However, one thing that is known for certain is that the 6th season of Empire will be its last.
Empire has been experiencing low ratings since the incident hence the speculation.
Empire's first five seasons are available for streaming on Hulu.
"We're turning the final season of Empire into a large television event", Collier said on the call to reporters. One of the great benefits of announcing the final season is that it actually allows fans to lean in and have the ending they deserve.
During last season, Smollett, 36, who is gay and black, claimed that he was the victim of an attack that he said was racially and politically motivated, as well as homophobic. He maintained his innocence and the 16 charges against him were ultimately dropped.
Empire is definitely coming back for a sixth season, but that season is, unfortunately, going to be its last. (Smollett and his attorneys have continued to maintain he was the victim of an attack.) Collier said that "there's an option to have Jussie in the series" during the sixth season "but we have no plans for that".
The cast might have a word or two to say about the idea.
"Empire continues to break barriers with its emotionally powerful storytelling, and it remains a core part of the Fox legacy", said Fox Entertainment's president of entertainment, Michael Thorn.
For its final season, the show will return to its original Tuesday airdate, in direct competition with NBC juggernaut This Is Us. However, it looks like those efforts were made in vain. On the other hand, it also sets up an interesting challenge for attention that maybe only Smollett's return can satisfy.
Will Jussie Smollett be back?