For people wondering what the fate of popular TV drama Empire
and one of it stars, Jussie Smollett - it looks like we finally got our answer.
With the show set to air its season 5 finale on Wednesday, May 8th, FOX Entertainment and 20th Century FOX Television are happily announcing that Empire will be renewed for a sixth season.
As for the fate of Jussie Smollett’s character (Jamal Lyon), it’s looking very bleak.
In a statement issued to Variety, the studios confirmed that Jussie is not expected to return to the program… for now.
"By mutual agreement, the studio has negotiated an extension to Jussie Smollett's option for season six, but at this time there are no plans for the character of Jamal to return to Empire," they said in a statement.
Reportedly, Smollett is being kept on the sidelines as all of the legal stuff around him gets worked out.
While the studios have showed support for the disgraced star, they show can’t afford the PR hit of being associated with him if things don’t go well with this civil case. The city of Chicago is currently suing Jussie for “staging his attack” and want him to pay all of the costs involved with investigating the alleged hate crime he was an allegedly a victim of back in January.
If found guilty, Jussie would owe the city upwards of about half a million dollars. If found innocent, the Jamal Lyon character will most likely be brought back.
For those wondering, with FOX Entertainment and 20th Century FOX Television picking up his contract option, Jussie will still be paid an undisclosed amount. Since he’ll still be under contract, he’d have to seek permission to take any other acting roles that may be presented to him.
In recent weeks, Smollett and his attorneys have been meeting with company executives about his future on Empire but details have not yet been revealed.
The last time fans saw the Jamal Lyon character, him and his husband got married before going away on their honeymoon. The character were not involved in the writing/filming of the final two episodes this season due to the controversy surrounding the actor.
FOX also shared a statement celebrating the hit show being renewed for a 6th season but made sure that Jussie Smollett’s name was not included.
Michael Thorn, President of FOX Entertainment stated: “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 6.”
What do you think about Empire returning for a 6th season without Smollett (for the time being)?