FOX has announced that music industry soap Empire has been renewed for a sixth season.
“Empire continues to break barriers with its emotionally powerful storytelling, and it remains a core part of the Fox legacy,” said Fox Entertainment’s president of entertainment Michael Thorn. “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 Six.”
However, the renewal comes with a caveat, in that as of right now, the sixth season won’t feature controversial co-star Jussie Smollett. The beleaguered actor had his option picked up for a sixth season, but (most likely) until his legal troubles untangle themselves, he won’t be seen on the series.
“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,” Fox Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Television said in a statement.
The renewal of Empire is the latest early renewal decision by FOX, which has picked up more Last Man Standing, Bob’s Burgers, Family Guy, The Simpsons, The Resident, and 9-1-1 while cancelling The Gifted and Rel. Among the shows waiting for word on the fate are Lethal Weapon, The Orville, The Cool Kids, and Star.
Empire airs Wednesdays at 8:00 on FOX.