Only weeks earlier FOX confirmed its Empire juggernaut would hold onto its Wednesday timeslot for Season 2, but now the Lee Daniels music drama is first out of the gate with a FOX premiere date. When will Cookie, Luscious and the Lyon family return to rebuild FOX’s Empire for Season 2?

Writers of Empire’s second season confirmed over Twitter that the smash series would return for new episodes on Wednesday, September 23, rather than the midseason premiere that launched its first season.

As previously established, where Empire Season 1 unfolded over a modest 12 episodes, Season 2 will expand to 18, structured in two halves with a major cliffhanger between. Season 2 guest stars include Chris Rock, Lenny Kravitz and Alicia Keys, while hip-hop artist Ne-Yo will join Timbaland in writing music for Season 2, though no plans for Ne-Yo to actually appear on the series have been set.

Will Empire Season 2 prove as titanic as its predecessor, or suffer sophomore slump? Find out on September 23!

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