*Fox has some big plans for season two of “Empire.”
The network’s breakout hit will expand to 18 episodes and return to its same Wednesday 9 p.m. timeslot (“We’d be crazy to move it,” said Fox Television Group Co-Chairman Gary Newman)— but the season will be split in two halves, Fox executives told reporters on a Monday morning conference call.
“We don’t want to be greedy, if we came back with the audience we left off with we’d be thrilled,” said Fox Television Group Co-Chairman/CEO Dana Walden — Newman’s counterpart.
Season 2 will start in the fall this year instead of in January, and then take a break before resuming midseason.
Also new for Season 2 will be singer/songwriter Ne-Yo, who in addition to Timbaland, will contribute to the drama’s music and thus key buzzword, “authenticity.”
Expect more announcements on “Empire’s” second season next month, when much of the marketing begins its rollout.
For those who somehow missed out on season 1, don’t expect repeats of the show to run on Fox this summer. Executives said on the pre-upfronts presentation call that fans will have to hit up streaming video-on-demand, the Fox Now app or other alternative untraditional platforms to catch up before Season 2.