Empire will rise again.
In a development that will surprise a grand total of zero people, Fox has renewed the sudsy drama for a fifth season, the network announced Wednesday. The pickup comes exactly two weeks ahead of the series’ Season 4 finale.
“Empire is as compelling, emotional and unpredictable as it ever was,” declared Michael Thorn, Fox’s President of Entertainment in a statement. “We are so proud of our amazing cast, led by Terrence [Howard] and Taraji [P. Henson], who deliver powerful performances week after week. We’d also like to thank our tremendous creative team… whose inspired storytelling continues to create the unforgettable, jaw-dropping OMG moments that have always been signature to Empire.”
Although Empire‘s ratings have fallen significantly from its Season 1 heyday, the show remains the network’s No. 2 series (behind this season’s breakout hit 9-1-1). Last week’s episode notched 5.3 million viewers and a 1.6 demo rating (the latter of which represented an all-time low).
Fox isn’t confirming how many episodes Season 5 will consist of, but the order is believed to be 18 (similar to Seasons 2, 3 and 4).