Empire May Get a 'Proper' Series Finale Despite Production Shutdown, EPs Hopeful 'This Isn't the End'

Empire Season 5 Finale

Empire may strike back next season to give fans closure.

As we previously reported, production on the Fox drama’s sixth and final season ground to a halt last month while the show was shooting Episode 19 of its 20-episode order. Consequently, Episode 18 — airing April 21 — will now serve as the show’s swan song.

However, series co-creators Lee Daniels and Danny Strong released separate statements late Tuesday — ahead of Empire‘s penultimate episode — expressing hope that a true series finale will see the light of day after the COVID-19 crisis ends.

“We had an ending for the series planned that we all loved, and hopefully someday we’ll be able to film it and give the series its proper conclusion,” said Strong. “Here’s hoping this isn’t the end!”

Daniels, meanwhile, called Empire‘s six-year run “one of the proudest achievements of my career, adding, “This show is the definition of breaking barriers.

“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,” Daniels continued. “But you know what they say in television? Stay tuned!”

Net week’s episode, which Strong confirmed “was never meant to be the series finale” but will likely “be the last one our fans will see for a while,” is titled “Home Is On the Way.” Per the official episode description, “In the midst of the Bossyfest launch and the fight to regain control of Empire, Cookie reflects on her life and the woman she has become. Lucious finds it impossible to deny his feelings for Cookie, while continuing to support Yana (guest star Kiandra Richardson) and her rise to stardom. When the Lyons face their biggest threat yet, Lucious prepares for the battle of his life and realizes that in the end, family is what matters the most.”