21st Century Fox announced Monday that season six of the hip-hop drama ‘Empire’ will be the show’s last season.
The news comes as part of Fox’s fall schedule release, according to a report published by The Hollywood Reporter. The final season will air Tuesdays instead of Wednesdays and will consist of 20 episodes instead of 18.
Disgraced actor Jussie Smollett’s character still has no formal plans to return in season six, despite his contract being extended. Smollett’s cast mates have lobbied for his return to the show, even penning a letter to executives requesting Smollett return for the entire new season. (RELATED: ‘Empire’ Cast Wants Jussie Smollett To Return To Show Following Legal Drama)
“We understand the past months have been difficult to process — sometimes the headlines brought more confusion than clarity, yet we now have a conclusion to this ordeal,” the cast wrote. “Throughout Empire’s five seasons, working with Jussie and watching how he has conducted himself throughout this traumatic event, we have come to know not just the character Jussie portrays, but also truly come to know Jussie’s personal character.”
Smollett was accused of faking a hate crime against himself back in January and was charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct in February. After Smollett was charged, the ratings of “Empire” hit an all-time-low for the series. Prosecutors dropped all charges against the actor March 26.
“Empire” joins “Modern Family” and “Criminal Minds” as shows that will be ending after the new seasons.