On Wednesday, Empire airs its first episode since Smollett's alleged hate crime scandal. The following day, Smollett will be arraigned on 16 counts of filing a false police report. Variety reports that is is "widely expected" that Fox will renew Empire for Season 6, but writers haven't figured out what to do about Smollett. Variety reports it's possible Jamal Lyon could be killed off or recast. "It also appears that Smollett’s role in the remainder of the season is being downplayed, despite Jamal’s engagement being a major storyline in the first half of Season 5," reports Variety's Joe Otterson. "Except for a midseason recap video released in the beginning of March, none of the promotional clips for the second half of Season 5 released since Smollett’s arrest have prominently featured him, rather offering just fleeting glimpses of Jamal. One Fox insider downplayed this, however, saying that it is common for such clips to focus more heavily on series stars Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard." ALSO: Abel and Ola Osundairo feel betrayed by Smollett.