“Empire” is not going out in style. The once hot-as-a-pistol show dropped again to its lowest ratings ever.
Tuesday’s night audience was down to 2,793,000 from 2,941,000 in week 2. Week one was just above 3 million.
Did Jussie Smollett carry that much audience? Or are the viewers just turned off by everything that happened with his scandal? Whatever it is, they are gone. Smollett took them with him when he became embroiled in his scandal last spring. His reporting of a mugging, with racial and homophobic overtones, turned into an international cause celebre when it couldn’t be corroborated. Smollett may have invented the whole thing because he wanted a higher salary. The whole thing ended with a question mark, and Smollett’s career in flames.
Believe it or not, “Empire” hit 17.65 million viewers on March 18, 2015. It was the season 1 cliffhanger. Since then, episode by episode, the numbers just drained slowly.
At the time “Empire” was renewed for its sixth and final season, Fox TV said: “We’re turning the final season of Empire into a large television event. We are going out guns-a-blazing. Six years is a pretty remarkable run for a drama series.” But it’s going out with a whimper at this point. Gun control has set in.
When it’s over, Taraji P. Henson can return to her film career or star in another series. Terrence Howard says he’s done, but who knows with him? He’d be imprudent to squander his career right now. Gaboure Sidibe was already famous from “Precious” before “Empire” started thanks to Lee Daniels, who directed that movie and created this show.
As for Daniels, time to get back to movies. He’s needed in that space more than in this one.
Meanwhile, “NCIS” dipped below 12 million to its lowest rating in some time. Ziva– Cote de Pablo– was not on this episode, which aired while a lot of viewers may have been at Kol Nidre services for Yom Kippur. Maybe that’s where Ziva — who’s Jewish in the show– was too.