TV Ratings: ‘Empire’ phenomenon builds on Wednesday, ABC’s ‘Boat’ floats OK

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, February 4, 2015.

It was another week of growing ratings for the phenomenon that is “Empire,” as the FOX smash built once again and combined with a solid “American Idol” performance to help the network dominate Wednesday in all measures.

Among other things, “Empire” spent its second straight week ahead of “American Idol” in total viewers and it was Wednesday's top show in every demo my Wednesday ratings chart shows me. FOX is calling it the season's highest-rated drama airing — Not including post-Super Bowl — in the key demo. [Note: “Empire” only tied for first with “Modern Family” among men 25-54, so as you age up among men there's some competition. Among men 18-34, “Empire” topped “Modern Family” by 0.7.]

Wednesday's only debuting show was ABC's “Fresh Off The Boat,” which aired two new episodes after “The Middle” and “Modern Family”installments, drawing consistent and more-than-respectable numbers in both slots, building off “The Middle” in many numbers.

The night also saw a small demo bump for “Arrow” and a rather large demo drop for “Stalker,” which hit a series low and lost to “Chicago PD,” continuing its crossover with “Chicago Fire,” in all measures.

On to the numbers…

Among adults 18-49, FOX averaged a 3.8 rating for Wednesday night, tops in the key demographic. FOX topped the combined totals for ABC (2.2 rating) and CBS (1.5 rating) in the key demo. NBC was fourth with a 1.3 key demo rating, followed by The CW's 0.9 key demo rating for the night.

Overall, FOX averaged an estimated 11.21 million viewers and a 6.9 rating/11 share for Wednesday primetime, still well ahead of CBS' 5.6/9 and 8.87 million viewers. ABC was third with 7.28 million viewers and a 4.6/8, followed by NBC's 6.67 million viewers and 4.3/7. There was a big drop to The CW's 2.24 million viewers and 1.4/2 for the night.

8 p.m. – “American Idol” started primetime with 10.95 million viewers and a 3.0 rating among adults 18-49 to win the hour for FOX. CBS' “The Mentalist” was second with 8.93 million viewers and tied for third with a 1.2 key demo rating. ABC was third overall and second in the key demo with “The Middle” (8.24 million and a 2.2 key demo) and the first episode of “Fresh Off The Boat” (7.925 million and a 2.5 key demo). NBC's “The Mysteries of Laura” averaged 6.3 million viewers and a Mulaney Line 1.0 key demo rating in fifth. ABC's “Arrow” was fifth with 2.89 million viewers and tied for third with a 1.2 key demo rating, topping both “The Mentalist” and “Laura” among men 18-49.

9 p.m. – “Empire” improved on its lead-in to averaged 11.47 million viewers and a 4.6 rating among adults 18-49 for FOX in the 9 p.m. hour. The FOX juggernaut sent “Criminal Minds” to 10.33 million viewers in second and a 2.0 key demo rating in third for the hour. ABC was third overall and second in the key demo with “Modern Family” (9.86 million and a 3.4 key demo) and “Fresh Off The Boat” (7.56 million and a 2.4 key demo). NBC's “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” averaged 6.21 million viewers and a 1.3 key demo rating. The CW's “The 100” averaged 1.59 million viewers and a 0.6 key demo rating.

10 p.m. – NBC's “Chicago PD” led the 10 p.m. hour with 7.51 million viewers and a 1.6 rating among adults 18-49, beating the 7.34 million viewers and 1.3 key demo rating for CBS' “Stalker.” The return of “Nashville” on ABC averaged 5.06 million viewers and a 1.3 key demo rating.

All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.