EMPIRE: Actor Jussie Smollett & show runner Brett Mahoney – exclusive interview

Jussie Smollett as Jamal Lyon in EMPIRE | © 2018 Fox

EMPIRE, the drama about a contemporary familial music dynasty, is now in its fifth season on Wednesday nights on Fox. The Lyon family has been through a lot of reversals, including losing the company of the title at the end of Season 4. None of them are taking it lying down, least of all singer/songwriter/music producer gay middle son Jamal Lyon, played by Jussie Smollett. Smollett is himself a singer/songwriter/music producer, having launched his new indie label Music of Sound earlier this year, which brought out his new album, SUM OF MY MUSIC. As an actor, California native Smollett has […]Read On »

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REBEL IN THE RYE: Danny Strong on his directorial debut – Exclusive Interview

Director Danny Strong and actor Nicholas Hoult in REBEL IN THE RYE | ©2017 IFC

Danny Strong is no stranger to fact-based material. He won Emmys for writing and being one of the producers of GAME CHANGE, the HBO film about the John McCain/Sarah Palin White House run. Before that, Strong, who hails from Manhattan Beach, California, was nominated for an Emmy for writing the HBO movie RECOUNT, about the 2000 U.S. presidential election. Strong and Lee Daniels together created the Fox hit EMPIRE, which returns for its fourth season later this month; Strong directed three episodes of the series. On the feature side, Strong wrote the screenplays for THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART I […]Read On »

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EMPIRE: Director Sanaa Hamri chats Season 3 – Exclusive Interview

Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson in EMPIRE - Season 3 | ©2017 Fox Broadcasting/Michael Lavine

Fox Network’s hit musical drama EMPIRE has been renewed for a fourth season. The series concerns the Lyon clan – often-warring patriarch Lucious (Terrence Howard) and matriarch Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) and their sons – who all want to control their own musical destinies and the Lyon music conglomerate. EMPIRE creators Lee Daniels and Danny Strong are executive producers on the series, as is show runner Ilene Chaiken. Another executive producer is director Sanaa Hamri, who has personally helmed ten episodes and is the e.p. who helps other directors on the show find the right tone. A lot of EMPIRE’s […]Read On »

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EMPIRE: Ilene Chaiken gives the scoop on Season 3 – Exclusive Interview

Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson in EMPIRE - Season 3 | ©2016 Fox/Michael Lavine

Now in its third season Fox Network’s musical drama EMPIRE won the AFI Award for Best Television Program of the Year and a Golden Globe for leading lady Taraji P. Henson as the formidable Cookie Lyon, not to mention a massive quantity of nominations. Created by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, EMPIRE follows the Lyon musical dynasty – besides Cookie, there’s her ex, performer/producer Lucious (Terrence Howard), and their three adult sons – along with their lovers, friends and enemies as they try to stay on top of the charts and with one another. Executive producer Ilene Chaiken, who is […]Read On »

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EMPIRE showrunner Ilene Chaiken gives the scoop on Season 1 – exclusive interview

Terrence Howard stars as Lucious in Fox's EMPIRE | © 2015 Chuck Hodes/FOX

Fox’s new drama series EMPIRE, Wednesdays at 9 PM, has turned into the kind of popular and ratings hit that would thrill its ultra-ambitious, powerhouse characters. Created by Danny Strong and Lee Daniels, EMPIRE is set in the world of hip-hop music, where terminally ill recording kingpin Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) wants to select one of his three sons – businesslike Andre (Trai Byers), talented, kind, gay Jamal (Jussie Smollett) and gifted but irresponsible Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) – to take over when he’s gone. Lucious’ ex-wife Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) returns from prison and would like to control the […]Read On »

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