The “Empire” Expands! The Fox Hip-Hop Drama Pulls In Shocking Ratings

January 22, 2015  |  

It's just the beginning.

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We just can’t get enough of Cookie! Fox’s Empire, living up to its title, has dominated Wednesday night viewing with stellar ratings — again! Almost 11 million viewers tuned in to the hip-hop drama, an eight percent increase from the previous episode.

“This just doesn’t … hardly … ever … happen,” Entertainment Weekly said in awe, adding that Empire has  already shocked the industry enough when its numbers skyrocketed in week two after a solid premiere.

Empire, which pulled in an impressive 4.3 rating among the 18-49 adult demographic, might have its lead-in — American Idol — to thank for its climbing success, EW said.

Also, Empire‘s biggest competitors in the hour — ABC’s Black-ish and Modern Family — were both showing repeat episodes, which may have helped Empire’s numbers, as well. Despite these mitigating factors, the show remarkably defied a popular trend that usually plagues all TV dramas:

“The typical pattern is a show’s highest-rated episode of the season is its premiere, then ratings drop for two weeks and then (hopefully) settle into a groove for the rest of the season, rising somewhat for the season finale. Empire has done the opposite. The midseason drama premiered big. Got bigger. Then got bigger again,” EW said.

Empire‘s premiere pulled in 9.9 million, the second episode reached 10.3 million and Wednesday’s third show reeled in 10.9 million, Variety reported. From the pilot to the third episode, Empire’s audience grew by 13 percent.

Fox was so enamored by Empire‘s performance, the network agreed to sign the hip-hop drama up for a season two renewal.

You’d be surprised to know that Taraji P. Henson, who plays Cookie — a parolee mom who seems to have a lot up her sleeves — initially said “no” to Empire.

“I wasn’t interested ’cause I had just left television,” the former Person of Interest co-star told Access Hollywood. “Actually, I was doing a play at the time. I was happy on the stage. I was really happy and one day I came home and I read [the script] and I couldn’t put it down. I just could not put it down. It was an amazing read, and I was like ‘Oh My God!'”

Well, you made a wise choice Miss Henson. We can’t wait to see how Empire expands in the coming weeks.

What did you think of the recent Empire episode?

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