The new network programs this fall for the most part have seen pretty great success. No freshman show--even a lower-rated one--has been cancelled, yet, mainly because no show has been a big disaster. A few freshman dramas and comedies have already set themselves apart from the rest of the pack. One of these shows is This is Us, the heartfelt family drama spanning multiple decades. The new series has done well in the ratings and recently achieved a pretty big ratings milestone: It has beaten fan-favorite drama Empire in the ratings.

Per a ratings release from NBC, the network has indicated that This Is Us recently hit a ratings milestone in Live+3 ratings, pulling ahead of Empire for the first time. This Is Us grew to a 4.2 rating while Empire grew to a 4.0. Although This is Us has yet to beat the Fox series in live viewership---it typically falls just a little bit behind Empire---the NBC program has an insanely great DVR viewership and improves its rating by around a 2.0 in the days after a new episode airs. Per the NBC report, This is Us is also the only series to actually improve on the ratings The Voice brings in during an earlier hour on the network. A lead-in is usually there for a reason, but in this case it doesn't seem as if This Is Us really needs The Voice to help boost its ratings.

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But let's get back to Empire and why these new numbers are important. At the start of the season, Empire was absolutely crushing in the ratings, but those numbers have slowly drifted down from there. On the opposite side of the spectrum, This Is Us has managed to improve on its numbers most weeks, and over the past couple of weeks the numbers have been the best we've seen all season. There's a lot of bragging rights to having the most highly rated program on TV, or even on a given weeknight. The fact that Empire and This is Us are both dominating, albeit on different nights, with one showing a slightly better live performance and one showing a slightly better Live+ later day performance is really exciting to watch.

It's also good news for fans of both shows. While neither Empire nor This Is Us have been renewed for the 2018-2019 season, the fact that they are both crushing in the numbers is great news for fans of both shows. At the end of the day, I'm sure both networks are hoping for bragging rights regarding the ratings, but in terms of the success of both series, things are looking up. Very, very up.

Keep an eye out for network fall finales over the next few weeks. Plus, to find out more about what is going on at midseason, check out our winter TV premiere calendar for all new and returning dates.

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