Empire may not end without an encore from Jussie Smollett after all.
TV Line is reporting that the FOX drama's showrunner is not ruling out the possibility of a return from Smollett as Jamal Lyon before the series says goodbye in the spring.
“It would be weird in my mind to end this family show and this family drama of which he was such a significant part of without seeing him,” Brett Mahoney told the outlet.
“It’s fair to say it’s being discussed, but there’s no plan as of yet to bring him back. There’s been no decision made.”
With discussions underway, it certainly sounds like Smollett could return for the endgame, even if it's just a cameo.
Smollett was an original series regular on Empire when it debuted back in 2015, but he was written out of the final episodes of Empire Season 5 after the actor claimed he was attacked by two men wearing "MAGA" hats.
He also alleged the men hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him. The tide turned against Jussie when he was accused of orchestrating the attack and charged with making a false police report.
Ultimately, the charges were dropped, but the scandal has effected Smollett's career in a big way.
Despite rumblings he could return in some capacity during the sixth and final season, Empire creator, Lee Daniels denied a report from Variety earlier this year, claiming "Jussie will NOT be returning to Empire."
Empire's demise was announced by FOX months after the scandal, with many believing it played a big part in the show being given one final season to wrap up its plots, before making its way to the TV graveyard.
Empire Season 6 has felt off, largely because Bryshere Gray, who plays Hakeem Lyon has barely been a part of the action.
The only Lyons who have had much of a presence have been Cookie, Lucious, and Andre.
The cast signed a letter ahead of the formal sixth season pickup advocating for Jussie Smollett to return.
As always, we'll keep you up to speed on any changes on the matter.
For now, Empire Season 6 Episode 10 -- the show's fall finale, airs tonight at 9/8c on Empire.
What do you think of this potential return?
Would it make you stop watching the final episodes?
Hit the comments below.
Remember you can watch Empire online right here via TV Fanatic.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.