Lonnae O’Neal: The pope and ‘Empire’ bookend a Washington day

25 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Empire’ Premiere Gets 1.3 Million Tweets.

UPDATE: In rush nationals ordered by Fox, “Empire” was revised up to a 6.7 in adults 18-49 and 16.2 million total viewers for its second-season premiere. Fox is putting its number one show to good use, and The Hollywood Reporter revealed in its new issue that a 30-second commercial during the season two premiere of Empire set advertisers back $750,000.After what seemed to be an endless summer hiatus, this week millions of African American television viewers are picking up the remote control and their smartphones to watch their favorite TV shows with a running commentary firing up the Twitterverse.A whopping 16 million people tuned in to last night’s Season 2 premiere, outpacing the next closet show — the Season 7 premiere of ABC’s “Modern Family” (9.3 million) — by nearly 7 million people.

That number won’t be dwindling very much for the rest of the season either, with $600,000 apparently being the price for advertising in upcoming episodes. The Fox drama has only grown in popularity since January’s pilot episode garnered 9.9 million viewers, a highly impressive total for a first-ever episode. The premiere was up more than 30% from last season’s average viewership in the key demographic of 18 to 49 year olds, which advertisers pay a premium to reach, the network said.

Henson) called 50 Cent “thirsty” on Wednesday’s Empire, and 50 Cent is not pleased — so much so that he expressed his disappointment in a series of Instagram posts mocking the Fox show. The second season kicked off with Lucious in jail facing murder charges, while Cookie was forced to turn to him for help after being double crossed by cunning Mimi Whiteman (played by Marisa Tomei) during her bid for a hostile takeover. The show was a major hit on social media as well, as an astonishing 1.3 million tweets about it were sent while the hour-long episode aired, according to Nielsen’s Twitter ratings. The episode, which featured the Lyon clan scheming for power while Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) is locked up in jail, broke all fall broadcast season-premiere records.

The show’s creator Lee Daniels threw a viewing party on Wednesday night, where he was joined by Mariah Carey – who is set to appear on the show too. The new “Empire” episode failed, however, to match the 2.4 million tweets it drew in last season’s finale, which was the most tweeted-about episode of any show in the 2014 television season. And the network expects the ratings to increase significantly as delayed viewing adds to the total audience over the next several days. “Empire’s” big numbers were a much-needed win for Fox, whose new shows “Minority Report” and “Scream Queens” are off to a tepid start. ABC’s comedy block returned strong, with “The Middle” and “The Goldbergs” on par with last year and “Modern Family” and “Black-ish” a hearty second to “Empire” in the 9 o’clock hour.

Empire airs on Wednesday nights at 9pm, and Alicia Keys, Kelly Rowland and Lenny Kravitz will be among the other famous faces making appearances this season. Wednesday’s episode did not disappoint, as it picked up right where last season left off — in the middle of an inter-family struggle for control of the Lyon’s music empire. His most recent diss was in June, when he Instagrammed a photo of his Power character with the caption, “EMPIRE is some s— you should get for free. Now that Empire’s premiere has passed, the social media watchers are taking a breath and getting ready for Thursday night’s twisty trifecta known as TGIT: Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder (known to most fans in acronym form “HTGAWM”).

The most tweeted moment of Empire’s premiere was when Anika (Grace Gealey) began to dance with Empire’s newest financier, Mimi (Marisa Tomei) — a moment that propelled 32,363 tweets per minute. Ratings could go up even further in subsequent episodes, as TV icon Oprah Winfrey and musical stars Alicia Keys, Ludacris and Pitbull are all slated to appear this season. Compared with last season’s premiere in January, “Empire” on Wednesday was up by 71% in 18-49 (6.5 vs. 3.8) and by 62% in total viewers (16.0 million vs. 9.9 million). You know I hit that.” It’s worth noting that the rapper captioned the video by tagging Henson and writing “LOVE YOU GIRL LMAO” with lots of heart emojis, so maybe he’s trying to get back in their good graces.

The demo score for “Empire” more than doubled the next highest-rated program on the night (3.1 for ABC’s “Modern Family”) and it’s 38% higher than the No. 2-rated series of premiere week (4.7 for CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory”). The 2.4 rating in 18-49 makes it the young season’s No. 4-rated series premiere, behind “Blindspot,” “The Muppets” and “Life in Pieces.” It saw a big jump in the second half-hour (2.7 vs. 2.1 at 8 p.m.), a clear sign of pre-“Empire” tune-in. This explains why producers like Shonda Rhimes and cast members get so intimately involved in these shows on Twitter and Facebook the night of the show. The 2.4 for “Black-ish” matches the show’s highest rating to date opposite an episode of “Empire.” At NBC, “The Mysteries of Laura” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 6.9 million viewers overall) was down 0.3 from its year-ago timeslot premiere but nabbed its top rating since Feb. 25. In comparison to the two other Rhimes shows, Grey’s—which has been a television staple for 12 seasons now—still does well in the ratings in all demographics but doesn’t have the must see, viral social media reach among African Americans that it does among other audiences.

Last night’s 1.2 rating/6 share for “Tonight,” whose guests included James Spader, matched the show’s best score on a Wednesday in six months and nearly matched the combined scores of CBS’ “Late Show With Stephen Colbert” (0.8/4) and ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (0.5/2). Shows like Empire and Scandal are good television because the writers and producers are very aware that they need to have all the bells and whistles, crazy one-liners and tight dialogue that make for viral gold. Tamarra Allen 47, of Atlanta is one of the driving forces behind the Facebook group Empire (Fox Show) Taraji P Henson & Terrence Howard, which has over 67,000 members.

Although last season there were a lot of cricket moments as Scandal gave us weeks of Olivia Pope being taken hostage, there were no nodding-off moments in Empire.

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