The sixth and final season of Empire will be wrapping up earlier than planned after the series was forced to shut down production owing to the CoronaVirus pandemic. Starring Taraji P. Henson and Terrance Howard, Empire was partway through production on its penultimate episode when the decision was made to cease filming. Initially, the sixth season was due to consist of 20 episodes and the creative team had completed 18 of those before the shutdown.

According to Deadline, some of the filmed footage for episode 19 will be incorporated into what will now be the series finale which airs on April 21st. Empire was one of two TV shows filming its final season that was unable to complete production with The CW'S long-running Supernatural falling two episodes short of its 20 episode order. However, unlike Empire, Sam and Dean Winchester will get a proper farewell with the final two instalments being shot later this year. Supernatural aired 13 episodes from its fifteenth and final season, the remaining episodes will be broadcast at a later date once production on the final two episodes is set.

Empire started life as a ratings giant for Fox when it launched back in 2015. Its viewership in recent years has been on the decline, Empire made the headlines following the alleged hate crime, and subsequent court case, against co-star Jussie Smollett. While the end of Empire is imminent, this might now be the last we see from this world as talks of a spin-off have been active since it was revealed the series was coming to an end. Fox has yet to order a spin-off, but Deadline reports that Taraji P. Henson is onboard to reprise Cookie Lyon with Empire creators Lee Daniels and Danny Strong developing the potential offshoot. The Empire series finale will land of Fox on April 21st.