Home Television Tuesday TV Season Debut Ratings: “Empire” without Jussie Smollett Lowest Numbers Ever,...

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.


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