TV Ratings: Tiny ‘Empire’ demo dip has no impact on FOX’s Wednesday domination

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, March 11, 2015.

It finally happened.

Early morning ratings for Wednesday arrived and “Empire” posted week-to-week declines. Actually, make that “week-to-week decline.” FOX's juggernaut slipped a whopping 0.1 in the key 18-49, but also rose overall and helped FOX maintain its more-than-comfortable Wednesday victory margins in all measures.

In fact, if you compare this week's Fast Nationals to last week's Fast Nationals, “Empire” was flat among both men and women 18-49, making the 0.1 decline overall most likely an example of too many angels dancing to one side of this particular pin. 

An easy explanation for the basically irrelevant decline would be Daylight Saving Time, but both “Criminal Minds” and “American Idol” found a way to still rise among young viewers. In fact, a more likely explanation would be that Wednesday's chaotic “American Idol” might have run an extra minute into the 9 p.m. hour and skewed the sample? Or else I'm stressing out about a 0.1 variation in a representational ratings system. “Empire” always rises in Final Live+SD numbers and with a 0.2 rise instead of a 0.1, it'll be flat week-to-week. We'll see.

Wednesday was heavy on repeats, but “Black-ish” declined predictably without a new “Modern Family” lead-in, while the season finale for “The 100” was also down.

Let's get to the numbers…

Among adults 18-49, FOX averaged a 4.0 rating for Wednesday night, easily tops in the key demographic. CBS was second with a 2.0 key demo rating, followed by ABC's 1.1 key demo rating and the 0.8 key demo rating for NBC. The CW averaged a 0.4 key demo rating for Wednesday night.

Overall, FOX averaged an estimated 12.02 million viewers and a 7.3 rating/12 share for Wednesday night. CBS was far back in second with 9.82 million viewers and a 6.0/10 for the night. There was a big drop to NBC's 4.45 million and 3.0/5 and to ABC's 3.99 million viewers and 2.6/5. The CW's 1.25 million viewers and 0.8/1 trailed for Wednesday.

8 p.m. – In a tightening of their 8 p.m. rivalry, “Survivor: Worlds Apart” averaged 9.375 million viewers to win the hour, but finished second with a 2.2 rating among adults 18-49, compared to the 9.31 million viewers and 2.3 key demo rating for FOX's “American Idol.” A repeat of “The Mysteries of Laura” averaged 4.92 million viewers for third and a 0.8 key demo rating for fourth, compared to the 4.46 million viewers and 1.2 key demo rating for a pair of “The Goldbergs” repeats on ABC. The CW's “Arrow” repeat averaged 1.19 million viewers and a 0.3 key demo rating.

9 p.m. – “Empire” crushed the 9 p.m. hour competition with 14.73 million viewers and a 5.6 rating among adults 18-49. CBS was far back in second with 10.38 million viewers and a 2.1 key demo rating for “Criminal Minds.” ABC was third with a “Modern Family” repeat (5.09 million and a 1.5 key demo) and a new “Black-ish” (4.59 million and a 1.5 key demo), easily beating the 3.72 million viewers and 0.8 key demo rating for NBC's “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” repeat. The CW's “The 100” season finale averaged 1.32 million viewers and a 0.4 key demo rating.

10 p.m. – “CSI: Cyber” led the 10 p.m. hour with 9.7 million viewers and a 1.8 rating among adults 18-49, basically flat with last week. NBC's “Chicago PD” repeat averaged 4.71 million viewers and a 0.9 key demo rating, topping the 2.67 million viewers and 0.7 key demo rating for ABC's “American Crime” pilot encore.

[UPDATE: As I predicted above, “Empire” ticked up 0.2 in the key demo to a 5.8 rating among adults 18-49, exactly what it did last week in Live+Same Day Finals. “Empire” also rose to 14.92 million viewers, putting a 6 in the demo and 15 million viewers in easy reach for the finale next week. “American Idol” rose to a 2.4 key demo rating and 9.71 million viewers, putting it above “Survivor” (9.255 million and a 2.2 key demo) in both counts. And “CSI: Cyber” ticked down to a 1.7 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.