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Primetime Ratings: 'Code Black' Debuts to Lukewarm 1.6

Code Black, the new medical drama from CBS, premiered with a 1.6 rating in adults 18-49, according to preliminary Nielsen numbers. It was a so-so start for the show, set in the emergency room of a Los Angeles hospital, which was up against Nashville on ABC and Chicago P.D. on NBC.

Fox smash Empire, meanwhile, posted a 5.3 rating, down considerably from its 6.5 debut a week before. Empire nonetheless paced Fox to a win on the night.

Fox put up a 3.7 rating and 12 share in Nielsen’s preliminary 18-49 ratings, ahead of CBS’ 2.0/7, ABC’s 1.9/6, NBC’s 1.5/5 and The CW’s 0.4/1.

On Fox, Rosewood tallied a 2.0 rating, growing in the second half hour in advance of Empire, but down 17% from its 2.4 premiere last week.

On CBS, Survivor: Cambodia scored a 2.3, down 4% from the previous week’s 2.4 season premiere. The season premiere of Criminal Minds scored a 2.0, up 5% from its season finale last spring.

On ABC, The Middle attracted a 2.2, up 5% from last week; The Goldbergs a 2.3, down 4%; Modern Family a 2.9, down 6% from the previous episode; and Black-ish a 1.8, down 33% from last week’s 2.4. Easing out of the comedy block, Nashville rated a 1.2, down 8% from last week’s 1.3.

Over NBC’s way, The Mysteries of Laura had a 1.2 in 18-49, flat with its premiere last week. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit rated a 1.6, down 6% from last week’s 1.7. Chicago P.D. showed a 1.7, up 18% from the 1.4 it closed to last spring.

The CW had the iHeartRadio Music Festival across its prime.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.