FOX has renewed “Empire” for a sixth season, but there’s going to be one less Lyon in the pride.

The network announced they have exercised an extension to Jussie Smollett‘s option for season 6, but there are no plans for the return of his Jamal Lyon character.

Fox Entertainment and 20th Century Fox TV released the following statement:

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.

Although his future is uncertain on the show, a rep for Jussie Smollett says he is still very grateful.

We’ve been told that 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.

FOX is playing games. They are basically putting Jussie on ice and keeping him tied up contractually to see how things pan out for him and if the dust settles – they will bring him back.

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