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‘Empire’ Leads Fox to Another Wednesday Overnight Victory

'Designated Survivor' and 'Speechless' Remain Particularly Positive on ABC

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What follows are the metered market (overnight) results in households by network and by half-hour for Wednesday, September 28:

Household Rating/Share

Fox: 5.7/ 9, CBS: 5.1/ 8, ABC: 4.9/ 8, NBC: 4.0/ 7, CW: 0.8/ 1

Percent Change from the Year-Ago Evening:
CW: +14, ABC: + 9, NBC: – 9, CBS: -12, Fox: -17

-Winners:

“Survivor” (CBS), “Lethal Weapon” (Fox), “Empire” (Fox), “Modern Family” (ABC), “Designated Survivor” (ABC)

-Very Promising:

“Speechless” (ABC)

-Sluggish:

“Blindspot” (NBC), “Law & Order: SVU” (NBC), “Chicago PD” (NBC), “Code Black” (CBS)

-Losers:

“Whose Line is it Anyway?” (CW)

—–

-Ratings Breakdown:
Fox is the network to beat on Wednesday care of season three of “Empire,” which topped the night at a 6.5 rating/10 share in the household overnights from 9-10 p.m. ET. But that 6.5 household rating was 10 percent below the 7.2/11 for the season-opener one week earlier, and 28 percent below the 9.0/14 on the year-ago week.

Week two of “Empire” lead-in “Lethal Weapon” continues to benefit by the “Halo Effect,” building by 13 percent in the second half-hour (4.6/ 8 to 5.2/ 8) and averaging a very respectable 4.9/ 8 in the household overnights from 8-9 p.m. ET. Comparably, that was only eight percent below the 5.3/ 9 week-ago opener. And that 5.3 rating in the overnights translated into 7.93 million viewers and a 2.2 rating/8 share in adults 18-49, based on the Live + Same Day data.

Tops in the 8 p.m. hour was veteran “Survivor” on CBS, already an addiction again this season, with a 5.5/ 9 from 8-9 p.m. Comparably, a 5.7/10 in the household overnights for the 90-minute season-opener last week translated into a solid 9.44 million viewers and a 2.3/ 9 in adults 18-49 (based on the Live + Same Day data).

Next on CBS was the season-premiere of “Criminal Minds” at a 5.5/ 9, which finished second in the 9 p.m. hour and dropped by 11 percent from the 6.2/10 for the year-ago season premiere. That led into the second season-premiere of medical drama “Code Black” at a second-place 4.2/ 7 at 10 p.m. Comparably, “Code Black” slipped by 25 percent from its year-ago series debut (5.6/10 on 9/30/15). And the overnight household retention out of the 9:30 p.m. portion of “Criminal Minds” (5.4/ 9) was 78 percent.

In week two news on ABC, 10 p.m. drama “Designated Survivor,” starring Kiefer Sutherland, won the hour with ease at a 5.9/10. Comparably, this was a hefty 74 percent above year-ago occupant “Nashville” (3.4/ 6 on 9/30/15). It built from lead-in “black-ish” (#4: 4.0/ 6 at 9:30 p.m.) by 48 percent. And a 7.9/12 in households for its premiere last week translated into 10.04 million viewers and a 2.2/ 8 in adults 18-49 (again based on the Live + Same Day data). Yes, ABC…”Designated Survivor” is looking very positive.

Also in week two news was ABC sitcom “Speechless” at a third-place 4.3/ 7 at 8:30 p.m., which matched its “The Goldbergs” lead-in at 8 p.m. and only dropped by nine percent from its 4.7/ 8 week-ago opener. Consider “Speechless” another promising new entry for ABC.

At 9 p.m. on ABC was “Modern Family” at a second-place 5.3/ 8, which was nine percent below the 5.8/ 9 season-premiere last week. And that topped Wednesday on ABC, as usual, with 8.24 million viewers and a 2.6/ 9 in adults 18-49.

On NBC, relocated drama “Blindspot” finished fourth in the 8 p.m. hour with a 3.9/ 7 in the household overnights. Comparably, this was 22 percent below year-ago occupant “The Mysteries of Laura” (5.0/ 8 on 9/30/15), which got the axe because it skewed too old. Last week, a 4.3/ 7 in the overnights for “Blindspot” only equaled 6.08 million viewers and a 1.3/ 5 in adults 18-49.

