FOX has given “Empire” a season 6 renewal. The show will return with new episodes this fall but Jussie Smollet has apparently not been asked back to the series.
“EMPIRE continues to break barriers with its emotionally powerful storytelling, and it remains a core part of the FOX legacy,” said FOX President of Entertainment Michael Thorn in a statement to the press. “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.”
However, sources told People that Smollett’s character will not be part of Empire” season 6. The actor’s agreement with 20th Century Fox was not optioned.
Below is the additional statement from the press release for “Empire.”
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.