'Empire' to End With Season 6 on Fox

The Lee Daniels-Danny Strong hip-hop drama will reach its 100th episode as it closes up shop with a supersize swan song — and without Jussie Smollett (for now).
Chuck Hodes/FOX
"Empire"

Empire's song is ending.

Fox on Monday revealed that the previously announced sixth season of Empire would indeed be its last. News that the Lee Daniels and Danny Strong drama would close up shop was part of Fox's fall schedule release, which sees the Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard starrer move from its home Wednesdays to Tuesdays at 9 p.m. In its new slot, Empire will go head-to-head with the fourth season of TV's top drama, NBC's This Is Us. The final season will consist of 20 episodes, up two from its standard 18.

Empire will wrap after achieving a major milestone — its 100th episode — as the hip-hop drama reaches the threshold required for syndication, helping to provide another revenue stream for new owners Disney. The Mouse House acquired Empire as part of its $71.3 billion Fox buy, which included studio 20th TV.

The final season decision arrives days after Fox opted to cancel low-rated Empire spinoff Star following its three-season run. Fox, which enters the 2019-20 as an independent broadcast network, picked up 10 new scripted series — including three animated comedies. The network will air two new dramas — Prodigal Son, starring Michael Sheen and from exec producer Greg Berlanti, and Jason Katims-produced Not Just Me — in the fall alongside wrestling on Fridays, Thursday Night Football and The Masked Singer.

Meanwhile, there has been no change in the status of beleaguered former star Jussie Smollett. Producers 20th TV picked up Smollett's option but there are no current plans for his character to return for season six.

Empire heads into its final season as Fox's second-highest-rated drama series, behind only Ryan Murphy-produced procedural 911.

Empire joins Modern Family, Criminal Minds, Arrow, Supernatural and Blindspot as broadcast shows that will end next season. 

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