How about this for one of the biggest surprises of the season so far? We thought that “Empire” was going to be a series that would be lucky to capture around two-thirds of the “American Idol” lead-in, and be a solid hit for Fox. Little did we know that it was actually going to be one of the best premieres that the show has had all year.
Overall, the Terence Howard – Taraji P. Henson series scored a 3.7 rating in the 18-49 demographic and more than 10 million viewers. In terms of a new series, this is the best launch of something for Fox since “Touch” (3.9) back in 2012. It even managed to eclipse the premieres for both “Gotham” (3.2) and “Sleepy Hollow” (3.4), which both at least had the power of name recognition on their side going into it.
“Empire” benefited mostly from a great cast, and also the music of Timbaland working to make this show more relevant to music fans. What is worth noting is that this follows a theme this year of shows with minority leads performing very well. “How to Get Away with Murder” had a similarly big premiere on ABC, and “black-ish” has become a good contributor into the ABC comedy lineup.
“Empire” actually managed to eclipse the premiere of “American Idol XIV,” which scored a decent-by-most-standards 3.1 rating. The crazy thing is that on the night of the aforementioned “Tough” premiere, this singing competition had a 6.4 rating. Enormous! It is crazy to think that in less than three years, the show has lost more than half of that audience. We cite the end of the singing-show fad, plus added competition of “The Voice” and a dated format, as the reasons for this.
Due to some preemptions on CBS and NBC, their numbers are a little hard to read. We will say now that “Galavant” did get some decent sampling Wednesday, as repeats of its premiere episodes drew a 1.0 and 0.7 rating in the 10:00 p.m. hour on ABC.
What’s your reaction to these numbers? Share with a comment, and head over here if you want to get some further TV updates on all we cover, courtesy of our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: Fox.)