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*It’s no surprise that the season 2 premiere of “Empire” handily whupped all competition on Wednesday night – outside of the NFL.

The one-hour return earned an average 6.5 rating among adults 18-49 and 16 million viewers, according to Nielsen. Compared to previous episodes, that’s only eclipsed by “Empire’s” March finale as the highest-rated ever.

It’s the lone good news for Fox in a trying week that included soft ratings for its Meagan Good-led freshman drama “Minority Report,” the premiere of Ryan Murphy’s “Scream Queens” and Sunday’s lowest-rated Emmy telecast ever.

“Empire’s” first-season performance was without precedent in the modern TV landscape. Growing its audience every week for 12 weeks, the show broke record after record. Its January opener fetched an impressive 3.8 rating in the key demo and 9.9 million viewers, trouncing its American Idol lead-in, and its finale raked in jaw-dropping 6.9 rating with adults 18-49 and 17.6 million viewers.

Rosewood (FOX)

Rosewood (FOX)

Meanwhile, “Empire’s” predecessor “Rosewood,” starring Morris Chestnut, opened with a 2.4 rating among adults 18-49 and 7.4 million viewers.