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Fox Gives EMPIRE Higher Episode Count For Season Two! Will Have Split Season!

Courtesy/Fox

Courtesy/Fox

The hottest show of the last television season, Empire, is returning for season two with a higher episode count that before! Fox chairman and CEO Gary Newman confirmed the news before his network Upfront presentation on Monday.  Newman is boosting Empire’s episode to 18 episodes, as opposed to the 12 episodes in its record-setting initial run.

In addition, the network plans for Empire to have a split season with a mid-season cliffhanger!

As for what to expect in the second season, Fox CEO Dana Walden told reporters: “We’ve also got amazing guest stars that have lined up to be on the show that will help us not only bring back an audience that fell in love with the show, but help expand it as well.”   Walden notes that hit singer/songwriter Ne-Yo is now set to write original music for the hip-hop sudser this season!

Empire will also retain its Wednesday (9PMET) time slot: “We’d be crazy to move it,” Gary Newman said. “We want to thank and reward our fans by keeping it in that time period… The stories we’ve heard already for season 2 will blow away the audience.”

So excited to hear of a bigger order of Empire for season two? What do you think about the split season? Comment below!

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Ren
Ren

Wish other shows would follow suit.

And yes, I am talking about you, “The Walking Dead” and especially, “Game of Thrones” (10 episodes out of 52 weeks a year will never be acceptable)

To think. Back in the day, “Dallas,” “Dynasty,” “Falcon Crest,” etc. gave us 26-32 episodes every single year for 10 to 14 years.

john
john

hopefully greedy network executives don’t kill this show. it should have stayed at 12
episodes. too many eppys dilute it. see what happened to sleep hollow. they said it wouldn’t go past 13 like its first season but they stretched it to 18 in the second and the ratings plunged.

Jeremy
Jeremy

That’s great news. As much as I adore and love EMPIRE. 12 episodes wasn’t cutting it, I wanted more, I’m sure other fans out there wanted more, too. So grateful that we’ll be give 18 episodes in Season 2, it’s a testament to the rise of Empire, the following, the brilliantly talented cast and guest stars. I can’t wait to see where the show picks up. Love the idea of a ‘Winter Finale’ type of mid-season cliffhanger. Good move FOX/EMPIRE. Looking forward to the return!

Patrick
Patrick

nice, prop

I still have all twelve eps on my dvr

I will get to them

my heart leaps for Taraji and Terence + full CAST

aplomb

standing “o” for color

brian
brian

I was slow to watch this show. They were on my pvr, but when i did start, i could not stop and binged the whole first season ! I think it’s one of the best show on right now.

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Scott (ATWT Fan)

My only hope is that the extended season does not kill the buzz the smaller season had; I feel like Empire doesn’t need 18 episodes to have a brilliant season. We can see how a smaller amount of episodes worked out in its favour.

Mary SF
Mary SF

The traditional television season the ran from Sept to May uninterrupted then followed by summer repeats has gone the way of the dinosaurs. But most major networks like to pretend it is business as usual, so they pad their season with a lot filler and special events and invented the split season to give the illusion our favorite shows last all season. In reality split seasons were invented mainly for networks to take advantage of sweeps, by making sure their high rated shows are airing during them, but without having to ordering more episodes in order to do it. Eventually the network model of television will be gone and the Netflix model will replace it, and when that happens viewers can watch what they want when they want it–

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.

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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.

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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Breaking News

EMPIRE Renewed For Sixth Season; Jussie Smollett Future With Show Uncertain, But ‘No Plans” For Jamal To Return

Some major questions concerning the future of Fox’s sudsy, Empire have been answered, while the future of one of its main stars Jussie Smollett (Jamal) remains in question.

While the series got its season six pick-up, but there was another interesting development which was offered up in a statement by Fox Entertainment and 20th Century Fox that read: “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.”

According to reps for Smollett, they have been told: “Jussie will not be on Empire in the beginning of the season but he appreciates they have extended his contract to keep Jamal’s future open.  Most importantly he is grateful to Fox and Empire leadership, cast, crew and fans for their unwavering support.”

In Empire‘s official renewal statement from Fox Entertainment president Michael Thorn today it said. “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 6.”

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When Jamal was last seen on Empire, he had tied-the-know.  Whether his departure will be for a number of episodes or permanent looks up in the air.

