STAR: Showrunner Karen Gist on Season 2 – Exclusive Interview

Ryan Destiny, Jude Demorest and Brittany O'Grady in STAR - Season 2 |©2017 Fox/Jason Bell

STAR, now in its second season, is the spinoff of EMPIRE. The two series run back to back on Fox Networks on Wednesday nights. Like EMPIRE, STAR is co-created by executive producer Lee Daniels and set in the music industry. However, instead of dealing with musical emperors, STAR explores the paths of three young women who band together as a “girl group,” under the mentorship of mother figure Carlotta, played by Queen Latifah. Karen Gist joined STAR this season as show runner and an executive producer, having previously worked as a writer/producer on GREY’S ANATOMY, REVENGE, HOUSE OF LIES, UNDERCOVERS […]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: Danny Strong gives the Scoop on Season 2 – exclusive interview

Terrence Howard stars in the Fox drama EMPIRE | © 2016 Chuck Hodes/FOX

At Fox Network’s party for the Television Critics Association, Danny Strong is mulling over the dessert options. Strong is at a place in his life where most of the choices are sweet. The California native co-created Fox’s epic musical drama hit EMPIRE. Strong got an Emmy nomination for his first produced script, HBO’s RECOUNT, about the 2000 U.S. presidential election, and won an Emmy for his second, HBO’s GAME CHANGE, which starred Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin. Strong wrote LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER, about the intersection of civil rights and the U.S. presidency, which Daniels directed. That collaboration led to […]Read On »

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EMPIRE co-star Bryshere Y. Gray on the season finale – exclusive interview

Bryshere Gray star as Hakeem in the Fox hit series EMPIRE | © 2015 Michael Lavine/FOX

Fox’s new hit EMPIRE has its two-hour first-season finale Wednesday, March 18, but have no fear – it was renewed for a second season almost immediately after it premiered to huge ratings in January. The series, created by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, follows the personal and musical (and financial) fortunes of the Lyon recording dynasty, headed by ailing but iron-willed Lucious (Terrence Howard), who clashes with ex-wife Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) now that she’s out from a seventeen-year prison stretch and seeking her own piece of the company. The three Lyon sons are caught in the middle. Bryshere Y. […]Read On »

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Jussie Smollett and Taraji P. Henson on EMPIRE Season Finale – exclusive interview

Taraji P Henson in EMPIRE - Season 1 | © 2015 Fox / Michael Lavine

On Fox’s megahit EMPIRE, Wednesdays at 9 PM and renewed for a second season already, Taraji P. Henson plays Cookie Lyon, ex-wife of hip-hop record mogul Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) and mother of his three sons. Jussie Smollett plays talented and gay middle son Jamal, the only one to visit his mother in jail while Cookie did 17 years in order to protect Lucious for going down with her. Henson, an Oscar-nominated actress who’s a veteran of many films and TV series, has been to a number of parties like the one that Fox and FX are throwing for the […]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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EMPIRE creator Danny Strong on the Season 1 scoop – exclusive interview

Terrence Howard stars as Lucious Lyon on Fox's EMPIRE | © 2015 Michael Lavine/FOX

Fox’s freshman series EMPIRE, Wednesdays at 9 PM, is already a hit, renewed for a second season. Set in the world of hip-hop, it tells the story of ailing music mogul Lucious Lyon, played by Terrence Howard. Lucious wants to know that his legacy will continue after he passes and is trying to decide which of his three sons should inherit the company he created. Eldest son Andre (Trai Byers) has the best head for business, but no musical talent. Youngest son Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) has gifts, but he often squanders them on drugs and pay-to-play women. Middle son […]Read On »

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Terrence Howard towers over EMPIRE – Exclusive Interview

Terrence Howard in EMPIRE - Season 1 | ©2015 Fox/Michael Lavine

In EMPIRE, the new Fox series airing Wednesdays at 9 PM, Terrence Howard plays hip hop music kingpin Lucious Lyon. When he is diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, Lucious feels he must leave his power and fortune to one of his children – but which one? The choice is complicated by the reappearance of his ex-wife Cookie, played by Taraji P. Henson, who has emerged from prison feeling that she is entitled to at least some of what Lucious has. Howard and Henson have worked together before in HUSTLE & FLOW, which also dealt with the […]Read On »

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Taraji P. Henson on the EMPIRE state of mind – Exclusive Interview

Taraki P. Henson in EMPIRE - Season 1 | ©2015 Fox/Michael Lavine

In Fox’s new drama EMPIRE, created by Danny Strong and Lee Daniels, we are in the world of hip-hop music. The new series introduces us to music mogul Lucious Lyon, played by Terrence Howard. Lucious is suffering from a serious illness and struggles to retain power while also trying to plan his legacy. Son Jamal, played by Jussie Smollett, is perhaps the most talented and qualified choice, but Jamal is gay, and Lucious cannot bear that. Challenging Lucious on virtually everything is his ex-wife Cookie, played by Taraji P. Henson. Henson and Howard previously worked together in 2005’s HUSTLE & […]Read On »

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