The Third Season of Empire premiered on September 21st, 2016 on FOX. The season aired at 9pm (ET) every Wednesday. 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 Daniels, Danny Strong, and Ilene Chaiken as the showrunners. On January 15th, 2016, a third season was confirmed during the second half of the second season.
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.
Plot: Hakeem leaves the altar, and a rooftop fight between Anika and Rhonda leads to a tragic fall; Lucious uses his streaming service to pursue his music legacy and clashes with Tariq, who leads a federal task force to investigate him.
Plot: Jamal partners with Angelo Dubois to host a summit for gun violence awareness; Lucious tries to win over Cookie; Hakeem and Shine start to record new songs together; Andre gets into trouble with the police.
Plot: Things heat up between Cookie and Angelo, so Lucious finally recognizes Angelo as a formidable rival and prepares to take him on. Meanwhile, Jamal is finally able to face Freda Gatz, a big first step on his journey to recovery.
Plot: Lucious and Andre are on high alert as they wait for Shine to retaliate after their latest business encounter went south. Jamal, who has yet to perform in front of his fans, teams up with Hakeem for a performance that he thinks could help him face his fears. Meanwhile, Cookie is caught off-guard during a routine meeting with her probation officer.
Plot: When Empire is hacked, the leak creates feuds between the artists and among the Lyon family; Andre tries to prove his worth to the company; Lucious is determined to divide Cookie and Angelo; Jamal is caught in a love triangle.
Plot: Cookie looks to Candace for tips on how to plan an elaborate family dinner that will impress Angelo's mother, Diane. Meanwhile, old home videos cause Cookie to face secrets about her relationship with her father that she had tried to hide from her kids, and Andre organizes an unlikely duet.
Plot: Andre sabotages Tiana's big appearance at a fashion event in an attempt to get Nessa into the spotlight. Meanwhile, Tariq works with Leah to try to bring down Lucious, and Jamal works with Philip to get over his PTSD.
Plot: Cookie attempts to help Angelo appeal to the masses and win the mayoral bid, by hosting a free park concert. Meanwhile, the FBI continues to investigate Lucious and freezes all of Empire's assets, which has major repercussions.
After launching a deadly missile at Angelo, Lucious announces his new music project, Inferno, and puts everyone on notice - especially Cookie, who then vows to knock him off his throne for good. The two engage in an epic clash - fueled by a history of love, loyalty, and betrayal. Meanwhile, Jamal befriends musician Tory Ash during his stay in rehab, Andre continues with his plan to take over Empire, and Hakeem and Tiana battle Nessa for a spot in the music showcase.
Plot: Cookie tries to move forward with Angelo, while struggling with guilt over her run-in with Lucious. Meanwhile, Leah seeks out Tariq's help in taking down Anika, and Jamal and Tory team up in the studio.
Plot: Angelo makes an unsettling discovery and is concerned that Cookie's past isn't in the past and will hurt his chances of becoming the Mayor. Anika is faced with a life-changing decision after Tariq reveals what he is really after. Meanwhile, Hakeem's 21st birthday party takes an unexpected turn.
Plot: Hakeem throws an epic 21st birthday party and live-streams it all on Empire Xstream. Meanwhile, suspicions surrounding Anika's motives put the Lyons on high alert and the arrival of Giuliana gives Cookie a run for her money.
Plot: Cookie gives Lucious unexpected news that makes him feel uneasy about the future. Hoping to make Cookie jealous, Giuliana moves in on Lucious and persuades him to comply with her new plans. Meanwhile, Anika and Tariq devise a new plan and Charlotte Frost holds the EMPIRE Las Vegas dream in her hands.
Plot: Angelo's relationship with Cookie turns toxic and leaves her questioning her decisions. Hakeem makes a public plea for Lucious to give him paternity of Bella during his return to Empire Xstream. Meanwhile, Cookie becomes increasingly more suspicious of Lucious' intentions with Giuliana and Empire's future in Vegas, and Lucious and Jamal work overtime to finish their albums.
Plot: Cookie takes matters into her own hands when the Lyons suspect the Dubois family is to blame for their latest family crisis; Andre lashes out; Cookie sets her eyes on a new plan for Empire in Vegas.
Plot: After being banned from Leviticus Vegas, Cookie gathers a team of allies to seek revenge on Giuliana and steal her secret weapon; Jamal is encouraged to delay his album so he won't have to compete with Lucious' "Inferno."