Fox has renewed the hit drama Empire for a sixth season, it was announced today by Michael Thorn, President, Entertainment for FOX Entertainment. Said Thorn in a press release from CBS.

"Empire continues to break barriers with its emotionally powerful storytelling, and it remains a core part of the Fox legacy. We want to thank everyone on the show - Taraji, Terrence and the entire cast, as well as Lee, Danny, Brett, Sanaa, Brian, Francie, Dennis and their teams - all of whom have done a tremendous job this season. We know there are so many more stories to tell, and we can't wait to see what they have in store for Season Six."
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At this time, Fox is not confirming that Jussie Smollett will never return as Jamal. Instead they say they have 'no plans' for his return at this time. The Network released this news about the decision.

"By mutual agreement, the studio has negotiated an extension to Jussie Smollett's option for Season 6, but at this time there are no plans for the character of Jamal to return to Empire."

An insider claims that the extension is in place just in case they do decide to bring Jamal back at some point over the course of season 6. Though that isn't looking very likely at the moment. Jussie Smollett was suspended from appearing in the final two episodes of season 5 after allegedly staging a hate crime hoax.

The entire Empire cast had made an impassioned plea that Jussie be allowed to return for Season 6, but it looks like that is off the table. Though, this chapter is not all the way closed, and as more distance is put between the show and Jussie's alleged incident, the more likely his return will be. And it's possible that Fox could be saving his return as a ratings ploy for later in the season.

As for the current ongoing final episodes in Season 5, Sevyn Streeter, Ty Dolla $ign, Mario and Wood Harris Guest-Star On Tomorrow's All-New Episode. My Fate Cries Out airs Wednesday, May 1 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT), on Fox. Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) gets picked up by AUSA Conway (guest star Alicia Coppola), while Lucious (Terrence Howard) is visited by his past. Becky (Gabourey Sidibe), Hakeem (Bryshere "Yazz" Gray) and Andre (Trai Byers) devise a plan to save Empire by putting on a show with special guests Sevyn Streeter and Ty Dolla $ign.

Meanwhile, Andre helps Empire with an assist from the last person the Lyons expect and Cookie may never forgive Lucious for what he's done, leading up to next week's heart-stopping finale.

From Imagine Television in association with 20th Century Fox Television, Empire was created by Academy Award nominee Lee Daniels and Emmy Award winner Danny Strong, and is executive-produced by Daniels, Strong, Academy Award- and Emmy Award-winning producer Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo, Sanaa Hamri, Dennis Hammer, Matt Pyken and Diane Ademu-John. Brett Mahoney is executive producer and showrunner for the series. This news comes from TVline via Fox.