‘Empire’ Creators Confirm Early Finale

It’s official: next week’s 18th episode of Empire’s sixth season, airing on April 21, will be the hip-hop family drama’s finale for the foreseeable feature, and quite possibly a series finale. In separate statements, Empire creators/executive producers Lee Daniels and Danny Strong addressed the abrupt ending of their show due to the coronavirus pandemic while holding out hope that they could film a proper finale one day.

Fox Sets Early Series Finale For ‘Empire’

Empire‘s sixth and final season will end sooner than originally planned due to the coronavirus pandemic. As revealed at the very end of Tuesday’s betrayal and crashed wedding filled “Love Me Still” broadcast, the 18th episode of Taraji P. Henson and Terrance Howard-led hip hop drama’s final season will now serve as the finale. “Get ready for the shocking final three episodes of Empire,” a voiceover declared over a promo for next week’s 16th episode of the Fox series’ current sixth season.

Special Prosecutor To Look Into Smollett Case

A judge appointed a special prosecutor Friday to look into why the Chicago state’s attorney’s office abruptly dropped the case against Jussie Smollett, leaving open the possibility that the former Empire actor could yet face charges in what police say was a phony attack on himself that he staged to get attention.

Jussie Smollett Will Not Return To ‘Empire’

“Jussie [Smollett] will NOT be returning to Empire,” series co-creator Lee Daniels said Tuesday. Daniels was responding to a Variety report in which multiple production sources said that Empire’s writing staff was working on ideas for the show’s sixth and final season with the expectation that Smollett would appear in the back half of the 18-episode season. This is the first public acknowledgment that Smollett will not return for the final season of the Fox drama.

Fox Renews ‘Empire’ For Season 6

Producer 20th Century Fox TV has extended embattled actor Jussie Smollett’s option, but his character on the Fox hip-hop drama is not currently slated to return in the newly ordered season.

‘Empire’ Cast Writes Letter Supporting Smollett

Empire stars Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard are appealing to Fox for their embattled co-star Jussie Smollett to return for the show’s sixth season. Henson, Howard, and the rest of the drama series’ top cast, penned an April 19 letter to Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier, Disney TV Studios and ABC Entertainment chair Dana Walden, Fox Entertainment President Michael Thorn, Empire co-creators Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, and other executive producers on the series.

Prosecutors Drop Charges Against Smollett

Jussie Smollett’s attorneys said Tuesday that the Empire actor’s record had “been wiped clean” of the 16 felony counts related to making a false report that he was assaulted by two men. The actor insisted that he had “been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one.”

Smollett Pleads Not Guilty In Hoax Case

CHICAGO (AP) — “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges accusing him of lying to the police about being the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in downtown Chicago a few weeks ago. Lawyer Tina Glandian entered the plea on behalf of the 36-year-old actor during a hearing in Cook County Circuit Court […]

Jussie Smollett Indictment Casts Shadow Over ‘Empire’ Return

Jussie Smollett Out At ‘Empire’

Empire is no longer standing by its man. The Fox drama has suspended Jussie Smollett in the wake of the actor’s arrest for allegedly staging last month’s hate-crime attack against himself.

‘Empire’ Mulling Jussie Smollett’s Future With Show In Wake Of Arrest

Empire is “evaluating the situation” in light of Jussie Smollett‘s arrest for allegedly staging a racist and homophobic attack against himself, Fox announced Thursday.

Police: Smollett Staged Attack To Promote Career

Empire actor Jussie Smollett staged a racist and homophobic attack because he was unhappy about his salary and wanted to promote his career, Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnso said Thursday. Producers Fox Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Television issued a statement Thursday saying that they were “evaluating the situation” and “considering our options.”

Smollett Goes From Victim To Accused Felon

Following three weeks of mounting suspicions, Empire actor Jussie Smollett was charged Wednesday with making a false police report, a charge that could bring up to three years in prison and force the actor, who is black and gay, to pay for the cost of the investigation into his report of a Jan. 29 beating. Smollett turned himself in to Chicago police Thursday morning and is expected to appear in court later in the day.

Supreme Court Staying Out Of ‘Empire’ Lawsuit

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is staying out of a lawsuit involving the television show “Empire.” The high court said Tuesday it won’t take a case involving the Fox show, which follows a black family navigating the ups and downs of the record industry. That means a decision in favor of “Empire” co-creators Danny […]

Jussie Smollett Mystery Deepens

Here’s a timeline to help keep track of the twists and turns in the reported assault on Jussie Smollett, the Empire actor.

Police, Fox Dispute Smollett Attack Reports

Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson contacted at least one Chicago news outlet to say investigators have no evidence to support their reporting that the attack against Empire actor Jussie Smollett was a hoax. The spokesman added that Johnson said the “supposed CPD sources are uninformed and inaccurate.”

Smollett Expresses Anger Over Attack, Public Doubt

CHICAGO (AP) — Actor Jussie Smollett says he’s “pissed off” that some have doubted his claims about being attacked outside his Chicago apartment last month. The actor who stars in the Fox drama “Empire” made the comments during an interview with ABC News that’s set to air Thursday on “Good Morning America.” A preview clip from the […]

Photos Released Of Suspect In Smollett Attack

Detectives reviewed surveillance footage of Empire actor Jussie Smollett walking to his downtown Chicago apartment, but so far none of the video shows him being attacked by two masked men, although investigators have obtained images of people they would like to question, a police spokesman said Wednesday.

