PR Disaster: 'Empire' Ratings Are at an All-Time Low


“Empire” strikes back? Not exactly. Whether it strikes out remains to be seen.

Less than a week after actor Jussie Smollett was cleared of all charges related to his apparent hate-crime hoax, TV ratings for the Fox show “Empire” have reportedly dipped to an all-time low (3.97 million viewers) for the series.

Perhaps it’s coincidental the show’s ratings tumbled — at least by “Empire” standards — after the program’s Twitter accounts ostensibly celebrated the controversial decision of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office to drop all 16 counts against Smollett.

One “Empire” account asserted support of Smollett and expressed gratitude in the form of a March 26 tweet.

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Empire Writers, meanwhile, tweeted a winking emoji and “see y’all Wednesday” in reference to when the show was scheduled to air.

Do you watch the show 'Empire?'

Such social media posts received no shortage of negative responses, including at least one seemingly prescient reply.

Many fans of “Empire” evidently felt strongly enough about Smollett’s alleged hate crime hoax that they vowed to stop watching.

“Empire” producers said that Smollett’s character, Jamal Lyon, would be written off the series’ final two episodes this season.

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Smollett has maintained that he’s innocent of manufacturing a hate crime and has expressed a desire to return to performing before TV cameras.

If the show’s latest ratings are indicative of what’s to come for “Empire,” however, television producers and directors may have second thoughts about welcoming Smollett back to the industry.

Wednesday’s viewership wasn’t the first time the once-popular FOX show had shown signs of slowing down, as its ratings noticeably dipped in October 2017, according to Variety.

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James Luksic has been a writer and editor for a panoply of publications and websites for 30 years.
James Luksic has been a writer and editor for a panoply of publications, corporations and websites -- including Montecito Journal, Dayton Daily News and Lexis-Nexis -- for 30 years.