This spring was meant to see the sixth and final season of Empire come to a close. The music biz series starring Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard would have ended with the 20th episode this season, but thanks to the coronavirus pandemic shutting down production on the show earlier than planned, the series finale will also arrive ahead of schedule, and it will cut the series a little short.
Deadline has word that the Empire series finale wasn’t able to get in front of cameras before production was forced to shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak in the United States. Instead, with just three episodes left in the season, a makeshift series finale will be put together to air on April 21.
The Empire crew was only halfway through shooting the penultimate 19th episode of the series before production was hed. So the creative team is currently figuring out how to craft a new series finale by way of the 18th episode, which was the last one to be completed. Some footage from what was already shot for the 19th episode will likely be used to help wrap things up, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some additional voiceover or dubbing is needed to help finesse the series finale.
While almost all TV shows that were working towards the end of their current seasons will now have abrupt, unsatisfying finales, this is all the more disappointing for Empire fans who wanted to see the show given a proper ending. It will still have a conclusion as planned, but surely it won’t be wrapped up as neatly as it would if the series was allowed to finish the last two episodes.
This isn’t the first time the final season of Empire has been forced to deal with sudden creative changes. Following the scandal surrounding series regular Jussie Smollett and a manufactured hate crime committed against him in Chicago a debacle that is still ongoing in court, the actor was let go from the series and his character arc was tossed to the wind. It forced a rewrite of the fifth season finale in 2019, and though there was some talk about bringing him back for the series finale, that ended up not happening.
Even though Empire may be going out earlier than planned without the proper series finale, this may not be the end for the series. FOX has been considering a spin-off series focusing on Taraji P. Henson as the bombastic character Cookie Lyon, and series creators Lee Daniels and Danny Strong are interested too. But we’ll see what happens on that front sometime down the road.
EXCLUSIVE: Grace and Frankie may have suspended production on its seventh and final season because of the coronavirus crisis, but the Emmy nominated Netflix comedy is back this week with a special live treat for fans and a spotlight on seniors in need during these troubled times.
The Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin-led series will be having an online table read this Thursday to help Meals On Wheels COVID-19 relief program, I've learned – though you can make donations right now via the link here.
While other shows have taken a similar digital approach in recent weeks, the long running Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris showrun series is adding some originality. The April 9 presentation will feature an episode from the yet unaired seventh season, as well as a live Q&A afterwards moderated by Kauffman.
Along with Oscar winner Fonda and Oscar nominee Tomlin, fellow G&F cast members Sam Waterston, Martin Sheen, June Diane Raphael, Brooklyn Decker, Baron Vaughn and Ethan Embry will be participating in the reading of the Kauffman and Morris-penned “The Fallout” episode on Thursday.
Starting at 5 PM PT/8 PM ET, the whole shindig can be seen live and direct on the Netflix is a Joke YouTube page LINK HERE on April 9.
“While we’re sitting here afraid, unsure and isolated, we wanted to come together and do some good,” Kauffman told me of the decision to take the show online in a new form and with a peek into the future.”
“All we’ve got is time on our hands and technology at our fingertips,” the Friends co-creator added as production on Season 7 was temporarily suspended late on March 12 as restrictions on large gatherings tighten in the City of Angels. “So we decided to use both of those assets to raise money for Meals on Wheels, which brings food to food-insecure and isolated seniors. They are among our most vulnerable right now and need our help.”
“Our cast is all in and super excited,” Okay Goodnight founder Kauffman also says of her superstar packed team. “And Netflix and Skydance have been particularly supportive. As far as giving the fans a peek into Season 7, we figured more people would tune in to new content and it would, hopefully, be a draw for fans of Grace and Frankie. The hope is: more eyes, more money raised for Meals on Wheels.”
Produced by Skydance Television, which launched in 2013, Grace And Frankie was one of the first original series for Netflix. Though in a pause period right now, like everyone else in Tinseltown the seventh and final season is still set to premiere next year, which will make the series the longest running comedy in the streamer's history.
As of last night, there are 6360 confirmed case of the coronavirus in L.A. County and 147 deaths....
Police in Crowley, Louisiana have issued an apology for using the siren heard in “The Purge” to signal the 9pm local time curfew that has been put into effect in the city because of the coronavirus outbreak via NME. The curfew prohibits citizens from leaving their homes between the local hours of 9pm and 6am. The police department said the curfew went into place because the city is located in the state’s Acadia Parish, which has “received the worst rating for the rapid spread of the virus. It has been put into place in order to try and slow the spread.” Police are giving citations to people who violate the curfew. People traveling to or from work must have documentation from their employer.
An alarm used by police at the beginning of the month was the same alarm heard in “The Purge,” James DeMonaco’s 2013 horror thriller about a fictional America where for one night it becomes legal to commit any crimes, including murder, for a 12-hour period. The alarm in “The Purge” is heard to signal that the killing and crime sprees can begin. The first “Purge” film starred Ethan Hawke and launched a franchise that includes three follow-up movies and a series on USA Network.
Crowley Police chief Jimmy Broussard said in a statement to the local ABC news affiliate KATC that he was unaware the signal being used for the coronavirus curfew was the same signal heard in “The Purge.” The chief assured citizens that the “Purge” siren would not be used again. The siren caused enough of a stir that an additional statement was released by Acadia Parish sheriff K.P. Gibson.
“Last night a ‘Purge Siren’ was utilized by the Crowley Police Department as part of their starting curfew,” the statement said. “We have received numerous complaints with the belief that our agency was involved in this process. We were not involved in the use of the ‘Purge Siren’ and will not utilize any type of siren for this purpose. Calls regarding this matter should be directed to the Crowley Police and Chief Broussard and not the Acadia Parish Sheriff’s Office.”
Universal Pictures is scheduled to release the next “Purge” movie in theaters this summer, but the film is likely to be delayed because of the coronavirus. The studio was not involved in the Crowley police department’s use of “The Purge” siren.