Next on NBC was veteran “Law & Order: SVU” at 4.1/ 7 at 9 p.m., which was equal to the year-ago evening (but 21 percent below the 5.2/ 8 for last week’s season premiere). And it led into “Chicago PD” at a third-place 3.9/ 7 at 10 p.m., which dropped by seven percent from the year-ago 4.2/ 7 season-opener.

The CW populated the evening with a repeat of “Penn & Teller: Fool Us” (#5: 0.9/ 2 at 8 p.m.) into two episodes (original and repeat) of “Whose Line is it Anyway” (9 p.m. #5: 0.8/ 1; 9:30 p.m.: #5, 0.7/ 1).

Source: Nielsen Media Research

What follows are the overnight results by half-hour:

8:00 p.m.
ABC – “The Goldbergs”: 4.3/ 7 (#3)
CBS – “Survivor”: 5.5/ 9 (#1)
NBC – “Blindspot”: 4.0/ 7 (#4)
Fox – “Lethal Weapon”: 4.6/ 8 (#2)
CW – “Penn & Teller: Fool Us” (R): 0.9/ 2 (#5)

8:30 p.m.
ABC – “Speechless”: 4.3/ 7 (#3)
CBS – “Survivor”: 5.6/ 9 (#1)
NBC – “Blindspot”: 3.8/ 6 (#4)
Fox – “Lethal Weapon”: 5.2/ 8 (#2)
CW – “Penn & Teller: Fool Us” (R): 0.9/ 1 (#5)

9:00 p.m.
ABC – “Modern Family”: 5.3/ 8 (#3)
CBS – “Criminal Minds” (season premiere): 5.5/ 9 (#1)
NBC – “Law & Order: SVU”: 4.1/ 6 (#4)
Fox – “Empire”: 6.5/10 (#1)
CW – “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”: 0.8/ 1 (#5)

9:30 p.m.
ABC – “black-ish”: 4.0/ 6 (#4)
CBS – “Criminal Minds” (season premiere): 5.4/ 9 (#1)
NBC – “Law & Order: SVU”: 4.2/ 7 (#4)
Fox – “Empire”: 6.6/10 (#1)
CW – “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” (R): 0.7/ 1 (#5)

10:00 p.m.
ABC – “Designated Survivor”: 5.9/10 (#1)
CBS – “Code Black” (season premiere): 4.3/ 7 (#2)
NBC – “Chicago PD”: 3.9/ 7 (#3)

10:30 p.m.
ABC – “Designated Survivor”: 5.8/10 (#1)
CBS – “Code Black” (season premiere): 4.1/ 7 (#2)
NBC – “Chicago PD”: 3.9/ 7 (#3)

Source: Nielsen Media Research

Written by Marc Berman

Marc Berman

Marc Berman has been writing professionally since 1999 and is the author of weekly column “Mr. Television” for Campaign US (www.campaignlive.com). Most recently, Berman was the creator and Editor-in-Chief of website and newsletter TV Media Insights for Cross MediaWorks. From 1999-2011, he was the Senior Editor for Mediaweek and has also written for The New York Daily News, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Emmy Magazine, among others. Berman has also appeared on “Entertainment Tonight,” “Extra,” “Access Hollywood,” “Inside Edition,” “The CBS Evening News,” E!, CNN, CNBC, Fox News and MSNBC.

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    • 6.4 million viewers is not good, no matter how many times the network PR Departments act awed by such “high” ratings…

  1. I can’t believe Notorious is leading as the “least favorite.” My wife and I were hooked in the first 10 minutes.

    • It is awful. You may not be aware of the reviews; in fact Adweek Television said these three things just yesterday; 1) “one of the worst new Fall shows, 2) after week 1, an “out and out disaster” and 3) “audiences rejected Notorious. Having watched week 1, I tend to agree.

      • That AdWeek says that means the network has dropped it from contention. You’d never read that on a show that the network still supported. You’d be hearing about social media interest and uncounted internet viewers.