10:30am PT by Kate Stanhope
It's Official: Lee Daniels' 'Empire' and 'Star' to Cross Over for Season Premieres
It's official: the casts of Empire and Star about to meet.
Lee Daniels' two Fox music dramas will officially cross over in a special two-episode event this fall.
Fox will use the crossover, in which Star's Carlotta (Queen Latifah) come face-to-face with Empire's Cookie (Taraji P. Henson), Lucious (Terrence Howard) and Jamal Lyon (Jussie Smollett) for the first time, to launch the new seasons of both series.
The crossover is set for Wednesday, Sept. 27, at 8 p.m. with Empire's season four premiere. On the brink of Empire Entertainment’s 20th anniversary, Lucious is set to make his first public appearance after the explosion in Las Vegas, while all members of the Lyon family, as well as Lucious’ nurse, Claudia (Demi Moore), have their own interests in Lucious regaining his physical and mental faculties.
On the second-season premiere of Star, airing at 9 p.m., the Big Trouble girls — along with their manager Carlotta — continue to face roadblocks, despite their victory at Atlanta NextFest.
This marks the first official in-show crossover for the two series since Star premiered last January during Empire's winter hiatus. However, when Fox aired a special sneak preview of Star's first episode immediately following Empire's midseason finale, the network unveiled a special promo that shows Lucious meeting with Lenny Kravitz's Star character, Roland Crane, to discuss Roland's daughter, a member of Big Trouble.
The crossover comes as the two series prepare to air back-to-back for the first time beginning this fall. Fox played up the pairing of the two music series at its annual Upfront presentation to advertisers in May, featuring a group performance with Star's core girl group, as well as Lyon family music stars Jamal (Smollett) and Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray).
Fox teased a bigger crossover was ahead, but Empire showrunner Ilene Chaiken remained mum about any definitive plans when speaking with THR days later.
"We've played with it a little bit. I think they're two separate shows, each stands on its own and we don't want to cross them too much, but they are two shows that live on the same planet so there might be a little," she told THR in May. "We teased when Star was making its debut that Lucious and the Lenny Kravitz character know one another so there could be, at some point in the future, some kind of cross."
Series crossovers have become more popular in recent years as broadcasters fight hard to to grab eyeballs, particularly live viewers, with special-event programming. In recent years, Dick Wolf's slate of procedurals and The CW's Arrow-verse series have seen ratings rise for multiple crossovers between the various series, which have sometimes grown to three- or four-show crossover events.
Watch the first promo for the crossover below: