Law & Order: SVU ratings surge for ‘Something Happened’; Empire season 4 falls

SVU season 19 episode 2We had a feeling that the Law & Order: SVU ratings were going to surge thanks to last night’s episode “Something Happened.” What we didn’t expect was for them to rise as much as they did.

SVU brought in a season-high 1.5 rating in the 18-49 demographic, and to go along with that its largest audience of the season in 7.1 million viewers. In the demo, this is the best total for the Mariska Hargitay series since February; meanwhile, this is the best performance of the show in total viewers since the season 18 premiere brought in 7.8 million. It’s also a better total than the majority of the show’s season 17 episodes.

One of the most impressive trends for SVU season 19 at the moment comes via the year-to-year measurements — so far, the series is down 4% in the demo versus season 18 and is almost even in total viewers. In an era where the majority of the shows lose 10-15% in both measurements year after year, this is incredible. It’s another reason that an SVU season 20 really should happen at NBC, and it’s going to be hard to justify it not happening. Around this time a year ago there was nothing more we wanted than seeing the show get a season 20; now, we’re angling for that plus a season 21 to see SVU top the original Law & Order in terms of longevity. It doesn’t seem as though the show is slowing down at all.

If you missed it, last night CarterMatt wrote a piece detailing the reasons why Hargitay should be considered for all the awards for “Something Happened.” Check that out here.

What happened to Empire?

We got a sense that it was coming, but we didn’t expect it to be so soon — last night the Fox drama fell behind both Modern Family and Survivor for #3 on the night. We just think that this show surged onto the market and while it’s certainly entertaining most of the super-serialized shows have a hard time retaining viewers year to year. There are exceptions a la Game of Thrones, but even The Walking Dead is starting to show some significant fatigue.

Meanwhile, it’s pretty incredible that a show in Survivor, (which has been around since May 2000) is finding a way to win a night. SVU, for the record, is one of the few prime time entertainment shows that has been around longer than much else. It first premiered back in 1999. It’s not even from this century! Part of the issue with modern shows is that they’re coming into such a divided market — it’s easy for long-running shows to stay on the air since they’ve got some of that nostalgia and are so ingrained as a natural part of viewers’ lives.

What do you think about Wednesday night’s ratings as a whole? Be sure to share in the comments!

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