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Lee Daniels Teases ‘Empire’ Season 2 with Pics and Video from the Set – Including Chris Rock in Prison Scene

Lee Daniels Teases 'Empire' Season 2 with Pics and Video from the Set - Including Chris Rock in Prison Scene

Season 2 of “Empire” will unfold over 18 episodes (the first season had 12), split into 2 halves, premiering in the fall (instead of as a mid-season replacement, which was the case during its first season), with the second half in the winter of 2016.

Fox says fans should expect even more “big-time” guest stars for next season, including Chris Rock, who, as you can see in the images and video included within this post, appears in a prison sequence (and maybe more), which, as I learned, will be a flashback to Lucious Lyon’s past, when he was locked up. 

No word exactly on who Rock is playing and what his relationship to Lucious is. 

“Empire” co-creator Lee Daniels posted (on his Instagram page) a few photos and video from what he says was the first day of filming for the new season. 

Rock will be just one of a cadre of mystery guest stars lined up to appear in season 2 (although we know that Oprah Winfrey is one big name Daniels says he hopes to have on the show).

Also, in a recent Hollywood Reporter profile of Lee Daniels and “Empire”, here’s some information that fans of the upcoming season of the primetime soap opera will probably appreciate knowing:

1st day incredible #empireseason2 #chrisrock #terrencehoward #FOX #thankful ����

A video posted by Lee Daniels (@theoriginalbigdaddy) on

– First, the show is a draw for countless entertainers who want to guest-star in it, as others have this season: “The producers likely will discuss the deluge of requests they’ve received from potential guest stars.” Daniels has even been courting Oprah Winfrey heavily to make an appearance on the series, although she has yet to commit: “‘I tell him: “Lee, it’s not enough that you’ve taken every viewer possible on Wednesday night. Now you want me to leave my own network?”‘ says Winfrey, to which Daniels howls with laughter, ‘I’m wearing her down!'”

– And directors, too want some of the action, like none other than Spike Lee: “Daniels has been most struck by Spike Lee, who he says has reached out about helming an episode. ‘That’s when I realized what a beast Danny and I have created,’ says Daniels.”

– In terms of what to expect from the writing staff next season, Daniels and company would like to take audiences back to the Lyon family’s more modest beginnings: “He’d like to incorporate more of the poorer-class African-American experience into the storyline. ‘I think we’ve seen the opulence,’ he says, ‘but now we have to go back to where they come from.’

– And to assist with bringing that experience to life, the show’s writing staff is being beefed up with more, shall we say, *color* with talent: “Although the creative team is set to take a break before season two planning begins in earnest, Strong and showrunner Ilene Chaiken have been busy bulking up the writing staff. ‘I wanted to bring in some playwrights because we have these delicious soap turns but we also have very layered character development,’ says Strong, who has been courting emerging African-American talent.”

– Finally, in reference to the self-fulfilling prophecy that black content doesn’t sell overseas, Fox says that, initially there wasn’t a lot of interest from foreign broadcasters. But once the show’s ratings begun to ramp up from week to week, that initially disinterest very quickly became much interest.

I do wonder if the show’s creators can carry its current momentum into and through a second season. When it does return, will fans be as hungry as they were during season 1, especially with a lot more competition (in terms of new shows) on the way? I think Fox is smart to bring the show back earlier than mid-season. But that also means even less time for the crew and cast to put a solid season together.

#gettingready #gettingexcited #chrisrock #empire #empireseason2 #fox ����

A video posted by Lee Daniels (@theoriginalbigdaddy) on

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