Fox releases trailer for season two of ‘Empire’ – watch

Hit hip-hop drama series returns to the US network next month

Fox has released the first full trailer for season two of Empire ahead of the show’s return next month.

Season two will feature 18 episodes – six more than season one – with the first nine to air on Fox from September 23, and the second nine to follow in spring 2016 after a mid-season cliffhanger. In the UK, season one aired earlier this year on E4.

Timbaland serves as executive music producer on the hit US hip-hop drama and it was recently announced that he will be writing new music with Ne-Yo for season two. Mariah Carey, Oprah Winfrey, Pitbull, Kelly Rowland, Alicia Keys, Chris Rock, Lenny Kravitz and Marisa Tomei have all signed up for guest roles in season two.

Courtney Love had a recurring role in season one of Empire as Elle Dallas, a drug-addicted rock star on the comeback trail, while Snoop Dogg, Mary J Blige, Rita Ora, Gladys Knight, Estelle and Patti LaBelle all made guest appearances during the first season.

Co-created by The Butler director Lee Daniels and The Hunger Games – Mockingjay screenwriter Danny Strong, Empire centres on a fictional hip-hop music and entertainment company, Empire Entertainment, headed up by rapper-turned-mogul Lucious Lyon, played by Terrence Howard.

Taraji P Henson co-stars as his formidable ex-wife Cookie Lyon, who has recently been released from prison following a 17-year sentence for drug dealing. Read NME’s recent interview with Taraji P. Henson here.

Empire was widely perceived to have been snubbed when this year’s Emmy nominations were announced last month, with the show scoring just one nomination in a major category: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for Henson.