With season 5 of Empire wrapped, FOX showrunners have announced the show will not return after season 6, which will be 20 episodes. The announcement comes on the heels of news Lee Daniels’ other FOX production Star has also been cancelled.
“We are turning the final season into a large TV event — we are trying to go out guns a-blazing,” Charlie Collier, FOX executive, said about Empire‘s last season, Deadline reports. “You allow fans to lean in and have the ending they deserve.”
The final season won’t feature Jussie Smollett. “There’s an option to have Jussie in the series but we have no plans for that,” he said.
Ratings for the hit show have been in a steady decline since the debut season. Viewership in season 4 was down to 7.45 million. Producers called the decision “difficult.”
Taraji P. Henson and terrence Howard have yet to respond to the news.