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'Empire' Final Season Ending Early Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

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Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the sixth and final season of Empire will end earlier than anticipated.

Fox revealed at the end of Tuesday's "Love Me Still" broadcast that only three episodes in the series remain.

"Get ready for the shocking final three episodes of Empire," a voiceover declared over a promo for next week’s episode, according to Deadline.

The outlet reports that Episode 18 (set to air on April 21) was the last episode completed before production was shut down last month due to the coronavirus. It's now set to be the premature end of Empire, Deadline reports, adding that "the show’s long intended ending, the series finale Episode 20, will never see the light of day." 

Empire, starring Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson, made its debut on Fox on Jan. 7, 2015. The show also made abrupt changes last season when original castmember Jussie Smollett exited the series following the legal aftermath regarding a hate crime he allegedly staged against himself in 2019. 

"The show kicked off because I took my 4-year-old son and put him in the trash can because he had worn high heel shoes down on the stairs," Howard said of Smollett, who played his son on the show, in an interview with The Late Late Show with James Corden . "I was so proud of that young man that played my son because he still loved me at the end of it. And all he wanted to do was get closer to me." 

"And then, out of nowhere, you know, he's snatched away from us," he continued. "So it's like now he was the heart of our show and now it's like our show is on a heart and lung bypass machine. Because the heart is gone, but we're still hoping there's going to be a transplant and hoping somehow it'll come back together. I'm sorry to bring you guys down."

Empire airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET. In the meantime, hear more on how the coronavirus is affecting Hollywood in the video below.

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