TV Ratings: Inexorable ‘Empire’ rise continues against ‘Mentalist’ finale

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, February 18, 2015.

For the sixth straight week, FOX's “Empire” grew in viewers and for the fifth time in six weeks the odds-defying juggernaut rose among young viewers, joining the flat “American Idol” to help FOX dominate Wednesday in all measures.

Wednesday's series finale for “The Mentalist” was up from last week's episode in viewers, but down in the key demo, while “Modern Family,” “Nashville” and “Stalker” were also down.

After finishing last week in a three-week 10 p.m. tie in the key demo, “Chicago PD” had first to itself after a nice bump, which was boosted by an up week for “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” The CW's “Arrow” also rose.

On to the numbers…

Among adults 18-49, FOX averaged a 3.9 rating for Wednesday night, tops in the key demographic. FOX's key demo tally beat ABC's 2.0 key demo rating and the 1.4 key demo rating for NBC combined. CBS was fourth with a 1.3 key demo rating, followed by The CW's 0.8 key demo rating.

Overall, FOX averaged an estimated 11.69 million viewers and a 7.0 rating/11 share for Wednesday primetime, beating the 9.16 million viewers and 5.8/9 for CBS' night. ABC and NBC both averaged a 4.1/7, with ABC averaging 6.53 million viewers to the 6.37 million for NBC. The CW averaged 2.18 million viewers and a 1.3/2 for the night.

8 p.m. – In its last week before the return of “Survivor,” “American Idol” won the 8 p.m. hour with 10.45 million viewers and a 2.7 rating among adults 18-49. The first hour of CBS' “Mentalist” finale averaged 9.77 million viewers for second and a 1.3 key demo rating for third. ABC was third overall and second in the key demographic for “The Middle” (7.66 million and a 2.2 key demo) and “The Goldbergs” (6.83 million and a 2.2 key demo). NBC's “The Mysteries of Laura” averaged 5.75 million viewers to top the 2.81 million for The CW's “Arrow,” but both shows did a 1.1 key demo rating.

9 p.m. – “Empire” rose to series highs of 12.94 million viewers and a 5.1 rating among adults 18-49 for FOX in the 9 p.m. hour. CBS' “The Mentalist” finale averaged 10.54 million viewers for second and a 1.4 key demo rating for fourth in its second hour. ABC stayed second in the key demo and third overall with “Modern Family” (8.78 million and a 3.0 key demo) and “Black-ish” (6.475 million and a 2.2 key demo). NBC's “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” rose to 6.37 million viewers in fourth and a 1.6 key demo rating in third. The CW's “The 100” averaged 1.55 million viewers and a 0.6 key demo rating.

10 p.m. – CBS' “Stalker” took a tenuous overall lead for the 10 p.m. hour with 7.17 million viewers and finished tied for second with a 1.3 rating among adults 18-49. NBC's “Chicago PD” was second with 7 million viewers and won the hour with a 1.7 key demo rating, also outdrawing “Stalker” in the 10:30 half-hour. ABC's “Nashville” averaged 4.71 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.