Empire Sets Season 2 Premiere Date

Oh, and Anika, this is a premiere date!

Fox has officially marked the calendar for the hotly anticipated Season 2 kickoff of its hip-hop soap opera Empire — Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 9/8c.

Series star Taraji P. Henson first spilled the cookies beans via Twitter; the EmpireWriters handle confirmed the news.

Comedian Chris Rock, R&B superstar Alicia Keys and rock god Lenny Kravitz have all signed on for guest-starring roles during Season 2.

The castings (though no details on their roles) were announced at Fox’s’ annual Upfront presentation earlier this month. Season 2 of Empire will expand from 12 to 18 episodes, split into two cycles with a winter break in between.

Additionally, Gabourey Sidibe and Ta’Rhonda Jones, who play Lucious’ and Cookie’s respective lackeys Becky and Porsha, have been elevated to full-fledged series regulars, TVLine reported exclusively in April.

Are you already counting down the days ’til Empire‘s return? Sound off in the comments!