The smash success of FOX’s Empire across only one season assured that the network would get the ball rolling early on its sophomore effort, and months ahead of their premiere, the Lyon family is already back in the spotlight. Mind your puns, and watch the Lyons enter the lions’ den, by the first Empire Season 2 poster. No lyin’.

As debuted over on TVLine, our first look at Empire Season 2's new key art sees Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) and Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) entangled with their respective lions, Cookie naturally the fiercer of the pair. Not that it needs it, but one has to imagine Empire could score even higher ratings in Season 2 with the addition of actual lions into each scene. Just sayin’, FOX. If you’re springing for the puns, you might as well commit.

FOX

In addition to its September 23 premiere, where Empire Season 1 unfolded over a modest 12 episodes, Season 2 will expand to 18, structured in two halves with a major cliffhanger between. Thus far, Season 2 guest stars include Kelly Rowland, Marisa Tomei, Adam Rodriguez, Chris Rock, Lenny Kravitz and Alicia Keys, while hip-hop artist Ne-Yo will join Timbaland in writing music for Season 2.

You can check out the Lyons’ lions above, and prepare your Cookies for Empire Season 2 this fall.

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