Empire will officially conclude after its recently-announced sixth season on Fox.
This shouldn't come as a surprise, considering what went down with Empire's spinoff/companion show, Star, which was axed Friday. Read that analysis here, much of which can be applied to Empire (except for the fact that 20th Century Fox TV is shopping Star to other outlets now).
What Empire gets that Star does not is a proper send-off and conclusion of stories, which is what the network likely thinks they owe the ratings juggernaut. It also gets a large, 20-episode order, and will reach the 100-episode milestone for its new owner, Disney.
“We are turning the final season into a large TV event, we are trying to go out guns a blazing. You allow fans to lean in and have the ending they deserve,” said Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier on Monday.
Collier says there are still no plans for Jussie Smollett to return for the final season, although the option has been exercised.
The series revolves around the Lyon family and their media company, Empire Entertainment. The founder, Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard), is the king of hip-hop, but his company and reign are constantly threatened by his family, including his ex-wife, Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson), his sons, Jamal (Jussie Smollett), Hakeem (Bryshere “Yazz” Gray) and Andre (Trai Byers); and a volatile and competitive music industry. Empire also stars Andre Royo as Thurston "Thirsty" Rawlings, Gabourey Sidibe as Becky, Serayah as Tiana and Ta'Rhonda Jones as Porsha.