Pass the empty json_encode array to JQuery

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I have the following json encoded array which I pass to JQuery as follows, and everything works fine when when there are elements in the array. However, there are times when the array might be empty depending upon a users selections, and that is where my script breaks down:

PHP
$myleaderarray =  [{"Week_count":"3","Userid":"102","Username":"gsd555","MedCondPrimary":"Diabetes"},{"Week_count":"0","Userid":"216","Username":"gsd3","MedCondPrimary":"Cardiac Respiratory"}]
$count = count($myleaderarray);   //1

JQ
var myleaderarray = <?php echo $myleaderarray; ?>; // this passes the       array as expected
console.log(myleaderarray.length); //2

This is what I see in the console when the json_encoded array is empty

JQ
var myleaderarray = ;
"Unexpected token ';'"

I can't seem to test for this error in JQ so must I do this on the server-side, or am I completely missing something? Thanks for the help.


change:

var myleaderarray = `<?php echo $myleaderarray; ?>;`

to

var myleaderarray = "<?php echo $myleaderarray ?>";