What is it about “Empire,” the Fox series about a family of music moguls that wraps up its first season this week, that makes the show so addictive? It might be the juicy plotlines; Taraji P. Henson’s ferocious and charming portrayal of Cookie Lyon, the estranged matriarch of the family; the so-bad-it’s-almost-good soundtrack, produced by Timbaland; or some combination of all three. The soapy drama, which debuted in January, was the highest-rated new series on television this season. Its ratings and audience numbers have risen each week the show has aired — a phenomenon that is practically unheard-of. Fox has already renewed the series for a second season.
The appeal of “Empire” is widespread — roughly 15 million people watch every week — but according to Nielsen, the show resonates particularly strongly with black viewers, who make up 62 percent of its primary audience. NPR’s Code Switch blogcalled
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