The reign of the Empire is over.
Fox announced that the hit drama is being canceled after its upcoming fall season during the network’s recent Upfront call.
What that means for embattled star Jussie Smollett remains to be seen, however, according to the executives who announced the 2019-20 season.
After a scandal-laden year, Smollett had effectively been written off the show in season five.
Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier says there is an option to have Smollett in the show’s sixth year, but right now there is no plan to include him.
Collier says the network wants to give Empire a big send-off and that’s the focus.
‘You allow fans to lean in and have the ending they deserve,’ the CEO said.
Jussie Smollett has played openly gay R&B star Jamal Lyon, the middle son of music big wigs Lucious and Cookie Lyon, since the show’s premiere in 2015.
The actor was written out of the final two episodes of the current season after police in Chicago accused him of staging a racist, anti-gay attack against himself.
The charges were later dropped after Smollett agreed to do community service and forfeit $10,000.
While Jussie’s legal woes unfolded, Fox negotiated an extension to his contract for a possible comeback in season six, though executives say they have no plans for that to happen.