He is played by Terrence Howard.
In the pilot, Lucious learns he has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and only has a few years left to live, and the first season revolves around his efforts to find the perfect successor by setting his sons against one another in a competition. Lucious was shown to favor his youngest son, Hakeem, over his musically-gifted son Jamal (whom he despises for being gay) and his eldest, more business-savvy son Andre (who plotted to take over Empire for his wife, Rhonda).
In the pilot, Lucious murders his long-time friend and cousin-in-law, Bunky, after he demands a large sum of money from him. In the first season finale, Lucious learns that he was misdiagnosed and chooses Jamal to run Empire. By the episode's end, he is arrested for Bunky's murder and imprisoned. The season ends with Lucious swearing vengeance upon those who put him away.
In Season 2, Lucious is still in prison; despite this, he blocks an attempt by Cookie, Andre, and Hakeem to take over Empire by convincing Mimi Whiteman to align with him instead of Cookie, Hakeem, and Andre. Later, when Frank Gathers is transferred to the prison and orders for Lucious to be killed, Lucious turns the tables and has Gathers murdered by his own men. He then finds out that Rhonda killed Vernon and welcomes Andre back to Empire. Thanks to the dirty tactics of his attorney, Lucious is cleared of all charges and returns to Empire.
- Lucious is similar to J.R. Ewing.