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Fox Television executives are probably rethinking their decision not to scrub all of actor Jussie Smollett's scenes from the 2nd half of Empire's season 5, which returned on March 13 - nearly a month after the disgraced co-lead star was arrested in Chicago for filing a false police report.

Empire returned from winter hiatus, airing its first episode since Smollett allegedly concocted a scheme with 2 pals to stage a hate crime to bring attention to himself on Jan 29.

Smollett, 36, was arrested on Feb. 20 and charged with one count of felony disorderly conduct for lying to police. He bonded out of jail the next day and immediately returned to the Empire set.

Smollett was later hit with 16 counts of felony disorderly conduct. He faces a maximum of 64 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

Days later, FOX announced the actor's scenes would be written out of the final two episodes of the 2nd half of season 5.

But even before he hired celebrity attorney Mark Geragos to help clear his name, the public had already denounced Smollett as a malignant narcissist who would resort to anything to further his own career.

According to The Wrap, last night's 8 p.m. episode on Fox TV attracted 4.4 million viewers with a 1.3 rating among adults 18-49. The numbers are way down from last year's series return from winter hiatus and down double digits from Empire's 2018 fall finale.

via The Wrap -- The previous original "Empire" episode on Dec. 5 had a 1.5 rating and 5.043 million total viewers. Last year's midseason return put up a 2.0 rating and tallied 6.217 million viewers.

As a matter of fact, last night's "Empire" drew the second-smallest audience and second-worst demo rating ever for "Empire." The only episode to draw fewer "live" eyeballs (4.229 million) and a lower demo rating (a 1.2) aired on Halloween 2018, which makes sense, as people were out celebrating and not in front of their TVs.

  • ShelbyMoore

    Damn Jussie done took Lee Daniel's project down....If he really needed the money, he should have just given his as$ to Lee cause he looks like he doesn't care what type of bussie he gets just as long as he gets to play in some shat!

  • tintin

    well i forgot it was starting again, i saw it recorded on my dvr just last night. so maybe everyone was like me. I'm busy, i don't have time to watch shows the exact time it comes on

  • xenaD

    It was good ?

  • OkHit Media

    All this Jussie Smollett stories if he ever gets out of it he will be a change person

  • Kayke

    You can’t sell what you already gave away. The bussie probably was a requirement to get the role. Cause Jussie is not a good actor.

  • Kayke

    You can’t sell what you already gave away. The bussie probably was a requirement to get the role. Cause Jussie is not a good actor.

  • TeeJay

    I really hope that people will stop watching. A strong statement should be made. You can't sachet around doing shit like that.

  • TeeJay

    I really hope that people will stop watching. A strong statement should be made. You can't sachet around doing shit like that.

  • SpiceGirl

    Ok I watched...and it seemed to me, it was ALL about "Jamal" If they are going to write him off...I can see them having him leave with Kie (or whatever dude name is) On to the next! So what is up with this OTHER son who is out for blood?!!

  • SpiceGirl

    Ok I watched...and it seemed to me, it was ALL about "Jamal" If they are going to write him off...I can see them having him leave with Kie (or whatever dude name is) On to the next! So what is up with this OTHER son who is out for blood?!!

  • what?why

    Good, this gives TPTB reason(s) to get rid of him.

  • SouthServesHer2

    Haven’t ever seen this show all the way through! I think I tried to watch the first episode. Couldn’t get with all the singing throughout the show! ?????

  • Renee26

    I was screaming at the tv "What happened to my baby!!! when Andre's nose started bleeding...

    I think they threw that scene with Lucious telling the nut he's a Lyon on the fly after Jussie's antics... Jamal will be in that casket and the yt boy will replace him.

  • Renee26

    That son will replace Jamal... Watch

  • Renee26

    Exactly, I never watch shows when they air. I just watched last night...as usual

  • Renee26

    ? log off!! ???

  • Pamela

    Harsh.

  • Mr.LeBrickJames

    Just throw the whole show away.

