Fox renews hit “Empire” for a third season series

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The hits just keep coming.  Fox announced it has renewed “Empire,” filming here at Cinespace Studios, for a third season 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, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

It’s unclear how many episodes will run in season three.. The first series’ was 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,” which started shooting here last week, returns with new episodes Wednesday, March 30.

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.

The renewal comes as Fox looks to expand its relationship with co-creator Lee Daniels.  The director is also working on a new pilot about an Atlanta-based girl group for the network. Queen Latifah and Benjamin Bratt lead the cast, which also includes several newcomers.

Daniels is “Empire” EP with co-creator Danny Strong, showrunner Ilene Chaiken, Francie Calfo and Brian Grazer. The series is produced by 20th TV. 

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