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Empire

Chuck Hodes/FOX

Fox's Empire continues to rise.

Surprising exactly no one, the network renewed its new hit series Empire for a second season, making the news official at the 2015 Winter TCA Press Tour on Saturday. Praise Cookie!

The Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson hip-hop family drama, created by Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels, has proven to be a huge success for Fox: it was their highest-rated debut in three years and one of the most-watched debuts of the season.

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And Empire did the impossible this week in its second episode: its ratings actually went up! The episode attracted 10.3 million viewers and a strong 4.0 demo rating, up from the premiere's impressive 9.9 million viewers and 3.8 rating.

Also renewed for a second season? Gotham, the buzzed-about Batman prequel starring Ben McKenzie, Jada Pinkett Smith and breakout star Robin Lord Taylor (as the Penguin). 

And the network also announced a third season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, starring Andy Samberg.

Empire has fared much better than Fox's other new series this season, with the network choosing not to pursue a second season of Gracepoint, the event series that was an adaptation of the UK's Broadchurch. And Red Band Society, its charming drama about a group of children in a hospital, failed to connect with viewers. The network is airing the final three episodes on Saturday, beginning Jan. 31.

And Mulaney, the new sitcom from comedian John Mulaney, wasn't officially canceled, but was bumped to the 7:30 p.m. timeslot on Sunday, so...