The runaway success of Empire, which premiered to a huge 3.8 adult 18-49 rating, rose to a 4.0 in its second week, then leapt to a 4.4 in its third episode is unprecedented in modern television history.
According to FOX’s research department, The last time a highly rated new drama grew in weeks 2 and 3 was 21 years ago, in the 1993-1994 television season when Moon Over Miami accomplished the same feat. That’s the same season that Boy Meets World premiered. In 1993, the internet was still called the Information Super Highway , and cable television has its own awards show, the ACE Awards, because it could never hope to compete with broadcast series.
So what the heck was Moon Over Miami? According to IMDB, “In this detective series, Walter Tatum, a qualified, independent, self-made private investigator in Miami with a small staff, gets stuck with Gwen Cross, a spoiled but intelligent rich girl, first as a case, then as his partner in countless investigations. She makes both his private and professional life a lot more difficult, but also more interesting.” It starred future television staples Ally Walker and Billy Campbell. After its strong opening weeks, the ratings rapidly declined and only ten of the thirteen produced episodes aired in the United States. It aired on Wednesdays at 10PM on ABC, competing head-to-head with Law & Order and 48 Hours. It’s a safe bet that the already renewed Empire will be around a lot longer.