Empire Debuts to Huge Ratings, Shockingly Surpasses American Idol

January 8, 2015 6:01 PM

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Viewers were clearly in an Empire state of mind Wednesday: Fox’s new hip-hop soap-opera opened to a very impressive 3.7 rating among adults under 50, basically quadrupling what Red Band Society had been doing in the time slot and surging past Gotham to become Fox’s biggest drama debut of the season (and in several years).

And in a bit of a shocker, Empire managed to do better than its American Idol lead-in (which notched a 3.1 demo rating in preliminary Nielsen data). That, of course, is the bummer news for Fox today. Idol averaged just 10.9 million viewers, a decline of about 25 percent from last year’s opener. And ...

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