Smollett made national news when he told the police that two men jumped him around 2 a.m. on January. 29yh  on a Chicago street, yelling racist and homophobic slurs, and put a rope around his next and threw a substance in his face. After an investigation, Smollett was charged with filing a fake police report with the Chicago PD and later had all charges dropped against him, even though the evidence indicated he was guilty of setting the whole thing up.

So, what do you think of Empire getting renewed for a sixth season?  What should they do in regards to the character of Jamal and if Jussie Smollett should ever return?

 

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Empire

Now That ‘Empire’s’ Jamal Lyon Tied The Knot, What is Jussie Smollett’s Future With The Show? Cast Sends Letter Of Support

Looks like the writers and producers of Empire found a way to write out the character of Jamal Lyon permanently, or leave the door open if decisions are made to keep actor/singer Jussie Smollett (Jamal) on the series following his trouble with the law in Chicago stemming from faking a hate crime.  A crime that he had all charges dropped against him which has been shrouded in controversy, and has been a lightning rod on social media and the news.

On Wednesday night’s Empire, Jamal married Kai (Toby Onwumere) with Chaka Khan performing at the nuptials in an emotional episode. Even with the momentous TV occasion to see two gay black men getting hitched on network television, it was unfortunately overshadowed by all the behind the scenes drama.  For this season, Wednesday marked final episode for Smollett, who was cut out of the upcoming final two episodes of the season.  In story, the characters are sure to be on their honeymoon, and they could eventually wind up living in Europe, which would keep Jamal off the canvas.

The Fox network and creative personnel at Empire will need to make a decision on Smollett’s future.  While Empire had not received its renewal pick-up, its fairly certain it will live on to see another season    Meanwhile, the cast of Empire penned a letter asking Fox to bring Jussie back to the series.

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Here is how it read:

Dear Charlie, Dana, Michael, Lee, Danny, Francie, Brian, Sanaa, Dennis, and Brett,

Together, as a united front, we stand with Jussie Smollett and ask that our co-star, brother and friend be brought back for our sixth season of Empire.

We understand the past months have been difficult to process—sometimes the headlines brought more confusion than clarity, yet we now have a conclusion to this ordeal. Throughout Empire’s five seasons working with Jussie and watching how he has conducted himself throughout this traumatic event, we have come to know not just the character Jussie portrays, but also truly come to know Jussie’s personal character. He is kind. He is compassionate. He is honest and above all he is filled with integrity. He is also innocent and no longer subject to legal uncertainty with the criminal charges against him having been dropped. We are confident in his lawyer’s assurance that the case was dismissed because it would not have prevailed.

Jussie has shown us on and off the set who he really is as a leader. In addition to being a caring friend and cast member who treats every crew member with love and respect, he has spent time with our families and individually supported each of us. These recent and detailed letters from The Black AIDS Institute, the Rainbow Push Coalition and the City Lights Orchestra shine a light on his commitment to true community service. Just a few months ago, Jussie partnered with the Trevor Project to provide support to their volunteer program that allows LGBTQ youth in crisis access to vital counseling services. Prior to that, he gave every cent from his sold out world tour to numerous charities. He has adopted a school in Chicago, taught songwriting to incarcerated youth at the Cook County Jail last year and bought the family of Kayden Kinckle, a six-year-old, double amputee, a wheelchair accessible van due to his school district not having a wheelchair accessible school bus. He has traveled to South Africa for service as well as to Jamaica to quietly meet about the safety of LGBTQ youth. This was all done without posturing, the need for attention or even discussion.

This is the Jussie we know.

It’s clearer every day that the extreme political climate in our country has only made our system of justice and the court of public opinion more unjust.

It is why now, more than ever, we must stand together as a family. A family is there for us in good times and bad. It can cut through the noise and confusion to understand that there is a person in the center of all this who deserves nothing more than to move forward with his life. We understand that this show is a business. And that business matters to us as well. We are confident our fans will welcome our “Jamal” back into the Empire family as enthusiastically as we will.

That is why we write today to ask you to keep Jussie on the cast so that we can all put this behind us and move forward. Thank you for taking time to hear us. It’s our hope that together we will move into our sixth season as the entire Empire family should.

SINCERELY,

Terrence Howard
Taraji P Henson
Bryshere Y. Gray
Trai Byers
Gabourey Sidibe
Nicole Ari Parker

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