Empire Ratings Decline

Ratings: Empire Experiences Its First Significant Slip

The Lyons have, finally, been (slightly) tamed.

Fox’s Empire, which last week returned down juuuust a hair from its Season 1 finale, this week drew 13.7 million total viewers and a 5.5 rating (per finals), slipping 15 and 18 percent.

But sill — big numbers. Make no mistake.

Opening Fox’s night, Rosewood (6.2 mil/2.0) was down 17 percent from its debut.


CBS | Survivor (9.4 mil/2.4) dipped from its season opener, while Criminal Minds (10.1 mil/2.0, average reader grade of “B”) dropped 14 and 26 percent from its previous premiere (which didn’t battle Empire), yet was up a tick from its May finale. Code Black debuted to 8.6 mil/1.5, up from CSI: Cyber‘s most recent performance in the time slot (6.7 mil/1.2) but down from Stalker‘s year-ago launch (9.1 mil/2.0).

NBC | Mysteries of Laura (7.4 mil/1.2) was steady, while SVU (6.7 mil/1.7) slipped 18 percent and one tenth. Chicago P.D. returned to 6.7 mil/1.7 (and an “A” grade), down from its previous premiere (8.6 mil/1.9) — which didn’t have a lead-in that was up against Empire — but delivering its best non-crossover rating in a year.

ABC | The Middle (7.9 mil/2.2) ticked up while The Goldbergs (7.4 mil/2.4) was flat; Modern Family (8.6 mil/2.9) and black-ish (6 mil/1.8) slipped 6 and 25 percent in the demo, respectively. Nashville (4.8 mil/1.1) ticked down to tie its series low in the demo.

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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  1. damroberts744 says:

    Survivor still rocking it.

    • dan says:

      Survivor has been excellent so far this season (hopefully it holds up the rest of the season)! There was a great article recently in NY Times regarding the longevity and success of Survivor. It continues to have a core group of fans and has maintained about the same average rating for the last few years. It has been a workhorse on CBS’ schedule and continues to win its time slot even after 15 years. The premise was that other shows which started at about the same time (CSI and American Idol) are either done or ending soon while Survivor continues to perform well for CBS.

    • BenM says:

      Man, those first two episodes of survivor may have been the strongest combined first two episodes ever. It has everything.

  2. wrstlgirl says:

    Rosewood has been canceled in my house following Minority Report off the DVR.

    • keylimepie78 says:

      I want to like Rosewood as it has so much promise but there is something about the cop character (maybe it’s the actress, maybe it’s her attitude, IDK) that I do not like and it will prevent me from being a fan. I haven’t watched this week’s episode yet. I’ll watch it and if she still annoys me, it’s a goner. :(

      • wrstlgirl says:

        i decided to take a different approach to my television viewing habits this season. I’m no longer going to stick with a show in hopes that it will get better. My DVR gets quite a workout through the week recording shows that I love so if a show doesn’t grab me in the first couple of eps it’s a goner.

      • Relaxx says:

        I really understand what your saying. Something just seemed off.

    • The Beach says:

      Yep, I’ve watched it for 2 episodes and it just hasn’t grabbed me. Time to clean out the over-worked dvr.

  3. Erika says:

    Once again,ouch for some shows.And is this a record low for Empire?

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      You are joking, si? The series debuted to 9.9 mil/3.8.

      • Erika says:

        Im not joking but Im NOT remember Empire series debuted rating.Thanks!

      • Bob Jones says:

        Sweet mother of [Insert Appropriate Deity Here]. I have never watched an episode of Empire and will have to start. What I don’t understand is how did a Network TV completely smash the 18-49 Adults ratings like a boss?

        I don’t think the Blacklist, The Following, Revolution, or any of the recent #1 shows ever reached that high [excluding GOT/TWD]

  4. Shaun says:

    Yay Nashville,steady is good these days.Empire is pretty boring so far.

    • Ray says:

      I haven’t watched season two yet (nor felt compelled to), but I suspected Empire would suffer creatively when FOX extended its episode order.

