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March 23, 2015

Fox's soapy Empire drew 16.5 million viewers for its season finale, up 10% from the previous week. The show managed the virtually unprecedented feat of increasing its viewership after every episode—the Nielsen ratings for the finale were 82% higher than those of its premiere—making it the most popular new broadcast series in a decade. But the impressive numbers don't stop there. "In some black demos, it's making the Super Bowl look like a high school football game," writes Slate's Josef Adalian. "Nielsen says that nearly 53% of African-American women ages 35-49 who have TV sets watched the March 4 episode of the show." The series also drew, on average, an additional 5.6 million viewers via video on demand (on Hulu and—2 million more than Fox's previous record-holder.

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