×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Empire’ Renewed for Season 6 at Fox, Jussie Smollett Unlikely to Return

Empire” has been renewed for a sixth season at Fox, though likely without Jussie Smollett.

“By mutual agreement, the studio has negotiated an extension to Jussie Smollett’s option for season six, but at this time there are no plans for the character of Jamal to return to ‘Empire,'” Fox Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Television said in a statement.

During the fifth season, Smollett claimed that he was the victim of an assault which he said was racially and politically motivated, as well as homophobic. Later he was accused of hiring the men who attacked him and indicted for filing false statements. The criminal charges were dropped in March, and Smollett has maintained his innocence, but the city of Chicago also filed a lawsuit against the actor in order to recoup the cost of the police investigation.

A spokesperson for Smollett said in a statement, “We’ve been told that Jussie will not be on ‘Empire’ in the beginning of the season but he appreciates they have extended his contract to keep Jamal’s future open. Most importantly he is grateful to Fox and ‘Empire’ leadership, cast, crew and fans for their unwavering support.”

The fifth season of the show saw the Lyon family trying to reclaim their music company but challenged with even heavier personal struggles than before, such as the emergence of Lucious’ secret first-born son who was hell-bent on destroying his father and eldest Lyon son Andre’s cancer diagnosis. The series stars Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Howard, Trai Byers, Smollett and Bryshere Y. Gray as the Lyon family.

“’Empire’ continues to break barriers with its emotionally powerful storytelling, and it remains a core part of the Fox legacy,” said Fox Entertainment’s president of entertainment Michael Thorn. “We want to thank everyone on the show – Taraji, Terrence and the entire cast, as well as Lee, Danny, Brett, Sanaa, Brian, Francie, Dennis and their teams – all of whom have done a tremendous job this season. We know there are so many more stories to tell, and we can’t wait to see what they have in store for Season Six.”

“Empire” was created by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, who executive produce alongside Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo, Sanaa Hamri, Dennis Hammer, Matt Pyken and Diane Ademu-John. Brett Mahoney is executive producer and showrunner for the series. The show is produced by Imagine Television in association with 20th Century Fox Television.

“Empire” now joins medical drama “The Resident,” first responder drama “9-1-1,” family comedy “Last Man Standing,” and animated comedies “Bob’s Burgers,” “Family Guy” and “The Simpsons” on Fox’s 2019-20 television schedule.

TRENDING ON VARIETY:

More TV

  • 71st Emmys Governors Ball

    Why the Television Academy Plans to Donate Furnishings From the 71st Emmys Governors Ball

    The Emmys’ official after party is set to impress — and to leave a permanent impression. At the annual press preview of the 71st Emmys Governors Ball, the Television Academy announced a partnership with Living Spaces, Habitat for Humanity and the Hollywood Community Housing Project that will provide more than 80 custom sofas, chairs and [...]

  • 'No Good Nick' Canceled After One

    'No Good Nick' Canceled After One Season at Netflix

    “No Good Nick” has been canceled at Netflix after only a single season, which was split into two parts, Variety has confirmed. Created and executive produced by David H. Steinberg and Keetgi Kogan, the multi-camera comedy starred Melissa Joan Hart and Sean Astin as Liz and Ed, a hyper-competitive career mom and lovable but dorky “fun dad,” [...]

  • Hailee Steinfeld Sets New Single Tied

    Hailee Steinfeld Announces New Single Tied to Apple TV Plus' 'Dickinson'

    Actress, singer and producer Hailee Steinfeld is set to release a new single entitled “Afterlife” on Sept. 19, a track she created for her upcoming Apple TV Plus series,”Dickinson.” “This is a song I’m incredibly proud of, and I feel like after embodying this character, I have a more fearless approach to my writing,” Steinfeld [...]

  • Rachel Bloom

    Rachel Bloom Announces Pregnancy After Emmy Win

    “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” star Rachel Bloom made a special announcement after winning her Emmy for best original music and lyrics — she is pregnant. Bloom announced the news backstage on Saturday at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards. She joked she had planned to reveal the news on Instagram but that doing it at the Emmys was even [...]

  • EVIL is a psychological mystery that

    TV Review: 'Evil'

    In its pilot installment, CBS’s new drama “Evil” delves into that which may lie beyond the rationally explicable. And the show itself represents something almost supernatural by 2019 standards, too: A well-made hour fueled by chemistry between its leads and a strong idea of itself. On the basis of its debut outing, which screened at [...]

  • Emmy Awards Placeholder

    Creative Arts Emmys: 'Free Solo,' 'Queer Eye' Among Big Winners on Night 1 (Full List)

    “Free Solo,” “Queer Eye,” “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and “Saturday Night Live” were among the big winners Saturday after the first night of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles. “Free Solo,” the National Geographic feature documentary that already claimed the Oscar earlier this year, lead the field on the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content