The Lyon family saga is coming to an end on Empire this spring and now, thanks to the coronavirus, the series will have a different ending than originally planned.
Empire Finale Scrapped
Deadline reports that the show had to wrap production before the planned finale, Episode 20, could be filmed. Segments of some episodes may be edited into what will now be the finale, the show’s 18th episode this season.
Episode 18 was fully completed and is now set to air on Tuesday, April 21 and will serve as the series finale. However, as parts of Episode 19 were shot, it’s possible that elements of it will be inserted into this new finale.
A voiceover at the end of this week’s episode of Empire announced that viewers should get ready for the shocking final three episodes. Next week is Episode 16 and is titled We Got Us.
There’s always the possibility that producers could release the material for Episode 20 in printed form in order to let viewers know how the show intended for the longtime series to end.
That’s what happened when Dark Shadows ended in 1971 when storylines were set in an alternate timeline. The show’s head writer, Sam Hall, penned an article when he explained what was going to happen next to the characters in the show’s original setting. Hall added a caveat in his article by writing: “These are merely signposts pointing the direction the characters might have gone.”
After this current crisis has passed, there’s always the possibility that producers will do a spinoff of Empire using the incredibly popular character of Cookie (Taraji P. Henson).
“We have talked about it but there has been no pitch, and there has been no deals,” Michael Thorn, Fox entertainment chief, said in January at the Winter TV Critics Press Tour, according to Deadline. “Would we like to keep Taraji on our air for as long as possible? Of course!” Empire airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.