 p.m., the season opener of “American Idol” received a 3.1/9 and a night-best 10.9 million viewers; those numbers are down from 2014’s 4.3/13 and 14.7 million viewers. “Empire” followed, scoring Fox’s highest-rated series debut in three years in the demo (“Touch” on Jan. 25, 2012).

ABC was second in ratings with a 2.0/6, but fourth in viewers with 6.3 million. “The Middle” at 8 got a 2.3/7 and 8.5 million viewers. “The Goldbergs” at 8:30 received a 2.5/7 and 7.8 million viewers. “Modern Family” at 9 earned a 3.2/9 and 9.2 million viewers. “Black-ish” at 9:30 had a 2.1/6 and 6.3 million viewers. A rerun followed.

CBS was third in ratings with a 1.6/5 and second in viewers with 8.7 million. “The Mentalist” at 8 got a 1.3/4 and 9 million viewers. “The People’s Choice Awards” at 9 had a 1.8/5 and 8.6 million viewers.

NBC was fourth in ratings with a 1.5/5 and third in viewers with 7.3 million. At 8, “The Mysteries of Laura” received a 1.3/4 and 6.8 million viewers. “Law & Order: SVU” at 9 got a 1.7/5 — up 21 percent from its last original — and 7.8 million viewers. “Chicago PD” at 10 had a 1.6/5 and 7.4 million viewers.

Univision was fifth in ratings with a 1.2/3 and in total viewers with 3.1 million.

Telemundo was sixth in ratings with a 0.7/2 and in total viewers with 1.7 million.

The CW was seventh in ratings with a 0.3/1 and in total viewers with one million, airing entirely reruns.