Fox's Empire started off as one of TV's most popular new series, stomping ratings predictions and cementing itself as a primetime powerhouse. Two years later, the viewership isn't quite as big as it once was, but no one is denying Taraji P. Henson's Cookie is still one of TV's most captivating characters. Least of all Fox, which announced Empire has been renewed for Season 4. Hope you weren't thinking the Lyons were going to solve all their problems in the next few months.

Season 4 of Empire will likely make its debut in the fall of 2017, though Fox's announcement didn't specify how many episodes fans will get in the next batch. Season 1 was only 12 episodes, while Season 2 got an additional six installments to further extend the musical madness. Could this next season get a full 22 episodes from Fox, or will we get another more limited set?

empire season 3

Season 3 of Empire kicked off as if it hadn't missed a single step over the summer, answering that Season 2 finale cliffhanger and plowing forward into more complicated situations in which stabbing someone in the back is as common as breathing. It was almost shocking how big of an audience drop there was between the second season premiere (16.1 million Live+Same Day) and the third season premiere (10.8 million Live+Same Day), but that dip in total viewers hasn't caused too much worry for Fox, as the soapy drama is still doing quite well in other areas.

For instance, its key demographic rating is superb and usually beats out everything else on Wednesday nights. (As an example, it's midseason finale had close to a season low in live viewers with 7.5 million, but still had a whopping 2.7 demo rating, ) And when you limit that demo to 18-34-year-olds, Empire is the top broadcast show on TV, and it has indeed maintained its top-spot hold on teens and young women. Younger people love talking about this show.

And if you've been recording Empire on DVR to watch later, or if you've been watching on Fox's mobile app in those next few days, you are definitely not alone. In the current broadcast season, Empire is Fox's biggest success in multi-platform viewing, averaging upwards of 16 million viewers when all mediums are considered, which is a massive 82% increase from its average Live+Same Day numbers. Considering the ratings system is slowly realizing how important delayed viewing is, those results have to make Fox extremely confident in Empire's lasting power on the small screen. Expect this one to go on for quite a few more years before Fox closes Empire Entertainment's doors for good.

Empire normally airs on Wednesday nights on Fox, but it's currently in the middle of its massive midseason hiatus, which started on December 14 and will finally end on Wednesday, March 22, at 10:00 p.m. ET. To see what you can get caught up on in the meantime, head to our midseason premiere schedule.

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