Over the last few weeks, “Empire” headlines have centered around Jussie Smollett and the drama going on off-screen, but today, there’s only good news to share with fans of the FOX drama. The network announced on Tuesday that “Empire” will return for a sixth season, and a new episode is just around the corner. The confirmation came from Michael Thorn, President, Entertainment for FOX Entertainment. While the show is coming back for a new season, Jussie Smollett is not. Right now there are no plans to bring his character back to the show.

“Empire continues to break barriers with its emotionally powerful storytelling, and it remains a core part of the FOX legacy,” said Thorn. “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.”

The news comes just as “Empire” prepares for its next episode. On Wednesday, the episode “My Fate Cries Out” will air on FOX, and Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) gets picked up by AUSA Conway (guest star Alicia Coppola), while Lucious (Terrence Howard) is visited by his past.

Also in the episode, 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 big finale.

The show is from Imagine Television in association with 20th Century Fox Television. The series 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.

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