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Season Two
Season2Poster
No. of Episodes 18
Original Run September 23, 2015 -May 18, 2016
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The second season of Empire premiered on September 23, 2015 on FOX. The season airs at 9pm (ET) every Wednesday, and it consists of 18 episodes. The season was produced by 20th Century Fox Television, in association with Imagine Entertainment, Lee Daniels Entertainment, Danny Strong Productions, and Little Chickens, Inc, with Lee DanielsDanny Strong, and Ilene Chaiken as the showrunners. On January 17, 2015, only after 2 episodes had aired for the first season, a second season was confirmed.

The show centers around a hip hop music and entertainment company, Empire Entertainment, and the drama among the members of the founders' family as they fight for control of the company. 

The second season follows the competition for the company, three months later after Lucious' incarceration. Season Two, meanwhile, has ten main roles, with seven of the main characters reprising their roles from Season 1, and three recurring characters promoted to regular cast members. Actresses Gabourey Sidibe (Becky Williams), Ta'Rhonda Jones (Porsha Taylor), and Serayah (Tiana Brown) were promoted to the main cast for the second season, while Malik Yoba (Vernon Turner) would not return after his character's death.

Based on early reviews, Empire's second season has recieved positive reviews. On the aggregator, Rotten Tomatoes, the season earned a 95% rating based on 19 reviews, indicating critical acclaim. It received a 79 out of 100 on the review aggregate website Metacritic based on 18 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". For the season premiere, the ratings remain high, compared to the series premiere.

Cast

Main Cast

Recurring Cast

Only add characters when they appear in at least 5 episodes.

Guest Stars

Cameos

  • Al Sharpton as himself (1/18)
  • Andre Leon Talley as himself (1/18)
  • Charlamagne Tha God as himself (1/18)
  • Funkmaster Flex as himself (1/18)
  • Jason Derulo as himself (1/18)
  • Joel Madden as himself (1/18)
  • Lee Daniels as himself (1/18)
  • Ne-Yo as himself (1/18)
  • Nicole Richie as herself (1/18)
  • Pitbull as himself (1/18)
  • Sean Cross as himself (1/18)
  • Swizz Beatz as himself (1/18)
  • Timbaland as himself (1/18)


Episodes

Image Title Original Airdate U.S. Viewers
(in millions)

Empire201 sc22 0234 hires1-1024x683

1. "The Devils Are Here" September 23, 2015
16.18

Plot:  Three months after his arrest, Lucious tries to run Empire Entertainment while in federal lockup; Cookie stages a star-studded concert in support of Lucious while Andre, Hakeem, Anika and Mimi Whiteman (Marisa Tomei) attempt a hostile takeover.

Singles:

Empire S2E2 promo pic 2. "Without a Country" September 30, 2015
13.74

Plot:  Cookie, Andre, Hakeem and Anika decide to start their own small record label named Lyon Dynasty, but it's off to a bumpy start as everyone has different visions for the new label. As Hakeem's first project for Lyon Dynasty, he decides to form a girl group and woos a hot Latina lead singer named Valentina (Becky G) proving that he can be more than just an artist. Lucious has some altercations with Prison Officer McKnight (Chris "Ludacris" Bridges), and produces a track in prison and now is set free on bail at 1 million dollars.

Singles:

Firesofheavenep3 3. "Fires of Heaven" October 7, 2015
13.10

Plot:  Anika secretly work together behind Lucious' back to pull off a surprise performance that catches the eye of Pitbull. Meanwhile, Lucious tracks down Frank Gathers' daughter, Young Ma, to try to convince her to sign with him at Empire, while Hakeem is hard at work on his girl group, Mirage a Trois. Also, Andre and Rhonda hope their baby-on-the-way will be the key that unlocks Luciou's cold heart and opens the door for Andre to return to the Empire fold.

Singles:

Cookie Hakeem S2E4 Poor Yorick 4. "Poor Yorick" October 14, 2015
12.22

Plot:  Despite their feud, the Lyons decide to collaborate on a project that will benefit both companies; Lucious wants to make Vernon disappear.

