‘Empire’ Co-Creator Danny Strong Teases Show’s Second Season at ATX Festival 2015

During ATX Festival’s Empire:The Creatives panel, series co-creator Danny Strong, along with co-executive producer Wendy Calhoun, dished a couple of interesting pieces of information about the show’s upcoming second season for fans to mull over until it premieres later this year.

Strong revealed that the upcoming second season won’t focus on being “bigger and better” but will instead focus on “continuing the story” of the Lyon family. He feels that focusing on making each season bigger than the last could diminish the quality of the story, which is what he’s most concerned about protecting.

He also revealed that fans can also look out for new relationship dynamics during the show’s second season, like more scenes with Cookie and Dre for example. I hope the relationship between Anika and Hakeem is brought up again, because I don’t know about you, but the scene with the two of them sleeping together caught me totally off guard and I still need answers.

Summing up the difference between season 1 and season 2, Danny revealed, “Season 1 was who will inherit the throne. Season 2 is warring kingdoms.” As fans remember, Jamal gained control of Empire Records by the end of the season, but Strong also teased that “Just because you get the empire, doesn’t mean you get to keep the empire.” Uh-oh!

Looks like all this new family drama will be in addition to the awesome guest stars the series already has lined up for their second season. It’s been announced that season 2 guest stars include Adam Rodriguez, Chris Rock, Lenny Kravitz, and Alicia Keys. Common and Oprah were previously rumored to appear, but there’s been no confirmation on the pair yet.

Empire‘s second season is not only returning with more guest stars and bigger family drama, but its returning longer as well. The new season will consist of an extended order of 18 episodes, up 6 from the 12 episode premiere season. As far as how the season will air, it will be split in two parts, with part 1 in the fall, ending with a cliffhanger, and part 2 picking up in the spring.

Empire‘s returns to FOX Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 9/8c.

Photo Credit: ATX Festival/ Jack Plunkett