TV’s most anticipated show returned to FOX Wednesday night (Sept. 23) and had millions of eyes glued to the screen. Empire’s premiere episode for the second season brought in 16 million viewers, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The first episode garnered more viewers than each episode of the first season, excluding the season finale which had 17. 6 million viewers.
The first episode was star-studded, with guest appearances from Swizz Beatz, Don Lemon and most notably Chris Rock, who left the funny behind to play ruthless gangster Frank Gathers. Other celebs who will be making appearances include Ludacris, Kelly Rowland, Tyrese, Vivica A. Fox and Zac Efron. Due to the ground breaking success of season one, which had 12 episodes, season two will have 18 episodes.
Empire out-performed FOX’s new series Scream Queens, which only had four million viewers. Cookie and Lucious also did better than ABC’s The Muppets, which reportedly had 8.9 million watchers.
Tune into Empire every Wednesday on FOX at 9 p.m.