‘Empire’ Delivers Its Lowest Ratings to Date Amid Jussie Smollett Drama

Published: Thursday 21st Mar 2019 by Rashad

With an ongoing media onslaught surrounding his allegedly faked homophobic attack, ‘Hurt People’ singer Jussie Smollett’s seeing his real life drama hurt the ratings of the scripted drama, ‘Empire.’

Once FOX’s flagship production, the Taraji P. Henson-led series was already steadily declining in viewership ahead of the commotion caused by Smollett – a feat the negative press certainly didn’t help.  Just a week after posting its lowest season premiere ratings (mid-season or otherwise), reports now have it ‘Empire’ delivered its lowest figures to date (overall) on its Wednesday (March 20) episode.

Details inside:


The second episode of Empire after the arrest of one of its stars, Jussie Smollett, was the lowest rated in the series’ history.

The March 20 episode scored a 1.1 rating in the 18-49 demo, and was watched by just under 4 million total viewers. Last week’s midseason premiere also struggled, with a 1.3 rating and 4.4 million viewers, which means the show dipped by 11% in the ratings and 10% in total viewership since last week.


The report above surfaced just a day after the show’s creator Lee Daniels took to Instagram to express the “hurt and anger” of Smollett’s cast mates during this difficult time.  Click here to hear what he said.

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  1. MissGuided March 21, 2019

    I haven’t seen an episode of Empire since the first season. How can people watch that crap?

    • Jasmine March 21, 2019

      The article said the ratings are down not up. Did you read the article?

      • MissGuided March 22, 2019

        Where did I say the ratings were up? Are you drunk sis?

  2. Kara March 21, 2019

    Its going to get cancelled and they know it.

  3. Jackx March 21, 2019

    Just kill off Jussie and add another star better than him. and I’m not talking bout replacing him. just do some revamping to get ppl interested again.

    • Jasmine March 21, 2019

      This is just a black remake of Dynasty. Dynasty did the same thing and…it lasted 8 seasons. Empire is already on season 6. Perhaps it is towards the end.

      • D March 21, 2019

        The Game of Thrones team must have noticed that—they’re finishing the series this year on season 8.

  4. Whoops 🤷🏽‍♀️🤭💅🏾 March 21, 2019

    He probably had something to do with it, but the show was on the decline anyway. I highly doubt the figures would’ve been that much better regardless.

  5. ChrisFresh March 21, 2019

    The show is boring

    • Jeans March 22, 2019

      The show is very boring. Never got the hype

      • Irving March 23, 2019


  6. Jackx March 21, 2019

    I say either Jacob Latimore or Trevor Jackson would be a good addition.

    • Jasmine March 21, 2019

      Too young. They have to appeal to an older crown because the younger generation is OVER tv and music, especially watching antannae channels like FOX. They are going to have to get someone like Common to spruce up ratings.

      • ChrisFresh March 22, 2019


      • SMH March 22, 2019

        Common?? Lmfao.

    • Tyler March 21, 2019

      Trevor Jackson is already on Grownish

  7. King of Kingz March 22, 2019

    Regardless Empire is still their HIGHEST rated & MOST watched program on their network. Those figures don’t include the viewers who DVR the program. Also most ppl don’t have cable anymore, they have HULU so they numbers also don’t include the millions that will watch over the next week. Furthermore Empire just came back from a 3+ month break. Jussie’s character actually has one of the best storylines on the show, him from the show is only gonna make viewership drop even more. He hasn’t been proven guilty of anything yet . But as I said before Empire is pulls in the most ratings out of ALL their programs so they ain’t about to cancel it

    • B2B March 22, 2019

      You said it best. Yes ratings dropped but that’s because people are using streaming services. Empire will be renewed.

      • SMH March 22, 2019

        Exactly, not only that but the show’s been on for five years, its basically coming to the end of its course anyway.

  8. SMH March 22, 2019

    The media up to its old tricks lol. This has nothing to do with Jussie, the show’s ratings were already on a decline, and this is the 5th season so its already run its course. Not to mention they didn’t promote the midseason premiere AT ALL, in the past seasons they started promoting the premiere at least a month before it aired. But of course its easier to feed the social media trolls and blame it all on Jussie.

  9. Jeans March 22, 2019

    Just cancel already

  10. Dc March 22, 2019

    Lee was all up his a$$ at first posting pics next day typical f$g stuff

  11. Theman March 22, 2019

    Y’all keep mentioning streaming shows this & that. But a lot has gone on around this show. It’ll either gain or whatever. They’ve been break. This show is boring though.

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