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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed., Sept. 21) -- it's Empire's turn while premieres of Designated Survivor, Lethal Weapon also fare well

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Fox’s Season 3 launch of Empire easily ranked as Wednesday’s top draw, fueling the network to a 7 to 9 p.m. sweep before ABC’s new Designated Survivor took the 9 p.m. hour in one of the two key ratings measurements.

Empire had 403,697 D-FW viewers, with nearly half of them (200,069) in the advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-old age range.

Fox’s preceding premiere of The Lethal Weapon also won the 7 p.m. hour with 254,966 total viewers and 95,271 in the 18-to-49 demographic.

At 9 p.m., ABC’s premiere of Kiefer Sutherland’s heavily promoted Designated Survivor took the gold in total viewers with 276,214, trampolining off a meager lead-in of 127,483 viewers from the season premiere of black-ish. But Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast took the hour among 18-to-49-year-olds with 111,150 after Empire set the table. Designated Survivor nipped CBS’ Big Brother for second place.

Wednesday’s other new series debut, ABC’s Speechless, drew 134,566 total viewers at 7:30 p.m., with 50,811 in the 18-to-49 motherlode. In the Big Four broadcast network universe, that put it last in its time slot in total viewers but in a second place tie with NBC’s Blindspot among 18-to-49-year-olds.

On Fox Sports Southwest, the first-place Texas Rangers’ 5-4 home loss to the Angels averaged 155,813 total viewers and 50,811 in the 18-to-49 age range.

Here are Wednesday’s local news derby results.

TEGNA8 broke an eight-weekday losing streak without any wins anywhere by comfortably winning in total viewers at 10 p.m. The station also edged Fox4 for the top spot with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 swept the 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. competitions while TEGNA8 did likewise at 6 p.m.

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