Empire: Season 2 (2015 - 2016)


Season 2

Critics Consensus

With masterfully melodramatic writing and gloriously glam performances, Empire is not backing down on the soapy spectacle in its second season.



Critic Ratings: 36


Audience Score

User Ratings: 386

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Air date: Sep 23, 2015
Air date: Sep 30, 2015
Air date: Oct 7, 2015
Air date: Oct 14, 2015
Air date: Oct 21, 2015
Air date: Nov 4, 2015
Air date: Nov 11, 2015
Air date: Nov 18, 2015
Air date: Nov 25, 2015
Air date: Dec 2, 2015
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Empire: Season 2 Videos

Empire: Season 2 Photos

Tv Season Info

The second season of the hip-hop drama centers on a battle for control over Empire Entertainment. The premiere opens three months following the shocking arrest and incarceration of Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard), who is attempting to control his record label from inside federal lockup. At the same time, his ex-wife, Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson), is still plotting a hostile takeover of the lucrative biz, while also trying to establish a small startup. Neither goes smoothly. But success does come to Lucious when he records an epic track from prison. Guest appearances include Ne-Yo, Ludacris, William Fichtner, Adam Rodriguez, Kelly Rowland, Chris Rock, Andre Royo and Marisa Tomei.


Terrence Howard
as Lucious Lyon
Taraji P. Henson
as Cookie Lyon
Jussie Smollett
as Jamal Lyon
Bryshere Y. Gray
as Hakeem Lyon
Trai Byers
as Andre Lyon
Grace Byers
as Anika Calhoun
Grace Gealey
as Anika Calhoun
Rafael De La Fuente
as Michael Sanchez
Andre Royo
as Thirsty Rawlings
Malik Yoba
as Vernon Turner
Bre-Z Murray
as Freda Gatz
as Chicken
Kelly Rowland
as Leah Walker
Marisa Tomei
as Mimi Whiteman
Adam Rodriguez
as Laz Delgado
Tyra Ferrell
as Roxanne Ford
Leslie Uggams
as Leah Walker
Tobias Truvillion
as Derek Major
Alicia Keys
as Skye Summers
Mike Moh
as Steve Cho
Becky G
as Valentina
Annie Ilonzeh
as Harper Scott
Mo McRae
as J Poppa
Dan Flannery
as Tony "Tricky" Trichter
Jessica Klaas
as Lucious's Assistant
Reggie Baker
as Ralph Anderson
Will Kinnear
as Leonard Bernstein
Chris Rock
as Frank Gathers
Rosie O'Donnell
as Pepper O'Leary
as Himself
Don Lemon
as Himself
Yani Marin
as Carmen
Charles Malik Whitfield
as Reverend L.C. Price
Lihtz Kamraz
as Homeboy
as Himself
Swiss Beatz
as Himself
Jane Hannemann
as Carmel Dielman
Petey Pablo
as Himself
Shannon Brown
as Little Dwight Walker
Victor Almanzar
as Big Heavy
Sari Sanchez
as Raquel Alvarez
Jacqueline Williams
as Warden Athena Myers
Catya "Cat" Washington
as Stacee Run-Run
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News & Interviews for Empire: Season 2

Critic Reviews for Empire Season 2

All Critics (36) | Top Critics (21)

The second season isn't the phenomenon of the first. But no other series on network TV this year has better proven the power of diversity.

Nov 26, 2019 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Empire remains a soap with no pretensions beyond the suds. But there's something melancholy, and forlorn, in its heart: Reach the mountaintop, and the view is still lousy, and worse, everyone wants to push you off.

Sep 23, 2015 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

The elements that made Empire a sensation last season have not dimmed.

Sep 23, 2015 | Full Review…

The first season of the wildly popular Fox dramarama was soapy in all the right ways, but, like the best soaps, teetered between being, like, the greatest and a big mess. This season walks the same precarious path.

Sep 22, 2015 | Full Review…

"Empire" rules, bigger and badder than ever.

