'Empire' signs Chris Rock, Lenny Kravitz and Alicia Keys for season 2
Fox is already signing big-name guest stars for the second season of its mega-hit new series Empire.
The network has enlisted actor-comedian Chris Rock, pop star Alicia Keys and singer and Hunger Games actor Lenny Kravitz for roles next season, Fox TV chairman and CEO Dana Walden announced to advertisers in New York on Monday.
There are no details yet on how the stars will be folded into the storyline of the show, which during its debut season landed talent like Snoop Dogg, Gladys Knight and Mary J. Blige. And this just-announced trio are almost certainly only the beginning of the show’s guest star roster for season 2. Previously, producers suggested Oprah and Common may appear in the new season as well, but they are not confirmed.
Fox is planning a longer season of Empire for its second round, boosting the episode order from 12 this year to 18 episodes. In addition, instead of launching Empire in the spring like this year, the hip-hop drama will return in the fall, with the second half of its episodes airing in 2016.
Empire was a record-breaking ratings phenomena for Fox, averaging 17.3 million viewers per episode and a 7.1 rating among adults 18-49 including DVR.