Tuesday, 21 May, 2019


Empire Ending After Season 6, No Plans To Bring Jussie Smollett Back

Empire Season 5 Fall Finale Fox 2019-20 Schedule Loads Up for Midseason as Network Juggles Scripted and Sports
Hannah Rogers | 14 May, 2019, 06:29

The news came along with the rest of the network's fall schedule, released on Monday ahead of Fox's annual upfront presentation to advertisers.

Fox confirmed in a statement last week the studio had "negotiated an extension to Smollett's option for Season 6, but there are no plans for the character of Jamal to return". 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.

Prosecutors inexplicably dropped the 16 felony counts against Smollett several weeks later, a move criticized by police, the mayor, and a state prosecutors group.

For its final season, the show will return to its original Tuesday airdate, in direct competition with NBC juggernaut This Is Us.

While the TV studio didn't necessarily draw any lines between Smollett's legal imbroglio and the drama's axing, Fox CEO Charlie Collier deftly dodged any questions about a possible connection between the two during a media conference call on Monday morning. We are moving it to 9 o'clock, we're putting it behind The Resident, and we really are trying to go out guns a-blazing.

Police determined Smollett set up the attack and paid the brothers - who both acted in small roles on "Empire" - $3,500 to carry out the supposed beating. "So it is with a start-up mindset and, upon an incredible foundation of assets, that we deliver our first slate of new comedies, dramas and unscripted series", Collier said in a statement. One of the great benefits of announcing a final season is to give the fans the ending they deserve.

Empire was hit by low-ratings during its season finale, which some people believe has to do with Jussie Smollett, although, that hasn't been substantiated and it can't be either.

The cancellation of Empire follows Friday's axing of co-creator Lee Daniels' musical drama Star after three seasons.

When pressed, Collier said there is an option to include him in the series "but at this point we have no plans for that".

The Lyons will get just one more run at Fox.

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