The Lyons are coming back for a fourth season of drama and Cookie-isms.
“Empire” has been renewed for Season 4, it was announced Wednesday at the Television Critics Association press tour by Fox Television Group Chairman and CEO Gary Newman. Alongside Newman, Fox exec David Madden said Season 4 will consist of 18 episodes.
The fourth season will return in the 2017-2018 television season. Currently on hiatus, “Empire” returns with the back-half of its third season this spring on Mar. 22.
The renewal is hardly a surprise, as “Empire” is one of the biggest hits to come to network television in the past decade. In its third season, the primetime family soap ranks as the top broadcast drama among adults 18-49 — a title it has held through its entire run. Though its ratings dipped this year, “Empire” still finished out the first half of its third season with nearly 8 million overnight viewers for the midseason finale. For the 2016-2017 season, the show has averaged almost 16 million total viewers, becoming the show to nab Fox’s largest total multi-platform audience.
“Empire” has received numerous Emmy, Grammy and Golden Globe nominations through its three seasons, including a Golden Globe win for star Taraji P. Henson, who has received back-to-back Emmy nods.
Along with Henson — who plays the breakout character Cookie — “Empire” stars Terrence Howard, Jussie Smollett, Bryshere “Yazz” Gray, Trai Byers, Grace Byers, Gabourey Sidibe, Ta’Rhonda Jones, Serayah, Bre-Z, Xzibit and Morocco Omari. The series is known for bringing on notable guest stars, including Mariah Carey, Taye Diggs, Phylicia Rashad, Chris Rock, Alicia Keys, Marisa Tomei, Naomi Campbell, Ludacris, Adam Rodriguez, Rosie O’ Donnell and Andre Royo.
“Empire” was co-created by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong. Ilene Chaiken serves as showrunner. Executive producers are Daniels, Strong, Chaiken, Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo and Sanaa Hamri. Imagine Television produces with 20th Century Fox Television.