Sep 15, 2015 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

If the premiere is any indication, we can look forward to the usual Empire fare: sexual intrigue, LGBTQ issues, fabulous wardrobe, slick pop tunes and rap hits, and - of course - a seemingly endless succession of double and triple crossings.

Sep 25, 2015 | Full Review…

[Strong's] structure injects the drama with something more, and the new season music absolutely is moving this series into the legend category.

Aug 20, 2018 | Full Review…

Much like its centerpiece, Cookie, this is a show that knows its strengths and flaunts them.

Sep 21, 2017 | Full Review…

The show's sophomore season improves on the first in its sense of scope.

Sep 23, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

The three episodes FOX sent to critics are impressively well-balanced, not to mention coherent by Empire standards.

Sep 22, 2015 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Simultaneously refined and deliciously pulpy, Fox's mega-hit Empire roars back to life in its second year, with all the brand-specific viciousness and gasp-earning twists fans have come to expect from the Lyons.

Sep 20, 2015 | Rating: 8/10 | Full Review…

Empire is succeeding at the game it's playing, and if that's our criteria, then yes, it's a good show.

Sep 17, 2015 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Empire: Season 2

  • Oct 01, 2017
    Never have a seen such s poorly written piece of trash that panders to the lowest common denominator. The plot is spoon fed and predictable, and it perpetuates stereotypes that most of us do not aspire to. Not all black folks are like this people, and your kids shouldn’t look up to these type of nonsense characters. I love Terrence Howard and Taraji, this show is no better than here comes honey boo boo. These rolls are beneath Terrence and taraji, they deserve so much better.
  • May 22, 2017
    Empire's glossy melodramatic flair has worn out its welcome, at least for myself. Taraji Hensen, while a capable actress, is exhausting to watch and near-impossible to like as Cookie Lyon and each of the male leads act like a child half their respective ages. Add that to the producer's insistence on trying to keep up some gang elements in their portrayals, as well as an unfortunate step back to the quality of this season's soundtrack, and Empire S2 is hard to recommend as anything besides a guilty pleasure.
  • Apr 05, 2017
    After a strong and shocking start,Empire waste its talented cast and made it another boring soap opera.It lost energy by wasting cliffhangers and wasting entire episodes with boring sub plots and honestly forcing some cast members to become useless.
  • Sep 18, 2016
    Even better than the previous season. The tagline MUSIC FAMILY POWER was really visible to the eyes of the viewers. The characters of Lucius, Cookie, Andre, Jamal and Hakeem are connected but the individuality of each can stand alone without the other. And amazing performance for Taraji. A well-deserve defeat of Viola. Two thumbs up.
  • Jul 25, 2016
    I couldn't stop watching!!!! I loved it????
  • May 20, 2016
    ummmm..... this was a disaster. A big disaster and it is nearly impossible to fix now. I will keep watching, but wow what a disaster. Cookie keeps on making this interesting though i am still so frustrated. I really have no idea what to give this so i will give my undecisive 2.5/5. The writers need to stop turning this into a bad soap (which it is headed for) and make this the intense and addictive show it almost was in season 1.
  • May 20, 2016
    The Empire has officially fallen this season. This whole season their has not been one great episode they took along break just to show us more disappointing episodes. Especially the season finale like what made them decide to have Rhonda and Anika the main focus at the end when that is more of a side story. Did anybody else see the horrible acting from Hakeem when his wife called the wedding at the last minute, he reacted like he dropped his last chip or something.I do not think it worse acting than Tiana when she got robbed for her purse earlier in the season.
  • May 18, 2016
    While Season 2 is heavily flawed and no where near as good as it could've been when it's great it's great getting more into characters pasts and why they are they way they especially for Lucious Lyon but of course the real MVP of the season is Taraji P. Henson who further who pours tons of pathos into her performance. However where Season 2 struggles is sticking to storylines as well as moving way too fast and many times gets too over the top for it's own good but ends the season in a confident new direction that hopefully for the show's sake works out moving forward. Overall Grade of the Season: B-
  • May 04, 2016
    really bad. dont know why people even watch this
  • Apr 26, 2016
    Fed up of the musical chairs to be "Chairman" so stopped watching!

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