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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed., Jan. 7) -- Empire rules while Idol holds its own

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Fox executives are singing arias to Empire after the new music industry drama opened with a bang Wednesday night.

Empire drew 348,700 D-FW viewers in the 8 p.m. hour, easily beating all competing programming and also ranking as the day’s most-watched TV attraction on any station. ABC’s second place 8:30 p.m. new episode of Modern Family had 258,038 viewers opposite Empire while the first hour of CBS’ People’s Choice Awards came in third with 188,298.

Empire also took the top spot among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, drawing 163,998 to runner-up Modern Family’s 132,460.

Fox likewise prospered with the Season 14 premiere of American Idol, which fell well short of Empire in both key ratings measurements but still won its 7 p.m. slot with 265,012 total viewers and 94,614 in the 18-to-49 age range. It was a tough fight in the total viewers competition, though, with CBS’ competing The Mentalist close behind with 251,064 while ABC’s The Middle also scored very well (223,168).

The sizable audiences for Idol and Empire also helped to propel Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast to dominant wins. It had 299,882 total viewers and 116,691 in the 18-to-49 demographic. No competing program came close, with Fox4’s news in both cases amassing bigger audiences than Idol did.

NBC’s 7 p.m. attraction, The Mysteries of Laura, drew a decent-sized 160,402 total viewers. On many nights that’s good for a second or third place finish. On this night Laura ran fourth, coming close to only ABC’s 7:30 p.m. episode of The Goldbergs (195,272 viewers). And the bottom fell out for Laura among 18-to-49-year-olds, with its 25,230 just half the number drawn by the third place Mentalist (50,461).

Here are Wednesday’s local news derby results.

Fox4 kept the ball rolling at 10 p.m. with a comfortable win in total viewers and a rout of the competition among 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming). The station also swept the 6 a.m. competitions.

Gannett8 ran the table at 6 p.m. and NBC5 did likewise at 5 p.m.

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