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'Empire' Season 2 Premieres Next Week, Catch the Scoop & Watch the Trailer!

The Empire cast is featured on the September cover of The Hollywood Reporter
Get excited because Empire returns next week!

Season 1 of the hit FOX show Empire brought in nearly 17 million viewers. The anticipated second season will run 18 episodes, six more than the last season. 

This season will feature the return of Empire's dynamic characters: Lucious Lyon (Terrance Howard) who ended up in prison on the season 1 finale and Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson) as fans will learn more about her background during her 17 years in prison. 

Empire Director Lee Daniels on the set with Terrance Howard
and guest star Chris Rock as they film a scene in prison

And, our favorite, handsome Lyons' boys; Hakeem (Bryshere Gray), Jamal (Jussie Smollett) and Andre (Trai Bryers) return. 

Jussie Smollett and Taraji P. Henson snap a selfie
Jamal is leading the Empire now that Lucious is in jail,
but will that change?
Also returning are minor characters Rhonda Lyon, Becky, Anika Calhoun, Camilla and more.

A couple of new cast members will premiere as well, such as Murder in the First actor Mo McRae who will play the love interest of Becky (Gabourey Sidibe).

Gabourey Sidebe posing at the Empire season 2 premiere the other night
Season 2 will also feature many celebrity appearances, including Mariah Carey, Tyrese, Ludacris, Chris Rock and many more. 

Vivica Fox recently announced that she will appear on the new season playing Cookie's older sister. And, singer Ne-Yo is going to join the show's music team for the new season and work alongside returning producer Timbaland. 

Season 2 picks up three months after the shocking arrest and incarceration of Empire Entertainment head Lucious Lyon. Still in federal lockup, Lucious is trying to run Empire from inside, while a headline-grabbing state prosecutor hangs her political ambitions on bringing him down – no matter what it takes. 

Meanwhile, Cookie stages a star-studded #FreeLucious concert in his support, while scheming with Andre, Hakeem, Anika and the business savvy Mimi Whiteman (guest star Marisa Tomei) to finalize the hostile takeover of Empire.

The one and only Taraji P. Henson attending the
Empire season 2 premiere
Who will ultimately rule the empire? Don't miss the season 2 premiere next week on FOX airing Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 9 p.m. Check out the trailer below!