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‘Empire’ Gets Early Season 2 Renewal From Fox

TCA 2015: Network picks up Lee Daniels’ hop hop soap opera after just two episodes

Fox has given “Empire,” its high-rated hip hop soap opera, a second season after just two episodes, Fox Television Group’s co-chairman and CEO Dana Walden announced during Saturday’s Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena.

Created by Lee Daniels (“The Butler”), the show premiered to big numbers for the network. So far, averaging a 5.3 rating by Nielsen, the series has become the No. 1 new series of the season. Following its second episode, it is the only new broadcast drama this season to grow from Week 1 to Week 2.

“Empire” follows Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) the head of a music company, who has just found out that he may have just a few years longer to live. He is in the process of choosing which one of his sons will inherit the company. But, his former wife and mother of their sons, Cookie (Taraji P. Henson), returns from prison and complicates the process.

Led by Howard (Hustle & Flow) and Henson (“No Good Deed”), the series also stars Malik Yoba, Jussie Smollett, Trai Byers, Kaitlin Doubleday, Bryshere Gray and Grace Gealey.

Danny Strong (“Game Change,” “Lee Daniels’ The Butler”) and Brian Grazer (“A Beautiful Mind,” “24”), also serve as executive producers of “Empire,” which airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m.

Fox also announced renewals for “Gotham” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” during Saturday’s panel.