Last night, Jussie Smollett’s final episode of “Empire” season 5, and potentially his last episode on the show ever, went up in the ratings from previous weeks, but still posted low figures for the series.
The episode, in which Smollett’s character Jamal Lyon tied the knot in TV’s first-ever black, gay wedding, returned a 1.1 rating in the key 18-49 demo and 3.8 million total viewers. Those numbers are a tick up on the 1.07 rating of the previous two weeks, but are still down on the season 5 average, which currently sits at around 1.4.
The episode was Smollett’s last confirmed appearance in the season 5 of the Fox drama, after he was removed from the final two episodes following his arrest for allegedly filing a false police report. Several of Smollett’s fellow cast members, including leads Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard, penned a letter on April 19 addressed to the show’s creators Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, as well as a group of Fox/Disney execs, demanding that Smollett be kept on the show for potential subsequent seasons.
Elsewhere on Wednesday, “Survivor” easily won the night for CBS with a 1.4 rating and over 7 million total viewers. “Empire” tied for second in the ratings race with “Chicago Fire” on NBC.
On ABC, “Whiskey Cavalier” posted series low ratings to date with a 0.4 in the 18-49 demo and just over 2.5 million total viewers.