AceShowbiz - The empire has crumbled. FOX announced on Monday, May 13 that hip-hop drama "Empire", which stars Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard among others, would end following its upcoming season 6.
The series recently wrapped its season 5 on May 8. The season finale saw Jussie Smollett being completely edited out following allegations that he faked hate crime attack against himself in Chicago.
"We're turning the final season of Empire into a large television event. If you look at what we're doing with 'Empire'... we really are trying to go out guns a-blazing," Charlie Collier, CEO of Fox Entertainment, told reporters on a press call Monday morning. "One of the great benefits of announcing a final season is to allow the fans to lean in and to have the ending they deserve, and that's everything we're trying to do with this iconic series. Six years is a pretty remarkable run for a drama series and we feel good about it."
"We're excited to see the show go out with a bang and that's really what we've been focused on and what's been great with all these early season conversations," he went on saying. "Lee Daniels and all the writers are really just focused on giving the crescendo it deserves."
Additionally, Collier revealed the future of Jussie on the series. When asked if Jussie's character, Jamal Lyon, would make a return in the final season, Collier said, "At this point, we have no plans for that. The writer's room for next season hasn't even gathered yet."
Previously, 20th Century Fox TV shared that Jussie would not return for season 6 of "Empire" although his contract was extended. "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," a spokesperson said at the time. "Most importantly he is grateful to Fox and 'Empire' leadership, cast, crew and fans for their unwavering support."
Jussie was arrested in February for allegedly filing a false police report in which he claimed he was attacked in a hate crime. However, all the charges against the embattled star were dropped in March, though the city of Chicago is seeking reimbursement from the actor to cover over $130,000 in investigatory fees. Jussie refused to pay.
Amid the controversy, cast of "Empire" shows support to the actor. Led by Terrence and Taraji, the cast previously sent a letter to Fox and Disney urging them to reinstate Smollett for the sixth season.