On Network TV, the Gap Between a Hit and a Dud Is Shrinking

Fox will finish No. 2 in the 18-49 demographic because of the Super Bowl and the World Series, but it sorely needs prime-time sizzle. As 21st Century Fox’s executive chairman, Lachlan Murdoch, told investors last week, the performance at the network is “frustrating for us all.” And ABC — weathering another season without a hit while watching old franchises limp along — will finish last among 18-to 49-year-olds for the second consecutive year.

As the networks prepare for the new season, here is a look at some of the bigger story lines from the past one:

“Empire” in Free Fall

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“Empire” is the third-highest-rated script show but lost a third of its total audience.

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