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‘Empire’ Sets Season 2 Premiere Date

Stars Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard return for super-sized second round of music and drama with the Lyon family

Fox hit drama “Empire” will return for an 18-episode second season on Wednesday, September 23.

Taraji P. Henson, who plays Cookie on the hip-hop soap opera, broke the news on Twitter Friday morning.

The official Empire’s Writers Twitter account quickly confirmed the news.

As TheWrap previously reported, Season 2 of “Empire” will expand from 12 to 18 episodes, split into two cycles.

Comedian Chris Rock and singers Alicia Keys and Lenny Kravitz have signed on to guest-star on the show’s second season.

Academy-Amward nominee Gabourey Sidibe (“Becky”) and actress Ta’Rhonda Jones (“Porsha”) have been elevated to full-fledged series regulars.

The show drew an average of 16.7 million viewers for its two-hour Season 1 finale in March. It also scored a whopping 6.5 rating/20 share in the advertiser-sought 18-49 demographic.