  • ShelbyMoore

    He definitely is NOT. And if anyone had any reservations about his nonacting as$ skills...just pull up the Robin Roberts interview. Hahaha

  • ShelbyMoore

    But am I lying?

  • SingleGalCrazyWorld

    Empire is wack...I like Star better...

  • ShelbyMoore

    I haven't watched since they had that dude giving head to the other dude on the balcony. I mean the first season was pushing it for me, but when I saw that, I took that shat off my DVR! Simply disgusting. No need for things like that to be on free TV.

  • Kayke

    Exactly, if you can’t find your motivation to give your best performance when your freedom depends on it.... you’re a trash actor.
    There are Youtubers who are better actors than him.

  • SpiceGirl

    I'm pretty sure of it......

  • Mr.LeBrickJames

    Somebody told me she was sitting watching it with her kid when that scene came on, and she was just horrified. Super-awkward, to say the least.
    I'm glad I stopped watching long before that episode.

  • Ni Ni

    ??? no need at all.

  • Carrington

    This just goes to show you that the show is pretty much done. Done because people are nosey and, more than likely, would've tuned in JUST to see how they handled the Jussie foolery. If anything, ratings should've been UP for this episode based upon the nosey factor alone.
    I watched just to see what was going to happen and how they were going to handle him. If ratings were down, not only were regular fans not tuning in, but the nosies opted to get on Faybook instead.

  • Youcan’tbanmesucka

    This shiittt show has always been a dumpster fire!

  • Wreckognize Game

    I don't think they advertised its return really well. I only knew because it is set on my dvr. I have always fast forwarded thru Jussie's singing scenes. He is the GOAT. Literally.

  • Renee26

    I like Star better too

  • Topic Influencer

    Good. The main star and about 2-3 regulars supported his bullshit. I hope it crashes and burns https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2b12c29f22c47b8001823bff81a71a8650c31687274b22c92c0bcd5d42fcafea.gif

  • MsSapphire9800

    I haven't watch Empire since the 1st Season....if that is all it took..(one lie) Jussie should've been did it.
    https://media.giphy.com/media/8UF0EXzsc0Ckg/giphy.gif

  • jeniefrumdabloc™
  • Amilia A Lee

    Same here!

  • Carrington

    I don't want the show to end simply because it's a prime time show on a major network with an all black cast. It may not be my thing, but I'm not going to be like most people calling for it to end. That show employs too many black actors who may not, otherwise, have the option of having a full-time gig ever again in life.

    For that reason - my vote is that it stay on as long as OTHER shows that overstayed it's welcome. Where is Gabby going to get a full-time gig after this? Taraji might find full-time work, but the whole of the cast is iffy. Hell, even Terrence Howard isn't guaranteed work in Hollywood since most black people have turned on him and that horrible "proper" accent he does like Cedric the Entertainer that makes me want to vomick in my thoke. Brothers, PLEASE stop doing that - you look stupid as F*CK!

  • Tinytoon

    I wonder if the blind gossip I saw yesterday was true? They can't fire him cause he didn't plead guilty and if they do, he can sue for wrongful termination

  • Wreckognize Game

    Or singer. Sorry, so not sorry.

  • jeniefrumdabloc™
  • Evillene

    All the music on the show is dreadful. I fast-forward through all of it.

  • iWasteTime

    I didn't make it past season two

  • hottlanta

    I love empire. I love seeing my man thirsty in those suits from k & g. In the end thirsty is a fed or he is gonna betray lucious. The artwork on empire is the bomb. Whoever the art curator is the show is the business

  • xenaD

    Ew they better not!

  • ClaireHuxtable

    I didn't make it past one. I did look at the first episode, but decided it was still a "NO" for me.

  • JustMyThoughts

    Me not watching has nothing to do with Jussie I simply lost interest

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    weak storie lines ..... and over thee top acting .... just not my forte !!!!! I need depth ...... by the way Can't wait for da game of thrones chile ...... lawd!!!!!!! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/98844e63b0bb1e80faa72ba1439d81d53026a3cefacbea832f29ef1efc325984.gif

  • ClaireHuxtable

    The Empire crumbles...

