Viasat1 has announced 2nd December, 2015 as the premiere date for the first season of American television series, Empire, following acquisition from Fox Entertainment. For the next 12 weeks, Empire will air on Viasat1 every Wednesday at 9 p.m.
The series, which premiered in the US on Fox earlier this year, features around a hip hop music and entertainment company, Empire Entertainment, and the drama among the members of the founders’ family as they fight for control of the company.
The first episode was watched by 9.90 million viewers and achieved an adult 18-49 rating/share of 3.8/11, making it the biggest series launch for the network since ‘Touch’ premiered in 2012. The viewership of the series rose every single week, with the season finale, which aired on March 18, 2015, being watched by 17.62 million viewers and achieving an adult 18-49 rating/share of 6.9/21.
Lead characters Lucious Lyon (Terrance Howard) and Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson) bring their natural flare of talent on screen, having starred in ‘Hustle and Flow’ together. Since debuting last January, Fox’s prime-time soap about a hip-hop dynasty swiftly became a phenomenon, a ratings smash in an age of vanishing ratings
Programmes Manager of Viasat1, Anthony Mintah Jr. says: “Viasat1 acquired Empire because of our commitment to entertain our viewers and to also keep them abreast with trending and hit shows from fashion to music and family relationships, among others. We are optimistic that our cherished viewers will continue to enjoy our top-notch programmes outlined for the rest of the year and beyond.”
In the season premiere of Empire, Lucious Lyon, head of Empire Entertainment, is about to take his company public when he is diagnosed with ALS and is given only three years to live. While keeping his condition secret, he announces to appoint one of his three sons as his successor. Meanwhile, Lucious’ ex-wife Cookie is released from prison after 17 years and demands half of Empire, which Lucious refuses.
Hakeem, their youngest son, is talented but spoiled. He barely remembers Cookie and resents her. Cookie favors Jamal, their talented middle son, as future boss of Empire, but Lucious has always despised him for his homosexuality and considers it detrimental for his career. Andre, their eldest son, is the Empire CFO. However, he has no musical talent, which Lucious considers a prerequisite to the CEO position. The unfolding story will keep viewers at the edge of their seats every Wednesday at 9 p.m.
Hollywood stars such as Jennifer Hudson and model Naomi Campbell make multiple appearances on the show, while Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Rita Ora, Juicy J, Patti LaBelle, Charles Hamilton, and Estelle also make guest appearances.