‘Empire’ Ratings Continue To Decline, Hit Series Low

‘Empire’—Ratings Continue To Slide And Hit Series Low

Last week, FOX hit series Empire returned from a 3-month hiatus right in the midst of all of the drama and increased media attention surrounding series co-star Jussie Smollett.

The ratings for the spring premiere on March 13th were down significantly from the last episode in December—and many suspected the Smollett drama was to blame. That opinion may or may not be true, as the latest episode of the series fell even lower in the ratings.

Empire is still one of the biggest hits on the FOX network, but if the recent ratings are any indication, it may not be for much longer. According to industry reports, the most recent episode of the musical drama fell to a series low in the ratings—causing many to attach the continuous lagging viewership to the Jussie Smollett scandal.

Empire’s Terrence Howard & Taraji P. Henson

The March 20th episode of Empire was the lowest-rated in the show’s history, scoring a 1.1 rating in the all-important 18-49 demographic and only watched by just under 4 million total viewers. These numbers mean Empire fell by 11% in the ratings and 10% in total viewership in just a week.

The dismal ratings news comes on the heels of series creator Lee Daniels breaking his silence about Empire following Jussie Smollett’s 16-felony count indictment.

In the video Daniels said:

“These past couple of weeks have been a freakin’ rollercoaster. Me and my cast have experienced pain and anger, and sadness and frustration – and really don’t know how to deal with it, you know? ‘Cause everything has happened – which you’re seeing tonight – prior to the incident. And this is not what the show is made for. This show was made to bring America together; to talk about the atrocities that are happening right now in the streets. So, anyway, both shows are on tonight – ‘Star’ and ‘Empire.’ They’re incredible.”


Meanwhile Empire fans are bracing themselves for the impending death of one of the Lyon family members. Many initially suspected it would be eldest son Andre, but since everything happened with Smollett many wonder if that will change.

Empire airs Wednesday nights on FOX at 8PM.

Are you surprised about Empire’s ratings? Let us know in the comments!

Authored by: Danielle Jennings