What’s Worth Watching: Roar of the Lyons on Empire

Chuck Hodes/FOX

Empire, “False Imposition” (Wednesday, January 28, 9/8c, Fox)

Empire has quickly become one of the most successful out-of-the-box hits on television in recent memory. According to Fox, the hip-hop soap is the first top-rated new drama to grow its audience in weeks two and three (among adults 18-49) in more than 21 years (since ABC’s Moon Over Miami in the 1993-94 season.)

Viewers have flocked to Empire mostly due to Terrence Howard, who portrays Lucious Lyon with rage but also subtle weakness, and Taraji P. Henson, who chews up every scene as the over-the-top Cookie Lyon. But keep your eye on Jussie Smollett and Bryshere Gray, who play talented sons Jamal and Hakeem. Both actors are also musicians, and were cast for their music chops as much as their acting abilities. Empire is also starting to bring in well-known guest stars, sometimes playing themselves but often appearing as other characters. In this episode, Naomi Campbell is back as Camilla, who’s in a secret relationship with the much younger Hakeem. The inevitable Camilla-Cookie showdown promises to be delicious.