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    lolololol the irony!!!!!

  • GAPeach

    He's facing 64 years? Shewwww, that's one costly lie.

  • iWasteTime

    I can't wait sis! I'm excited and already sad for it to end!!

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    I think I saw they are doing a spin off ..... the origins of the white walkers chile........ how they became...... https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/61001d487050d254665ad32a8ccd11b80aef96979d275f039dd6c3feaddd1091.gif

  • the guest

    I really don't want to cosign this. I really don't. But Empire is indeed trashy TV. But I'v looked at it like this. Black folks have supported all the trashy white soap shows like Dynasty and all the daytime soaps so why not support Empire and Star. I liked the premise of Empire in the beginning. I liked Naomi Campbell's guest arc, even Rumer Willis' arc. But Demi Moore's character was so outlandish and not necessary and those episodes lagged.

  • Jordan’s Memory

    The ratings drop has nothing to do with Jussie, the show has run it's course and its boring now, especially with boo boo kitty gone she was so beautiful and she brought some class to the show. When she and Luscious was together that's when the show was at his best. I do dvr it out of habit but it will probably take me a few days to a week to watch it. Hell may my not watch it at all. My daughter stopped watching a couple seasons ago. and she was an Empire groupie! lol I think Star is a much better show.

  • Renee Bee
  • Jordan’s Memory

    Yeah right Empire isn't nothing but soft gay porn, It's very clear that the director is a gay man because he is doing nothing but living out his fantasies. I mean damn do we have to see that in EVERY episode? Maybe we can finally get a break from the fykery with his scenes being reduce/cut.

  • Rayne

    I lost interest when they started doing all that boy kissing . No good!

  • Jordan’s Memory

    OMG Yes he does!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lmao

  • ClaireHuxtable

    That lowdown, money-grubbing Lee is probably already working on another show..."Tranny Children in Paradise".

  • Jordan’s Memory

    Nuh Uhh Don't be talking bout Dynasty. That was my show! Alexis was that bish! lol

  • Jordan’s Memory

    Yes, Star is much better.

  • Joy King

    I agree. I purposely didn't watch because of Jussie. I'm so disgusted with what he did, I refuse to support anything he is in. Fox and Empire should've did what other major corporations do when one of their employees are accused of wrongdoing. Release a public statement distancing themselves and cutting ties. You see how quick Hallmark and Fuller House dropped Lori Loughlin.

  • EasyBreezy

    SIDEBAR to Auntie: Please suggest how I may get last minute, back stage passes to the Nas show tonight. I have tickets, of course, but I SO want to meet Nas. I've DM'ed his SM over the last month, and contacted his PR; no response. I know you know, Auntie......

  • Jordan’s Memory

    They drop them bishes like a bad habit! Them white folk gonna run into hiding after this.

  • iWasteTime

    I'm excited about a spin off. I'm not ready to say goodbye.
    I just audio book'd the last book and he George needs to write more!

  • MrsSpice1

    Wow!!!! Smfh! I never watched one eps but that is beyond disturbing for that to be on tv!!! Tv altogether has gone to hell!!! I barely watch anymore. Tv use to be that deal at one point! This poor generation.

  • ShelbyMoore

    This generation will never have a TGIF. I used to live for Fridays!

  • Victorious82

    Can he sing like a goat tho? If not, he can not replace Jamal.

  • ShelbyMoore

    Wayment, is that bleach?

  • sjames

    i'm just mad nobody went to walgreens yet to pick up a home DNA kit. like, they not that rich that they can't go down the street to the store

  • sjames

    Kai gone chile! i was hoping he would go with him lol

  • SpiceGirl

    Good for him....guess you can say he dodge a bullet with the Lyon family.

  • Fire & Ice

    I think I'm in the minority because I've never seen not one episode of this show ?

