Jussie Smollett’s “Empire” Character May Be Killed Off Or Recast, Says Sources
Much has happened since FOX’s hit series Empire last aired new episodes—and we all know what that is. Jussie Smollett, one of the show’s main characters, caused a media firestorm that rocked the country in late January when he claimed that he was physically attacked as the victim of a hate crime. So, much has happened in the case since then, most notably Smollett being indicted on 16 felony counts due to being accused of staging the entire incident. All of this drama could mean trouble for one of the biggest ratings hits on TV.
Empire is set to return for the second half of its 5th season on March 13th at 8PM on FOX, but many industry insiders are questioning whether star Jussie Smollett’s current issues will hurt the show’s return—specifically its ratings. Will audiences decide to stay away from tuning into the series because of Smollett’s current cloud of drama? Or will that very thing make them more curious? Time will tell, and pretty quickly, when overnight ratings are revealed.
If you’ve been watching Empire this season, you know that the big mystery is which member of the Lyon family is inside the casket, alluding that a major character will be killed off. Many initially thought that oldest Lyon son Andre was the one who would be killed, based on foreshadowing in the episodes and actor Trai Byers previous statements about wanting to branch out outside of the show. However, things have changed drastically since Smollett’s situation and now the question in the air is what Empire executives should do about his popular character Jamal.
After being written out of the final two episodes of the season and rumors swirling that the role could be recast, or the character killed off, deciding what to do about Smollett’s role on the show is a very big task—one that could impact the show permanently. The character of Jamal had a major role in the current season of Empire, including an engagement that capped off the season’s first half. Although, in most of the promos videos leading up to the series’ return, there are barely any glimpses of Jussie Smollett at all.
Empire is currently still a big hit for FOX, placing second only to the Angela Bassett-led drama 9-1-1, so the network is not likely to cancel it. However, that doesn’t mean that some major changes won’t likely occur during the summer break and leading up to the season six premiere if the series is renewed by the network.
What do you think Empire should do about Jussie Smollett’s character? Would you continue to watch without him? Let us know in the comments