Fox’s flagship drama series Empire will be pausing production. The hiatus will start after the show completes filming of Episode 409 today. The stoppage is expected to last 2-3 weeks, after which work will resume on Episode 410.

The break will be used for the writers to regroup for the season’s back nine. Empire co-creators and executive producers Danny Strong and Lee Daniels, as well as executive producers Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo of Imagine, will be working with the writing team, led by executive producer/showrunner Ilene Chaiken, as they chart the second half of the show’s 18-episode season.

This is a regular occurrence for the densely serialized Empire, which has taken similar production breaks for script work in prior seasons. It would not impact the series’ broadcast schedule as it goes on hiatus from mid-December, when it airs its fall finale, until returning to the schedule in March.

Empire exploded onto the primetime scene when it debuted in January 2015 and quickly became the biggest drama series on television. Its ratings have been trending down double-digits year-over-year and hitting lows this fall, but it remains Fox’s No. 1 series, averaging a 3.1 adults 18-49 in Live+7 and 10.5 million multi-platform viewers.