‘Empire’ finale delivers best ratings since October 2019

This is the way to end a series. Empire signed off with its premature series finale on Tuesday night, after the coronavirus forced the Fox show to shorten its production at Cinespace Studios.

The final episode delivered a 0.8 rating and 2.9 million total viewers. That represents the show’s highest rating and largest audience since Oct. 2019. Empire has seen in a steady ratings decline over the past couple seasons in particular.

For comparison, the season 5 finale drew 4.1 million viewers, while the season 4 finale drew 5.3 million. Last night’s episode wasn’t done any favors by its lead-in, a Masked Singer replay, which scored a 0.5 and 2.7 million viewers.

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CBS won a relatively night overall, thanks to its Grammy Salute to Prince which topped Tuesday with a 1.0 rating and 6.5 million total viewers. An NCIS rerun scored a 0.7 and 7.7 million pairs of eyeballs.

Producers Hold Out Hope For Finishing Finale

According to series star Taraji P. Henson, episode 19 was part-way through shooting when the shutdown came into effect, and that footage from that unfinished episode will be cut into the finale.

“We’re so proud of this show and of everything this incredible cast – led by Taraji and Terrence- and crew accomplished over six seasons,” Danny Strong said. “The episode airing on April 21 was never meant to be the series finale, but due to current events it will likely be the last one our fans will see for a while. We had an ending for the series planned that we all loved, and hopefully someday we’ll be able to film it and give the series its proper conclusion.”

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“The success of ‘Empire’ and bringing the Lyon family to broadcast television will always be one of the proudest achievements of my career. This show is the definition of breaking barriers. Thank you to our incredible cast, especially Terrence and Taraji, along with our amazing writers and tireless crew, for all of their hard work and bringing this story to life. I think there’s more to do with these characters, and I’m heartbroken we aren’t getting to shoot the finale we wanted—at least not yet. But you know what they say in television? Stay tuned! To the Empire,” said Lee Daniels.

SOURCE: Variety