“Empire” co-creator Lee Daniels denied a report Tuesday that Jussie Smollett is in talks to return for the final season of the Fox drama.“This is not factual. Jussie will NOT be returning to Empire,” Daniels tweeted in response to a Variety story, which first reported the news of Smollett’s potential return.Following Variety’s initial story, multiple individuals familiar with the situation subsequently told TheWrap that Smollett was in early talks to make a return to “Empire.”The show’s writers have already begun developing story ideas to potentially bring back Smollett’s character, Jamal, for the sixth and final season, though the situation was described by one individual as “very premature.”Also Read: Summer TV Premiere Dates: Here's Every New and Returning Show (Photos)Discussions about Smollett’s possible return come weeks after “Empire” was renewed for its sixth and final season at Fox. The network said at the time that there were “no plans” for Smollett to make an appearance, despite a negotiation to extend his option through the final run of episodes.Representatives for Smollett did not immediately return TheWrap’s request for comment. Fox and 20th Century Fox Television, which produces the show, declined to comment.Smollett had previously been written out of the final few episodes of Season 5 after Chicago prosecutors charged him with multiple counts of filing a false police report, though those charges were later dropped as part of a deal requiring him to perform community service and forfeit $10,000 bond.In an interview with TheWrap following the Season 5 finale, showrunner Brett Mahoney said no firm decision had been made regarding the possibility of Smollett returning at some point next season. “I think I just want what’s best for the show, so we’ll see what that is as we move forward,” he said.Also Read: Judge Orders That Jussie Smollett's Case File Be UnsealedEarlier this year, in a show of solidarity with Smollett, Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Howard and a number of the show’s other stars, delivered a letter to Fox and the show’s producers calling for the actor to be brought back to the show. Among the other names signed to the letter were Bryshere Y. Gray, Trai Byers, Gabourey Sidibe and Nicole Ari Parker.“Together, as a united front, we stand with Jussie Smollett and ask that our co-star, brother and friend be brought back for our sixth season of ‘Empire,'” the group wrote.The letter continued, “We have come to know not just the character Jussie portrays, but also truly come to know Jussie’s personal character. He is kind. He is compassionate. He is honest and above all he is filled with integrity.”Read original story ‘Empire’ Co-Creator Lee Daniels Denies Report Jussie Smollett May Return for Final Season At TheWrap
Fox is adding three new shows and WWE wrestling for fall, as "Empire" airs its final season. But "Last Man Standing" will wait out the fall.
SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched "The Roughest Day," the fifth season finale of "Empire." It's been quite a year for "Empire." The fifth season kicked off by teasing that before the end of the season someone important to Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) would die. Over the course of the 18 […]
"There are no plans for the character of Jamal to return," read a Fox statement, addressing the actor's recent legal controversy.
“Empire” has been renewed by Fox for a sixth season, one week ahead of its Season 5 finale, though star Jussie Smollett’s fate on the series as the character Jamal Lyon is still uncertain.“By mutual agreement, the studio has negotiated an extension to Jussie Smollett’s option for season six, but at this time there are no plans for the character of Jamal to return to ‘Empire,” Fox Entertainment and 20th Century Fox TV said in a joint statement Tuesday.After news of the renewal broke, TheWrap obtained this statement from a representative for Smollett: “We’ve been told that Jussie will not be on ‘Empire’ in the beginning of the season but he appreciates they have extended his contract to keep Jamal’s future open. Most importantly he is grateful to Fox and ‘Empire’ leadership, cast, crew and fans for their unwavering support.”Smollett was written out of the last two episodes of Season 5 after he was accused by Chicago police of orchestrating a staged assault against himself earlier this year. He was initially charged with 16 felony counts related to filing a false police report, but the charges were later dropped.Also Read: Ratings: Jussie Smollett's Final Season 5 Episode Ties Series Low for 'Empire'Last week, the Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard-led hip-hop drama aired Smollett’s final episode of the season, which featured the wedding of the openly gay Jamal and his fiance Kai (Toby Onwumere). The hour tied the show’s series low rating among adults in the sought-after 18-49 demographic.Before the episode aired, a letter was sent to Fox and the show’s producers by series regulars, including Henson and Howard, calling for Smollett to be brought back to the show next season. Other names signed to the letter include Bryshere Y. Gray, Trai Byers, Gabourey Sidibe and Nicole Ari Parker.The final two episodes of Season 5 are scheduled for tomorrow and May 8, respectively.“‘Empire’ continues to break barriers with its emotionally powerful storytelling, and it remains a core part of the FOX legacy,” Michael Thorn, president of entertainment for FOX Entertainment, said in a statement Tuesday. “We want to thank everyone on the show – Taraji, Terrence and the entire cast, as well as Lee, Danny, Brett, Sanaa, Brian, Francie, Dennis and their teams – all of whom have done a tremendous job this season. We know there are so many more stories to tell, and we can’t wait to see what they have in store for Season Six.”Also Read: Here's What Happened on Jussie Smollett's Final Episode of 'Empire' Season 5From Imagine Television in association with 20th Century Fox Television, “Empire” was created by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, and is executive-produced by Daniels, Strong, Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo, Sanaa Hamri, Dennis Hammer, Matt Pyken and Diane Ademu-John. Brett Mahoney serves as executive producer and showrunner on the series.Here’s the description for tomorrow’s Season 5 finale:Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) gets picked up by AUSA Conway (guest star Alicia Coppola), while Lucious (Terrence Howard) is visited by his past. Becky (Gabourey Sidibe), Hakeem (Bryshere “Yazz” Gray) and Andre (Trai Byers) devise a plan to save Empire by putting on a show with special guests Sevyn Streeter and Ty Dolla $ign. Meanwhile, Andre helps Empire with an assist from the last person the Lyons expect and Cookie may never forgive Lucious for what he’s done, leading up to next week’s heart-stopping finale.