(March 24, 2015) What may be most remarkable — and unspoken — about the historic first season of Fox’s “Empire” is that if not a single White viewer had ever tuned in, the show’s Black audience alone would have ranked it as last week’s No.6 show in the nation. Total White viewership for the hip-hop drama never exceeded 39% for any episode, and dropped to 29% for the record-breaking finale.
The point is, in a year when “How To Get Away With Murder” and “Black-ish” joined “Scandal” in changing the calculus for winning TV shows, “Empire” stood alone as having the ability to be No.1 by appealing to an overwhelmingly African-American following. Without a doubt, every network will be trying to duplicate its success.
With the “Empire” finale and a special, Fox was the obvious choice for the week’s most watched TV network in Black households, with a total of 24 million across just two shows. CBS was second with 11.3 million for 12 programs. ABC took third, claiming 9.9 million for seven shows.
The total number of viewers for the Top 25 TV shows in Black homes, according to Nielsen, was up 22 percent from the previous week (thanks to “Empire”) to 48.7 million.
Black TV Ratings for Week of March 16 – 22
Top 25 Broadcast TV Shows in Black Households
Rank | Program | Network | % of AA Homes | % of AA P2+ | No. of Viewers (000)
|2||EMPIRE-SP 3/18 8P||FOX||45.9||27.0||10,550|
|5||DANCING WITH THE STARS||ABC||7.8||3.8||1,478|
|12||CBS NCAA BSKBL CHP-PRTH2||CBS||5.6||2.7||1,051|
|13||NCIS: NEW ORLEANS ENCORE||CBS||5.3||2.6||1,023|
|15||THE GOOD WIFE||CBS||5.0||2.4||930|
|16||CBS NCAA BSK CHP-BRG-PRTH||CBS||5.0||2.4||924|
|19||NCIS: LOS ANGELES||CBS||4.8||2.3||907|
|20||SECRETS AND LIES||ABC||4.5||2.4||936|
|22||PERSON OF INTEREST||CBS||4.5||2.4||945|
|24||CBS NCAA BSKBL CHMP-SA-4||CBS||4.3||2.1||813|
|25||CBS NCAA BSKBL CHP-PRFR1||CBS||4.2||2.2||858|
Source: Nielsen. Number of viewers ages 2+ shown in thousands (1,000 = 1 million). Rankings are based on share of black households. Representing more than 13.45 million television households in the U.S., the African-American television audience is the largest minority segment in Nielsen’s measurement samples. All times are eastern.