After a rather short 12 episode premiere season, Empire Season 2 has some high expectations to meet. Fans were desperately hoping to see more of the Lyons during the second season, and it looks as if our wish has been granted. Though we won't be getting a standard 22 episode season, Fox has announced that the second season of Empire will include an additional six episodes, for an 18 episode season. As Fox says goodbye to much of its classic programming including The Mindy Project and American Idol, dramas on the network will be formatted differently. According to Deadline, Fox's new approach means that the show's season will be split in half. Viewers will see part one of Empire's second season in the Fall which will end in a cliffhanger. Part two of the second season will follow in the Spring of 2016.
Despite the pilot season's short length, Empire did not short its audience on much of anything. From themes surrounding socioeconomic disparities, mental illness and homophobia, the show's writers and creators weren't afraid to go there. The show addressed issues plaguing not only Americans, but the African-American community specifically. From the show's lush settings to its musical acts and guest stars, Season 1 of Empire set the bar high, which means our expectations for Season 2 are even higher.
With an additional six episodes in the upcoming season, Empire will have even more time to capture or hearts and imaginations. Here are seven benefits to having six extra episodes of Empire.
1. More Original Music & Performances
Along with the news of Empire's 18-episode second season, Fox has also announced that music genius Ne-Yo has just closed a deal to write music for the show. Ne-Yo was the mastermind behind Beyoncé's "Irreplaceable." Since he will be joining Timbaland, Empire's music producer, we can expect even more fantastic music in its elongated second season. The only thing that could make this even better would be choreographed performances, highlighting the lyrics and beats that Timbland and Ne-Yo create.
2. Strong Female-Centric Story Lines
Without Cookie Lyon, there would be no Empire. Despite constantly having to contend with her male-dominated family, Cookie reigns King of the show. Still, an additional six episodes means that there will be the opportunity to see more storylines from strong women outside of Cookie. With Gabourey Sidibe's Becky and Ta’Rhonda Jones' Porsha retuning as series regulars for the second season, female-centric storylines should be aplenty.
3. Guest Stars
Though the first season of Empire was bursting at its seams with amazing guest stars, apparently that was only the beginning. Rumor has it that Lee Daniels wants everyone from Kim Kardashian to Oprah Winfrey to guest star. With an 18 episode season, there will certainly be room for everyone.
4. Entertainment & Music History
In "Our Dancing Days", the seventh episode of Empire, we see Elle Davis (Courtney Love) crash and burn in a club restroom after Anika sabotages her comeback. If you pay close attention, you will notice a huge portrait of the late Aaliyah hanging in the background. I think its so important for the series to continue paying homage to music greats. An extended season means that these historical lessons could be added into both the dialogue and story lines.
Much of what we've learned abut Cookie and Lucious' relationship, along with the foundation of Empire, has been through flashbacks. It would be fun to see entire episodes dedicated to flashbacks. Those type of episodes have worked well on shows like The Vampire Diaries, so they could definitively be a hit on Empire.
Cookie Lyon continually slays the fashion game on Empire. With multiple wardrobe changes, we've seen her draped in everything from mink to lace. Additional episodes means an even bigger closet for Cookie.
7. A More Concise Season Finale
As much as I adore Empire, I have to admit that the first season's finale was a bit befuddling. In an effort to wrap up the shortened season, it seemed like a thousand things were occurring at once. With a longer season, I think the show can produce one major jaw-dropping cliffhanger that will hold us over until Season 3.
Images: Chuck Hodes/FOX (2); Giphy (6)