Singles:

Andre baptism 5. "Be True" October 21, 2015
12.28

Plot:  Jamal gets busy working on his music with Ne-Yo. Also, Hakeem begins a tender romance with the lead singer of his girl group, and Andre takes steps to rid his soul of past sins.

Singles:

EMPIRE-2x06-1 6. "A High Hope for a Low Heaven" November 4, 2015
11.68

Plot:  Lucious and Cookie must put aside their differences and work together as parents to protect their family and keep them out of danger. Jamal does his best to get back in the studio and break away from being defined solely as a gay artist, while Hakeem struggles with how to feel and act like a man. Meanwhile, Andre works to shut down a division at Empire, until he discovers a disciple in the midst of Lucious' Gutter Life Records.

Singles:

EMP207 - True Love Never Promo Photo 7. "True Love Never" November 11, 2015
11.28

Plot:  Lucious begins to strategize the ascension of Empire from record label into global music monolith, so he looks into starting a partnership with Jago (guest star Patrick Mulvey), the founder of a music streaming company. Meanwhile, Andre has to twist his newfound values to achieve a delicate balance between his faith and his career; Hakeem begins to work with Laura to turn her into a star; and Cookie sets her sights on having Lyon Dynasty be a part of an epic televised charity music event.

Singles:

Freda Gatz vs Hakeem Lyon - My Bad Parts 8. "My Bad Parts" November 18, 2015
11.34

Plot:  Lucious, eager to assert his power, releases a rap by Freda challenging Hakeem as his heir. Not to be outdone in Lucious' eyes, Hakeem fires back at Freda with a rap battle challenge that could put Lyon Dynasty's future in danger. Meanwhile, Cookie gets a special visit from her spitfire sister, Candace (guest star Vivica A. Fox); Jamal is working on landing a major sponsorship deal and Anika receives some life changing news.

Singles:

EMP209 - Cookie & Candace strolling Philly 9. "Sinned Against" November 25, 2015
9.21

Plot:  Cookie and her sister, Candace (guest star Vivica A. Fox), team up with a former prison mate (guest star Rosie O'Donnell) to rescue their sister, Carol. Back at Empire, Jamal and critically acclaimed pop star Skye Summers (guest star Alicia Keys) begin collaborating and soon share a deep connection. Meanwhile, Laz (guest star Adam Rodriguez) has truly fallen for Cookie, but things get complicated when she finds out the truth about him.

Singles:

210-003-empire-et-tu-brute 10. "Et Tu, Brute?" December 2, 2015
11.54

Plot: Lucious makes a reckless play for the streaming service that he believes will make him the most powerful man in music, only to learn that the entire business strategy was part of a scheme that might jeopardize everything for which he has worked so hard. Meanwhile, Cookie decides to plan a concert at the prison where she spent 17 years locked away from her family.

Singles:

Empire-recap-season-2-episode-11 11. "Death Will Have His Day" March 30, 2016
12.46

Plot:  After losing the company he built, Lucious announces he will stop at nothing to regain his power, but Cookie has her own way of handling things. Meanwhile, Rhonda, Andre and the rest of the Lyon family come to terms with a horrific, life-changing tragedy that changes their lives as they know it.

Singles:

EMP212 - Hakeem & the new Logo 12. "A Rose by Any Other Name" April 6, 2016
11.34

Plot:  With Hakeem acting as Empire's CEO, Camilla sinks her claws further and further into him. The rest of the Lyon family tries to get him to rejoin their side, but Hakeem has his own plan. Meanwhile, Jamal receives backlash from his fans and Andre and Rhonda's marriage is tested.

