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Fox’s Empire will strike back for another year, with the network renewing the music-tinged soap for Season 6 — but without embattled star Jussie Smollett.
In a statement, the network and studio 20th Century Fox TV said, “By mutual agreement, the studio has negotiated an extension to Jussie Smollett’s option for Season 6, but at this time there are no plans for the character of Jamal to return to Empire.” According to an insider, the decision to extend Smollett’s contract — and thus pay him for a full season’s work — gives The Powers That Be some wiggle room in case they should opt to weave Jamal back into the show at some point next season.
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The pickup comes after a tumultuous couple months, which saw Smollett suspended from Season 5’s final two episodes in the wake of his allegedly staged hate crime attack.
The decision to keep Jamal off the canvas in Season 6 comes despite the cast making a passionate plea for the actor’s return. As previously reported, the series’ principal ensemble — headed by Terrence Howard (Lucious) and Taraji P. Henson...
(Excerpt) Read more at: TVLine
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