Boy, oh boy. Smollett, who was already booted from the hit show ‘Empire’ after his bogus ‘hate crime’ scandal, but it looks like he’s taking the entire cast down with him. Prior to Smollett’s failed con-job, ‘Empire’ was at the top of its game so news that there will not be another season caught the crew off guard.
The reign of Empire on Fox is coming to an end next year. Just two weeks after the Charlie Collier-run Fox Entertainment renewed Lee Daniels and Danny Strong’s hip hop drama for a sixth season and guided Jussie Smollett toward the exit door, it was announced Monday during Fox’s pre-upfront call that the self-described “groundbreaking cultural phenomenon” will be canceled once Season 6 is done next year.
Questioned about the possibility that the legally challenged Smollett could return for the final season, Collier dodged and replied with language reminiscent of last month’s press release. “There’s an option to have Jussie in the series but we have no plans for that,” he said, noting that the writers’ room for Season 6 hasn’t been opened yet.
Amidst other long-in-the-tooth issues, Empire was pummeled this year by ratings lows and the ever-spiraling controversy over the January 29 presumed hate crime Smollett is now alleged to have perpetrated against himself.
Now there are no more plans for Empire to return to Fox beyond its next upcoming cycle, a fact that would have seemed absurd just a few years ago. In its first and second seasons, the blockbuster drew big number from almost every facet. In fact, breaking the status quo of steady decline, for a while Empire was on a winning trajectory of growing almost every week in the ratings to hit new highs.
While Smollett hasn’t been fully written off and might make an appearance before the show’s end, it won’t likely be a welcome visit. Especially after he put the whole cast out of work.