Will Jussie Smollett be in 'Empire' Season 6? Fans Question Jamal Lyon's Fate Following Indictment

Jussie Smollett's fate on Empire is in question now that the actor is facing felony charges of disorderly conduct. Smollett, who plays singer and Empire Records heir Jamal Lyon on the show, was already cut from the final episodes following his arrest in February, and now fans are wondering if showrunners decision means a permanent end for Smollett's role.

Season 6 of Empire has yet to be officially confirmed, however, the show is on track for renewal considering its steadily high ratings and overall support from Fox Broadcasting studio and 20 Century Fox Television network, according to a Variety report on Monday. Season 5, which returns with midseason episodes on Wednesday, enjoyed an average 2.3 rating during the first half of the season, according to Neilson data, and was ranked the number two scripted show on Fox behind 9-1-1.

The show is likely to return with a new season in the fall, but Smollett's role on the series is still up for debate. Smollett is slated to appear before a judge on Tuesday and will likely have to show up in court as the trial plays out.

While many of the remaining Season 5 episodes have already been shot, Empire showrunners announced Smollett's character would be written out of the last two episodes of the season just a day after the 36-year-old was arrested in February. Executive producers told Variety Smollett was left out of the Season 5 ending to "avoid further disruption on set."

It's unclear what capacity Smollett's character was written out of the remainder of Season 5, and showrunners have yet to reveal whether or not Smollett would be replaced or if the character would be killed off completely. No promotional clips for the final episodes of Season 5 have been released since Smollett was detained in Chicago.

Smollett was charged with 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct after filing a police report claiming he was attacked by two men as part of a hate crime. Following Chicago police's investigation, Smollett's accusation is now being viewed as an alleged hoax after his attackers, Nigerian brothers Abimbola "Abel" Osundairo and Olabinjo Osundairo, confessed Smollett paid them $3,500 to assault him.

Empire's Season 5 return is set to premiere on Fox on Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET.

Will Jussie Smollett be in 'Empire' Season 6? Fans Question Jamal Lyon's Fate Following Indictment | Culture