‘Empire’ ratings keep going down

Empire still rides high in the ratings, but it has experienced some audience erosion over the last three weeks.

The second-season Fox hit attracted 12.2 million viewers Wednesday, a 6% drop from the Oct. 7 episode, according to preliminary Nielsen ratings. It also was down 8% from last week among the young adults (18-to-49-year-olds) prized by advertisers, although it was easily Wednesday’s top show in both ratings categories.

That marks the third consecutive weekly decline in both categories for Empire, which stars Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard, since its huge season opener on Sept. 23 (16.2 million viewers). It represents a contrast to Empire’s first season, when the show became a pop culture phenomenon as ratings climbed each week, an anomaly in TV.