'Idol' slips but 'Empire' opens strong

January 8, 2015 5:10 PM

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Fox's hip-hop drama Empire hit a strong ratings note in its premiere Wednesday, averaging 9.8 million viewers and beating lead-in American Idol in advertiser-coveted young adults, according to preliminary Nielsen ratings.

Idol continued its downward ratings trend, opening Season 14 with a one-hour Nashville audition show that drew 10.9 million viewers. That's a steep 26% drop from the first hour of last season's two-hour premiere. Idol auditions continue tonight at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

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