Fox's Empire Second Season Debut Delivers Big Results

Fox’s “Empire” picked up where it left off a season ago -- blowing away competitors big and small.

The second season debut of “Empire” soared to a Nielsen preliminary 6.7 rating/20 share among 18-49 viewers for its Wednesday 9 p.m. time period. That's about the same level as its season finale of a year ago, which was at a 6.9 rating.

Last year, “Empire” had a rare run for any TV prime-time show -- rising in viewership for every single episode of its 13 episode run. It started with a 4.5 rating, rising to a 6.9 rating for its finale.

In an unusual effort, new Fox drama “Rosewood” at 8 p.m. wasn’t given the lead-in from “Empire” -- but it didn’t need it. The show took in a 2.4/9, equal to CBS’ hour-and-a-half new season debut for “Survivor,” which tallied a 2.4/8. “Survivor” was at a 2.7 rating for its season premiere of a year ago.

The season premiere for ABC’s “The Middle” did well with a 2.1/8; NBC’s “The Mysteries of Laura” did less well with a 1.2/4. “Middle” was even with its year-ago start, while “Laura” was down from its 2.0 18-49 rating premiere a year ago.

ABC also offered good results with a new season of “The Goldbergs” -- with a 2.4/8 equal to its premiere results of a year ago. But ABC did less well with “black-ish” and “Nashville” was down 0.9 and 0.1 rating points to a 2.4/7 and 1.3/4. This was partly due to competition from CBS’ “Big Brother” finale (9:30 to 11 p.m) which registered a 2.2/7.

Wednesdays’ formerly strong show “Modern Family” sank to a 3.1/10 in the 9 p.m. slot against “Empire.” It had a 3.8 rating start of a year ago.

For the night, Fox led in adult 18-49 viewers with a 4.4/15, followed by CBS at 2.3/8; ABC with 2.1/7; NBC at 1.6/5; and CW at 0.3/1. Fox also was tops in overall viewers at 11.7 million, followed by CBS at  8.1 million; NBC, 7.8 million; ABC, 7.1 million; and CW 939,000.

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