Jussie Smollett will return for the sixth and final season of Empire on Fox. The show’s creator, Lee Daniels, confirmed the news earlier this week. He told Variety, “Jussie [Smollett] will NOT be returning to Empire.”
Lee Daniels shared this news just a few weeks after the network clarified the actor’s future relationship prospects with the show. As Def Pen previously reported, Fox stated, “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.”
Smollett’s team responded, “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.” His team added, “Most importantly he is grateful to Fox and ‘Empire’ leadership, cast, crew and fans for their unwavering support.”
Lee Daniels’ Empire will return for the 2019-2020 television schedule. The show will join Last Man Standing, The Resident, Bob’s Burgers, Family Guy and The Simpsons as Fox’s biggest programs for the 2019-2020 schedule. However, Smollett will not be a part of that big return later this year.