Empire Falls After Smollett


Chaz Young, Staff Writer

Fox’s network series “Empire” returned to the airwaves for its spring premiere on March 13th, however, the series has suffer lower ratings since than amid the Jussie Smollett scandal after the show being off since December of 2018. “Jussie Smollett, who plays the character of“Jamal Lyon” on Empire, has been the subject of a police investigation, after allegedly claiming that he was the target of hate crime attack in Chicago in what he said was nothing stage about it. 

Smollett in early March was indicted on sixteen disorderly conduct felony counts by a grand jury on March 8, 2019, in the city of Chicago. Since the tenth episode air on March 13th, the series for its spring premiered only had 4.40 million viewers watching the live episode, in the 18-49 demo, the rating came out to be 1.2/6. This was a significant drop from when the show finish its first half of the season in December of last year. 

To make matters worse, the eleventh episode which air of March 20th, came in with even lower numbers, only 3.98 million viewers tuned-in to the see live episode with the 18-49 demo staying the same as it was the previous episode. lot of critics have cited that the episodes should have been pulled from the airways due to Jussie Smollett causing chaotic disorder on and off the set.

A lot loyal viewers have also taken to social media like Instagram and Facebook expressing their frustration that Jussie Smollett was still in the second half, even though it was too late to reshoot the episodesSmollett was taking out from the final two episodes of the season that were not shot with Smollett at all. Ratings could be down from the long break the show took in-between the fall and spring, ratings could also be down because the Smollett scandal. However, across the network board, rating have been down for a number of scripted shows, with less people tuning into television shows the networks can afford for any unnecessary drama to plague their shows on the network. 

The cast of Empire has expressed their support behind Smollett, but that doesn’t mean they don’t disagree with the claims against the Empire star. Empire airs live on Fox at 8:00 pm on Wednesday nights. With many fast approaching, Empire most likely will get a season 6 renewal, but what changes and cuts are on the horizon for the castcrew and the show overall, the best is yet come for the show. As of now, no word if Smollett or his character of Jamel will be cast in season six.