Fox's 'Empire' Rockets To Success

Looking at TV viewership more than halfway through the TV season, most big returning program brands are still high on the list of key viewers that advertisers still desire. But one new program brand is looking to muscle in.

Following closely behind NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” CBS’ “Big Bang Theory” and CBS’ “Thursday Night Football” among Nielsen 18-49 viewers, season-to-date ending February 1 -- Fox’s “Empire” has rocketed to the fourth spot, among same-day ratings, and tied for third when factoring in seven days worth of time-shifting L7.

The new midseason show -- with four episodes through February 1 -- has earned an average 4.1 rating/12 share among 18-49 viewers, when looking at live program-plus-same day ratings (Live + SD). The show is also tie for third place, a 5.9/17, in L7.

NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” still leads at a 7.5/21 in the live-plus-same day metric, virtually identical to a 7.6/21 when adding in seven days of time-shifting. CBS’ “Big Bang Theory” is next at a 4.6/15 in live-plus-same day data (factoring all 13 episodes through Feb 1). “Big Bang” jumps to a 6.9/22 for L7.

Another new series -- CBS’ “Thursday Night Football” -- has also posted high numbers, averaging a 5.9/19, second to “Sunday Night Football” among live-plus-same day data (Live + SD) and tied with “Empire” for third for L7.

National TV advertisers still buy programming primarily on a C3 basis, the average commercial ratings plus three days of time-shifting -- which for some analysts, equates roughly to live program-plus-same day ratings. Increasingly, some national TV deals are being guaranteed on a C7 basis.

After the top group of five comes ABC’s “Modern Family,” 3.4/10 (Live + SD) and 5.6/17 (L7); ABC’s “How to Get Away With Murder,” 3.0/10 (Live + SD) and 5.2/16 (L7); NBC’s “Blacklist,” 3.3/10 (Live + SD) and 5.2/15 (L7); ABC’s “Scandal,” 3.2/10 (Live + SD) and 4.8/14 (L7); and NBC’s “The Voice” 3.3/10 (Live + SD) and 4.2/10 (L7).

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