Fall TV Preview

Empire Promotes Nicole Ari Parker to Series Regular for Season 5

Empire Season 5 Spoilers

Giselle Barker is making a major power play when Empire returns to Fox for its fifth season this fall.

Nicole Ari Parker, who plays the ex-wife of Forest Whitaker’s Eddie Barker, has been promoted to a series regular, according to TVLine’s sister site Deadline. Per the new report, Season 5 will find Giselle “stepping out of the shadow of her ex in an effort to seize power herself. Along the way she’ll tackle grudges, make unexpected alliances and find a surprising love interest.”

Speaking with TVLine about the general direction for Empire‘s fifth season, showrunner Brett Mahoney says that the Lyons will face an uphill battle as the family attempts to rebuild what it lost to Eddie in the Season 4 finale.

“It’s going to be a much more difficult process that Cookie thinks it’s going to be,” Mahoney says. “And it’ll tear at the relationship between Cookie and Lucious and the boys, in terms of trying to achieve that goal.”

Your thoughts on Parker’s promotion? Any theories about Giselle’s “surprising” new love interest? Drop ’em all in a comment below.