Empire Ratings Record

Ratings: Empire Returns Very Strong, Just Shy of Record Numbers

The Lyons are still king. In a big way.

Fox’s Empire opened Season 2 on Wednesday night with 16.2 million total viewers and a 6.7 rating (per finals), dipping just 8 percent and two tenths from the second hour of its record-setting freshman finale (17.6 mil/6.9).

Versus its series debut, for those who may wonder, Empire was up 64 and 76 percent — the largest Season 1/Season 2 leap in 10 years, since House.

In a TVLine poll, 60 percent predicted Empire would return higher than its finale. TVLine readers gave the Season 2 premiere an average grade of “B+.”

Opening Fox’s night, the tepidly reviewed Rosewood debuted to 7.5 mil and a 2.4, nearly doubling both Hell’s Kitchen‘s year-ago numbers (3.7 mil/1.3) and Red Band Society‘s year-ago launch (4 mil/1.3, at 9 pm).

Elsewhere….

NBC | The Mysteries of Laura returned to 7.1 mil/1.2, up from its freshman finale (7.3 mil/1.1) and scoring its best rating since Feb. 25. SVU‘s two-hour opener (8.3 mil/1.8) was down 18 and 23 percent from its previous premiere — marking a series low for a premiere — but up from its May finale (7.2 mil/1.4) and netted its biggest non-crossover audience in a year.

ABC | The Middle (8.2 mil/2.1) and The Goldbergs (7.6 mil/2.4) both surges vs. their May finales and veritably matched their previous premieres. Modern Family (9.5 mil/3.2) and black-ish (7.3 mil/2.4) surged from their finales but were down sharply from previous premieres. Nashville (4.9 mil/1.2) slipped 14 percent from its year-ago opener but ticked up from its finale.

CBS | Survivor (9.7 mil/2.5) was even with its previous premiere, while Big Brother (6.5 mil/2.2) slipped 7 and 15 percent from its previous finale.

Original Story: Fox’s Empire opened Season 2 on Wednesday night with a 10.4 rating/17 share in metered-market households, based on very preliminary data cited by TV Media Insights. That marks the Fox megahit’s second-best metered-market rating ever, trailing only the two-hour freshman finale (which averaged 10.8/17).

Want scoop on any of the above shows? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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49 Comments
  1. jack says:

    Thats still incredible. I loved the premiere including Chris Rocks guest star appearance because the show is so absurd it makes his role as a gang leader more believable than it would be in another show. Dont overdo the guest appearances though.

    • Joanne says:

      I agree too many guest appearances on one episode can be distracting and overboard.

    • I loved the premiere as did niyla styers but it did have a bit too many guest appearances. that being said the epi was good and chris rock was awesome and actually somewhat convincing as a gangster.

      Of the New Shows that have premiered, this is how I rank them in terms of impressiveness in RELATIVE ratings:
      Muppets: 2.9 (ABC) – No lead in & will be tough to beat week to week in timeslot
      Rosewood 2.4 (FOX) – NO lead in for a FOX show that netted a 2.4 is great
      Blindspot: 3.1 (NBC) – benefitted greatly from The Voice but held most of demo
      Limitless: 1.9 (CBS) – Actually rose a .1 from lead-in so let’s see
      Scream Queens: 1.7 (FOX) – Given it’s huge build-up, not impressive
      Life in Pieces: 2.6 (CBS) – Fell almost TWO clear points from TBBT lead in
      Minority Report: 1.1 (FOX) – Dead on arrival. Meagan Good has no luck lol

      SQ may not be as bad as the numbers show because it will be a social media interaction juggernaut week-to-week. I’m not hearing great things about the QUALITY of the rosewood epi so even though the ratings were impressive, if majority of watchers feel this way, then it’s due for a huge dive.

  2. Rster says:

    Horrible night of tv. I can’t wait for the CW shows to start.

  3. Williams says:

    They need to work on the writing

  4. Cassie says:

    Rosewood was the worst thing I’ve seen all season. Total garbage. TERRIBLE writing, horrible cliche’s, bad acting. Just awful. Can’t imagine those ratings will hold.

    • tvjunkie says:

      well considering, with only a handful of exceptions, the season just started on Monday with most shows having not debuted yet “all season” doesn’t really mean much at this point. something worse could some along anytime of the next couple weeks

    • KC says:

      Yes, Rosewood was sooooooo boring. I was waiting for it to ‘get good’ – which it never did.

  5. shawn washington says:

    Loved empire, I was impressed. It’s very entertaining. Love cookie,.I also loved the message.

  6. Gerri says:

    Umm I still don’t understand the demo rating system. Will you post the actual viewer ratings for Wednesday? and for the rest of the shows. Big Brother? ANTM?

  7. Relaxxx says:

    Yeaaah Empire! The second episode looks even better than the first one! Can’t wait! This season looks awesome!

  8. Empire Queen says:

    Rosewood was dead boring. I love me some Morris Chestnut, but the show is too cliche and not interesting at all. I see a cancellation coming.

    Empire was great! However, I wish they would put a damper on the gay overtones. Overall, a very good start to season 2.

  9. Mr. Tran K says:

    Watch Rosewood last night but it was 100% awful and I called it “worst new drama of the season”. Hope the numbers of the Morris Chestnut led series should go down in week 2.