  • Judi Jupiter

    Me either. The premise sounded so ratchet to me from the beginning.

  • Phillybruh

    I stopped Watching when they put it up against a couple other black shows I found more interesting, nothing to do with Jussie. Its just time too end it like Modern Family

  • Renee26

    Lol they just believe the nut and his dope fiend momma

  • Renee26

    ? Stawp!!!

  • Fire & Ice

    Lol

  • TransMichelle

    Child please. Dynasty was on a whole other level than Empire and Diahann Carroll came on the show and did brilliantly. A whole other class. Nobody was shown on Dynasty sucking d*cks and pushing the h0m0 agenda. Empire is a wannabe Dynasty but too ghetto. And stop always bringing white folks into niccas sh*t. Empire is trash period. We as black people always support the lowest common denominator. ALWAYS

  • Reenaface

    I still watch, this situation sucks though. They have a fire soundtrack.

  • ALLMINE?

    They started adding Latinos and every celebrity under the sun. Instead of keeping a good story. It became a mockery

  • Browneyes

    agreed., it got to be too much

  • dru and neil

    I agree. I took the time to binge watch all the episodes last year and I was so sick and tired of the Lyon sons, how bratty, spoiled, obnoxious and dumb they all were...if I finish watching it now it would be because I’ve already come so far.

  • http://realitytea.com Goddess

    Because … it's a prime time show on a major network with an all black cast... That should be a major incentive to make the programming and storylines better.

  • dru and neil

    Taraji and Terrance Howard are the only reason worth watching. I cannot stand the three sons characters. It’s been six seasons and their characters are not evolving.

  • T Willis

    I didn’t even know it was back on. Normally I see a bunch of ads in my Instagram feed about new episodes. They’ve been real low key on the shows marketing.

    Empire will be fine, even without Jussie. Besides most complaints are centered around the “gay agenda” and they don’t like the constant storylines centered around his sexual orientation. So, the ratings may improve if Jussie is dismissed as a cast member?????.

    I’m still holding out hope that Jussie is innocent and that someone is setting him up. The blogs are only exasperating the situation ? looking at you Ms. Rose ?

  • NeverSurprised

    I've never watched a full episode, primarily because I don't want to support anything Lee Daniels is associated with.

    There are thousands of talented black graduates with film and television degrees from top schools AND with experience in tge field. But DANIELS gets tv deals SOLELY because he is shoving the gay agenda into the faces of IMPRESSIONABLE, YOUNG black viewers. I won't be a party to supporting that agenda by increasing his viewership.

  • T Willis

    I cannot get into Star. I hate the actresses that were cast lol it’s so hard watching that horrible acting smdh ?????

  • T Willis

    That’s excessive asf. They’re trying to make an example out of him.

  • more

    I lost interest when Chris Rock was in jail with Terrance?

  • NeverSurprised

    Nope.

  • Beverly Johnson

    The comparison to Power was just ridiculous, couldn't watch after that!!

  • T Willis

    Yeah but far worse yt tv shows are alotted a lot of leeway for bad acting, bad storylines, and bad demo numbers. I won’t call for the shows cancellation either. Empire is not the worse show on television. It has its ridiculous moments and inconsistencies lol but the cast (IMO) is fun and I like their chemistry lol ?????

  • T Willis

    Lol me too. The singing is so bad lol but he’s so energetic and adorable.

  • T Willis

    Yeah I agree... they need better writers and more consistency, but I ain’t calling for no dayum cancellation. There are plenty of horrible yt shows that shouldn’t even be on the air.

  • Stacey J

    I'd been hanging on because it was a black show...this Jussie mess was just the excuse I needed to let it go.

  • Floriduhh Evans

    I was peer pressured into watching the first episode and I hated it. Too over the top for my taste, they really do the most ?

  • Oretta Grace Smith

    I haven't watched the show in years!!!

