Fox hip-hop soap 'Empire' hits all-time high in total viewership

'Empire' rises again to hit all-time viewership high in total viewers

This song just won't quit: "Empire" hit another high note in the ratings this week.

Wednesday's episode of the hip-hop soap — the last installment before next week's Season 1 finale blowout — delivered 14.9-million total viewers, according to Nielsen.

That's a 4% hike compared with last week and the — wait for it — ninth straight week of viewing gains for the series.

Broken record, yes, but those kinds of hikes are very rare in TV these days. Or any days.

Dig into the statistics and you find more gold.

Here's a nugget: Last week's episode delivered a 37 rating among blacks aged 18 to 49, which was 4 ratings points higher than what this year's Super Bowl delivered in that demographic group.

The Super Bowl. The most-watched TV show in history.

Another point: Not even daylight saving time, which started Sunday morning, could slow down "Empire." Typically, prime-time shows, and, indeed, all TV, drops in viewership as the days get longer and people spend more time outdoors. That "Empire" didn't succumb to the traditional spring fall-off is another sign of the show's appeal.

The only sign of cooling: Wednesday's "Empire" did match — but not exceed — its overall 18-to-49 rating from last week. That suggests that at least in the key demographic group, the show may have peaked.

Or maybe not. The season finale next week will likely bring out even more curiosity-seekers and probably give "Empire" its highest numbers yet.

Then it's on to next season. Fox will announce in May where the show — which has already been picked up for Season 2 — will land on the schedule.

What do you think of "Empire"?


Twitter: @scottcollinsLAT

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6:06 p.m.: This post has been updated with information about "Empire's" performance through the start of daylight saving time.