Thursday, June 13, 2024

Ratings: “Empire” Drops to Lowest Ever, Under 3 Million Without Jussie Smollett, “The Conners” Has Lost Steam


TV ratings are not good these days.

On Tuesday night, “Empire” had its second episode without Jussie Smollett. The numbers dropped to the lowest ever– 2.9 million. It was the lowest rated show of the night on regular networks. This is a fall off of 350K or more viewers since last week’s season premiere. Smollett was let go after his scandal last spring making up a fictitious racist attack. He not only wrecked his career, but the show’s life. What a terrible mess!

“The Conners” — the “Roseanne” spin off– was down from week 1 by about 100,000 viewers. They’re down to a total of 5.5 million. Sounds bad, but then remember the rest of the night on ABC averages 3.5 million viewers, around the same number as a daytime soap opera. So “The Conners” looks good by comparison.

The big winners of the night were the CBS procedurals– “NCIS,” “FBI,” and “NCIS New Orleans.” The former, the mother ship, is pulling 12.5 million, at the top of their game thanks in some small part to the return of Cote de Pablo after six years. She plays Ziva, if you don’t know. The show is starting to address the absence of Ziva’s great love, Tony, played by Michael Weatherly. He has his own show, “Bull.” Last year CBS paid $9 million to actress Eliza Dusku after Weatherly allegedly made her life hell on the set. But “Bull” came back, and now “NCIS” may return Weatherly in some way for Ziva. The profits are much higher than $9 million, so the pay off was a bargain. And that’s how it rolls some days.

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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