The FOX hit series Empire will be no more. On Monday, May 13, Deadline reported that the network has decided to cancel Empire following its upcoming sixth season. FOX had only recently decided to renew the series for a 20-episode run in the midst of the Jussie Smollett controversy.
As you may expect, there are currently no plans for Smollett to returning to the show for its final order of episodes.
Smollett found himself in national headlines after his arrest for allegedly staging his own hate crime while in Chicago. It was believed that Smollett paid two brothers who had worked on the show to stage his attack in the middle of the night.
Ultimately, all charges against the Empire star were controversially dropped.
But alas, the show must go on.
“We are turning the final season into a large TV event, we are trying to go out guns a blazing,” FOX Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier said. “You allow fans to lean in and have the ending they deserve… There’s an option to have Jussie in the series but we have no plans for that.”
From the Deadline report:
On the up side for fans of the Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard-led series, planning for the resetting sixth season of Empire is still very much in the early stages, as the Fox Entertainment boss essentially said today and showrunner Brett Mahoney told me on May 8, which leaves plenty of time to craft a proper conclusion.
Empire is set to return in September 2019 in its previous 9:00 p.m. slot which will put the show directly against the NBC hit series This is Us, which was recently renewed for three additional seasons.