      Glad Nashville is holding steady.

      • Sally McLinn says:

        You make a good point. Greedy fox. Instead of ordering 12 eps they went 18 eps. And the writing is so bad. The storyline is getting ridiculous, and even Taraji “Cookie” who I love has little impact. She storms into a room, says a few sassy words, blesses out her family and workers and walks out. Costume changes are multiple. There’s no depth to these characters.

        • johnhelvete says:

          I cant blame Fox for doing more than 12 episodes, but I think Fox made a huge mistake by doing 18 episodes. The fast moving story lines were one of the key reasons for the success of season 1, Fox should have gone with 15-16 episodes at most.

          • David4 says:

            Scandal suffers the same. The first 13 episodes of season two were amazing. ABC ordered 9 more and it’s been going downhill ever sense.

          • TIgerLIL says:

            Same thing I said last year when I heard they were moving to 18 episode I was like see now you doing too much Fox is a show killer forreal…

        • herman1959 says:

          Hmmm, I had the same thoughts by episode 5 of last season, so I stopped watching at that point. I’m just checking here to make sure I haven’t missed something…it doesn’t sound like it. That said, to each his/her own – Empire fans enjoy!

        • TIgerLIL says:

          Exactly you hit all the key point and on schedule…thanks

  5. phil says:

    Haha… the premiere wasn’t that good. The writers relied on gimmicks and drama and not a story. I hate that. Typical hollywood, their intention is to make money and not to make a good story.

  6. Mr. Tran K says:

    Watched Code Black last night but it was OK in my opinion and going up against Chicago PD and Nashville in the 10 pm Wednesday night time slot is going to be tough for the Marcia Gay Harden fronted series. As for Rosewood, I knew it was about to go down in numbers from last week’s premiere and should do the same in week 3.

    • dan says:

      Code Black had more total viewers than Chicago PD and Nashville. In the demo, it was above Nashville and only one-tenth lower than Chicago PD. Not bad for a new show with an aging Oscar winner as the lead (no offense to Marcia Gay Harden, I think she is a great actress, but CBS clearly wasn’t going for the younger demo by casting her in the lead role).

      • Mr. Tran K says:

        CBS has been too greedy as America’s Most Watched Network for the past decade now and I’m still tired when long running shows such as NCIS, Criminal Minds and a few others have been on the air for no more than ten years. You guys can start complaining if you dare. #StopComplaining

  7. Sally McLinn says:

    Not surprising about Empire. If you visit the imdb boards, people are perplexed and not amused at the direction of the writing. All last season it was about the IPO and this season no mention of the IPO or the investors. No mention of what happened to Vernon’s body. A lot of loose ends. And it’s getting so that the characters are just not memorable IMO. I watch Blackish instead.

    • martin says:

      Andre and Rhonda buried the body, on screen….

    • Bigdede says:

      The lesbian billionaire is the new investor. And they finished that IPO storyline last season. Remember Andre was committed and the family went to him congratulating him for the work he did with the IPO and how it was a success.

    • Annie says:

      The company went public in the last episode of the first season. I agree that the show has problems, but the story is the family, not the company. I do agree that they should show how the family’s actions are impacting the company, and to that end some of the board members should become regular or recurring characters. There is no way that board members of a publicly traded company would put up with the actions of this family.

  8. kmw says:

    Yes Empire’s numbers are still big but that definitely was a bigger dip than I thought they would take. I also thought Rosewood would go down further. Who would have guessed that is now more likely that Minority Report will be cancelled before Rosewood? Not me. Survivor keeps on going. ABC did respectably especially going up against Empire

  9. Andrea says:

    I don’t watch Empire, but those demo numbers got my attention all the same. Wow!

  10. nickspace says:

    It’s been a year and I still mourn the loss of Stalker.

  11. eric7740 says:

    It always amazes me how quickly people turn on a show…. Earlier this year it was all, “Empire is amazing!!!” And now it’s “Empire sucks, its no good.” We’re just 2 episodes into the season folks, give a little a wiggle room would you??? That’s why shows don’t last long these days anymore, one “boring” or slow paced episode and people are done!!! Hang in there folks, good things come to those who wait.

