Friday, April 12, 2024

Tuesday TV Season Debut Ratings: “Empire” without Jussie Smollett Lowest Numbers Ever, “The Conners” Returns Low, But “NCIS” Pops with Ziva”


Last night was Super Tuesday on TV. It marked the return of “NCIS,” “The Conners,” “Empire,” and “This is Us.” Not all of it was successful.

“NCIS” came back strong with Cote de Pablo as Ziva, who herself returned after 6 seasons away. The show scored 12 million viewers, remaining a powerhouse. But the numbers last night were no higher than last season, and didn’t equal the highest from last season. So Ziva was good, but not super.

NBC’s “This is Us,” a confusing melodrama, garnered over 7 million fans. No one understood it, but I’m sure they wept. The show is still in the game.

But things were pretty bad for two other shows. “The Conners,” the replacement for “Roseanne,” grabbed just 5.67 million, down from its highs last season. I’m sure ABC was hoping for a 6 at least. They really pumped the birth of a Conner grandchild, but the audience brought no baby gifts.

“Empire” came back without Jussie Smollett. The audience is gone. Last night’s rating was the lowest ever: Only 3.35 million cared about Cookie and company. Not good. Last season the lowest number was 3.731 million. It’s time let “Empire” sleep with the fishes. And that’s what Fox will do. Smollett’s scandal last spring resolved with his character AWOL. The audience knows what happened and they told the network what they thought. “Empire” was beaten by ABC’s new “Emergence,” a seeming rip off of “Stranger Things” and two dozen other even stranger things.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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