    • Dean says:

      From what I hear there was a lot of talk about it so I’m guessing people wanted to see what it had to offer. The next few weeks will be the deciding factor.

  10. Yvonne says:

    It appears that I’m in the minority, but i was disappointed in Empires’s premier.
    It had its moments, but Something about it just didn’t work for me. Hopefully, next week will be better for me.

    • chaosrainz says:

      No, I wasn’t too happy with it and neither were some of my co-workers and people they knew. It seemed backwards from last season and too over the top. I won’t go into specifics for the people who haven’t seen it. If it stays like this, I’ll only be giving it a few more episodes. I need to free up my time anyway and anything I can drop- the sooner the better.

    • LT says:

      AGREED! I thought I was alone. Should’ve been way better than what it was for this hotly anticipated season premiere.

    • Pam says:

      I totally agree with Yvonne, the premiere was a big let down for many people. It started with cookie in the gorilla suit…. what was up with that? REALLY? Was that the best that the writers could come up with? The music that they selected was Blah blah blah boring! Chris Rock was ok, it was a switch for him, but not totally believable! Cookie sister Carol played by Tasha Smith OMG. Tasha is an Awesome actress, and that was the role that they gave her to play…so disappointing! The head in the box came too soon, not believable! Hakeem acted like a mamas boy, so weird when last season he didnt even like his mama! Last season, we couldn’t take our eyes off the screen. But for Season 2 premiere, i was checking my emails within the first 10 mins of the show! The only part that kept my attention was when they showed Lucious Lyons!

  11. Nicole says:

    The middle was great last night! Solid premier for a show in its 7th season.
    Modern family and SVU were also really good. A great night of tv on wed!

  12. Jared says:

    Rosewood was so generic and unoriginal(like most new shows this fall). I bet most of those viewers were just waiting for Empire to start.

  13. Woody7 says:

    I am convinced I am the only one watching the Mysteries of Laura. Aside from the awful name, I like it. It fills the Psych-shaped hole in my heart.

    • Dean says:

      Funny you should say that if it gets canned they could ship it to USA.

    • MyFairLady says:

      I’m here to comment on TMoL…season 1 was all over the place even though I stuck with it because I love Debra Messing. Season 2 opener was very strong and more focused. Loved it. I’m glad demo is up, hope the season keeps it at that pace or even better.

    • brooklynguy27 says:

      @woody7 i love Mysteries of Laura. it;s one of my favorite shows and the cast work really well together, you are not alone!.

  14. No surprise that EMPIRE kicked butt. Mysteries of Laura needs to keep up what happened this week for it to get more than the 13 episodes it was renewed for. Will it happen? Let’s see what next week does.

  15. kmw says:

    I knew Empire would come out like that. I thought I might go a little higher. Rosewood coming out so high surprised me but I expect it to come down. NBC’S numbers didn’t surprise me and ABC at least their comedies did alright

  16. Boiler says:

    Hopefully Nashville can hang in there as the city keeps contributing money to help ABC with cots.

  17. Jax&Juice's Girl says:

    LOOOOOVE EMPIRE last night Chris Rock as a dangerous gangsta was a surprise not use to seeing! As for that Rosewood show i’m not surprised that a lot DON’T LIKE IT…..I had a feeling it was going to bomb somehow. I respect Morris Chestnut but his show is not going to last.

  18. KC says:

    Sorry, I’ll never understand why people watch Empire -it’s really terrible.

  19. DavidSask says:

    Rosewood deservedly so will lose more than half of its pilot ratings next week!!!

  20. Matt Heren says:

    Lost me for the season with same old false narrative about the downtrodden blacks! Having Al ( not so sharp man) Sharpton in a cameo was the signal to change the channel for good!

  21. Jason spencer says:

    I really like this show but why has no one mentioned the political agenda they pushed for the first 10 minutes. I watch shows to relax and escape, not to be lectured to. I can always go watch cnn if I need a political commentary!!!

  22. Sister Rati says:

    Lee Daniels and the white writers and producers should stop trying to indoctrinate the African-American community into a gay lifestyle with all this homosexual kissing. Gay story line is fine but stop bullying us by saying we are homophibic simply because we do not choose to be gay. Admittedly the program at it’s core is extremely entertaining, however the ugly side of Empire feels like a gay recruitment program designed TO TURN OR TURN OUT INNOCENT BLACK HETEROSEXUALS while using the icon of the strong Black woman and Hip Hop music to do so. It is dirty and sickening. It is Sodom and Gomorrah

  23. Tonya coker says:

    Empire is not just capturing the black race but empire is mine and all of my friend that are of the white race….I believe empire will be America’s number 1 show by final of season 2!!!! And very surprised to Rosewood’ ratings are not higher!!! Just aggregated that so many presume that just African American are the majority viewers…!!!! I love EMPIRE MY FAVORITE SHOW EVER!!!!

  24. Constance Sowell says:

    I thought the show was about a black family music empire and its struggles to get and stay on top ,Now its seems its about the middle sons homosexuality and those rough aggressive sexual scenes.I find it offensive having to watch his sexual encounters every episode, Its seems that’s all the show is about now . The show straying too far from the original plot. We know he’s gay it doesn’t have to be a part of every episode.It also makes him appear whorish going from one man to another with no real emotional connections.