×
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

  • Netflix to Amend ‘The Devil Next

    Netflix to Amend 'The Devil Next Door' Documentary After Backlash (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix will amend elements of its documentary series “The Devil Next Door” after the Polish prime minister and others complained to CEO Reed Hastings about the show, which centers on the trial of John Demjanjuk who was accused of being a notorious Ukrainian concentration camp guard known as Ivan the Terrible. Polish premier Mateusz Morawiecki [...]

  • Stephen Colbert's 'Late Show' Sets New

    Stephen Colbert's 'Late Show' Sets New Head Writer Team

    Stephen Colbert has expanded the circle of people helping to make the ultimate decision about what the funniest things are for him to say each night on CBS’ “Late Show.” Three writers/producers who have been with Colbert for years will get new duties at his late-night program. Ariel Dumas, a longtime writer for Colbert, has [...]

  • Kacey Musgraves poses in the press

    CMA Awards: What Kacey, Maren, Garth, Blake and Dan + Shay Had to Say Backstage

    Backstage at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, CMA Awards winners, performers and presenters came back to meet the press after their appearances, including Kacey Musgraves, Maren Morris, Garth Brooks, Blake Shelton, Dan + Shay, Ashley McBryde and Luke Combs. Garth Brooks was named entertainer of the year for the seventh time, and during his acceptance speech, he [...]

  • Killing Eve Sandra Oh Jodie Comer

    SAG Awards: How High-Profile TV Ensembles Increase Individual Performer Category Competition

    While this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards saw categories dominated by multiple performers from the same show (think “Game of Thrones,” which had at least one player represented in each major drama acting category, as well as “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Fleabag,” whose on-screen talent nabbed spots in almost all the comedy categories), that trend [...]

  • BROOKLYN NINE-NINE -- "Honeymoon" Episode 601

    ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Renewed for Season 8 at NBC

    NBC has handed an early renewal to “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” Season 7 of the cop comedy isn’t set to premiere until Feb. 6 2020, but the network has already seen fit to order an eighth season.  During season 6 (its first on NBC after being canceled by Fox in 2018), “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” averaged a 1.2 rating [...]

  • Ted Sarandos - Netflix

    Ted Sarandos Says Disney Plus Launch Changes 'Nothing' for Netflix

    Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos claims he’s not getting distracted by huge competitors — like Disney — rumbling into the company’s streaming turf. The exec was asked what has changed for Netflix with the Nov. 12 launch of Disney Plus, which the Mouse House boasted as having signed up over 10 million users so [...]

  • Kristen Stewart Actors on Actors

    Kristen Stewart Reveals She Loves 'Naked and Afraid': 'That Is High-End Reality TV'

    Kristen Stewart (“Seberg”) loves “Naked and Afraid” and wondering what shoes smell like. Stewart discussed her tastes in reality TV and interest in Shia LaBeouf’s (“Honey Boy”) shoes during a conversation for “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors.” LaBeouf began the interview by asking Stewart what she likes to watch in her free time. LaBeouf mentioned [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content