  • Thanos of Titan

    I watch it because it's one of the few programs featuring a primarily Black ensemble cast, and it's moderately interesting; but, this first episode was all over the place.Nonsensical and poorly executed to say the least.

    This episode also highlights just how bad the writing has gotten. I'd be surprised if season 6 ever sees the light of day.

  • currvalicious

    I was done after season2, long before the Smollet fiasco. I knew this would happen. Now it'll fall on his shoulders why the show will be axed.

  • XoXo

    I was finished the beginning of season 2. I don’t believe the ratings drop has anything to do with Jussie, as it is more that the show has run its course.

  • Wile E. Coli

    it is a terrible show anyway. Put a fork in it.. it's done.

  • Reina1718

    Lies ratings dropped seasons ago!

  • Rayne

    I watched first season then I was done.

  • ???TheRider???

    I made it to season 2, episode 1 & I was done.

  • MJF

    He should be ashamed. I should be too for still kinda sorta believing him... smh

  • kitttykatlady

    Try greenleaf much better

  • samuel severino

    Same here

  • samuel severino

    I believe at their ratings high they had between 12-15 million viewers in Season 1 so they have really fallen off.

  • Thanos of Titan

    It's funny that you mentioned Greenleaf. I've heard great things about it, but I've never tuned in. Google Play currently has Season 1 available for $4.99. Because of your recommendation, I've decided to make the purchase. Guess I'll give it a shot.

  • Skin Deep Beauty

    Ratchet at its best. Depicting that this is how Black record Labels are formed. Glamorizing hood behavior and got hoodrats out'chere thinking they Cookie Lyons... LORTY!

  • Wile E. Coli

    Can't we have some UPLIFTING black TV for a change? Role models. I wish these writes and show runners coudl Do the Right Things.

  • Li-Wright

    I don't think it's going to be renewed. Every pre-season there was a press conference with the stars and producers and it was videotaped and put on the internet. This year is the first year they didn't hold a presser. At the presser they discuss the characters and where they're going, etc. I watched it last night. It's still my fave, along with 911!! I love that show. The two best dramas.
    But after 5 seasons, where can Empire go? I have an idea. They can do the Berry Gordy route and go to Hollywood.

  • Li-Wright

    I don't think it's going to be renewed. Every pre-season there was a press conference with the stars and producers and it was videotaped and put on the internet. This year is the first year they didn't hold a presser. At the presser they discuss the characters and where they're going, etc. I watched it last night. It's still my fave, along with 911!! I love that show. The two best dramas.
    But after 5 seasons, where can Empire go? I have an idea. They can do the Berry Gordy route and go to Hollywood.

  • Li-Wright

    I don't think it's going to be renewed. Every pre-season there was a press conference with the stars and producers and it was videotaped and put on the internet. This year is the first year they didn't hold a presser. At the presser they discuss the characters and where they're going, etc. I watched it last night. It's still my fave, along with 911!! I love that show. The two best dramas.
    But after 5 seasons, where can Empire go? I have an idea. They can do the Berry Gordy route and go to Hollywood.

  • Li-Wright

    It's an "old show". Most shows are old after 5 seasons. Unless you rotate the actors like Grey's Anatomy. You have to keep killing people off and creating suspense. I still watch Empire, but last night the writers seemed to lose their way. And it's strange, Lucius is supposed to have an amputated leg,but you never see him take his fake leg off and put it on or take medication. I think his injury would add to the series.
    Plus Taraji said she didn't want to go more than 5 seasons -- she's out.

  • Li-Wright

    It's an "old show". Most shows are old after 5 seasons. Unless you rotate the actors like Grey's Anatomy. You have to keep killing people off and creating suspense. I still watch Empire, but last night the writers seemed to lose their way. And it's strange, Lucius is supposed to have an amputated leg,but you never see him take his fake leg off and put it on or take medication. I think his injury would add to the series.
    Plus Taraji said she didn't want to go more than 5 seasons -- she's out.

