'Proven Innocent': Fox halts production of upcoming legal court drama and 'Empire' due to polar vortex in Chicago

The news comes days after 'Empire' star Jussie Smollett was brutally attacked by two men while they shouted racist and homophobic slurs at him in Chicago


                            'Proven Innocent': Fox halts production of upcoming legal court drama and 'Empire' due to polar vortex in Chicago

The production for Fox's highly anticipated legal court drama, 'Proven Innocent,' slated to premiere February 15 has been suspended along with the hit series 'Empire,' because of extreme weather conditions in Chicago, where the filming was taking place.

The news comes a day after a vicious racist attack on 'Empire' star Jussie Smollett, who portrays Jamal Lyon on the series. He was the victim of a brutal assault Monday night where he was attacked by two men who fractured his rib, poured chemicals on him and tied a noose around his neck while shouting racist and homophobic slurs.

Jussie Smollett attends The Trevor Project's 2018 TrevorLIVE Gala at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on December 02, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California.
Jussie Smollett attends The Trevor Project's 2018 TrevorLIVE Gala at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on December 02, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California.

However, it was reported the suspension has nothing to do with the incident, rather the polar vortex in Chicago Wednesday prompted the decision. The Windy City was hit with below-freezing temperatures, with a warning temperature stated to feel as low as minus 55 degrees Fahrenheit, as a result of the storm.

Temperatures dropped as low as minus 26 degrees in some parts of Chicago and Illinois. The National Weather Service announced Thursday will witness "all-time record cold temperatures" in Chicago, with wind-chill likely reaching "dangerous levels" of cold. As more snow is expected, the decision as to when the production will resume is yet to be decided, reported Variety.

Fox's upcoming legal court drama 'Proven Innocent' (IMDb)
Fox's upcoming legal court drama 'Proven Innocent' (IMDb)

'Proven Innocent', starring Rachelle Lefevre as Madeline and Kelsey Grammer as Gore Bellows, centers around stories of wrongful convictions. It is about a criminal defense firm that focuses on freeing the wrongly convicted, led by lawyer Madeline Scott, who herself was wrongfully convicted, along with her brother, for a murder when she was 18 by Bellows. Ten years after being proven innocent, she is determined to fight for justice in a world plagued by wrongful conviction and corrupt lawyers.

As for 'Empire,' coming from the same creators of 'Proven Innocent,' Danny Strong and David Elliott, the production has been halted for the same reason and it is not known how Smollett's assault, which is being investigated as a possible hate crime, has impacted the current-season's production.