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'Empire' ratings collapse to 'all-time low' after criminal charges dropped against Jussie Smollett


He had been charged with 16 felonies

Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Outrage erupted this week when the Cook County State's Attorney's Office announced it was dropping all charges against actor Jussie Smollett, who had been indicted on 16 felony counts in relation to allegedly orchestrating a hate crime hoax against himself.

After the controversial announcement, ratings for "Empire," the FOX show on which Smollett starred, collapsed to an "all-time low."

What are the details?

After returning from a mid-season hiatus, the show received 3.97 million overall viewers during Wednesday night's show, the lowest in the history of the series, according to TV Line.

For comparison, the show has routinely averaged more than 10 million viewers, though later seasons of the show have slowly seen ratings decline.

After the shocking announcement that all criminal charges against had been dropped, Smollett revealed that he is eager to continue working on "Empire," although it's not clear if his character will make a return.

However, in a statement, 20th Century FOX Entertainment said it was "gratified" all charges against Smollett were dropped. Still, it's not clear if "Empire" will be renewed for a sixth season.

Meanwhile, a boycott of the show remains ongoing.

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