'Empire' Renewed for Season 5 at Fox

The Lyon family will live to roar another season.

Fox officially announced Wednesday the renewal of its hit family, music industry drama Empire for a fifth season.

Created by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, the hip hop series stars Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard and marks Fox's first veteran series to secure a renewal for the 2018-2019 TV season, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The show joins 9-1-1, The Gifted, The Orville and The Simpsons on next year's schedule.

While not the ratings monster it once was, Empire remains Fox's second most-watched drama behind Ryan Murphy's 9-1-1 in the 18-49 demographic with a 2.9. The renewal comes as Daniels has become a producing staple to 20th Century Fox Television following Ryan Murphy's upcoming move to Netflix. Daniels is reportedly in the midst of negotiating a new deal as his current one expires in June.

All of the early renewals by the network are for series produced by 20th TV. Meaning that the network will continue to own the bulk of its lineup until regulators approve Diney's $52.4 billion deal to acquire Fox assets, including the studio. Once the deal is cleared, all of the above shows will become Disney properties.

Empire, produced by Imagine Television's Brian Grazer and France Calfo, also has Ilene Chaiken, Sanaa Hamri, Brett Mahoney and Dennis Hammer as executive producers. This season, Chaiken stepped away as showrunner to focus on development — she currently has a drama starring Katie Holmes in contention on the network — with Mahoney taking over showrunner duties.

"Empire is as compelling, emotional and unpredictable as it ever was," Fox entertainment president Michael Thorn said in a statement. "We are so proud of our amazing cast, led by Terrence and Taraji, who deliver powerful performances week after week. We'd also like to thank our tremendous creative team — Lee, Danny, Brett, Ilene, Sanaa, Brian and Francie — whose inspired storytelling continues to create the unforgettable, jaw-dropping OMG moments that have always been signature to Empire."

After returning from its winter hiatus, the series has been dealing with the aftermath of Lucious' (Howard) amnesia episode as well as with Cookie's (Taraji P. Henson) recent heart attack. Wednesday night's episode will feature guest stars Forrest Whitaker, serving as the Lyon family's biggest rival for the season, as well as Alfre Woodard, who was introduced last week as Cookie's mother.


The fate of Empire spinoff Star has not been revealed, though reports say it is likely the series will return for a their season as part of the network's Wednesday night block.

Empire airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.