“We are turning the final season into a television event, we are trying to go out guns blazing,” Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier said, according to Deadline.
“You allow fans to lean in and have the ending they deserve,” he added.
Fox Entertainment and 20th Century Fox TV wrote Smollett, who plays Jamal Lyon, out of the final two episodes of the show’s fifth season amid his legal troubles and confirmed late last month there were “no plans” for him to return.
Fox originally kept an open mind after he was charged with 16 counts of felony disorderly conduct for allegedly making up a hate crime he claimed to have endured — waiting for the disposition of the case to decide his fate with the company.
When charges were dropped against him, Fox welcomed him back.
But when pressed Monday on whether Smollett would be returning for the final season, Collier said, “At this point, we have no plans for that.”
He also noted that “the writers’ room for next season hasn’t even gathered yet,” according to Variety.
Dropped less than a week after the fifth season wrapped up, news of the cancellation also shifts the Chicago-filmed show back to its original Tuesday slot at 9 p.m.
“Season Six promises to be filled with drama, shocking surprises and more jaw-dropping moments,” the network said in a release, according to The Wrap.
“The award-winning drama about a family dynasty set within the glamorous and sometimes dangerous world of hip-hop music has generated chart-topping hits, and socially relevant storylines, introduced ‘Boo Boo Kitty’ into the zeitgeist and delivered over-the-top OMG moments weekly.
“Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) and Lucious (Terrence Howard), the two larger-than-life characters at the center of the series, have taken viewers through the highs and lows that come with fame and fortune. As the series enters its final season, one thing is for sure, the Lyons never go out without a bang,” according to the network.
During last season, Smollett, 36, who is gay and black, claimed that he was the victim of an attack that he said was racially and politically motivated, as well as homophobic.
He allegedly hired brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo, who also are black, to stage an assault on him and make it look like a hate crime, according to authorities.
The actor told police that the primary attacker “was wearing a ski mask that covered his entire face, with the exception of the area around his eyes, by which (Smollett) could tell the attacker was white-skinned,” according to a civil lawsuit field by the city of Chicago.
The Windy City filed the suit against Smollett over his refusal to reimburse it for overtime payments to police officers who investigated his alleged hate crime hoax.
Smollett claimed the attackers yelled racist and homophobic slurs — such as “This is MAGA country!” — at him during the attack and that they doused him with bleach, threw a noose around his neck and beat him.
Police determined Smollett set up the attack and paid the brothers — who both acted in small roles on “Empire” — $3,500 to carry out the supposed beating.
On March 26, the office of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx made the surprise announcement that it was dropping charges against Smollett, who had been indicted on 16 counts of disorderly conduct.
He agreed to forfeit $10,000 that he put up in bond money to secure his release after his arrest.