Ratings: ‘Law & Order: SVU,’ ‘Criminal Minds’ drop despite ‘Empire’ absence; ‘American Idol’ slides

Law & Order: SVU logoWell, so much for the notion that the lower ratings for “Criminal Minds” and “Law & Order: SVU” were entirely the fault of “Empire” being on the air. Blaming competition can at times be one of the biggest misnomers when talking about ratings for some of your favorite shows. We’d typically say that there is something to the notion that you fall behind on shows while watching “Empire” and don’t want to catch up, but neither of the shows mentioned are serials; you could just tune in to either one of them without knowing a thing about the past several episodes and still be okay.

Ultimately, “Criminal Minds” scored a 2.0 in the 18-49 demo (the most important measure for advertisers and therefore networks) last night without Cookie Lyon standing in its way, which is down from the 2.1 it scored for its last new episode. Meanwhile, “SVU” went down by over 15% to a 1.3 rating. Granted, another common excuse you can give to lower ratings is that coming off of a reasonably-long hiatus, viewers forget to tune in at the right time. This may have happened a little with the latter.

Here is the good news: If you love either show, there is really not a reason to be concerned. “SVU” has already been renewed for a 17th season, while “Criminal Minds” is a lock to be coming back. Both are institutions at their respective networks, and also draw huge syndication money. It may sound like we were hard on these shows in the earlier paragraphs, but remember that they are in their 10th and 16th seasons. They’re not going to draw anywhere near “Empire” numbers at this point, with or without the show around.

Elsewhere, another long-running show in “American Idol” slid all the way down to a 1.7 rating without “Empire,” which allowed “Survivor” to win the 8:00 p.m. hour with a 2.2.

One other note: Even without “Empire,” “Modern Family” lost over six-tenths of a ratings point versus its last new episode with a 2.8. There have only been a few times the show has gone below a 3 since the first season.

(Photo: NBC.)

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