There has been speculation over the fate of Fox drama Empire since news of Jussie Smollett’s alleged assault-turned-possible hoax broke in late January. Deadline now reports the musical series will wrap with its upcoming sixth season with “no plans” to bring Smollett back.
Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier confirmed the news on today’s Fox Upfront press call, saying that although they have plans to wrap the family drama, they have full intentions of going out with a bang.
“We are turning the final season into a large TV event, we are trying to go out guns a blazing,” Collier proclaimed on the call. “You allow fans to lean in and have the ending they deserve.”
When asked about a potential return for Smollett, the CEO reportedly “dodged” giving a straightforward answer before saying, “There’s an option to have Jussie in the series, but we have no plans for that.”
Smollett‘s Empire character, Jamal, recently became the first gay and Black man to get married on a primetime show. Castmate Gabourey Sidibe tweeted about the historic moment.
“Tonight, #Empire will give life to a monumental love story by marrying 2 black, gay men for the first time in television history,” the actress wrote. “Please join us in celebration until it’s no longer a phenomenon to see 2 people of the same sex and race love each other proudly, on prime time TV.”