I believe that Empire will live up to, and even exceed, expectations it set in its pilot episode because of the quality of the writers and the actors involved in the show. Also, as the show gaines popularity, its budget will likely increase, making set decorations and actors wardrobes even more elaborate and eye-catching.
Yes, I believe that Empire will live up to the expectations set in its pilot episode, because I think first and foremost Empire showed that they have good writers. Writers are the most important part of a good show. With that, everything else will fall into place, and Empire will be a hit show for a long time.
Pilots for television shows can be a tricky thing. In some cases, a pilot that falls somewhat flat may actually turn out to be a fantastic show. In other cases, a promising pilot may lead to unreasonably high expectations that are hard to meet. In the case of Empire, at this point I'm not willing to say that it's going to be great, precisely because the pilot seemed so good.
Empire will not live up to the expectations set in the pilot, because the writing in itself is horrible. The casting decisions were also pretty upsetting. The actors don't seem to know what side of the character they are suppose to portray. Another problem the show has is that there was so much hype around it that it is destined to be a let down.