‘Empire’ Renewed for Season 3 at Fox

 Chuck Hodes/FOX
Chuck Hodes/FOX

The hip-hop drama got an early pickup days after star Taraji P. Henson’s Golden Globes win.

Empire won’t be drip-dropping off the schedule anytime soon.

Fox handed out an early season three renewal to the hip-hop drama Friday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour.

The pickup comes almost a year to the day after the series earned a second season pickup at Fox’s last winter press tour presentation, which came just weeks into the series’ run.

It’s unclear how many episodes season three will run. The series’ breakout freshman series spanned just 12 episodes. But after the stunning ratings success of the drama, Fox upped season two to 18 episodes, which has been split into two parts. After a three-month hiatus, Empire returns with new episodes on Wednesday, March 30.

While there has been some criticism about the pacing of Empire’s second season, the show continues to deliver impressive ratings. The series ranks as the top series on broadcast television among adults 18-49. The fall finale drew a 6.6 rating in live-plus-seven day ratings.

Fox co-CEO and chairman Gary Newman addressed critics’ concerns Friday. “I think that if that show is off creatively, we would like all of our shows to be off creatively,” he said, referring to the show’s continued ratings strength. “The audience, I don’t think, shares the feeling that some of the critics have had about the storytelling.”

Empire was also the only broadcast series to compete for best drama series at Sunday’s Golden Globes. Although the series lost to another rookie series, Mr. Robot, star Taraji P. Henson took home the globe for best actress in a drama series.

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Source: The Hollywood Reporter | Kate Stanhope