Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016

The numbers for Wednesday include the return of last season’s biggest scripted series and the debuts of three freshman shows:

Time Show Adults 18-49 Rating/Share Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. Survivor (CBS) (8-9:30 p.m.) – P 2.3/8 9.35
Lethal Weapon (FOX) – P 2.2/8 7.80
The Goldbergs (ABC) – P 2.0/8 6.80
Blindspot (NBC) 1.3/5 6.00
Penn & Teller: Fool Us (The CW) – R 0.3/1 1.19
8:30 p.m. Speechless (ABC) – P 2.0/8 7.29
9 p.m. Empire (FOX) – P 4.1/13 10.80
Modern Family (ABC) – P 2.6/9 8.16
Law & Order: SVU (NBC) – P 1.8/6 7.69
Whose Line Is It Anyway? (The CW) 0.3/1 1.13
9:30 p.m. Big Brother (CBS) (9:30-11 p.m.) – F 2.0/7 6.32
Black-ish (ABC) – R 2.0/7 6.42
Whose Line Is it Anyway? (The CW) – R 0.4/1 1.22
10 p.m. Designated Survivor (ABC) – P 2.3/8 9.95
Chicago PD (NBC) – P 1.6/5 6.86


“Empire” remains the No. 1 scripted show on broadcast TV after premiering to a 4.1 rating in adults 18-49 Wednesday. It continues a trend of veteran shows opening well below their premieres last season (a 6.7, in this case) but in line with where they ended (it’s even with the finale).

Also on trend: Three new shows got off to pretty good starts. ABC’s “Speechless” (2.0) retained all of its “Goldbergs” lead-in, and “Designated Survivor’s” 2.3 was more than double the average for “Nashville” last season. FOX’s “Lethal Weapon” premiered to a 2.2, in line with the 2.4 for “Rosewood’s” debut in the same spot last year.

The premiere of “Law & Order: SVU” (1.8) went against the grain of veteran shows opening lower, as it matched its 2015 debut. “Chicago PD” (1.6) came close, slipping just 0.1. “Blindspot” scored a 1.3, down 0.3 vs. its 10 p.m. premiere last week and in line with its spring run last season.

On ABC, “The Goldbergs” (2.0, -0.4), “Modern Family” (2.6, -0.6) and “Black-ish” (2.0, -0.4) all returned below their premieres but were on par with — and in “Black-ish’s” case, a little above — their 2015-16 averages. CBS’ “Surivvor” premiered to a 2.3, down 0.2 vs. last fall, while “Big Brother’s” finale drew a 2.0.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 3.1/10 2.2/8 2.1/8 1.6/6  0.3/1
Total Viewers (millions) 9.30 8.09 7.83 6.85 1.19


Late-night metered market ratings (adults 18-49, households):

11:35 p.m.

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”: 0.8/5, 2.6/7

“Jimmy Kimmel Live”: 0.6/3, 2.2/6

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”: 0.3/2, 1.8/5

12:35 a.m.

“Nightline”: 0.4/3, 1.5/5

“Late Night with Seth Meyers”: 0.4/3, 1.1/4

“The Late Late Show with James Corden”: 0.2/1, 0.9/3

: Estimated percentage of the universe of TV households (or other specified group) tuned to a program in the average minute. Ratings are expressed as a percent.
Fast Affiliate Ratings: These first national ratings are available at approximately 11 a.m. ET the day after telecast. The figures may include stations that did not air the entire network feed, as well as local news breaks or cutaways for local coverage or other programming. Fast Affiliate ratings are not as useful for live programs and are likely to differ significantly from the final results, because the data reflect normal broadcast feed patterns. 
Share (of Audience): 
The percent of households (or persons) using television who are tuned to a specific program, station or network in a specific area at a specific time. 
Time Shifted Viewing:
 Program ratings for national sources are produced in three streams of data – Live, Live +Same-Day and Live +7 Day. Time-shifted figures account for incremental viewing that takes place with DVRs. Live+SD includes viewing during the same broadcast day as the original telecast, with a cut-off of 3 a.m. local time when meters transmit daily viewing to Nielsen for processing. Live +7 ratings include  viewing that takes place during the 7 days following a telecast.

Source: The Nielsen Company.

Posted by:Rick Porter

Rick Porter has been covering TV since the days when networks sent screeners on VHS, one of which was a teaser for the first season of "American Idol." He's left-handed, makes a very solid grilled cheese and has been editor of TV by the Numbers since October 2015. He lives in Austin.

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