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Lucious Lyon's tale is one of rags-to-riches. Once a lowly dope-man and petty criminal, Lyon and his wife, Cookie, have risen to the top of the music industry. Now, blessed with three strong sons and immeasurable fortune, Lyon is beset on all sides by new foes and familiar woes: greed, avarice, and now, an aging man with a terminal disease, mortality. As Lucious struggles to secure his thrown and determine who will retain control of Empire Records as his health slowly fails him, he finds that fame and power are a threat not only to his business, but to his family as well.

Wednesday 9:00 PM et/pt on Fox
3 Seasons, 41 Episodes
January 7, 2015
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Empire Full Episode Guide

  • Cookie tries to move forward with Angelo, while struggling with guilt over her run-in with Lucious. Meanwhile, Leah seeks out Tariq's help in taking down Anika, and Jamal and Tory team up in the studio.

  • After releasing his fury on Angelo, Lucious announces his new music project, Inferno. Cookie promises to dethrone him for good.

  • In an effort to help Angelo win the mayoral bid, Cookie organizes a free park concert. Meanwhile, the FBI continues to investigate Lucious and freezes all of Empire's assets, which has major repercussions.

  • Andre intentionally ruins Tiana's big appearance at a fashion event in order to get Nessa some public attention. Meanwhile, Tariq teams up with Leah to try to bring down Lucious, and Jamal works with Philip to overcome his PTSD.

  • Cookie hopes Candace can share a few tips on how to plan an elaborate family dinner that will impress Angelo's mother, Diane. Meanwhile, old home videos cause Cookie to face secrets about her past.

  • When Empire is hacked, feuds erupt between artists and among the Lyon family. Andre uses the leak to his advantage, while Lucious attempts to drive a wedge between Cookie and Angelo.

  • Lucious and Andre anticipate Shine's retaliation after their latest business encounter failed. Jamal, who has yet to perform in front of his fans, teams up with Hakeem for a potentially beneficial performance.

  • Things intensify between Cookie and Angelo. Lucious finally recognizes Angelo as competiton and prepares to take him on.

  • In an effort to help Jamal overcome his fear of performing, Cookie calls in a favor with mega-superstar Kitty. Meanwhile, Andre encounters problems. Cookie and Lucious clash and Hakeem and Gram vie for Tiana's attention.

  • Following the shooting, Jamal teams up with businessman Angelo Dubois, to discuss gun violence and host a summit for awareness. When he tries to perform again, things go awry.

  • The third season opens where the second season left off. Hakeem was left jilted at the altar, Lucious and Anika married and Anika and Rhonda were on the roof arguing - when someone fell.

  • Following a life-changing experience, Jamal decides to stop making music until his family can end the drama. Meanwhile, the Feds tail Anika hoping she'll testify against Lucious.

  • Hakeem is overwhelmed by the pressure he feels to find a place for his fiance in his family and his career. Cookie finally divulges the truth to Jamal about what happened to Freda's father, prompting Jamal to warn Freda of his family's ulterior motives.

  • Lucious' deeply personal music video is put on hold when Andre makes a shocking discovery. Meanwhile, Hakeem and Jamal are compromised after they entertain secretive affairs.

  • With help from Andre, Lucious hosts a fundraiser, as part of his campaign to prove to the board that he should return as Empire's CEO. Meanwhile, Hakeem must decide whether he wants to be a father to his and Anika's child.

  • Lucious releases his new music video as he does what it takes to regain his CEO position at Empire. Meanwhile, Andre gains new information about his grandmother's mental illness in order to understand his own struggle with bipolar disorder.

  • Tension between Lucious and his sons escalates. Back at Lyon Dynasty, Lucious prepares to release his most emotional and honest music video yet and recreates a traumatic interaction with his mother for the new single.

  • With Hakeem acting as Empire's CEO, Camilla continues to manipulate him. Meanwhile, the rest of the Lyon family tries to convince him to join their side, but Hakeem has his own plan.

  • After losing everything, Lucious announces he will regain his power, but Cookie has her own idea of what the future will hold.

