'Empire': A look at the show's meteoric rise – and will Oprah Winfrey guest-star?

Will Oprah Winfrey appear on the Fox TV drama? The season finale of the music drama 'Empire' will air in mid-March, but plans are already being made for next season – no surprise, considering the huge ratings performance of the show.

Chuck Hodes/Fox/AP
'Empire' stars Taraji P. Henson.

The season one finale of Fox’s massive hit “Empire” has not yet aired, but those behind the scenes are already dropping hints as to what actors might make an appearance in the second season of the show. 

Lee Daniels, the co-creator of the show, had told the Hollywood Reporter recently that he was trying to recruit Oprah Winfrey, who recently appeared in the 2014 Oscar-nominated film “Selma,” to be a guest star on the show. Winfrey told the Hollywood Reporter, “I tell him: 'Lee, it's not enough that you've taken every viewer possible on Wednesday night. Now you want me to leave my own network?'” “I’m wearing her down!” Daniels replied. 

But has Winfrey now officially come aboard? Daniels told Access Hollywood in a new interview, “Yeah, she’s going to be on it,” and added that rapper Common will be popping up on the show as well. “For sure. For absolutely sure. We're gonna have a good time.”

“Empire,” which debuted on Jan. 7, centers on Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard), who heads up Empire Records. He believes he does not have long to live and must decide which of his sons will take over the company. Meanwhile, his ex-wife, Cookie (Taraji P. Henson), has been let out of jail and is making trouble.

And as for those viewers Winfrey mentioned, “Empire” has been surprising the industry with its huge ratings. The premiere of the show was the highest-rated premiere for a series for Fox in three years, according to Entertainment Weekly. The premiere was also the highest-rated show in that time slot for viewers 18-49, a valued demographic in the TV industry. 

The premiere’s performance would have been impressive enough, but the show’s audience kept increasing as the weeks went on. The newest episode, which aired on March 11, went up again for total viewers, and a recent episode was the top-rated installment of a normal network drama in five years, according to Entertainment Weekly

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