Empire‘s sixth and final season will finish sooner than initially planned due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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As revealed at the really end the Tuesday’s betrayal and crashed wedding filled “Love Me Still” broadcast, the 18th episode of Taraji P. Henson and also Terrance Howard-led i know well hop drama’s final season will now serve as the finale. “Get ready for the shocking final three illustration of Empire,” a voiceover declared over a promo for next week’s “We got Us”, the 16th illustration of the Fox series’ existing sixth season.

The critical completed episode before the coronavirus-imposed manufacturing shutdown, episode 18, i m sorry is scheduled to waiting on April 21, is now collection to be the premature finish of Empire. To assist create a much more seamless all at once ending, we hear this newly minted finale will likely function footage from episode 19, which was halfway through filming once the health crisis paused all Hollywood production. The show’s long intended ending, the series finale illustration 20, will never ever see the light of day because that the as soon as blockbuster.

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The Empire an innovative team already had to change plans for the series’ last chapter when crucial original actors member Jussie Smollett abruptly exited critical season in the legal aftermath of an allegedly staged dislike crime incident. Now the show’s producers had to pivot again and also create a new finale.

While Smollett’s Jamal Lyon character has actually been called dropped numerous times this season and in tonight’s episode, the actor that played the 2nd son of Henson’s Cookie and also Howard’s rapper mogul Lucious is back in courts with new indictments end the January 2019 claimed attack and also could confront time behind bars. Regardless of pleading by the core cast at one point last year to bring Smollett earlier to Empire, co-creator Lee Daniels and also Fox Entertainment ceo Charlie Collier have actually both insisted the wasn’t in the cards – one insistence the looks to be even much more certain through the series’ newly squeezed schedule and much more real-life legit drama.

Empire was among only two broadcast series whose last season shooting were affected by the mass production shutdown in mid-March amid the pandemic. The CW’s Supernatural, i m sorry had likewise completed 18 episodes of the 20-episode order, ended up airing 13 episodes this season and plans to movie the last two episodes because that a 7-episode run at a later date.

Yet the premature end of the mothership series may no be the finish to the Empire franchise.

As gendergeek.org reported in January, Fox brass have been mulling a potential spinoff headlined by Oscar nominee Henson together the larger-than-life Cookie Lyon, which collection creators Daniels and Danny solid are said to have embraced.

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From Imagine tv in association with 20th Century Fox Television, Empire is executive produced by Daniels, Strong, Brian Grazer, Sanaa Hamri, Dennis Hammer, Matt Pyken and also Diane Ademu-John. Brett Mahoney is executive, management producer and showrunner.