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.