by TV One Staff
April 28, 2016
Having taken TV audiences by storm in its record-setting first season, EMPIRE enters Season Two as the No. 1 series on broadcast television. From its jaw-dropping storylines to its chart-topping hip-hop soundtrack, EMPIRE instantly gained a legion of die-hard fans, creating a social media frenzy and making “Cookie” a household name.
The series recently was nominated for three Emmy® Awards, including one for Taraji P. Henson in the category of Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. It also has received four TCA Award nominations, including Program of the Year, Outstanding Program, Outstanding Achievement in Drama and Individual Achievement in Drama (Henson). Henson and Howard both recently won the BET Awards for Best Actress and Best Actor, respectively, and Henson also won the NAACP Image Award for Entertainer of the Year.
Empire: Original Soundtrack from Season 1 was released in March 2015. It debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart and made history as the first soundtrack to debut atop the Billboard R&B/Hip Hop chart. To date, it has sold more than 1.7 million singles and 411,000 albums.
Starring Academy Award® nominee Terrence Howard and Academy Award® and Emmy® Award nominee Taraji P. Henson, and featuring music by prolific producers Timbaland, Jim Beanz and Ne-Yo, EMPIRE is from Academy Award® nominee Lee Daniels (Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Precious), Emmy® Award winner Danny Strong (Game Change, Lee Daniels’ The Butler) and Academy Award® and Emmy® Award-winning producer Brian Grazer (A Beautiful Mind, 24).
Lucious Lyon (Howard) is the king of hip-hop. An immensely talented artist, the CEO of Empire Entertainment and a former street thug, his reign has been unchallenged for years. But, after battling what he believed to be a terminal disease, Lucious challenged his sons (Jussie Smollett as Jamal, Bryshere “Yazz” Gray as Hakeem and Trai Byers as Andre) to compete for his throne, a task made all the more complicated by the return of their mother and Lucious’ ex-wife, Cookie (Henson), who was released from prison.
Season Two will pick up three months after Lucious’ shocking arrest and incarceration at the end of last season. Knowing Lucious won’t be held much longer in prison, Cookie and her allies within the Lyon family make a desperate attempt to seize control of the company. But as the Lyons continue to battle each other, a bigger external threat emerges that could force them to unite.
Guest stars set to appear in Season Two include Chris Rock (Top Five), Lenny Kravitz (Precious), Adam Rodriguez (CSI: Miami), Grammy Award-winning artist Alicia Keys, Academy Award® winner Marisa Tomei (The Wrestler), recording artist Ludacris and global music superstar Pitbull.
EMPIRE is from Imagine Television in association with 20th Century Fox Television. The series is created by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong and is executive produced by Daniels, Strong, Brian Grazer, Ilene Chaiken (The L Word) and Francie Calfo (Those Who Kill, Gang Related).
EMPIRE is distributed by 20th Century Fox Television Distribution.