  • Lucious takes a big risk for the streaming service that he believes will make him the most powerful man in music. Unfortunately, he finds out the entire business strategy was part of a scheme that could ruin him.

  • Cookie and her sister contact a former prison mate to help rescue their sister, Carol. At Empire, Jamal and superstar Skye Summers begin collaborating and soon connect on a deeper level.

  • Lucious challenges Hakeem as his heir, but Hakeem fires back.

  • Lucious begins to devise a plan for the rise of Empire from record label into global music monolith, and considers a partnership with Jago.

  • Lucious and Cookie set aside their differences and put on a united front as parents to protect their family and keep them out of danger.

  • At Lyon Dynasty, Cookie and Anika collaborate with Laz to throw "Cookie Lyon's Block Party," to launch their company, showcase their artists and premiere a signature Dynasty anthem written by Hakeem.

  • Despite the division among the Lyons, they all decide to shoot a music video that will capitalize on Hakeem and Jamal's duet from Hakeem's leaked album.

  • Cookie and Anika go behind Lucious's back to pull off a surprise performance that peaks the interest of Pitbull (guest-starring as himself).

  • Cookie and her group decide to start their own small record label, but their opposing ideas complicate their venture. Meanwhile, Hakeem charms a hot Latina singer for the girl group he wants to form.

  • In the second season premiere, three months have passed since the arrest and incarceration of Lucious, who is still trying to run Empire Entertainment from inside prison.

Empire News

TV Ratings: 'Empire' Holds Strong in Return After 'Shots Fired' Premiere

Fox took home its first nightly victory in a while thanks to the return of "Empire".

The series, coming off a three-month hiatus that saw "This Is Us" pass it to become the top drama on broadcast, was unmoved in its midseason opener. It averaged a 2.8 rating among adults 18-49 and 7.9 million viewers. Both of those numbers marked incremental improvement from December.

Season to date, Empire has averaged a 4.6 rating among adults 18-49 and 12.5 million viewers once live-plus-seven ratings are factored in, though multiplatform views have it even higher.

Read about the ratings for Survivor, Criminal Minds and more at The Hollywood Reporter.

Changing of the Guard? 'Empire,''Blindspot' Ratings Fall

Fox's Empire is one of the biggest shows on TV, but even the mighty can fall. This season, cracks in Empire's armor are beginning to show, and it could be that it's going to step aside to let some new hit take its place. And Empire is not the only hot series from last season that isn't doing as well this season.

Empire came back from a hiatus this week, and its ratings were down 17 percent in the 18-49 age demographic compared to its next most recent episode. Worse than that, the episode's 2.9 rating set a new series low mark that was almost 10 percent lower than the previous low point set a year ago.

Empire is the second-highest-rated series on broadcast TV behind The Big Bang Theory, but its current season has seen declining ratings and negative reactions from critics.

On NBC, last year's hottest new series, Blindspot, is not performing well in its second season. Its episode this week drew a 1.0 rating in the 18-49 age group, and that represents a new series low, as well. The rating was only good enough for fourth place in its time slot, behind The Goldbergs on ABC, Survivor on CBS, and Lethal Weapon on Fox. Among broadcast series, only Arrow on The CW drew a smaller audience.

Premiere Week Ratings: 'Empire' is Back and Still Powerful, 'American Horror Story' Loses Ground

Fox's Empire returned for a new season this week, and it's still the hottest scripted series on network TV. The show's season premiere scored especially well with young viewers, and it easily outdistanced all the competition on Wednesday night. A few other series had strong showings on Wednesday, too, including a couple of newcomers.

Empire's season premiere earned a 4.1 rating in the 18-49 age demographic, making it far and away the most-watched program on network TV that night among young viewers. In its time slot, it sailed past ABC's Modern Family, which was the second-highest-rated program of the night, and NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Earlier in the evening, the series premiere of Fox's Lethal Weapon drew a respectable audience. It earned a 2.2 rating and was the fourth-highest-rated program of the night on broadcast TV. Lethal Weapon didn't win its time slot, though; it was edged out by the season premiere of the venerable Survivor.

Later in the evening, Keifer Sutherland's new series, Designated Survivor, also had a decent debut, pulling down a 2.3 rating for ABC.

