'Empire' canceled: Fox show to end after season 6, 'no plans' for Jussie Smollett's return
Fox CEO Charlie Collier announced on Monday during a conference call that the self-described 'groundbreaking cultural phenomenon' series will be canceled after season 6
Time to say goodbye to Fox's 'Empire' as the show's reign will be coming to an end next year.
Just two weeks after Fox Entertainment renewed the hip hop drama for season 6, Fox CEO Charlie Collier announced on Monday during a conference call that the self-described “groundbreaking cultural phenomenon” series will be canceled after season 6.
“We are turning the final season into a large TV event — we are trying to go out guns a-blazing,” Collier said added that season 6 which will have 20 episodes will be 'Empire‘s' last season. “You allow fans to lean in and have the ending they deserve.”
Collier also about Jussie Smollett and if he will appear in the last season. "There’s an option to have Jussie in the series but we have no plans for that," he said revealing that the writers' room for season 6 hasn't opened yet.
Collier also added that the interim period will give Smollet the "time to address what is going on and put it behind him.”
Though the series has not yet revealed that they have no plans for Smollets returns, it had earlier become a source of disagreement between the show's stars and its producers and executives.
According to Deadline, in April, Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson, 'Empire's two leading actors, signed a letter of support asking for Smollett to be brought back. "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," the actors wrote in the letter.
The series was in the spotlight after Smollett claimed he was attacked by two men who were shouting homophobic slurs in Chicago in late January. But within weeks the police accused Smollett of staging the attack because he was upset with the salary he was getting from Fox.
The charges were later dropped but Smollett was written out of the final two episodes of season 5 of the series and, ever since, the producers have been reluctant to have him back on the show.