BET’s Stephen G. Hill is Jealous of ‘Empire’ + ‘Empire’ Becomes Top Rated TV Drama in Years

Photo Credit: FOX
Photo Credit: FOX

By: Amanda Anderson-Niles

Fox has found a gem in “Empire” and the drama’s success is making some executives at other networks a little bit jealous.

BET president of programming Stephen G. Hill tells the Jasmine Brand he’s happy for the show’s success but a tad bit jealous it’s not on BET:

“I am more jealous of Empire than any piece of television than I’ve seen in a long time. It is wonderfully written, amazingly directed. Within the first 11 minutes you knew what every character on that show what their goal [was] and what they wanted and you just let them on the field and let them play ball.

“I think Taraji is spectacular in this. I think Terrence Howard is fantastic. I think Lee Daniels and the rest of the people found some new people to put in this role. I think it’s fantastic and the fact that its increased its viewership every week for six week on network television is unheard of.”


Word is everyone in television is scrambling to find a show to compete with Empire’s monster ratings. The show is pulling around 13 million viewers each episode and over 60% of the viewership is black. Netflix is even reportedly working on a show similar for its original programming lineup which already includes favorites “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black.”

In related news, “Empire” is officially the most successful TV drama to hit the scene in years. Entertainment Weekly writes:

The biggest new hit of the season has grown its viewership for an incredible seventh week in a row.

Empire—which is also EW’s current cover story—continued its seemingly impossible climb Wednesday night, hitting 13.8 million viewers and a 5.3 rating among adults 18-49. Not only does that mark seven weeks of audience growth, but that demo rating is the highest for a regularly scheduled telecast of a broadcast network drama series in five years—since an epiosde of Grey’s Anatomy in 2010.


  1. Empire was so good last night! It really gets better every week. It took me a while to get into the show but now I’m addicted. I just wish it didn’t cut in to Black-ish’s success. BET is headed in the right direction with Gabby’s show though.

  2. I love Jamal and Cookie. They are my two faves. I was so happy when he came out the closet. And now he’s about to have a fine azz black boo. Ugh I love this show.

    1. Chile Cookie was on her worst behavior last night. She dragged Aunt Naomi and Boo Boo Kitty effortlessly. Had me clutching my pearls.

  3. LOL @ Netflix trying to sneak in on this sh-t. I love this though because now more networks will try to create more show with black casts. It’s about time.

  4. Good sh-t. Empire is a lot bigger than I thought it would be. This is a good time for black actors. We have Scandal, HTGAWM, Black-ish, Empire, Being Mary Jane, House of Lies and we’re also taking over The Walking Dead. Now if we could just get a hold of the movie business it would be a wrap.

      1. Girl I love TWD too. Last Sunday I thought I was going to have a panic attack several times. I cried thug tears when Tyrese died and I’m still not over Hershel’s death.

  5. I don’t think any network thought Empire would pull these kind of numbers. It just goes to show you that black people are more influential than this country wants to admit.

    1. We sure are. We also spend more money than any other race. We need to start using our power and make some much needed changes as a community.

      1. I understood where Hakeem was coming from. Really he just missed the relationship he and his mother should have had and because he is young he didn’t know how to handle her return. It’s rare because it is usually daughters who have to readjust to their fathers return into their lives and it plays out almost the same, from his dating the older woman to satisfy his mommy issues and lashing out with the disrespect. It just looks different on a male. I think this is a well thought out show and shows a lot of different points of view that everyone can relate too. It’s crazy cuz I’ve been waiting for the oldest son to crack. I guess we will soon see the extent of his illness.

  6. There was a misconception that black people only wanted to watch reality shows but the truth is most of us prefer scripted shows. It’s just nice to see our own people leading shows and such compelling shows. I hope we will see even more shows next year with majority black casts.

  7. I love Empire and I thought just from the plot it would be a better movie but it’s a damn good show so far. The writing the music everything is very good. I’m happy Empire isn’t on BET because it probably wouldn’t have turned out as good as it is I’m just keeping it real.

    1. Oh BET would have ruined everything and it would have been cancelled after the first season. I mean look at how they ruined The Game.

  8. I love what they are doing with Andre’s character. He’s so beautifully written. I think we needed to see mental illness up close and personal like this.

      1. I agree. And now he’s off his meds so he’s going to cause some major problems. Isn’t the season finale going to be two hours?

        1. Yeah I read it will be two hours. I do believe Andre is going to be a central character in what happens on the finale. It’s written on the wall.

    1. Be yourself. I came out a few years ago and while it was scary, it’s the best thing I ever did. I feel free now.

  9. Dam, I forgot to record my shyaaat and they’re taking forever to put it on On Demand… now I’m every where lurking and trolling getting bits and pieces, yeah it’s like crack, just look at me, it keep calling me and calling me…in need of that hit….uh uh uh..smh

      1. Thanks Crystal, on demand finally put it up and I just finished it, can’t wait for next week, but now I know where to go if it happens again. Now I’m watching one of my other favs, the first

  10. I’m loving Empire. I just hope the writing only gets better next season. I don’t want it to fall off like most shows do in the second season.

  11. BET need to get rid of Being Mary Jane. Just like John Legend need to get stray rid of his Satan wife breed chrissy. She is bringing him down. She is not a good look John!

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