Ratings: ‘Empire’ still surging; ‘Law & Order: SVU’ hits series low

Law & Order: SVU logoToday’s ratings article is truly a case at the moment of very good news for one show coupled with bad news for another.

Let’s start with what may get many people smiling, and that is the meteoric rise of “Empire” as a major pop-culture sensation. The series drew impressive ratings the first two weeks, but to go all the way up to a 4.3 rating in the 18-49 demographic two weeks in? That much is unheard of! It is hard to necessarily even find the right precedent for this; it has been years since a show rose three weeks in a row after it premiered, especially one with these sort of numbers to start with. To think, we thought going in that this would be a 2.0 series at best. Great for Fox, and this is helping “American Idol” (3.3, up three tenths versus last week) in its own way. For the first time in forever, the singing show has a worthy companion.

So what about the bad news? “Law & Order: SVU” (1.2) set a new series low last night on NBC, and it was for an episode directed by star Mariska Hargitay. You would think that would be a reason to get more people watching. While the ratings weren’t necessarily through the roof before “Empire” premiered, that show is seemingly hurting “SVU” pretty badly as competition, much more than “Criminal Minds” (which also notched a series low with a 1.9) ever did. Given how long this show has been on the air, we’d start the fan campaigns now to ensure that you get a season 17.

As for some other news, “Arrow” returned to a solid 1.1 on The CW, while “The Mentalist” improved to a 1.5. That show is not necessarily killing it, but its ratings on Wednesdays have been fairly decent for CBS.

Photo: NBC

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