Fox's volume of new scripted series has doubled from the 2018-19 season, a clear statement from the network that it aims to remain a player in traditional primetime comedies and drama.
The cancellation came two weeks after the company renewed the show for its sixth season ahead of the season five finale and about two months after star Jussie Smollett was arrested for allegedly filing a false police report. As the series enters its final season, one thing is for sure, the Lyons never go out without a bang.
But when pressed Monday on whether Smollett would be returning for the final season, Collier said, "At this point, we have no plans for that". Criminal charges were dropped but the uproar has yet to subside, making Smollett a continued publicity liability for Fox. The Strong EP'd and also Disney-owned TCFTV produced midseason replacement legal drama Proven Innocent was pink slipped by Fox the network after one season on May 11.
He also announced that the show is moving to Tuesdays for its final season, putting it up against juggernaut This Is Us.
At the end of the season, Smollett's character, Jamal, the middle brother of the Lyon family at the center of the show, was said to be on his honeymoon with his new husband.
That makes Tuesday 9 PM look like a pretty good graveyard in which they can lay Empire's bones.
Smollett claimed a pair of masked attackers yelled "this is MAGA country" - a reference to President Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" 2016 campaign slogan - put a noose around his neck, and poured a substance that smelled like bleach on him while beating him in a Chicago street around 2 a.m. January 29 in near zero temperatures.
Supporters had asked Fox to bring Smollett back to the show, including leading cast members Taraji Henson and Terrence Howard. If Fox gets desperate enough, they'll pull out that last stop, if for no other reason to get people talking about its prime-time lineup again. "Masked Singer" will get a workout next season with a third season bowing behind the Super Bowl on February 2.