'Empire' Ending After Season 6

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Fox confirmed in a statement last week the studio had "negotiated an extension to Smollett's option for Season 6, but there are no plans for the character of Jamal to return". That's true and it's a whole 'nother story.

Fox announced Monday that the upcoming sixth season of "Empire" will be its last. "You allow fans to lean in and have the ending they deserve".

Pressed for a direct answer on whether Smollett could return to the show, Collier echoed that Fox has "no plans for that", but ultimately said it was too early to call: "The writer's room hasn't even gathered yet", he said. The final season will air Tuesdays instead of Wednesdays and will consist of 20 episodes instead of 18. Chief among these is "Empire", which will call it quits in 2020 after a six-season run.

During the fifth season, Smollett made worldwide headlines after claiming that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack.

Smollett pleaded not guilty to 16 counts of disorderly conduct for filing a false police report - and then in a shocking move, prosecutors dropped all charges against Smollett in late March. Fox is already airing a cycle of the show in the fall, meaning the network hopes "Singer" can prove appealing throughout the season.

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Collier said to journalists that "there is an option" to have him back for the sixth season, but at the moment, there aren't any plans for such an endeavor.

Fox dropped the news about the impending end of "Empire" as part of a larger announcement about its new primetime lineup.

However, despite that ratings decline, "Empire" remained FOX's second-highest-rated drama of the season, behind only "9-1-1".

For its final season, the show will return to its original Tuesday airdate, in direct competition with NBC juggernaut This Is Us.

Supporters had asked Fox to bring Smollett back to the show, including leading cast members Taraji Henson and Terrence Howard.

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