Mixtape Music News/’Empire’ Edition

1.The ratings for last night’s season two premiere proved that…

…the sizzling show is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Returning for its sophomore season, last night the Lee Daniels fronted FOX sensation showed its second best ratings to date. In fact, the network dominated the opening Wednesday of the ’15/’16 season overall, benefiting from the much hyped Empire  premiere to deliver solid numbers. 

Season two opened with 16 million total viewers and a 6.5 rating (per fast nationals), dipping just 6 and 9 percent from the second hour of its record-setting freshman finale (17.6 mil/6.9). Since its premiere in January, the show had seen its overall audience grow with every episode, but that out-of-this-T.V.-world streak came to an end last night. 

But compared with last season’s premiere in January, last night’s Empire premiere was up by 71% in 18-49 (6.5 vs. 3.8) and by 62% in total viewers (16.0 million vs. 9.9 million), all making for the biggest improvement from season 1 premiere to season 2 premiere for any scripted series since FOX‘s now defunct House  in 2004 and 2005.

Empire season two sophomore slump? Never heard of it. 

2.This article featured in The Hollywood Reporter will quench your Cookie thirst….

If you’re looking quite a riveting Cookie-sized Empire read while you patiently wait for next week’s episode, than this recently published article in The Hollywood Reporter is just the one for you.

The glamorous mag takes you inside the Empire writers room, in which they say is just a world full of “bat shit crazy.” The article goes into detail describing how it all comes together, with most of the ideas coming from the brilliantly twisted mind of shows master, the esteemed Mr. Lee Daniels.

“For so long, we’ve had conversations that have ranged from challenging to unproductive with various creative partners about the value of having our shows reflect the audience that watches television,” says Fox TV Group chairman Dana Walden. “The result is that you can have a big, fat hit.”

Indeed…they do. For more on this fascinating read (if you’re a fan, you better), check your Cookie life right here

3.EW has an interesting way in reviewing Empire from here on out….

Warning….Empire spoilers a….head….

Always being one to recognize their readers, has now said that they’ll be reviewing Empire season two episodes a little differently from here on out. 

Every week, instead of a traditional recap with that trademark EW flair, they’ll now give you their latest edition of Empire: How Crazy-Awesome Was It?, in which they will rate the characters in terms of their sheer genius….or Kimberly from Melrose Place insanity.

For their first round-up, including what was up with that head-in-a-box(calling Jimmy & Justin?), sing your heart out for that Empire recording contract right here. 

4.Just who will be popping up this season??

Get ready….Mariah and friends are coming to Empire this season…

While we’re all anxiously awaiting to see just what kind of music shenanigans Luscious (Terrence Howard), Cookie (Taraji P. Henson), Jamal (Jussie Smollett) and the rest of the Lyon family will no doubt get into this season, we’re also dying to see just how all of those fabulously announced season two guest stars will hold their Empire hoops this season….

Among the long list of coveted guest spots will be Alicia Keys, Lenny Kravitz, Chris Rock, Mariah(let’s not forget Mariah and Daniels worked together in Precious)  and Vivica A. Fox, who will be stiletto-ing it up to play Cookie‘s sister, who according to rumors, is coming on board to test audiences’ interest in members of Cookie’s family, of which creator Daniels has recently suggested an interest in a spin-off. 

According to reports, Henson and Fox are besties in real life, and it was at Henson’s request to get the lovely Ms. Fox to take on the role. While we absolutely can’t wait to see how this all plays out (hint-they won’t get along), this casting news takes us back to another time Fox went diva-to diva…with Uma Thurman‘s The Bride in Kill Bill Vol. 1, all making up for one of the bloodiest, best catfights since Empire‘s comparative show, Dynasty

5.This Empire groove from Swizz Beatz will set your day off right….

Another reason that Empire just gets to werk  is because of the dazzling display of Timbaland produced bangers that are served to us every week. Last season’s grooves were no exception, with artists like Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, and cast members including Yazz and Jussie Smullet who added their own funkdafied flavors to cuts from season one. 

This season is already looking musically tight, with Timbo back on board, as well as many more music artists including Swizz Beatz and Pitbulll, who have already provided some new music for season two. 

Turn up the Swizz volume below and get ready for what is sure to be an incredible sophomore season of Empire

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