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After an explosive season premiere, Fox’s Empire series is gearing up for an even more fired up season two. Fox announced the show’s official renewal at their upfront this week and now reports reveal a roster of major star power walking through Empire‘s drama-filled offices.

Chris Rock, Lenny Kravitz and Alicia Keys will be among the list of guest stars on the season. The A-listers join an even monster list of stars on the show’s wish list, currently Oprah Winfrey, Denzel Washington and Beyonce.

The series’ main cast includes Taraji P. Henson (Cookie Lyon), Terrence Howard (Luscious Lyon) including Essence cover stars Jussie Smollett, Byshere Y. Gray and Trai Byers who play brotherly heirs to the Lyon throne.

Timbaland will return to bring the fire on the series’ musical aspect. Ne-Yo will join the hit-maker, bringing a hopeful set of melodic R&B numbers to the series’ already impressive string of original songs.

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Shockingly Fox only renewed the second season for a mere 12-episodes. Considering how starved we were for more after the series’ insanely juicy two-hour finale, it’s confusing why the network didn’t increase it to 22-episodes like the other fan-favorite Scandal. The Hollywood Reporter addressed this directly with co-creators Lee Daniels and Danny Strong in March. While Daniels says “bring it on!”, Strong says he’s okay with a 12 episode order for season two.

With all of the series’ extensive story jam-packed in a dozen episodes, Daniels says viewers can expect more backstory on the Lyons and less entertainment industry champagne-popping and mink wearing luxuriance.

“I think we’ve seen the opulence, Daniels tells THR. “But now we have to go back to where they come from.”

Looks like we can expect more Philly secrets from Cookie and Luscious before they were ruling all of music.

Empire will return Wednesday nights at 9 on Fox this fall!

Illustration by THR

Geneva S. Thomas

Geneva S. Thomas

Geneva is the founder of Jawbreaker, which she plans on turning into an intergalactic all-girl army that will someday storm the streets of the world in studded bras and Tom Ford boots. She recently took up archery and collects more books than shoes.

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