In a deal with Twentieth Television, the African-American cable channel will air both the first and second season of the hit series, which remains the number-one show on prime-time network television despite reports of a decline in its ratings.
Following that this summer, the Cathy Hughes-owned channel will begin airing both season one and season two episodes of the show on a weekly basis.
The announcement of “Empire” joining the TV One slate of programming was made by TV One president Brad Siegel ahead of the network’s upfront presentation. “We are ecstatic to partner with 20th Television and Imagine in showcasing one of the biggest hits in television history,” said Siegel.
Historically, TV networks would wait until their fourth season to do off-network deals for their series to have a second airing on cable. Because of online streaming platforms and the demand for binge-watching, networks are doing deals earlier in the life of a show.
TV One’s deal with “Empire” is similar to a deal done by their competitor BET for the exclusive rights to “Scandal” back in 2013.
On January 15, 2016, it was announced that “Empire” had been renewed for season three.