TV ratings: Fox dominates the night with ‘American Idol,’ ‘Empire’

Lucious Lyon, played by Terrence Howard, toasts his family in Wednesday night's episode of "Empire."
(Chuck Hodes / Fox)

Fox’s “Empire” is on a roll.

According to Nielsen, the drama earned a strong rating of 4.3 in the key 18-to-49-year-old demographic, while drawing 10.9 million viewers Wednesday night. The show, which premiered Jan. 7, was first in the key demo and second-most-watched overall, trailing slightly behind “American Idol.”

Created by Academy Award nominee Lee Daniels and Emmy Award-winner Danny Strong, the show follows music tycoon Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard). After being diagnosed with a terminal illness, Lucious has to decide how to divvy up his business among his three sons: Jamal (Jussie Smollett), Andre (Trai Byers) and Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray).

According to Canvs, a social-TV data tool created by social-media analytics firm Mashwork, there were 253,487 tweets about Wednesday’s episode. Of those tweets, 61,090 contained reactions such as “love,” “good,” “crazy” and “excited.”


Meanwhile, singing competition “American Idol” also stayed solid in ratings. The Fox show averaged a 3.3 in the key demo and averaged the most viewers with 11.5 million people tuning in at 8 p.m.

Thanks to “Idol” and “Empire,” Fox was No. 1 overall and in the key demo. The network posted a rating of 3.8 in the key demo and averaged 11.2 million viewers.

CBS, which aired episodes of “The Mentalist,” “Criminal Minds” and “Stalker,” came in second with a rating of 1.6 in the key demo and 9.2 million viewers.

Of the network’s Wednesday lineup, “Criminal Minds” was the most watched both overall and in the key demo. Though it dropped 14% from last week, it came in third with a rating of 1.9 in the key demo. The show averaged 10.1 million viewers.


“The Mentalist,” which averaged 9.5 million viewers, and “Stalker,” which averaged 7.9 million viewers, tied for fourth in the key demo with a rating of 1.5.

On NBC, “Law & Order: SVU” was also down 14% from last week, hitting its series low with a rating of 1.9 in the key demo. The episode racked up 6.7 million viewers.

“Chicago P.D.” also tied for fourth with “Stalker” and “Mentalist” with a rating of 1.5. The show averaged 6.9 million viewers.

Also on the network, “Mysteries of Laura” averaged a rating of 0.8 in the key demo and about 4.8 million viewers.


NBC ended up third with a rating of 1.2 in the key demo and roughly 6.2 million viewers.

Meanwhile, ABC aired reruns of “The Middle,” “The Goldbergs,” “Modern Family,” “black-ish” and “Galavant.” Overall it averaged a rating of 1.0 in the key demo, rounding out the top five. The network was fourth overall with 3.8 million viewers.

Meanwhile, the CW’s “Arrow” stayed even with its most recent original on Dec. 10 with a rating of 1.1 in the key demo. “The 100" was up 20% from its most recent episode Dec. 17 with a rating of 0.6.

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