'Empire' Films at Location Where Jussie Smollett Said He Was Attacked - NECN

'Empire' Films at Location Where Jussie Smollett Said He Was Attacked

Smollett said he was attacked in the 300 block of East Lower North Water Street

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    'Empire' Films at Location Where Jussie Smollett Said He Was Attacked
    Charlie Wojciechowski

    Crews for "Empire" were seen filming Tuesday at the same intersection where  star Jussie Smollett said he was attacked in a hate crime that police have alleged was fabricated. 

    Production crews and police were at the scene Tuesday morning near McClurg and North Water Street, just one block from the overpass where Smollett claimed he was attacked.

    A city permit showed "Fox Entertainment Group- Empire" requested to film at the location from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. East North Water Street was closed from New Street east until a dead end. 

    Smollett said he was attacked in the 300 block of East Lower North Water Street. 

    It remains unclear why the show was filming at the location. 

    Smollett is gone from "Empire" but his character will live on in photos.

    Smollett's Jamal Lyon, who last season married Kai (Toby Onwumere), will be away on his honeymoon when the Fox drama returns Sept. 24 for its sixth and last season, Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier said Wednesday.

    "You'll see pictures of him in the background," Collier said, without elaborating. He promised "surprises at the beginning of the season that you're going to love."

    In a Q&A with TV critics, Collier affirmed series producer Lee Daniels' decision to drop Smollett from the hip-hop family drama.

    Daniels had initially supported Smollett after the actor claimed he suffered a racist and anti-gay attack in Chicago. But when Smollett faced charges for allegedly fabricating the attack, Daniels said the matter had become painful and frustrating for him and the "Empire" cast.

    Prosecutors dropped the charges against Smollett in March, but a special prosecutor could charge him again.

    Asked why Fox had extended Smollett's contract despite his legal peril, Collier said the network wanted to properly assess the situation before making a decision about Smollett's future with "Empire."

    Whether an "Empire" spinoff could happen remains to be seen. Collier said the focus now is giving the drama the "huge send-off" it's earned by virtue of its pop-culture impact, but he's open to the possibility.

    "We're in the Lee Daniels and Danny Strong business," he said of the show's co-creators and executive producers. "If there's more stories to be told, we want to hear it."