Empire season 3
Empire season 3 premieres on 21 September on FoxFox

Fox has officially released the premiere date for Empire season 3. The hip-hop drama featuring Terrence Howard, Taraji P Henson, Jussie Smollett and Bryshere Y Gray will return with its third season on 21 September.

The season 2 finale of the Fox drama ended on a cliffhanger, with Andre Lyon catching his wife Rhonda and Anika fighting and the episode ended with one of them falling off the balcony. Lucious married Anika to save himself from the FBI, and in the last season we were introduced to his half-brother, Tariq. Cookie, obviously unhappy with this turn of events, decided to walk away from her former husband.

Show-runner Ilene Chaiken spoke to TV Line about season 3 and teased what is next in store for the Lyon family. She said, "What we're setting up is a battle of dark vs. light. Who are the Lyons and how will they continue to define themselves going forward? Can they ever change? Is Lucious the dark lord, pulling them all in the other direction? And really, where does Tariq fit in with all of this? I would venture that if Tariq really is Lucious' half-brother, there probably isn't a good one and a bad one."

According to Chaiken, Cookie's decision to walk away from Lucious, will reverberate in season 3. She said, "The family is together, the company is together, and Lucious and Cookie will be in one another's faces and lives, but her [being finished with Lucious] is going to color everything."

In a separate report in TV Line, Chaiken spoke about Tariq and his complicated relationship with Lucious. "Tariq thinks he's a good guy — and that Lucious is a bad guy. But Lucious, of course, doesn't see it that way at all."

According to the executive producer, Tariq will be Lucious' new nemesis, and will be a major player in Season 3. "Tariq is very motivated, and he has a very personal grievance against Lucious. He's not just a fed who wants to make his bones taking down Lucious Lyon — he's Lucious' half-brother.

"We'll peel away layers of his story and learn why he's coming so hard after Lucious. Hopefully, the last scene of the [Season 2] finale gave you a taste of that — that he has a real bone to pick with Lucious," she added.