The first family of music -- at least in TV land -- is back.
It's been 117 days since we last saw the Lyon family at the center of Fox's hit hip-hop family soap opera "Empire." The midseason finale in December saw Lucious (Terrance Howard) losing control of his company to son Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray). And who could forget that crazy fall Rhonda (Kaitlyn Doubleday) suffered down that flight of stairs?
While "Empire's" ratings haven't been as impressive as they were in its debut season -- when viewership grew week to week until hitting an all-time high of 16.7 million for its season finale -- the drama remains a high note for Fox.
"Empire" headed into its three-month hiatus with some power, averaging 11.2 million total viewers and nabbing a 4.4 rating among the advertiser-favored demographic of adults ages 18 to 49 with its midseason finale, and that's not even factoring-in delayed viewing over seven days.
And industry watchers will no doubt keep watch on how "Empire" fares in the ratings with its second leg of its sophomore season, which kicks off Wednesday.
We spoke to "Empire" executive producer and showrunner Ilene Chaiken about how Season 2 is shaking out.
This break has been so long. Do you think this hiatus was a little much, any worry that fans will forget what happened?
How would you describe the second half of the season?
What were some of the narrative arc concerns you had this season?
Was there a story line in the first half of the season that drew a lot of debate in the writers room?
Is this going to lead to some GIF-worthy moments?
Hakeem is the head of Empire Entertainment now that Camilla has taken over. This can't last long. How is this going to affect the future of Lyon Dynasty?
One of last season's most talked about moments was the fight between Anika and Cookie --
How detailed do you get in the script when writing those scenes?
You guys have the next Empire Artist Contest happening. How did that process go?
The show definitely knows how to get heads turning with its guest spots. This season saw Alicia Keys, Rosie O'Donnell and Vivica Fox. Any exciting ones for the second half? Will we finally see Oprah stroll through?
What cryptic clue can you give us about the spring premiere?