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Fox is dropping 'American Idol,' and goes all in on 'Empire' and the black audience

(May 11, 2015) Prior to Monday's upfront presentation of its plans for the coming TV season, the
Fox Television Group announced that it is dropping "American Idol" in 2016 and is moving its newest midseason success, "Empire," to a return in the fall. It will also increase its schedule for the hip-hop drama to 18 episodes from 12.

"Empire" replaced "Idol" as Fox's leading ratings winner by becoming the only show in television history to grow each consecutive week in audience. It also was historic in that
if not a single white viewer had ever tuned in, the show's Black audience alone would have ranked it among the top five in the national ratings. Total white viewership for the hip-hop drama never exceeded 39% for any episode, and dropped to 29% for the record-breaking finale. 

The change in assignment will mean that "Empire" will have its season split in half to nine in the fall and another nine in the spring. It remains the Wednesday night anchor, preceded by the new lead-in drama, "Rosewood," about a Miami pathologist played by Morris Chestnut.

This is not the first time that Fox has gone all in by placing its bet on the African-American television audience. Indeed, many industry observers cite 1980's programs like "In Living Color" and "The Arsenio Hall Show" as the building blocks that brought the network its first successes when it first went on the air in 1985.

Starbucks presses ahead with USA Today on next phase of 'Race Together' initiative

Wells Fargo launches new targeted social media platform, The Untold Stories Collection

Carnival Corp. names Marie McKenzie Vice President of Global Destination Services

Nielsen's multicultural 'Super Consumer' report highlights market opportunities

Black Cable TV Ratings for Week of April 6 - 12 VH1's 'Love & Hip Hop' gets first No.1 spot on Top 25 for its fifth season

Black TV Ratings for Week of April 6 - 12 Black households showed continued loyalty to NCAA Championship basketball

Walton Isaacson names Kirsten Atkinson Vice President of Media and Branded Integration

Black Cable TV Ratings for Week of March 2 - 8 'Haves and the Have Nots' again gives OWN the No.1 cable show in black homes

Ebony magazine CEO says March issue missed due to rate dispute with advertisers

Black TV Ratings for Week of March 2 - 8 Empire's growth to more than nine million black viewers surprises the show's producer

Oprah Winfrey Network orders new episodes for its four Tyler Perry series

Walton Isaacson ad agency names Vida Cornelius EVP and Chief Creative Officer

Black media, business and civil rights groups take issue with Byron Allen's lawsuit, attacks

GlobalHue said to have lost assignment as AOR for Jeep advertising account

Toyota promotes two African-American executives among leadership changes

Nielsen: New opportunities to tap Black consumers found in fitness, finance areas

Dori J. Maynard, longtime champion of diversity in journalism, dies at age 56

Interactive One launches HB Studios to create original programming for online channel

Award-winning creative director puts different spin on young black men as 'statistics'

Mitzi Miller announces her departure as Ebony magazine editor-in-chief

Nissan is exclusive automotive sponsor for BET Awards broadcast in June

Black TV Ratings for Week of February 16 - 22 Fox's 'Empire' passes the eight million mark; 'Oscars' lift ABC to week's top network

Dori J. Maynard, longtime champion of diversity in journalism, dies at age 56

Interactive One launches HB Studios to create original programming for online channel

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