The CW is planning to make lemonade out of its pandemic shutdown lemons, ending Supernatural’s final season a little early so it can air the series finale—which has been delayed by the coronavirus—along with a handful of the preceding episodes (effectively giving it another final season without actually increasing its number of episodes). Unfortunately, Fox’s Empire won’t be so lucky, with creators and executive producers Lee Daniels and Danny Strong confirming that next week’s episode, the 18th of the season, will be the end of the show. This is Empire’s final season, and it was supposed to to 20 episodes, so this means it will not be getting a proper series finale. Instead, some portions of the 19th episode that had been filmed before production was shut down by the virus will be incorporated in to the 18th episode, but any resolutions to ongoing arcs or answers to ongoing mysteries that were supposed to come in episode 20 will now just… not happen.
This comes from Deadline, which says Strong has confirmed that episode 18 will be “the last one our fans will see for a while,” but he hopes that “someday” they’ll be able to film the actual finale and give Empire “its proper conclusion.” Daniels was similarly hopeful in a separate statement, saying they won’t be able to make the finale they wanted but hinting that there’s still a chance it could happen someday. We’re guessing Fox would do this as some kind of TV movie or one-off special, but that could end up being pretty expensive if it involves recreating sets or bringing back actors. Deadline notes that Fox has been considering a spin-off about Taraji P. Henson’s Cookie Lyon, which would give everyone an opportunity to revisit the dropped storylines, but that sounds more like a “it would be nice” idea than “we’re doing this” idea.