"Empire" is one of the biggest hits of the past few years for broadcast television. Fox/Chuck Hodes

The people of Atlanta love them some "Empire" and "Scandal." Boston? “Supergirl.”

While the ratings TV fans follow are a national average, Nielsen's reports also include a breakdown of the viewership of the 25 biggest U.S. metro areas, and often the ratings for these individual markets can offer insight on their local cultures.

When we look at this breakdown, we see that, although "Scandal" has been slipping in the overall ratings this season, Atlantans are tuning in at double the national average. Meanwhile, in Seattle, the audience for "Scandal" is only about half the average. And that’s just a start. Here are the shows that deviate the most from the national average, from New York to San Francisco, from Houston to Minneapolis, and 21 other places in between.*

New York

Big High: “How to Get Away With Murder” (ABC)

Big Low: “Rosewood” (Fox)

The people of New York are not overly fond of Morris Chestnut, which is a little sad, but maybe everyone is just still out at 8 p.m. on Wednesday nights. While “Murder” has seen its live ratings drop precipitously, New Yorkers are still trying to figure out how to… Well, you know.

Los Angeles

Big High: “Yo No Creo En Los Hombres” (Univision)

Big Low: “Arrow” (The CW)

People in L.A. may make television but don’t watch a lot of it in general. Spanish-language programming tends to do best here: Not only did “Yo No Creo” trounce slotmate “Blindspot” on NBC, Univision even beats out the powerhouse of ABC’s “Thank God It’s Thursday” lineup (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” “How to Get Away With Murder”). It’s hard to cut above the noise of Univision.

Jesse Spencer stars in NBC's "Chicago Fire." NBC


Big High: “Chicago Fire”

Big Low: “NCIS: Los Angeles” (CBS)

Not exactly a huge surprise that a show with “Chicago” in the title is more popular in Chicago (about double the national average). That kind of localism might also explain why “NCIS: LA” is persona non grata.


Big High: “The Middle” (ABC)

Big Low: “The Originals” (The CW)

Eagles fans just do not have the time or patience for vampire shenanigans – the audience for “The Originals” is sometimes only 20 percent of the national average. They do like some good, clean Midwestern humor, though.


Big High: “Elementary” (CBS)

Big Low: “Scandal”

Y’all like some Jonny Lee Miller, don’t you? CBS’ modern-day, New York-set interpretation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories can sometimes improve upon the national average by 240 percent. (CBS in general does incredibly well in Dallas.) The audience for “Scandal” is about 40 percent lower than the rest of the country – Texas doesn’t need your inside-the-Beltway nonsense.

San Francisco (including Oakland, San Jose)

High: “Fresh Off the Boat” (ABC)

Low: “Empire” (Fox)

Finding even one show that beat the national average was tough, but “Boat” managed 20 percent more viewers. That low, though? Why are you not cool with “Empire,” SF? You’re a whopping 60 percent lower than the average. Is the lack of diversity in tech really bringing you down this much?

Chicago PD
Kevin Atwater (Laroyce Hawkins, left), Hank Voight (Jason Beghe, center) and Kim Burgess (Marina Squerciati) return for "Chicago P.D.," Season 3. Matt Dinerstein/NBC

Washington, D.C.

Big High: “Scandal” (ABC)

Big Low: “Chicago P.D.” (NBC)

One of the taglines for “Chicago P.D.” was “Break the rules, not the law.” That kind of implication of police brutality doesn’t go over so well in a city battling allegations of corruption and abuse. But a show about high-powered D.C. players is naturally catnip to the citizens of our nation’s capital.


Big High: “Supergirl” (CBS)

Big Low: “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” (The CW)

Oh dear. You rather strongly rejected the CW’s sweetly, darkly weird musical comedy “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – it genuinely doesn’t have a single Nielsen family watching it. Maybe the title scared you away? At least you’re enjoying Kryptonian Kara Danvers about 70 percent more than the rest of the country.


High: “Empire” (Fox)

Low: “Code Black” (CBS)

Again, not a real surprise that a market with a high African-American population is drawn to “Empire,” at a rate of 160 percent over the national average. But they’ve had enough of Marcia Gay Harden and Luis Guzman’s medical drama.

Mysteries of Laura
Debra Messing balances being a mom and a cop in "The Mysteries of Laura." NBC


Big High: “Rosewood” (Fox)

Big Low: “Mysteries of Laura” (NBC)

This is another big Spanish-language market that regularly sees shows on Univision and Telemundo beat the snot out of everything else on air. But it’s worth pointing out that “Rosewood” gets a big bump, perhaps thanks to a multicultural cast.

Tampa-St. Petersberg

Big High: “The Muppets” (ABC)

Big Low: “Elementary” (CBS)

No love for Sherlock in the city that gave us Channing Tatum (too highbrow?), but “The Muppets,” while dropping in just about every other market, is thriving.


Big High: “Dancing With the Stars” (ABC)

Big Low: “The Grinder” (Fox)

Phoenix has a surprisingly young population, with a median age of 32.2, so it’s strange that the older-skewing “Dancing” does nearly 150 percent better than the national average, while the younger-skewing “Grinder” only clocks in with 40 percent of the national share of viewers.


