The empire is coming to an end. TV network Fox has announced its popular "Empire" series will wrap up with its sixth season.
On Monday, Fox broke the news in a statement after just recently green lighting the series for another run.
“We are turning the final season into a television event,” Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier said. “One of the great benefits of announcing a final season announce have the fans lean in have the finale they desire.” When pressed on whether Jussie Smollett would be returning for the show’s final season, Collier said, “At this point, we have no plans for that.” But Collier also noted that “the writers room for next season hasn’t even gathered yet.” (Variety)
According to recent reports, “Empire” stars Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson believe estranged cast member Jussie Smollett‘s character Jamal Lyon plays a key role in the show’s story.
Sources on the show tell us cast members — including Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard — feel Jussie deserves a fair shake, and that should include a full return to the show. As for why … we’re told the cast feels Jussie’s character was an incredibly important part of the show, and they don’t feel his return will hurt ratings. (TMZ)
In late April, the network announced its decision to bring back the hip-hop soap opera but with no plans of having Smollett return.
Jussie Smollett’s future on “Empire” remains in limbo. The series has officially been renewed for a sixth season on Fox, but there are no plans for Smollett’s character Jamal to return. Smollett, 36, was accused of orchestrating a racial and homophobic-fuelled assault on himself. He was eventually indicted for disorderly conduct, but all charges against Smollett were controversially dropped. (ET Canada)
Prior to the renewal, Howard and Henson joined others in requesting Jussie to return for its sixth season.
Henson, Howard, and the rest of the drama series’ top cast, penned an April 19 letter to Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier, Disney TV Studios and ABC Entertainment chair Dana Walden, Fox Entertainment president Michael Thorn, Empire co-creators Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, and other executive producers on the series, Varietyconfirmed. “Together, as a united front, we stand with Jussie Smollett and ask that our co-star, brother and friend be brought back for our sixth season of Empire,” read the letter, obtained by Deadline. It is signed by Bryshere Y. Gray, Trai Byers, Gabourey Sidibe, Nicole Ari Parker, and others. (Variety)