nielsen ratings

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Empire’s Ratings Continue To Rise

In: Donovan, TV Shows

FOX’s breakout hit continues to break every TV ratings growth rule. This ‘cookie’ isn’t going to crumble anytime soon.

Since its premiere, the total viewers for Empire have risen every single week. Last night, it hit 12.9 million viewers. With regards to the coveted 18-49 demo, the hip-hop drama notched a huge 5.1 rating, up 6 percent from last week.

When asked one broadcast analyst for a historic comparison, they replied, “Don’t have any new historical references for its post-premiere growth. It has literally exceeded all Nielsen total viewer records to date.” Last week, Empire broke the last existing record when it posted more consecutive ratings gains than any other new broadcast show in at least 23 years. We’re now in uncharted territory folks.

When Empire first premiered, I instantly fell in love. I just hoped the ratings would be solid enough for FOX to renew it for a second season. No need to worry about that anymore. Taraji P. Henson isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon. Thank God. I live for Cookie Lyons.

Just in case you missed last night’s performances including one from Courtney Love, check them out below. My favorite, though, is the Dire Straits cover though.

watch last night’s performances after the jump


SCHWING!!! NBC’s decision to devote the entire night to Saturday Night Live proved to be a wise decision. It generated huge ratings for the peacock network.

Not including Super Bowls, the SNL 40th Anniversary Special netted 23.1 million viewers and a 7.8 rating among adults 18-49. Those numbers give the special the honor of being NBC’s s most-watched prime-time entertainment in more than 10 years since the ER finale in 2004. With regards to the coveted demo, it’s the best since the Will & Grace finale in 2006.

The special broadcast also broke records on Twitter. According to Nielsen Social, 1.3 million tweets were sent with 9.1 million viewing them. Guess Amy Poehler’s comment during her return to the Weekend Update desk proved prophetic.

I’m sure the cold weather on the East Coast helped bolster numbers since people were advised to stay indoors. Did you watch the special? Favorite moments? Weigh in below.

Gladiators came out in full force for the Season 3 premiere of Scandal last Thursday. The ABC political drama roared back with a series best. It was up 71% over its year-ago season premiere and surpassed its previous series highs by 13%. The only show that fared better that night was CBS’ The Big Bang Theory. Looks like Olivia Pope isn’t just top dog in Washington, D.C. but on the Twitter-verse as well.

Nielsen in conjunction with SocialGuide began a new metric last week, tabulating the number of people tweeting about TV programs and the audience of people who actually view those Tweets. With social media becoming such an integral part of viewing, due to all those hashtags popping up on the bottom corner of the screen, it only makes sense this new chart exists. You can thank Pretty Little Liars for starting this trend.

Topping the first ever Top 10 chart, is none other than Scandal. The show notched almost 713,000 tweets in the seven hours before, during and after its premiere. Those tweets reached an audience of roughly 3.65 million unique Twitter users. Miley Cyrus dominated the next two spots with her MTV documentary and guest host stint on Saturday Night Live. Find out how many tweets she generated and the rest of the Top 10 below.

check out the Top 10 after the jump

Duck Dynasty Makes Cable TV History

In: Donovan, TV Shows

A&E’s runaway hit reality series Duck Dynasty made history last night with its fourth season premiere. The Robertson family attracted 11.8 million viewers, making it the most-watched non-fiction series telecast in cable TV history. The previous record holder was Jon & Kate Plus 8 when 10.6 million tuned in to witness their marriage collapsing.

“Thanks to its authentic and engaging characters ‘Duck Dynasty’ has become more than just a reality show, it is a cultural phenomenon,” said David McKillop, General Manager and Executive Vice President of A&E. “We would like to thank the Robertsons for their incredible partnership. We are all Happy, Happy, Happy.”

With those kind of numbers, they should really ask for more money from A&E. The cast recently inked a deal that increased their salary to $200,000 an episode, roughly four times more than they previously earned. Given that the figure is to be divided among the nine adults and 11 kids, the network is getting a deal.

Do you watch Duck Dynasty? I’ve never seen an episode, but I probably should jump on the bandwagon to see what the fuss quack is all about.

Breaking Bad, more like breaking records. The AMC drama scored series-record ratings for its return last night. More than doubling its previous high. That’s right, DOUBLING. Most shows in their fifth year are well on their way towards cancellation, but not so for Breaking Bad.

Last night’s episode attracted more than 5.9 million viewers. Its’ previous best was 2.9 million for the premiere of the first half of the show’s fifth season back in July 2012. Looks like the show recruited a whackload of new fans during its hiatus. Breaking Bad’s record-setting night helped propel the network’s new series, Low Winter Sun. It convinced 2.5 million viewers to stay tuned in to AMC.

Did you watch last night’s episode? Glad Breaking Bad is back? Sound off below.

Under The Dome Makes An Impressive Debut For CBS

In: Donovan, TV Shows

Who says you can’t successfully launch a brand new show in the summer on network television? Let alone a drama. CBS defied all odds and scored big with the premiere of Under The Dome. The Stephen King adapted novel drew in 13.1 million viewers and a 3.2 in the coveted 18-49 demographic. That’s huge at anytime of the year, let alone summer.

To put things in perspective. Under The Dome‘s numbers match The Following for second-highest-rated drama premiere of the 2012-13 season. Both just short of Revolution‘s debut. With regards to summer launches, it’s CBS’ most-watched summer debut since Big Brother which opened with 22.3 million back in 2000. In the demo, its CBS’ best summer launch since Fire Me Please in 2005. Congrats to the Eye Network.

Did you watch the premiere last night? I did and loved it. I can’t wait to see how everything unfolds. With Under The Dome, Motive and Devious Maids, the summer is shaping out to be not just about reality television. With that being said, I can’t wait for the premiere of Big Brother tomorrow. Sound off below.

Most shows in their sixth season are typically on their last legs. Not so for Mad Men. The AMC period drama drew its best ratings to date, attracting 2.7 million viewers for its Season 6 finale. That bested its previous best of 2.6 million for the Season 5 climax.

As impressive as those numbers were for AMC, the big winner on broadcast or cable television was Discovery Channel’s live coverage of Nik Wallenda’s latest death-defying stunt. Last year, he made history walking across Niagara Falls. This time around his 22 minute intense walk across the Grand Canyon attracted 13 million viewers. If he gets approval, his next challenge will have him walking from the top of the Empire State building to the Chrysler building in NYC.

watch Nik’s walk after the jump and other ratings news

The highly-anticipated Liberace biopic certainly delivered. Behind the Candelabra scored boffo ratings for HBO. The Steven Soderbergh film delivered 2.4 million viewers in its first airing, making it the most watched HBO film in almost a decade since 2004’s Something The Lord Made. When you factor its second airing Sunday evening, a total of 3.5 million watched the glitzy biopic. Definitely impressive given television viewing typically is less during Memorial Day weekend.

Did you watch Michael Douglas and Matt Damon play gay lovers? Did you love it or loathe it? I was in Seattle and about to watch it, but two friends who saw it earlier said it sucked big time. Truthfully, they have awful taste. LOL. I kid. I’ll probably check it out later regardless of their opinion. Sound off below.

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