On cable, the news wasn't as bright. The season's second episode of American Horror Story was still the highest-rated cable program of the night, but the series experienced a significant ratings drop from last week's premiere episode. Episode two earned a 1.8 rating, a fall-off of more than 45 percent.

Empire's Ratings Drop Despite Idol Lead-In

Last week we reported that, in contrast to its huge ratings success in the United States, Fox's Empire was having trouble finding audiences in other countries. This week, the hip-hop drama showed signs that its popularity might be weakening even in the U.S.

Wednesday night's episode of Empire earned a 4.2 rating in the 18-49 age demographic, a number that is one of the lowest of the series' second season. Only three prior episodes of the series rated lower than this week's: last year's November 23 episode, and the first two episodes of the series' first season.

This week's ratings drop is significant because the episode aired following the next-to-last episode of American Idol, and as Idol rolled toward its series finale, its ratings were up considerably. That Empire couldn't capitalize on Idol's hefty lead-in to raise its numbers to the heights it had achieved earlier in its run is somewhat concerning. The series had sometimes been able to pull above a 5.0 rating in same-day viewing, and above 7.0 when delayed viewing was taken into account.

Despite the dip, however, Fox still won the night easily with the combination of Idol and Empire, pulling in an average 3.2 rating in the 18-49 demographic.

Americans Love Empire; the Rest of the World, Not So Much

Fox's hip-hop drama, Empire, is without question one of the most popular series on American television. The only regularly scheduled series that exceeds its ratings performance is The Walking Dead, and this week a faltering TWD didn't attract as many young viewers as Empire, which returned strong from its mid-season break. That success is purely an American thing, though, as attempts to launch the hit series in international markets have so far been disastrous.

The Hollywood Reporter reports that Empire has been anything but successful in the UK, Australia, Canada and Germany, where the first season of the series drew small audiences last year and its second season is getting even lower ratings this year. In both Australia and Canada, the series has been booted from its spot on high-profile networks and placed in more obscure spots, on a secondary network in Australia and on a streaming service in Canada.

The lack of interest in Empire is a particular disappointment in the UK, where a bidding war broke out last year among networks that wanted the right to broadcast the huge American hit. Channel 4's E4 network won the war, and for its investment, the network got a series that's drawing an average of fewer than 600,000 viewers per episode this season.

Whether Empire's failure outside the United States has to do with other countries' tolerance of racially diverse drama or whether audiences abroad just don't like the show, it's clear now that the Empire phenomenon is confined to one specific corner of the world.

Empire Season 1: Hip Hop and Drama

Empire is a show based around the hip hop entertainment industry and who is going to take over the enterprise once Lucious Lyons is out of the picture. Lucious' three sons are battling over who will be groomed as the successor to the Empire throne. However, Lucious, being the power driven, money hungry, controlling person he is, put the brothers against each other. He did this by proclaiming that there can only be one of the three that is ready to be groomed to take over the enterprise. He plans on making the announcement of the successor at the same time he announces that the company will be going public, while promoting the debut of his younger son Hakeem's album. Things become a little turned around once Cookie, the boys' mother is released from prison. She has been locked up in prison for 17 years for dealing drugs. Now that she is out she is ready to take back what belongs to her. She is the one that helped Lucious and Empire reach the status that it is today and she wants to make sure everyone knows that.    The first season is very open when it comes to getting right down to business. Lucious has made a few enemies in his rise to the top and everyone is trying to take him down. However, he will not let anyone or anything keep him from protecting Empire. He put his two younger sons up against each other as they compete to become the next big star for Empire Enterprises. The oldest son admits to not having any talent so instead uses his power of manipulation to be the last one standing and take over the enterprise. The middle son, Jamal, is too proud to let his father's money corrupt him and would rather be the person that his father does not want him to be, an openly gay R&B/hip hop star that is all about the true meaning of his music.

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Empire Video Clips & Extras

The Most Unforgettable Episode Yet Clip (00:30) Play On Preview (01:03) Tariq Confronts Anika and Offers Her Witness Protection to Testify Clip (01:54)