If your guess was: “Empire’s ratings just defied all the laws of broadcast television to once again rise to a record number” … then you would be right.
Wednesday’s episode hit 12.9 million viewers and a huge 5.1 rating among adults 18-49. That’s up 6 percent from last week in the demo (which, of course, was a record rating too).
In total viewers, Empire has gone up every single week — six total — since its premiere. Among adults 18-49, the series has risen five out of six weeks. I asked one broadcast analyst for a historic comparison point to help put the latest gain into some kind of perspective compared to other dramas that have risen in the ratings over the years. The rep replied: “Don’t have any new historical references for its post-premiere growth. It has literally exceeded all Nielsen total viewer records to date.” In other words, after Empire broke that record a couple weeks ago where the hip-hop drama series posted more consecutive ratings gains than any other new broadcast show in at least 23 years, the rise of Empire has become unprecidented.
There is, however, one drama left for Empire to beat in the demo, and it’s not on broadcast — AMC’s The Walking Dead. Sunday’s hour had a 6.2 rating. Until a couple weeks ago, I would have assumed TWD would be out of reach of any other drama. Not anymore.