“Empire” airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on Fox.Read original story ‘Empire’ Renewed for Season 6 by Fox, ‘No Plans’ for Jussie Smollett’s Character to Return at This Time At TheWrap
Just a few hours before Jussie Smollett‘s final Empire episode of the season airs on Fox, his co-stars have penned a letter of support, asking the network to keep Smollett on the show for a potential sixth season. Terrence Howard (Lucious), Taraji P. Henson (Cookie), Bryshere Y. Gray (Hakeem), Trai Byers (Andre), Gabourey Sidibe (Becky) […]
EXCLUSIVE: Empire co-creator Lee Daniels told a New York City morning show Wednesday that the fate of Jussie Smollett on the Fox hit is “in discussions” right now, but Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Howard and the rest of the series' top cast have already made their decision. “Together, as a united front, we stand with […]
"Empire" creator Lee Daniels is showing his support for Jussie Smollett a month after prosecutors dropped all charges against the actor.
While Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx publicly recused herself in the Jussie Smollett case, she continued to follow it and discuss it with staff.
CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago filed a lawsuit against Jussie Smollett on Thursday in a bid to recoup the costs of investigating a racist, anti-gay attack that authorities say was orchestrated by the "Empire" actor as a publicity stunt, with the city saying — at minimum — that it now wants triple the amount it initially asked Smollett to pay.
He “will not be intimidated into paying the demanded sum,” the "Empire" actor's attorney said in response. The city of Chicago now plans to sue the star.
The move comes after Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who was stunned by the prosecutor's decision to drop all charges against Smollett, told WGN Radio that city officials will be sending the actor a bill.
The president wants an investigation into why charges against the actor — who said he was attacked by two Trump supporters — were dropped.
Criminal defense attorney Steven Graff Levine answers questions about whether the Jussie Smollett case is over, why the "Empire" star forfeited his $10,000 bail and more.
Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx defends her office's decision to drop all charges.
“Empire” actress Taraji P. Henson expressed joy for her co-star Jussie Smollett on Tuesday, after all 16 criminal charges against the actor were dropped by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.“I’m happy that the truth has finally been set free, because I knew it all along,” Henson told USA Today on Tuesday. “We’re all happy for him, and thank God the truth prevailed.”Henson plays Cookie Lyon on “Empire,” mother to Smollett’s character Jamal Lyon.Henson said she never doubted Smollett’s claims that he was randomly attacked by two men shouting racial and homophobic slurs in his Chicago neighborhood on Jan. 29.Also Read: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Calls Jussie Smollett's Dropped Charges a 'Whitewash of Justice'“When I know someone, there’s nothing you can say to make me flip on them, and that’s what we miss in this world,” Henson said. “Why are we so easy to believe strangers over people we know?”Henson went on to criticize media coverage of Smollett, who last month was charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct. Smollett, who pleaded not guilty to the charges, was accused of lying to police regarding the Jan. 29 incident.“I’m not going to jump on clickbait just because someone says something derogatory about a person I know and love,” she says. “I’m not easily swayed like that. Those little clickbait [reports] weren’t enough to deter me from his immaculate track record. I know the type of activism this young man does in his community, I know that he’s a giver – he’s not an attention-seeker.”Henson maintained that “we should absolutely believe victims,” adding, “That’s why a lot of people, especially females, feel like they can’t come forward saying they’ve been raped. I believe that’s why we have a whole MeToo movement, because women have felt they couldn’t come forward because they’d be criminalized in some way. Movements don’t just come out of the sky – movements happen because they’re needed. You have a group of people who haven’t been heard.”Also Read: Chicago Prosecutors 'Stand Behind' Jussie Smollett Investigation Despite Dropped Charges: 'We Didn't Exonerate Him'Fox has not addressed whether Smollett will now return to “Empire” after their previous decision to remove him from the final two episodes of the season, but the network released a statement earlier today saying, “We are gratified that all charges against him have been dismissed.”The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office told TheWrap in a statement on Tuesday, “After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollett’s volunteer service in the community and agreement to forfeit his bond to the City of Chicago, we believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case.”Read original story Taraji P. Henson Responds After Jussie Smollett’s Charges Are Dropped: ‘The Truth Has Finally Been Set Free’ At TheWrap
The Chicago Police Department and Mayor Rahm Emanual are speaking out about the Cook County State's Attorney's Office's decision and getting unexpected support.