Empire Renewed For A Sixth Season, Unlikely Jussie Smollett Will Return
Fox’s hit show, Empire, has been renewed for a sixth season. However, there are no plans of Jussie Smollett returning. According to TMZ, Fox issued a statement, saying, "By mutual agreement, the studio has negotiated an extension to Jussie Smollett's option for season 6, but at this time there are no plans for the character of Jamal to return to 'Empire.’"
According to The Jasmine Brand, a spokesperson for the actor has responded to the statement, "We’ve been told that Jussie will not be on ‘Empire’ in the beginning of the season but he appreciates they have extended his contract to keep Jamal’s future open. Most importantly he is grateful to Fox and ‘Empire’ leadership, cast, crew and fans for their unwavering support."
As previously reported, Smollett was suspended from the fifth season’s final two episodes. The Blast reported that producers at the time said, "While these allegations are very disturbing, we are placing our trust in the legal system as the process plays out. We are also aware of the effects of this process on the cast and crew members who work on our show and to avoid further disruption on set, we have decided to remove the role of ‘Jamal’ from the final two episodes of the season."