Fast National ratings for Wednesday, January 7, 2015.

"American Idol" had its weakest premiere ever among young viewers and its softest overall launch since Season 1 on Wednesday night, but FOX is still giddy this morning after a huge premiere for "Empire," especially in the key demographic.

The Season 14 premiere of "Idol" drew 10.89 million viewers and did a 3.1 rating among adults 18-49 in Fast Nationals. For comparison purposes, last year's Wednesday "Idol" premiere averaged nearly 15.2 million viewers and a 4.7 rating among adults 18-49. Those numbers were, of course, for a two-hour premiere, as last year's "Idol" did only a 4.4 key demo rating and under 14.9 million in its first hour.

But, again, with a robust 3.7 key demo rating for "Empire," there's plenty to smile about at FOX. To be more specific, "Empire" is FOX's highest rated series debut since January 2012. That high-rated debut? "Touch."

[UPDATE: FOX got rushed Final Live+SD ratings and "Empire" ticked up to a 3.8 rating among adults 18-49, tying ABC's "How To Get Away With Murder" for the season's top debut.]

Wednesday also saw strong performances from ABC's early-night comedies, particularly "The Goldbergs," though a low night for "Black-ish" takes away some of that enthusiasm.

Let's get to the numbers...

Among adults 18-49, FOX averaged a 3.4 rating for Wednesday night, tops in the key demographic. ABC was a distant second with a 2.0 key demo rating, followed by CBS' 1.6 key demo rating and the 1.5 key demo rating for NBC. The CW averaged a 0.3 key demo rating for Wednesday.

Overall, FOX finished on top with 10.36 million viewers and a 6.1 rating/10 share for Wednesday night. CBS was second with 8.71 million viewers and a 5.4/9, topping NBC's 7.32 million viewers and 4.6/7. ABC was a close fourth with 6.29 million viewers and a 3.8/8. The CW averaged 1.03 million viewers and a 0.7/1 for the night.

8 p.m. - "American Idol" started primetime in first for FOX with the aforementioned 10.89 million viewers and 3.1 rating among adults 18-49. CBS' "The Mentalist" was second overall with 8.99 million viewers and tied for third with a 1.3 key demo rating. ABC was third overall and second in the key demo with "The Middle" (8.49 million viewers and a 2.3 key demo) and "The Goldbergs" (7.79 million and a 2.5 key demo rating). NBC's "The Mysteries of Laura" averaged 6.785 million viewers and a 1.3 key demo rating. On The CW, a repeat of "Arrow" averaged 975,000 viewers and a 0.2 key demo rating.

9 p.m. - "Empire" lost a few viewers from "Idol" with 9.83 million, but soared to a 3.7 rating among adults 18-49 in its premiere. The best part for FOX? "Empire" did a 3.7 key demo rating for both half-hours. CBS' People's Choice Awards coverage averaged 8.76 million viewers for second and a 1.8 key demo rating for the hour. NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" averaged 7.78 million viewers and a 1.7 key demo rating, compared to ABC's "Modern Family" (9.23 million viewers and a 3.2 key demo rating) and "Black-ish" (6.31 million viewers and a 2.1 key demo). The CW's "Penn & Teller: Fool Us" repeat averaged 1.09 million viewers and a 0.4 key demo rating.

10 p.m. - The People's Choice Awards won the 10 p.m. hour for CBS with 8.39 million viewers and a 1.9 rating among adults 18-49. NBC's "Chicago PD" was second with 7.43 million viewers and a 1.7 key demo rating. And ABC's "Galavant" encore averaged 2.96 million viewers and a 0.8 key demo rating.


All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.

A long-time member of the TCA Board and a longer-time blogger of "American Idol," Dan Fienberg writes about TV, except for when he writes about movies or sometimes writes about the Red Sox. But never music. He would sound stupid talking about music.