Fasten your seatbelts, “Empire” fans. Fox is set to deliver a jaw-dropping second season this fall. Actor Jussie Smollett teased that the upcoming installment of the hit drama will far surpass its explosive first season.
In an interview with Essence Magazine (via People), Smollett remained tight-lipped about any in-depth details of the highly-anticipated Lee Daniels show. However, he did confirm that the contentious family drama is going to kick it up another notch and would “make season 1 look like ‘The Brady Bunch.’” Funny, what episode does Marcia get hit with a broom again?
That’s no mean feat to top itself, considering broadcast TV’s number 1 show pulled in record number of viewers, 16.7 million for the season finale alone. Fox has plans to release the 18 episodes of Season 2 in two halves, making space for a mid-season finale. Not that Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) needs an extra excuse to bring more drama to the Lyon family table.
Smollett’s hint coincided with some of the other plans Showrunner Ilene Chaiken has in store for Season 2. She teased to Deadline today that there were many prominent guest stars in the works for the next season of “Empire.”
"Some really interesting people who want to come and be on the show," Chaiken said of potential new faces.
Fox chairman and CEO Gary Newman also confirmed Smollett’s tease at the Fox upfront yesterday. Newman told reporters (via EW), “the stories we’ve heard already for Season 2 will blow away the audience.”
On “Empire,” Smollett plays Jamal Lyon, the middle child of Lucious (Terrence Howard) and Cookie, who’s struggling to create his independent sound from under the shadow of his father’s musical legacy. Jamal also longs to be accepted by Lucious, whose homophobia leads him to disown his son (for much of Season 1). Earlier on “Empire,” Jamal also found out that he had a daughter, but then it was revealed to be Lucious’ child from an affair.
Smollett shared the cover story with the two actors that play his brothers Andre and Hakeem on “Empire,” Trai Byers and Bryshere “Yazz” Gray. The last audiences saw of Andre and Hakeem on “Empire” Season 1 finale was when the pair plotted to get their father Lucious arrested for murder. It worked, and the finale closed on a fuming Lucious behind bars while Jamal had taken the center stage of the Lyon family concert.
How do you think “Empire” creators can top that finale for Season 2? Sound off in the comments below!