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NEW YORK (AP) — “Empire” will return for its final season this fall on Fox — with Jussie Smollett a question mark — and should count itself lucky.

Fox, the lowest-rated network among the big four broadcasters, is hitting the reset button for the 2019-20 season by cancelling eight shows and adding 10 new ones.

“Empire” companion drama “Star” is among the goners as the network makes room for an eclectic mix of wrestling, two new animated comedies and a “9-1-1” spinoff starring Rob Lowe.

“We are turning the final season of ‘Empire’ into a large television event,” Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier told a teleconference Monday. “One of the great benefits of announcing a final season is that you actually allow the fans to lean in and have the ending they deserve.”

Collier dodged questions about Smollett’s future with the show after the actor was accused of staging an attack in which he said two masked men beat him, hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him, doused him with a chemical substance and put a rope around his neck. Criminal charges were dropped but the uproar has yet to subside, making Smollett a continued publicity liability for Fox.

When pressed, Collier said there is an option to include him in the series “but at this point we have no plans for that.”

As for “Star,” which had been paired on the schedule with “Empire,” it fell victim to Fox’s prime-time schedule, which is an hour shorter per night than the other networks, Collier said. The network also wanted to give “Empire” a strong send-off by pairing it with returning medical drama “The Resident,” he said.

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7 thoughts on “‘Empire’ To Get 1 More Season On Fox Amid Schedule Shake-Up

  1. Dede on said:

    what in the world?! both my Wednesday nite shows leaving me!! Say it ain’t so! I just hope that another network picks them up!

  2. Tanisha on said:

    Even thought I still watch Empire, the show never figured out which direction it really wanted to go in. The music was awful too. I guess all of Jussie’s shenanigans were for nothing. Taraji and Terrance will be good though.

    • I agree. The ONLY reason I watch Empire is I’ll watch just about anything Terrence Howard and Taraji star in. I record the episodes so that I can ignore through the music scenes. The show has become a bit tedious.

  3. Tanisha Ross on said:

    Even though I still watched Empire, it really never found which direction it wanted to go in. The music was awful too. All of Jussie’s shenanigans were for nothing. Taraji and Terrance will be good though.

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