The debut season of Fox’s Empire offered up enough drama, guest stars, and memorable moments to make the series a bona fide hit. Now, it’s time to look ahead to the new season, with the premiere a little more than a month away.
For fans awaiting the return of the Lyon family, EW gathered up the latest Empire news as the series prepares to enter into its second season. We’ll continue to update this post as more scoop arrives.
What’s it about?
If you missed tuning into the wildly popular drama for the first season, here’s a quick run-down of the premise: Empire stars Terrence Howard as Lucious Lyon, the CEO of Empire Entertainment, who hustled his way to the top, selling drugs in his early career to help build his fortune. Of course, Lucious is thrown for a loop when his fiery ex-wife Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) returns home following a long-term prison stint — one she endured after taking the fall for his illegal activities so that he could continue to build their empire. After being diagnosed with ALS, Lucious must decide which of his three sons – Andre (Trai Byers), Jamal (Jussie Smollett), or Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) – will take over the business. Every family member has their own agenda, and tensions quickly rise as the epic power struggle threatens to tear the Lyon family further apart.
Who will be stopping by Empire this season?
The Fox hit brought a number of big-name stars to its season one guest roster including Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, and Snoop Dogg. The reported line-up for season two – so far – includes: Chris Rock, Pitbull, Alicia Keys, Lenny Kravitz, Marisa Tomei, Ludacris, Kelly Rowland, Al Sharpton, Andre Leon Talley, Swizz Beatz, and Ne-Yo.
A new love interest for Cookie? Adam Rodriguez will be cozying up to our girl this season as recurring character Laz Delgado, a concert promoter and expert hustler.
News circulated back in March that Oprah and Common would potentially guest star, though showrunner Ilene Chaiken noted in a recent interview with Deadline that as of now, she was not aware of any episodes featuring Oprah for season 2.
Most recently, Smollett told People Mariah Carey would also make an appearance, though that has yet to be officially confirmed. Sources told EW at the time that while she would certainly be welcome, a deal had not yet been inked.
What can fans expect this time around?
Fox released the first full trailer in early August with a look at how the Lyon family is shaping up now that its patriarch is behind bars. Andre makes moves to remove his father as the CEO of Empire Entertainment, but Lucious has a few special instructions for his other son, Jamal. And as Cookie and Andre move forward with their own plans, Jamal and Hakeem just can’t seem to get along – but what else is new?
While the first season tackled a few timely industry happenings, some of the biggest stories of the summer, such as the Drake/Meek Mill feud, will reportedly be incorporated into the next season. Fans will also be treated to more Cookie “hair moments” as Henson told Andy Cohen during a recent interview: ”We’re incorporating blond, and not just in the flashbacks but in present time.”