Police: No Footage Yet Showing ‘Empire’ Actor Being Attacked

CHICAGO (AP) — Detectives have reviewed surveillance footage of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett walking to a downtown Chicago apartment after an early-morning visit to a Subway restaurant, but none of it showed an attack on the actor, a police official said Wednesday. Investigators “for the most part” can confirm the route Smollett took early Tuesday […]

‘Empire’ Continues Production After Smollett Attack

Empire filming is continuing as scheduled for the day, a source says, amid the assault and subsequent hospitalization of star Jussie Smollett early Tuesday in Chicago. The Fox show’s production schedule remains “fluid” for the rest of the week, according to the source. It’s not yet known how Smollett’s injuries will ultimately affect production on the current season, which would typically wrap in March.

‘Empire’ Cast Member Alleges Homophobic Attack

CHICAGO (AP) — A cast member on the hit television show “Empire” alleged he was physically attacked by men in Chicago who shouted racial and homophobic slurs, police said Tuesday. Police did not release the actor’s name but a statement from Fox, which airs “Empire,” identified him as Jussie Smollett, 36, who plays Jamal Lyon […]

OVERNIGHTS

‘Empire’ Holds Steady To Top Wednesday

Empire was even in the Wednesday overnight ratings, allowing it to remain the top-rated show of the night. Airing at 8 p.m. on Fox, Empire drew a 1.8 rating in adults 18-49 and 5.8 million viewers. It’s closest competition for the night was Survivor on CBS, which slipped a little in the demo from last week to a 1.5 but was the most-watched show of the night with 7.9 million viewers.

Fox’s ‘Empire,’ ‘Star’ To Return On March 28

OVERNIGHTS

‘Empire’ Fall Finale Tops Wednesday

Airing at 8 p.m., Fox’s Empire averaged a 1.9 rating in adults 18-49 and just under 6 million viewers. That is up approximately 6% in the demo from last week and 5% in total viewers. The fall finale of Star (1.3, 4.2 million) was also up 8% in the demo and 4% in total viewers.

OVERNIGHTS

‘Empire’ Rebounds From Series Low

Fox’s Empire drew a 1.8 rating in adults 18-49 and 5.7 million viewers, up from the 1.7 and 5 million it drew last Wednesday. That is an improvement of approximately 6% in the key demo and 13% in total viewers.

‘Empire’ Takes Mid-Season Hiatus For Script Work

OVERNIGHTS

Fox’s ‘Empire’ Slips To Series Low

This week’s episode of Empire is currently at a new low for the Fox music drama in both key ratings measures. Airing at 8 p.m., Empire averaged a 1.8 rating in adults 18-49 and 5.5 million total viewers. While that’s not down significantly from last week’s episode (2.0, 5.9 million), it is nevertheless below the previous series low set by episode 15 of Season 3 (1.9, 5.6 million).

Fox TV Can’t Escape ‘Empire’ Prison Lawsuit

A judge decides that Fox must face a claim for inducing prison officials to breach their duties towards incarcerated children.

Fox, Twitter Partner On Shows’ Streaming Plan

Fox and Twitter are pairing on streaming initiatives for a handful of the network’s shows, including a digital pre-show for “Empire” that launches Sept. 20. A marathon of streamed episodes of “The Mick” will also stream, hosted by star Kaitlin Olson, and the new sci-fi comedy “Ghosted” will stream nightly on Twitter from Sept. 21-24 ahead of its Oct. 1 debut. 

Forest Whitaker Joins ‘Empire’ Season 4

OVERNIGHTS

‘Empire’ Returns At New Low, Still No. 1

Empire aired its first new episode in two weeks on Wednesday night, with the Fox music drama returning at a new series low. Nevertheless, it was still the top-rated show of the night in adults 18-49.  Empire averaged a 2.1 rating and 6.2 million viewers, down from the previous series low set on April 5 (2.2, 6.4 million).

Demi Moore Books Big Recurring Role On ‘Empire’

Phylicia Rashad Joins ‘Empire’ Season 3

Fox Hit With ‘Empire’ Class Action Suit

With the Season 3 debut of Empire just weeks away, the first two episodes of the Fox blockbuster’s second season today are at the center of a potential big-bucks class action lawsuit filed over filming at a Chicago juvenile detention center that left hundreds of underage inmates in “lockdown.”

TCA SUMMER PRESS TOUR

‘Empire’ Producers Talking About A Spin-Off

The Fox hit’s producers say there’s lots of discussion about how the lead characters might fare in another part of the universe. First, there’s room for a crossover between Empire and Lee Daniels’ other musical show, Star, and possibly even more, including spinoffs.

Fox Beats $10M Lawsuit Over ‘Empire’

Over a year after Fox, Empire co-creators Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, series star Terrence Howard, writer Malcolm Spellman and media mogul Rupert Murdoch were sued in a $10 million copyright infringement suit by “self-described ‘gangsta pimp’” Ron Newt, a federal judge has tossed the case out.

Fox’s ‘Empire’ Finale Jumps With DVRs

The season-two ender posts a 6.0 rating among 18-49s with seven-day DVR playback factored in, up 1.9 points from its original 4.1 rating.

Pepsi Unveils 5-Second Emoji Ads In ‘Empire’

Pepsi recently used a three-episode plot line to attach itself to the Fox drama Empire. It’s latest effort to hitch itself to the show can be counted in seconds, not weeks.  The beverage maker ran the first of what it says will be dozens of five-second ads featuring various emojis placed on bottles of its flagship soda.

NAB 2016

The Many Ways ‘Empire’ Is Affecting TV Biz

During its first two seasons, a lot has been said about how Fox’s Empire has changed the face of TV. But its role in elevating the visibility of black families on television is just part of how this soapy success is making an impact.

‘Empire’ Return Soars Among DVR Viewers

The midseason premiere of the Fox drama posts a 6.5 rating among 18-49s with DVR playback added in, up 1.7 points from its original rating.