'Empire' Creators Express Hope for True Series Finale: 'Stay Tuned!'

Empire Taraji P. Henson and Terrance Howard
Michael Lavine/FOX

As fans of Empire have learned by now, the show's final finished episode is set to air on April 21 after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down production, halting progress on the previously planned series finale.

This means that the show will end a few episodes earlier than intended, bringing the Lyon family's story to an end on a note that may not seem very final. In response to this predicament, co-creators and executive producers Lee Daniels and Danny Strong are reflecting on Empire's impact and teasing that this unplanned end may not be it for Cookie (Taraji P. Henson), Lucious (Terrence Howard), and the rest of the Lyons.

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Only three more episodes remain in the shortened final season.

"The success of Empire and bringing the Lyon family to broadcast television will always be one of the proudest achievements of my career," Daniels begins his statement. "This show is the definition of breaking barriers.  Thank you to our incredible cast, especially Terrence and Taraji, along with our amazing writers and tireless crew, for all of their hard work and bringing this story to life.

"I think there's more to do with these characters, and I'm heartbroken we aren't getting to shoot the finale we wanted — at least not yet," he teases. "But you know what they say in television? Stay tuned! To the Empire!"

Empire Season 6 Cookie Lucious

(Credit: Michael Lavine/FOX)

Danny Strong reflects Daniels' words with his own statement, saying, "We're so proud of this show and of everything this incredible cast – led by Taraji and Terrence- and crew accomplished over six seasons. The episode airing on April 21 was never meant to be the series finale, but due to current events it will likely be the last one our fans will see for a while.

"We had an ending for the series planned that we all loved," Strong adds, "and hopefully someday we'll be able to film it and give the series its proper conclusion. But we hope everyone tunes in to our last original episode, because the work done by our cast and crew deserves to be seen by the widest audience possible. Big thank you to Fox for being our home for these many years. And here's hoping this isn't the end!"

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Originally slated to air 20 episodes in its sixth and final season, Empire will conclude with Episode 18, "Home Is On The Way," two installments shy. The episode will see Cookie reflect on her life and the woman she's become in the midst of the Bossyfest launch and her fight to regain control of Empire. Meanwhile, Lucious can't deny his feelings for Cookie as he continues to help Yana (Kiandra Richardson) in her rise to stardom.

When the Lyons are faced with their biggest threat yet, Lucious prepares for "the battle of his life" and along the way he realizes family is what matters most. Don't miss the action when the last original Empire episode airs on Fox.

Empire, Tuesdays, 9/8c, Fox