    • dru mont says:

      I agree – it is absurd how fickle we have become in regards to television shows. If a single episode disappoints us, we overreact and start a backlash, boycott the show, write nasty e-mails to the network, etc. I have seen it happen time and time again – it’s the curse of the short-attention age. One week people moan the series is chewing through storylines at a too-rapid pace and then the next week they lament over slow pacing. We have no patience and no loyalty but we have plenty of gripping.

    • Guy says:

      It was never a great show. It was always an over-the-top melodramatic mess full of stereotypes. Entertaining at times, sure. But not a great show. Maybe people are just finally starting to realize.

      • Annie says:

        It’s a soap opera. Soaps are supposed to be melodramatic. That’s probably why 22 million people watched last week’s episode over a three day period.

    • Wendy says:

      You should see the comments section on Hollywood Reporter and TVbythenumbers. Awful just awful. The ratings slip and suddenly everyone is trash talking the show and making racist comments. It’s really uncalled for and absurd. Smh

  12. Nancy says:

    Seems low for Chicago PD for a season premiere. I think they are going to have to do a major shake up this year.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      As denoted above, it’s low (in part) because it’s the first time it’s premiere lead-in was opposite The Empire.

  13. DD says:

    i don’t start watching show until a half hour in so that i can skip all the commercials i wonder how many other people do that

  14. Annie says:

    Empire’s slip is not surprising. The first episode was not strong, and it was due to settle down. Based on the promo, next week’s episode should be better, but I expect the ratings to be down, because yesterday’s episode was not great either, and there are too many changes that people don’t seem to like.

  15. Nicole says:

    The ending to yesterday’s the Middle was excellent. Could not have asked for anything better!!!!

  16. N says:

    The Miiddle!

  17. Nickie G. says:

    Empire has so much potential. That’s why all these unnecessary guest appearances bother me and also viewers who were once cheering for this show are now losing patience because they want closure from the death of a character from last season’s finale. Last night was the 2nd ep folks! Just enjoy the show and see what happens with the story and characters. I also hope the music gets better like S1. Please, don’t let Lucious Lyon rap anymore for as long as the show is on tv.

  18. KC says:

    People are starting to realize it’s not “all that”

  19. Erica says:

    I’m sorry Empire, I went to bed early, but I watched it as soon as I woke up!!!!

  20. melandy says:

    We get it. Gays have rights. Empire, in my opinion, is too much. Some things can be left to the imagination, or not.

  21. Sister Rati says:

    Lee Daniels and the white writers and producers of Empire do not care about their African-American target market because they don’t respect Black people. Luring us into the program with Hip-hop music and then ambushing us with all that gay kissing is an obvious affront to our heterosexual sensibilities but was pedophilia given a pass when Lucious told the Chris Rock that he would sign his daughter to the Empire record label and then slip her the wood??? The storyline seemed to insinuate that the character was a minor!
    Caged Cookie in the gorilla suit harked back to the 1920 jungle motifs of popular Jazz Age night clubs wherr Blacks provided rhe enrertainment in white n only establishments.
    Contrary to rhe signage hels up at the rally in ep 1 indicating that “All lives matter”, duh! Thay is a given. Where are the missing 68,000 , Black women who have disappeared in this country? No publicity for them huh? Black lives do matter.

  22. live2give says:

    Empire focused less on the family issue (LUCIOUS) as last season and too much more on homosexuality. It’s like the producers are shoving it down your throat.. For this reason I have decided to stop watching.. I’m not a homophobic but, It’s just too much..

  23. mike von bach says:

    EMPIRE MAY HAVE TOO MUCH boy on boy smooching .

  24. mike von bach says:


  25. Kristen says:

    Empire season 2 is sadly terrible. It is worse than a average bad soap story. I don’t understand what happened! The writers must have demanded more money and told to take a hike. I cannot torture myself watching and hoping it gets better. Bummer. Big Time.