Ratings: ‘Black-ish,’ ‘Empire’ Premiere to Lowest Season Openers To Date

Published: Sunday 29th Sep 2019 by Rashad

September 24 marked the sixth season kick offs of hit ABC series ‘Black-ish’ and FOX’s former flagship, ‘Empire,’ respectively.

For the latter, which saw its cancellation announced earlier this year (as we reported here), the pressure was on to carry on after the PR nightmare caused by former star Jussie Smollett‘s alleged hate crime hoax.  With its negative impact already seen and felt in the latter half of the Lee Daniels-helmed show’s season 5, hopes weren’t exactly high for the series’ season 6 premiere – despite being its last – to rebound to its former glory.

Similarly, ABC’s ‘Black-ish’ – albeit able to boast a scandal-free run (to date) – has seen a steady decline in its viewership since its 2014 debut as well (which pulled in a whopping 11.04 million viewers).  Once the ratings leaders for their respective nights, ‘Empire,’ now airing on Tuesday nights, not only had to face off with ‘Black-ish’ but also against the likes of NBC’s juggernaut ‘This Is Us’ and CBS’ ‘FBI.’

Look inside to see who came out on top:

*Trailers may contain spoilers*

Viewership: 3.49 million

For seasons 1-3, ‘Black-ish’ aired on Wednesday nights.  Like ‘Empire,’ the show saw a sizable decline in viewership once moved to Tuesday nights.

‘Black-ish’ Season Premieres

Season 1: 11.04 million (2014)

Season 2: 7.30 million  (2015)

Season 3: 6.39 million (2016)

Season 4: 4.71 million (2017)

Season 5:  4.10 million (2018)

Season 6: 3.49 million (2019)


Viewership: 3.31 million

‘Empire’ Season Premieres

Season 1: 9.90 million (2015)

Season 2: 16.18 million  (2015)

Season 3: 10.87 million (2016)

Season 4: 7.05 million (2017)

Season 5:  6.09 million (2018)

Season 6: 3.31 million (2019)


Season 6, ‘Empire’s last, is its first season to air on Tuesday nights.


Curious to see how ‘Empire’ and ‘Black-ish’ stacked up against the competition?  See the full broadcast chart below:


Your thoughts?

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  1. Mbeachdude September 29, 2019

    Yup…when Smackdown took over that rating!

  2. Clarkson September 30, 2019

    What? 16 million people tuned in to watch empire back in 2015?
    The world is coming to an end.

  3. King of Kingz September 30, 2019

    ?they put Empire up against This is Us so it’s to be expected plus ppl don’t watch tv live like they use to, everybody watches shows on different streaming services like Hulu

    • eric September 30, 2019

      The average This is Us viewer is not hardly interested in Empire.

  4. Rico September 30, 2019

    Honestly bringing Jussie back would have definitely helped those ratings rather they want to admit it or not

    • Damani September 30, 2019


    • IAMME September 30, 2019


    • 2bad2bme September 30, 2019

      I never thought about that but it sure would have.

    • Keith September 30, 2019


  5. Gee September 30, 2019

    Empire has run its course so no one can save this ship from no matter what day is moved to and also people have other things going on so a lot of DVR things or stream their favorite shows so that they can watch it in their spear time. Personally I cannot say anything about Blackish because I only watched a couple of episodes first season, but I will say that it can be suffering from the same outcome as Empire.

  6. High Price September 30, 2019

    Welp, if it helps any, this is the final season of “Empire”. So people better enjoy it while it lasts. I know I will.

  7. pat September 30, 2019

    no surprise…..Black ish started to become too safe and preachy and Empire is now a joke of what it started out as…

  8. Blanca Evangilista September 30, 2019

    I think soon they’re gonna start shortening network tv seasons to just 3. especially with all the new streaming services popping up. if only there was a way to collectively have all the shows on one service and pay one price for everything…..OH WAIT…CABLE. https://youtu.be/oMp58oVociw

  9. Tyty September 30, 2019

    Seasons are too long for these types of shows… shorten and you won’t experience ratings slumps. Even power is losing its appeal.

    • Pu$$yPopstress September 30, 2019

      I agree with shorter seasons but I definitely disagree with power losing it’s appeal

  10. Swirly September 30, 2019

    Empire is the worst show ever. I can’t believe it lasted for 6 seasons. I watched the first season, and it was interestingly cheesy – like a hip hop version of Glee, but after the first season wrapped up I never tuned in again. People barely watch (live) TV anymore, but the Jussie fiasco put a damper on the show.

  11. Anna September 30, 2019

    Every show has a shelf life and no television series is on forever. Six years is a good run. After six years there’s nothing new or fresh you can do. I will miss both shows but that’s how it goes.

    • Dina October 1, 2019

      So never mind The Simpsons or even Family Guy? There are quite a bit of shows that lasted more than six years. So some research.

    • Dina October 1, 2019


  12. Keisha September 30, 2019

    Good riddance to bad rubbish shows

  13. Karen Halliburton October 1, 2019

    We really do not have any black shows on the air so why in the world do they consistently put black shows against black shows that makes no sense. Also Black-ish is one of the funniest shows on TV and just like they gave Seinfeld Seinfeld a chance when it’s ratings were low just keep putting blackish on because it’s a quality excellent show.

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