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Chicago drama ‘Empire’ draws more young viewers than ‘American Idol’

The made-in-Chicago hip-hop drama “Empire” hit a strong ratings note in its premiere Wednesday, averaging 9.9 million viewers and beating its Fox lead-in “American Idol” in advertiser-coveted young adults, according to Nielsen ratings.

For the season, “Empire” tied ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder” for the highest young-adult rating for a series premiere.

“Idol” continued its downward ratings trend, opening Season 14 with a one-hour Nashville audition show that drew 11.2 million viewers. That’s a steep 24 percent drop from the first hour of last season’s two-hour premiere. “Idol” auditions continue on tonight’s episode at 7 p.m.

Despite its decline, “Idol” was Wednesday’s most-watched program. In young adults, it was down 26 percent compared to last year’s first hour of auditions.

“Empire,” which stars Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson, was the evening’s top show in young adults, opening higher in that category than Fox’s “Gotham” last fall. It was Fox’s biggest series opener in that demographic in three years.

Gannett News Service

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