Fox’s first season of the hit drama Empire defied all conventional wisdom as it became the only season in television history to increase in ratings for nine consecutive weeks. But, last night’s premiere of season two of Lee Daniel’s show about the dysfunctional music family, the Lyons, saw the show experience its first decline on Twitter TV Ratings as well as traditional TV.
Season 1’s finale attracted a series record 2.4 million tweets and an incredible 112 million impressions, how many times a tweet about the show was seen. Last night’s episode garnered 1.306 million tweets and 63.041 million impressions both down over 43 percent from its season one finale counterparts.
Nielsen began tracking Twitter TV ratings in the form of total tweets, impressions, and unique tweeters in October 2013. Nielsen tracks the numbers of tweets sent and each account that tweeted about the show from three hours prior to the broadcast through until three hours after the broadcast. The amount of times a tweet is seen (impressions) and the amount of accounts who see those tweets (unique audience) is measured from when the tweets are sent until 5 a.m.
In a competition with itself, Empire didn’t stand a chance, but against other season premieres, the opposite was glaringly true. Empire‘s season premiere’s 9 p.m. one hour time slot ran alongside season premieres from heavyweight Modern Family and hit new show Black-ish from ABC. Empire topped the Twitter ratings for last night with 4,679,000 unique people tweeting about it, but neither Modern Family nor Black-ish made the top five, scoring less than 641,000 unique audience members on Twitter, all but ensuring they will not be in the weekly Twitter ratings.
While Lucious Lyons sits in jail, its more than his fictional empire that is dropping from its lofty heights. The show’s streak of consecutive viewership and rating growth ended as the season premiere of Empire’s second season drew 16 million viewers with a 6.5 rating last night, down from the 17.6 million viewers and series record 6.9 rating of season one’s finale. Drop or not, though, 16 million is still a monstrous number. Modern Family and Black-ish fared better on TV than on the tweets, but was still no competition for the Empire behemoth. Modern Family‘s premiere scored 9.3 million down 18 percent from the 11.38 million of season six’s premiere. Black-ish‘s return drew 7.3 million viewers down over 33 percent from the 11.04 million viewers its series premiere garnered.
This is the second season premiere for Empire in less than nine months, with the second season gearing up for 18 episodes as oppose to season one’s order of just 12. So there will be more opportunities for Empire to set new records and will be facing off weekly against Twitter giant Scandal when it returns for its fifth season tonight. Empire performed better than Scandal in its first season’s final month. However, this is the first time the two shows start their respective seasons in the same week.
As Lucious Lyons would say, “Game on.”