• Terrence Howard plays Lucious Lyon in the Fox hit series "Empire."

Terrence Howard plays Lucious Lyon in the Fox hit series "Empire." (Photo : Reuters)

"Empire" averaged an incredible 16.5 million viewers during its two-hour first season finale on Wednesday. It also earned a platinum 6.4 rating among 18-to-49-year-olds-the highest on broadcast networks throughout the 2014-2015 TV season, with  one post-Super Bowl exception; will it be the next "Glee?"

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The show scored a stellar 6.9 rating during its regular Wednesday 9 p.m. time slot. That launched "Empire" past "Big Bang Theory" as the most-watched entertainment series . When cable shows are included in the rankings, only AMC's "The Walking Dead" has higher figures.

When "Empire" premiered in January, it had 9.9 million viewers. Brad Adgate, a vice president at Horizon Media, called its premiere-to-finale 80 percent ratings increase "extraordinary," according to The Los Angeles Times.  

In part this is due to the show's week-by-week increase in its audience. Also, in this era hit TV shows' ratings expectations have dropped due to video on demand and streaming.

 "Empire" has ranked fourth in total viewers (15.63 million) excluding football viewing, through March 15. It only trails "NCIS" (19.97 million), "The big Bang Theory" (19.16 million), and "NCIS: New Orleans" (18.27 million).  

The show also was a hit on social media. Its season finale garnered 2.4 million tweets throughout its on-air broadcast.

The season's last show provided several cliffhangers that will lead into Season 2. They include Empire Records CEO Lucious Lyon not dying of ALS, and his being imprisoned for the murder of his best friend.

After its spectacular first season, it is unknown if "Empire" will be a hit or miss next season. The show could become the next "Glee" or "Scandal" respectively, according to The Washington Post.  

Will "Empire" stand tall or fall?