9:00am PT by Kate Stanhope
'Empire' Ups Morocco Omari to Series Regular (Exclusive)
Empire's cast is expanding yet again.
The hip-hop drama has promoted Morocco Omari to series regular ahead of season three, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Omari first appeared in the final three episodes of Empire's second season as Tariq Cousins, an FBI agent seemingly out to get Lucious (Terrence Howard) and Empire Entertainment. In addition to Tariq having a past with Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) — they grew up together in Philadelphia — Lucious' mother revealed in the season-two finale that Lucious and Tariq are actually half-brothers.
In addition to Omari, rapper Xzibit is a new series regular after making his debut in the season-two finale as Shine Johnson, a fellow rapper producer and a man from Lucious' past.
The cast promotions also come as Empire possibly looks to lose a longtime castmember in season three. The season-two finale ended with Anika (Grace Gealey) and Rhonda (Kaitlin Doubleday) fighting on the edge of a balcony and one seemingly falling off the edge. Viewers last saw Andre (Trai Byers) yelling "no" as a woman's scream was heard in the background right when the credits cut to black.
"I'm not going to answer who it is that went over the edge, if indeed someone did — and I would venture that it sure sounded like someone went over — but Andre is about to go on a huge journey," showrunner Ilene Chaiken told THR in May.
Omari, whose credits include Homeland, Chicago Fire and NCIS, is repped by Halcyon Talent Agency, Harden-Curtis Associates and attorney Gordon Bobb.
Empire's third season premieres Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 9 p.m. on Fox.