Fox’s musical drama Empire returned Wednesday with a bang, and it had Lyon clan fans roaring.
Empire became the most tweeted one-hour scripted broadcast telecast ever with 1.3 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter. And the second-season premiere drew in 16.2 million viewers, Variety reports.
This is Fox’s highest-rated season premiere for a scripted show since House in 2009. The show’s audience has grown with nearly every episode and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down!
But maybe most importantly (to Fox), the episode averaged a 6.7 rating among adult viewers under 50, Vulture reports. That should make Empire the No. 1 entertainment series of premiere week in the under-50 demo.
It also confirms that last season’s ratings weren’t just lucky or some sort of fluke. Fans are invested in this hip-hop drama.
The episode followed another one of Cookie Lyon’s (Taraji P. Henson) schemes to take back “her” Empire and Lucious Lyon, played by Terrence Howard, locked up in jail. Many moments, including a murder and a power-hungry Jamal breakdown, stood out, but the most tweeted moment was when Anika (Grace Gealey) started dancing with Empire’s latest financial backer Mimi (Marisa Tomei). THR reports that 32,363 viewers tweeted per minute.
Although the episode crushed the competition, there is still a glimmer of hope for other networks. Empire will rank as the first episode of the series to not attract a larger audience than the episode before it, Vulture reports. The two-hour season one finale brought in 17.6 million viewers on March 18.
Many TV industry folk were sure the show would draw in big numbers due to the hype around the first season and the likelihood that viewers would want to catch up before season two started. But Fox did not run the full first season his summer, which might have affected the premiere’s numbers.
However, the numbers change after they are adjusted to include DVR. Come on, who actually has time to watch all of those commercials?
Empire is a social media and network phenom, and is predicted to remain that way. Why?
Maybe it’s because there just aren’t many shows on TV right now that play to this audience. We have crime drama after crime drama and reality show after reality show, but we don’t have many musical dramas. And sure, there have been and still are shows like Glee and Nashville, but the world of hip-hop—whether it be fiction or not—isn’t being covered.
Speaking of crime drama…
Fox also had good premiere ratings for its new crime drama Rosewood. The show drew 7.4 million viewers, including 2.4 million under 50, and nearly tied with CBS’s Survivor for first place in the demo.
The show probably benefited from premiering directly after Empire. You can’t give Empire all of the credit, but when viewers watch a ton of previews for Rosewood during the show, they are likely to get a bit curious.