Since its debut in 2015, Empire has been a mainstay in primetime cable television with its suspenseful storylines and interpretation of real-life events. Now, the drama will come to an end after its sixth season, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The Fox network revealed the news on Monday (May 13), noting that on the up-side, the Lee Daniels-created show also notched its 100th episode. This feat means Empire is eligible for syndication.
In a statement published by Entertainment Weekly, Fox Entertainment’s CEO Charlie Collier said the ultimate season might leave the fans satisfied. “We are turning the final season into a large TV event. We are trying to go out guns a-blazing,” Collier said. “One of the great benefits of announcing the final season is that it actually allows fans to lean in and have the ending they deserve. Six years is a remarkable run.”
With news of the cancellation, actor and Empire co-star Jussie Smollett’s unknown return to the show also came into question. Earlier this year, Smollett stated he was the victim of a racial and hate crime attack in Chicago. The incident caused a stir with the city’s police department that deemed the 36-year-old guilty but Smollett was acquitted of 16 counts of filing a false police report.
Following the string of events, Daniels voiced his support for Smollett. “What I am learning right now is that I can’t judge,” he said to Extra. “That that judgment is for that man wearing that black coat with a gavel and God. I can only support him because he is like my son, he is my son, so I am with him. I can only support him and I can only give him compassion.”
The news follows that of the cancellation of another Daniels creation, Star. The hit series was pulled by Fox after three seasons.