'Empire' showrunner speaks about writing Jussie Smollett out of the show and their plans for season 6

Smollett was written out of two of the final episodes of 'Empire', which came to a whirlwind season ending with the finale 'The Roughest Day'


                            'Empire' showrunner speaks about writing Jussie Smollett out of the show and their plans for season 6

As season five of hip-hop drama 'Empire' came to an end, showrunner Brett Mahoney opened up about Jussie Smollett's controversial exit from the series. "The idea of moving forward without him is a true challenge, and no decisions have been made as of yet on how we move forward," Mahoney said in an interview. "We’ll work that out when reconvene the room and we come up with the creative," the executive producer said about moving forward without Smollett as part of the show. Smollett was written out of two of the final episodes of 'Empire' season 5 which came to a whirlwind stop with the finale 'The Roughest Day'.

Jussie Smollett (Source: Getty Images)

Smollett was written out following his legal troubles in Chicago after the actor was accused of falsely reporting that a hate crime was committed against him. "I think it’s just me and everyone involved in the show … you know, you’ve got to get the work done and get through it . . . It’s a trying situation, no doubt," said Mahoney about being involved in the controversy surrounding Smollett. Earlier, 'Empire' cast members -- including Taraji P Henson and Terrence Howard -- reportedly felt Smollett deserves a fair shake, and that should include a full return to the show. 

The season finale of the show saw the near-death of Andre Lyon (Trai Byers) due to his failing heart and the revelation to the Lyon clan’s presumed oldest son that his lady love Teri (Meta Golding) is pregnant with a boy. The episode also saw Andre get a new heart, a new offspring, a new wife and a new lease on life as the feds closed in on the Terrence Howard’s Lyon patriarch, with the Grim Reaper hovering close and the death by suicide of Lucious’ oldest son, the illegitimate and ambitious Kingsley (AZ Kelsey). The turbulent relationship between Cookie (Taraji P Henson) and Lucious was also shed light on, in the latest battle with authorities.

Speaking about season six of the Fox show, Mahoney said that he has some ideas for some new characters that are "sort of like organic to what we’ve done". He added that the new season may be a re-set. "It’s interesting because I felt like the end of Season 4 that we were set up for a re-set. Instead, I realized, and I was talking with about it with some of the people who worked on the show before, that we really did set it up for possibly another re-set here going into Season 6," he said.

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