"Cookie Lyon is the new lion of prime time,"Gary Levin reported Thursday for USA Today.
"Fox's Empire is shattering Nielsen records as the only series to rise in the ratings for seven consecutive weeks since its premiere, climbing steadily from 9.9 million same-day viewers for its Jan. 7 opener to 13.9 million last week. With DVR-delayed viewing factored in, it's currently averaging 15.6 million viewers a week. And among young adults, it's climbed 37% in seven weeks, the biggest gain for a new series since Fox's teen soap The OC in 2003, Fox says.
"It also ranks as this season's top-rated network drama, ahead of NBC's The Blacklist and ABC's How to Get Away with Murder. . . ."
"Empire" was the top-rated show with the key audience of adults 18-49 for the week ending March 1, Nielsen reported.
It was also the top-rated prime-time show among African Americans.
Nevertheless, the show has its detractors.
Dr. Boyce Watkins, a finance Ph.D., author, commentator and an African American, wrote Sunday, "When the Fox Network released the new show, 'Empire,' I was concerned about what I might see on screen. Fox is not known for producing the most favorable images of black people, so I figured this show wouldn't be any different. For some reason, black dysfunctionality makes for great television, and there is a long line of white guys getting rich off of our willingness to celebrate all that makes us miserable.
"If you do some research, you might notice some of the same things I've seen in this ghetto-fied hood drama: Pimps, hoes, thugs, gangsters, emasculated black men, and all kinds of other kinds of stereotypical coonery that many of us have grown tired of seeing portrayed on-screen.
"Lee Daniels is apparently the man responsible for this televised monstrosity, and I wonder if a day will ever come that the majority of us will refuse to support directors who pimp their people to help bigots like Rupert Murdoch get rich from modern day minstrel shows. . . ."
Megan Angelo, Glamour: 11 Things You Didn't Know About Empire
- Yohana Desta, Mashable: Seriously, 'Empire'? You're like the Beyoncé of TV shows right now
- Michael O'Connell, Hollywood Reporter: TV Ratings: 'Empire' Won't Stop Getting Bigger, Hits Eighth Week of Growth
"A timely new show at the Steven Kasher Gallery in New York, 'Selma March 1965,' reminds us that not all civil rights photographs were created equal,"Maurice Berger wrote Monday for the "Lens" blog of the New York Times. "Commemorating the 50th anniversary this month of the historic Selma-to-Montgomery marches, the exhibition features the work of three documentarians of the protests: James Barker, Spider Martin and Charles Moore.
"While the photographs of Mr. Martin and Mr. Moore are well known, those of Mr. Barker are far less so. The most famous images of Mr. Martin and Mr. Moore — usually depicting civil rights leaders or dramatic milestones — are also more typical of the pictures we have come to associate with the movement.
"On the other hand, Mr. Barker's images are more intimate, focusing on volunteers and their everyday activities. The gallery believes his photographs are the only ones known of the Selma demonstrations that were taken from the viewpoint of a participant observer rather than a journalist. . . ."
- Jamelle Bouie, Slate: Losing Selma's Legacy
Electronic Media Plan for 50th Anniversary of Selma March
- Emil Guillermo, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund: On Selma, Todd Endo, and the continuing fight for justice in all of America's institutions(March 7)
- Chris Kromm, southernstudies.org: Selma and voting rights: Commemoration or legislation?
- Trymaine Lee, MSNBC: Inside Brown Chapel on the Selma anniversary (video)
- Barbara Reynolds, Washington Post: I fought for voting rights in 1965. Racism in the North hurt me as much as racism in the South.
- State Sen. Hank Sanders, al.com: It's harvest time for Selma
- Andrew Yeager, NPR "Code Switch": Photographer Helped Expose Brutality Of Selma's 'Bloody Sunday'
"A British-made documentary about a grisly gang rape in India spread throughout social media on Thursday, thwarting official efforts to block it and gaining a wide audience despite a government ban,"Suhasini Raj reported Thursday for the New York Times.
"A spokesman for YouTube in India, Gaurav Bhaskar, said that the company had agreed to a government request to block channels of multiple users who had uploaded the documentary. The original link on the BBC’s own website was still available, he said. By Thursday night, the film had been viewed more than 100,000 times from that link, not including viewings from other sources. . . ."
- Ximena Ramirez, care2.com: India's Daughter Documentary Holds Up a Mirror to the Rape Crisis in India