Fox renews ‘Empire,’ Smollett’s return unclear

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Empire_Midseason_Return

Cinespace Studios
will have a
busy season as
the Fox series
was renewed for
Season 6 along with
Showtime’s ‘The Chi’

Fox has announced that Empire, which shoots at Cinespace Studios, has been renewed for a sixth season at Fox one week before its Season 5 finale. Jussie Smollett’s, who plays Jamal Lyons, role on the series is still unclear.

“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 TV said in a joint statement issued Tuesday.

Smollett was written out of the last two episodes of Season 5 after he was accused by Chicago police of orchestrating a staged assault against himself earlier this year.

ALSO READ: ‘Empire’ cast calls for return of Jussie Smollett

Last week, Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Howard and the rest of the Empire cast sent to Fox and the show’s producers by series regulars, including Henson and Howard, calling for Smollett to be brought back to the show next season.

That letter, which was sent before Smollett’s final episode of the season, saw Jamal (Smollett) and his fiance Kai (Toby Onwumere) ty get married and fly off to Hawaii. The hour also tied the show’s series low among adults in the sought-after 18-49 demographic.

Screen Shot 2019-04-30 at 3.42.38 PM
Is this the last we’ve seen of Jamal?

Here is the press release in full:

FOX has renewed the hit drama EMPIRE for a sixth season, it was announced today by Michael Thorn, President, Entertainment for FOX Entertainment.

Empire continues to break barriers with its emotionally powerful storytelling, and it remains a core part of the FOX legacy,” said 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.”

On tomorrow’s all-new episode, “My Fate Cries Out,” airing Wednesday, May 1 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT), on FOX, Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) gets picked up by AUSA Conway (guest star Alicia Coppola), while Lucious (Terrence Howard) is visited by his past. Becky (Gabourey Sidibe), Hakeem (Bryshere “Yazz” Gray) and Andre (Trai Byers) devise a plan to save Empire by putting on a show with special guests Sevyn Streeter and Ty Dolla $ign.

Meanwhile, Andre helps Empire with an assist from the last person the Lyons expect and Cookie may never forgive Lucious for what he’s done, leading up to next week’s heart-stopping finale.

From Imagine Television in association with 20th Century Fox Television, EMPIRE was created by Academy Award nominee Lee Daniels and Emmy Award winner Danny Strong, and is executive-produced by Daniels, Strong, Academy Award- and Emmy Award-winning producer Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo, Sanaa Hamri, Dennis Hammer, Matt Pyken and Diane Ademu-John. Brett Mahoney is executive producer and showrunner for the series. “Like” EMPIRE on Facebook at facebook.com/EmpireFOX.

Follow the series on Twitter @EmpireFOX and join the discussion using #Empire. See photos and videos on Instagram by following @EmpireFOX.”

Empire airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on Fox.The final two episodes of Season 5 are scheduled for tomorrow and May 8, respectively.

Source: Fox Television

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