Singles:

EMPIRE-2x13 13. "The Tameness of a Wolf" April 13, 2016
10.11

Plot: Tensions between Lucious and his sons continue to rise. Back at Lyon Dynasty, Lucious aims to direct his most emotional and honest music video yet and recreates a traumatic interaction with his mother for the new single. Meanwhile, on the Mirage a Trois tour, Tiana and Laura begin viciously fighting over the spotlight, forcing Hakeem to mediate between the two divas.

Singles:

Lucious Lyon - EMPIRE 2x14 14. "Time Shall Unfold" April 20, 2016
9.56

Plot: Lucious releases his new music video, as he manipulates and sabotages those around him to regain his CEO position at Empire. Meanwhile, Andre learns more about his grandmother's mental illness in order to understand his own struggle with bipolar disorder; Anika reveals a big secret to the family and Hakeem leads the big shareholder meeting.

Singles:

Lucious & Cookie - EMPIRE 2x15 15. "More Than Kin" April 27, 2016
10.03

Plot: With help from Andre, Lucious hosts a fundraiser, as part of his campaign to prove to the board that he should return as Empire's CEO. Meanwhile, Hakeem must decide whether he wants to be a father to his and Anika's child.

Singles:

Lucious & Cookie - Empire Rising Above Promo 16. "The Lyon Who Cried Wolf" May 4, 2016
9.39

Plot: A wrench is thrown into Lucious' deeply personal music video about his mother, when Andre discovers a dark secret. Meanwhile, Hakeem and Jamal are compromised after pursuing secretive affairs. Then, Rhonda starts to suspect who her attacker was.

Singles:

Lucious & Cookie - EMP217 17. "Rise by Sin" May 11, 2016
9.81

Plot: Hakeem feels the pressure of his underwhelming fiancé, Laura, as he struggles to find a place for her both in his family and his career. Cookie finally reveals to Jamal the truth behind what happened to Freda's father, prompting Jamal to warn Freda of his family's ulterior motives. Meanwhile, despite his frustration with the family, Jamal makes a sacrifice for Lucious from which it will be hard to recover.

Singles:

Past Is Prologue - Promo Pic CROPPED 18. "Past Is Prologue" May 18, 2016
10.88

Plot: After a life-changing experience, Jamal refuses to make music until his family ends its seemingly endless cycle of violence and fighting. Meanwhile, the Feds are tailing Anika because they want to force her to testify against Lucious. In order to protect her family, Cookie organizes a meeting at Hakeem and Laura's wedding with various people from her and Lucious' past.

Singles:

Notes

Plot

  • Lucious Lyon will return, and Jamal and Cookie's relationship may deteriorate after the events of the first season finale. (4/21) Source
  • "Season 2 will pick up three months after the shocking arrest and incarceration of Empire Entertainment head Lucious Lyon." Source

Cast

  • Gabourey Sidibe and Ta'Rhonda Jones are main cast regulars for season two. (4/21) Source
  • Serayah was promoted to series regular for season two. (8/26) Source

Guest Cast

  • Amber Riley has shown interest on playing a role. (3/12) Source
  • Likely guest stars for the second season of Empire are Common and Oprah Winfrey. (3/18) Source
  • Taraji P Henson promised Courtney Love that she would return to season 2. (4/3) Source
  • Raven-Symoné will return for the second season. (4/15) Source
  • Chris Rock, Alicia Keys, and Lenny Kravitz will be guest stars (5/12) Source
  • Kelly Rowland will guest star as Lucious Lyon's mother (7/7) Source
  • Ludacris will guest star as a police officer (7/23) Source
  • Mariah Carey and Pitbull were confirmed to guest star on Empire (8/11) Source
  • Al Sharpton and Andre Leon were confirmed to guest star as they are seen in the season's trailer (8/13) Source
  • Becky G will play Hakeem's love interest. (8/17) Source
  • Patti LaBelle will return to the second season of the show. (8/19) Source
  • Vivica A. Fox will play Cookie's sister. (9/10) Source

Episodes

  • There will be 18 episodes in Season 2, as confirmed by FOX. (5/11) Source

Gallery

Images

Videos

Behind the Scenes and Featurettes

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