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Empire

EMPIRE, THIS IS US, QUEEN SUGAR Score NAACP Image Award Nominations! Smollett, Byers, Henson, Howard & Brown Nab Drama Acting Nods!

Nominations were announced on Tuesday for the 48th Annual NAACP Image Awards. And while once again the awards has eliminated the daytime drama acting categories, there were some well-deserved recognition for the soapy primetime series, Empire and the heartfelt hit dramedy, This Is Us, as well as Oprah and Ava DuVernay’s project, Queen Sugar.

In the Outstanding Drama Series category, Empire and This Is Us, will compete against Queen Sugar, Power, and Underground.

In the Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series, This Is Us star Sterling K. Brown goes up against Empire’s Terrence Howard, as well as Mike Colter Marvel’s Luke Cage, Omari Hardwick Power, and Kofi Siriboe Queen Sugar.  Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series has Empire’s Taraji P. Henson competing with Kerry Washington Scandal, Rutina Wesley Queen Sugar, Viola Davis How to Get Away with Murder, and Jurnee Smollett-Bell for Underground.

NAACP Image Award nominees in the Supporting Actor in a Drama Series features; Jussie Smollet and Trai Byers of Empire up against each other going up against Alfred Enoch How To Get Away With Murder, Jesse Williams Grey’s Anatomy, and Joe Morton Scandal.

Of note: Sterling K. Brown is also nominated for Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie. Limited-Series, or Dramatic Series for his star turn in The People Vs. O.J. Simpson.

The 48th annual NAACP Image Awards will be handed out on February 11th and broadcast on TV One, and hosted by Anthony Anderson.  To view the complete list of nominees in all categories click here.

So, which show do you think should take the Drama Series award? What do you think of the TV nominations? Comment below!

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Empire

‘Empire’ Final Season: Official Word No Jussie Smollett, Vivica A Fox To Series Regular, Spin-Offs Possible After Series Concludes

Plenty of news coming out of the Fox TCA panels and executive session.  Most notable was drama surrounding the sixth and final season of the sudsy Empire.

According to Fox CEO Charlie Collier when talk of potential spin-offs of the series came up: “We’re in the Lee Daniels and Danny Strong business — if there is more story to tell we want to hear it.”  Collier, referencing the series creators.

Photo: JPI

Collier also noted that a big send-off is planned for the series as its heads to its final episodes.  In addition, the CEO officially revealed after all the speculation that Jussie Smollett (Ex-Jamal Lyon), would not be returning to Empire for its final season.

Charlie noted, “There’s no plan for Jussie to return.”  Smollett got in trouble with the law in Chicago back in January, over an alleged hate crime, the actor claimed was perpetrated on him, when later he was charged for setting the whole thing up himself, and later those charges later dropped,   But Jussie’s problems with the Windy City are continuing hot and heavy this week.

Finally, soap opera favorite, Vivica A. Fox (Generations, DAYS) has been upped to series regular in her role as Candace.  As Empire viewers know, Candace is the older sister to Cookie Lyon, played by Taraji P. Henson.

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71st Primetime Emmy Nominations: 'This Is Us' Stars: Milo Ventimiglia, Sterling K. Brown, Mandy Moore, HTGAWM's Viola Davis Score Lead Drama Acting Nods

So, would you like to see an Empire spin-off?  Happy or sad that Jussie Smollett is not coming back to the series before it says goodbye/ Looking forward to more Vivica? Comment below.

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Empire

Jussie Smollett Will Not Return To ‘Empire’ Relates Lee Daniels; 911 Call Released Of His Alleged Attack

The co-creator of Fox’s sudsy Empire, Lee Daniels, confirmed yesterday that actor/singer Jussie Smollett will not return to the series for its final season, after the renewal pick-up of the show’s sixth and final season was announced, where it left Smollett’s fate with the series a big ambiguous.

How the final blow of any possibility of Smollett’s return came to light was when Daniels was responding to a Variety report in which multiple production sources said that writing staff was breaking ideas for the final season with the expectation that Smollett would appear in the back half of the 18 planned episodes. However, Daniels strongly expressed upon that item that: “Jussie will NOT be returning to Empire.”

Smollett was written out of the final episodes of the show’s fifth season in the aftermath and backlash stemming from that he faked a hate crime against himself earlier this year in Chicago.

In addition on Wednesday, the city of Chicago (TMZ had already beat them to it) released 911 calls where a friend of Smollett’s called for help following his alleged attack.  A man (later identified as Smollett’s manager, Frank Gatson) said he “works with an artist” told the  operator that the victim did not want to file a report with authorities, but he was going to ‘make’ him.”

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The caller added that the victim said the attackers put a noose around his neck expressing: “What’s really weird ma’m, just ‘cus I’m scared and I don’t know what it is, they put a noose around his neck.  They didn’t do anything with it, but put it around his neck. That’s pretty f—d up to me — sorry for saying it like that.”

A second 911 call was apparently made 15 minutes later after the police had not yet responded to the first call, where the caller said about Smollett, “He was jumped on the street and we’re just trying to report it.”

So, what do you think of the news that Smollett is definitely out of the final season of Empire? What do you think of the 911 call? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Breaking News

‘Empire’ Will End Its Run After Upcoming Sixth Season

Fox has announced during Monday’s pre-upfront call with the media that Empire’s upcoming sixth season (they just got renewed for that season just the other week) will ultimately be its last.

Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier expressed: “We are turning the final season into a large TV event — we are trying to go out guns a-blazing. You allow fans to lean in and have the ending they deserve.”

The final season will consist of 20 episodes.

As to whether Jussie Smollett would coming back for the show’s last hurrah, Collier only would say, “At this point, we have no plans for that.”   He also noted the writer’s room has not even been put in place for the new season.

Previously, Fox Entertainment along with 20th Century Fox Television extended Smollett’s option for the upcoming sixth season, but at that time also stated there were no plan for him to re-appear on-screen as Jamal.

Smollett claimed that he was the victim of an assault based hate crime, but later was accused of hiring two men to attack him and was indicted for filing false police reports/statements.  Fast-forward, the criminal charges were dropped in March, and Smollett has maintained his innocence.

As a result of all the bad publicity cast on Smollett and more, the series decided to cut Smollett out of the final two episodes of the 5th season.

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'Empire' Final Season: Official Word No Jussie Smollett, Vivica A Fox To Series Regular, Spin-Offs Possible After Series Concludes

So, sad to hear Empire will end after its next season, or do you think its time for the hip hop drama to go? Comment below.

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