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“Empire” Is Coming Back … But Jussie Smollett Is NOT



We’ve got some good news and some bad news for “Empire” fans. The hit Fox drama has finally been renewed for a sixth season, but without Jussie Smollett.

The FOX television network issued the following statement on Tuesday regarding plans for the new season.

“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 said in its statement Tuesday.

A Smollett representative released a statement to The Associated Press suggesting a hope that he may eventually return.

“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,” the statement read. “Most importantly he is grateful to Fox and ‘Empire’ leadership, cast, crew and fans for their unwavering support.”

We’ve honestly never heard of a studio cutting this kind of deal with an actor, but then again the whole case surrounding the 36-year old actor is bizarre. Smollett claimed earlier this year he was a victim of a hate crime that police said was fabricated.

Our guess is FOX is waiting to see what happens in the civil case in which the City of Chicago is suing the actor for the costs of the investigation. Jussie will ultimately be tried for allegedly faking the “attack.”  Perhaps if he wins, FOX will reconsider.

As we reported, the Empire cast had Smollett’s back and petitioned for his return. Unfortunately that didn’t sway the FOX execs.  Jussie however will still be paid since FOX picked up his option. So it’s not all bad for Smollett.

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