It has been announced that Fox will say goodbye to the Lyon family after Empire’s sixth season.
The Fox drama starring Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson will move to Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. ET this fall, per E! News. The series reportedly saw a decline in ratings during Season 5. Empire’s showrunner Brett Mahoney reportedly hinted that the show’s fate was up in the air before the news was confirmed on Monday. Fox confirmed the show’s ending in a press release and said that Empire’s sixth and final season will include “jaw-dropping moments” and “shocking surprises.”
“As the series enters its final season, one thing is for sure, the Lyons never go out without a bang,” Fox said in a press release.
The show has been the center of controversy over the past few months. Jussie Smollett, who has played Jamal Lyons on the drama since Season 1, was in Chicago filming Empire when he claimed he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack back in January. However, The Inquisitr previously shared that Chicago police found no evidence that supported Smollett’s claims. In addition, two men allegedly associated with Smollett claimed they were paid to stage the attack. Smollett was then arrested in February and charged with 16 counts for allegedly falsifying evidence to police. While the charges were dropped weeks later, the actor-singer was charged a $100,000 fine by the city of Chicago for the investigation.
Deadline reports that while Smollett’s character was written out of the show’s final two episodes of Season 5, Fox “negotiated an extension to Jussie Smollett’s option for Season 6,” but there were “no plans” to bring the character back for Season 6 at the time of the series’ renewal. At the time of the scandal, Henson, Howard, and more of Empire’s cast voiced their support for Smollett and even released an open letter urging Fox to bring Smollett back to the show.
As The Inquisitr previously shared, this is the second Fox show created by producer Lee Daniels to be canceled by the network. Daniels’ musical series Star, which was a spinoff of Empire, was axed by the network after three seasons. The series starred Queen Latifah, Jude Demorest, and Ryan Destiny. The show also featured a host of guest stars, including Lenny Kravitz, Naomi Campbell, Tyrese Gibson, Gladys Knight, Missy Elliott, Big Boi, and Paris Jackson.
Fox boss Charlie Colier said that Empire’s final season will be a “large television event” that will be similar to when the show first premiered in 2015. In its first season, the drama produced record-breaking ratings and reportedly reached massive heights every week following a new episode. Empire returns on Fox to Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on Fox.