Fox’s breakout will return with new episodes in September.
Fox is already preparing for the upcoming second season of its breakout smash Empire.

The writers behind the hip-hop drama announced Friday on Twitter that the new season will premiere on Sept. 23. The sophomore series will remain on Wednesdays at 9 p.m., as Fox announced earlier this month during its Upfront presentation to advertisers.

The second season of the drama will return with 18 new episodes, which will be split into two parts. Alicia Keys, Chris Rock and Lenny Kravitz are among the guest stars already lined up for the new season, and Grammy winner Ne-Yo will contribute original music for the new episodes.

A stunning success straight out of the box, Empire’s return is a huge part of Fox’s schedule this coming season. The stars of the series performed at Fox’s Upfront presentation, during which the show and its impressive performance was mentioned frequently.

Series showrunner Ilene Chaiken recently signed a rich overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television, which produces the series with Imagine Television. Empire is created by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, who exec produce with Imagine’s Brian Grazer, Chaiken and Francie Calfo.