Empire Premiere Hits Ratings High Note for Fox

at .  Updated at .

Fox executives woke up to a very happy tune today, as Empire Season 1 Episode 1 aired on Wednesday night to 9.9 million total viewers and a 3.8 rating among 18-49-year olds.

Those figures make Empire the network’s highest-rated series launch since Touch in 2012 and they tie broadcast TV’s top debut of the season, ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder.

As a comparison: Red Band Society‘s debuted in the same time slot to 4.1 million viewers in September, while Gotham opened this fall to 8.2 million.


  • American Idol Season 14 premiered to 11.2 million viewers and a 3.3 rating, a drop of 26 and 32 percent from its previous opener.
  • The Middle, Modern Family and The Golbergs all returned up, while black-ish dipped slightly.
  • The Mentalist garnered 9 million viewers in its new timeslot.
  • On NBC,  The Mysteries of Laura fell 16 percent in total audience, while Law & Order: SVU  and Chicago PD both increased by double digits.

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

Show Comments
Tags: ,

Empire Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

Cookie's coming home.


I started selling drugs when I was 9 years old in Philadelphia. I did it to feed myself. But it was the music that played in my head that kept me alive when I thought I was going to get shot. And it was the melodies that I dreamt about that keep me warm when I was sleeping in the streets.