  • Li-Wright

    It's an "old show". Most shows are old after 5 seasons. Unless you rotate the actors like Grey's Anatomy. You have to keep killing people off and creating suspense. I still watch Empire, but last night the writers seemed to lose their way. And it's strange, Lucius is supposed to have an amputated leg,but you never see him take his fake leg off and put it on or take medication. I think his injury would add to the series.
    Plus Taraji said she didn't want to go more than 5 seasons -- she's out.

  • MNjumpoffacliff

    Eye quit long ago

  • MNjumpoffacliff

    Eye quit long ago

  • MNjumpoffacliff

    Eye quit long ago

  • Li-Wright

    Here are the ratings for Greys Anatomy - The good news: The ABC drama's 1.4 rating in the key ad demographic was still good enough to lead the primetime ranking".
    1.3 is not a bad number and Empire is Fox #1 drama long with 911.

  • Tee Bullock

    I stopped watching it a long time ago, they need better writers!

  • Tee Bullock

    I love greenleaf! I be sick when the season ends lol!!

  • Fire & Ice

    I heard that it's over the top

  • Rhyme and Reason

    I think this show will go for another season or two, possibly a spin-off if Taraji leaves!

    The ratings are low for Empire, but still good enough for advertisers, why they have shows on TV to begin with!

  • TheOwley

    The show already jumped the shark and he merely put a fork in it.

  • Reina1718

    & the ratchet black woman cookie smh ????? This is how they want us to look on tv, music etc

  • Reina1718

    Now thats GOOOOOOD ???

  • Reina1718

    Rite lol no comparison. Empire is a musical!

  • Babe Miller

    Yes,but you were always slow

  • Babe Miller

    De Smollett smellett

  • MJF

    Your mom is slow bitch.

  • Lovely517

    yea like why does she look gray?

  • Lovely517

    Someone texted me a reminder 15 minutes before Empire premiered and I still forgot. Was too busy binge watching Billions. I have no time for little Ms. Lee Daniels.

  • Lorenzo Chaps

    Empire is a horrible show though. Can you believe in season one there were reports the ratings were as high as 17M. Season 2 they came back with a bust and it's been downhill ever since. I tried to watch this again and tuned it out as I surfed the net.

  • Wile E. Coli

    Think about it. A lot of people complained because black actors were always cast as thugs, criminals and just plain old no good. Then, when they get the chance.. they write this kind of crap.

  • exlurker

    great point

  • exlurker

    ashy skin..... wrong colour makeup. LOL!!!

  • Skin Deep Beauty

    Sand RHWOA.. dressed up "sophisticated" boogers with high school whoring stripper edumacation! Marrying every year as if that makes their whoreism legit.

  • bella28498 .

    Nobody watch that show! I stopped watching it, too many gay scenes and I can’t stand Jamal singing.

  • Pebbles

    Nah! The decline of the show has nothing to do with Jussie.

    Empire story line is al over the place & it sucks!

    the show started off with “ its three years later” ( which had people lost ?)

    A casket was presented on the screen and We’re trying to figure out which cast member is in the casket?

    The show may become more interesting with this “New” son and Avon on to stir up trouble.

    I wanted to know if thirsty play bubbles on the wire?

  • disqus_TrCUDzOzuG

    I watch it as well and agree that the story lines have been declining. I didn't catch it at it's regular time because the Warriors were playing. lol. I recorded it.

  • Allihave2say

    I'm glad Boo Boo Kitty left before the ship drowns.
    Taraji's face and complexion are looking shameful.
    The quiver in Terrance's voice is reaching.
    Jamal looks a mess and needs a hair cut.
    It's just a mess.

  • C H David Byrd

    He was the drug addict on the wire...cannot remember if his name was bubbles

  • Pebbles

    Yup! That’s Bubbles ( was the addict) he was one of the main characters...

  • SunRiseBlossom

    The show was actually good to me... I just watched it last night! Lol... I think the "newly discovered son" will add a great twist to the show. He came just in time to replace Smollett!!!

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