‘Empire’ Spinoff Possible; Season 6 Won’t Have Justin Smollett

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Despite confirmed for its sixth and final season this fall, it is apparently not yet the end for “Empire” on FOX. Network boss Charlie Collier said that they are open to the possibility of spinning off the series with creators Lee Daniels and Danny Strong.

Production for “Empire” season 6 is underway and the FOX boss promises that there will be a satisfying and huge send off. Collier praised the cast and crew, led by stars Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard, for what “Empire” has done to pop culture.

“We’re in the Lee Daniels and Danny Strong business if there is more story to tell we want to hear it,” Collier told the press at the Television Critics Association event, per Deadline.

“Empire” season 6, however, will not include embattled actor Justin Smollett. Collier also confirmed that there is no plan to bring back his character in the final season.

The actor was written out in the last few episodes of “Empire” season 5 following his controversial behavior. Smollett claimed two men beat him in a hate crime that police learned he orchestrated himself.

Though the police dropped the charges against Smollett, the damage to the actor had a lasting effect. Apart from his troubles with the legal system, Daniels and Strong stood their ground on not bringing back Smollett to the series.

His character, Jamal, however, will be mentioned in some episodes or featured in family photos. His absence will be written into “Empire” season 6.

“Empire” is a family drama about the Lyon’s family, led by Lucious (Howard), a record empire mogul. Aware of his medical condition, Lucious has to decide who will succeed his dynasty when he’s passed. He starts grooming his sons for the job by pitting them against each other. However, Lucious ex-wife from prison also returns to take her stake in the company and their son’s lives.

The show premiered to high ratings when it ran in 2015. However, it has steadily declined in the numbers, thus FOX’s decision to give the show its final run. “Empire” season 6 will premiere this September.