Big High: “Gotham” (Fox)

Big Low: “NCIS: LA” (CBS)

Detroit appears to be single-handedly attempting to make up for the lack of West Coast viewers. Five times as many people watched a repeat of “Bones” here than anywhere else in the country. Perhaps the urban decay of “Gotham” speaks to them: Detroiters improved upon the average by nearly three whole ratings points, a margin greater than the live average of just about every drama on TV.


Big High: “Survivor” (CBS)

Big Low: “Empire” (Fox)

A less diverse market, Seattle’s “Empire”-watching audience only clocks in at about 48 percent of the national average. But they do still enjoy themselves a good Tribal Council.

Jane The Virgin season 2
Gina Rodriguez stars as Jane Villanueva in the CW comedy "Jane the Virgin." The CW


Big High: “NCIS” (CBS)

Big Low: “Jane the Virgin” (The CW)

Yo, Minneapolis. You’ve got a bit of a problem: “Jane” literally scratches in your market on a regular basis -- that means zero people in Nielsen’s sample watched it. And on Sept. 29, about 86 percent of you changed the channel when “Fresh Off the Boat” came on after “The Muppets” on ABC. The disparity between those two shows has narrowed considerably as the season has gone on, but maybe Twin Citians should reflect a little anyway.

Miami (and Fort Lauderdale)

Big High: “Celia” (Telemundo)

Big Low: “Arrow” (The CW)

Naturally, Miami’s Spanish-language telecasts are massive -- even bigger than Houston and Los Angeles. How big? Telemundo’s ratings beats its Big Four broadcast competitors by anywhere from a 200 to 500 percent margin, depending on the time slot. The CW’s comic book drama “Arrow” just doesn’t appeal to the denizens of South Florida (though spinoff “The Flash” does just about the same as in the rest of the country, oddly).

After a promising first season, "Sleepy Hollow" lost significant viewership in Season 2. Fox


Big High: “Chicago Med” (NBC)

Big Low: “Sleepy Hollow” (Fox)

Poor Ichabod Crane just can’t catch a break in the Mile High City. In some half-hours, not a single Nielsen house was interested in seeing what hijinks Ichabod and Agent Abbie Mills are getting up to. But new medical drama “Chicago Med” – NBC’s “Not a Reboot of ‘ER,’ We Promise” -- increases its audience about a third.


Big High: “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC)

Big Low: “Survivor” (CBS)

The Cleve does have some world-class medical facilities, which might explain the 77 percent increase in viewers for Shonda Rhimes’ venerable medidrama. And perhaps they’re about twice as conflict-averse as the rest of America, as the number of “Survivor” viewers is only half the national average.

Orlando (Daytona Beach, Melbourne)

Big High: “Criminal Minds” (CBS)

Big Low: “The Originals”/"The Vampire Diaries” (The CW)

Sweet of CBS to unite beach bums, theme park workers and retirees together in a love of torture porn. It also feels natural that vampires wouldn’t do so well in the Sunshine State.

Heroes Reborn
Noah Bennet (Jack Coleman, left), Miko (Kiki Sukezane), Ren (Toru Uchikado) and Quentin (Henry Zebrowski) battle evil in NBC's "Heroes Reborn." NBC/Christos Kalohoridis

Sacramento (Stockton, Modesto)

Big High: “Heroes Reborn” (NBC)

Big Low: “Empire” (Fox)

Given how much critical flak the “Heroes” revival got, its popularity in Sacremento -- and only Sacremento – is baffling. As is the California capital’s severe drop – up to 70 percent – when it comes to “Empire.”

St. Louis

Big High: “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS)

Big Low: “Nashville” (ABC)

Yes, “Big Bang” does well everywhere. But nowhere does it do as well as St. Louis, where it can add as many as three ratings points to the national average. More people in general watch TV in St. Louis, so in this case, “Big Low” means a dip of just a couple tenths of a ratings point – not bad, compared to the drops in other areas.


Big High: “The Middle” (ABC)

Big Low: “Mysteries of Laura” (NBC)

Sorry, Debra Messing. A struggling Midwestern family is just more interesting than New York Mom Cop.

Gotham Season 2
Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) will have plenty of new villains to fight in "Gotham" Season 2. Fox


Big High: “Modern Family” (ABC)

Big Low: “Gotham” (Fox)

Baby Batman doesn’t quite do it for the Yinzers, but three very affluent families in Los Angeles sure do. Never underestimate the power of televised wish fulfillment.

Portland, Oregon

Big High: “The Voice” (NBC)

Big Low: “Empire” (Fox)

Portland, like Seattle, is not the most diverse metropolitan area. Still, an audience 60 percent below the national average is quite steep. Most markets see decent increases over the average for “The Voice,” but the rise is especially noticeable here.


Big High: “How to Get Away With Murder” (ABC)

Big Low: “The Originals” (The CW)

There is something deeply disturbing about the city that just topped its highest murder rate flocking to a show titled “How to Get Away With Murder.”

*Based on ratings in the 18-49 demographic.