Not only has Fox ordered a fourth season of its hit show Empire, but co-creator Lee Daniels says he and Danny Strong are working on a spin-off.
Whether an episode of Empire this season will work as a backdoor pilot, or if Fox will take the more traditional series-ordering route. But there is a chance, Daniels told The Hollywood Reporter, fans could see more from the Empire universe sooner rather than later.
“We’re in talks. We’re finally figuring it out. It takes a minute, you know? We just really had to build the foundation of Empire, so we then try to figure out what that B-chorus is. It looks like it’s going to happen.”
What that spin-off will feature, we also don’t know. The trade publication recalled talks of a Cookie-centric prequel starring Taraji P. Henson, but Daniels wouldn’t confirm or deny that. He did say they were “having all these ideas thrown around,” and at the end of the day, there will indeed be a spin-off.
Empire was created by Daniels – the Oscar-nominated director of 2009’s Precious – and Strong, who before becoming an Emmy-winning writer was best known for his acting work, including as Jonathan Levinson on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
It stars Henson along with Terrence Howard, Jussie Smollett, Bryshere Y. Gray and Grace Gealey. It became an instant hit on Fox, allowing the network to return to combining iTunes-buyable songs with television, similar to the arrangement Fox had with Glee in the last decade.
The show has been ranked fifth in the ratings when considering overall viewership in its first two seasons, behind only shows like from the NCIS franchise as well as The Big Bang Theory. Last season, however, Empire was able to slip past NCIS: New Orleans, but has faced tremendous competition this season from NBC’s hit drama This Is Us.
Strong and Daniels already have a full plate, however. Strong is set to adapt the Dan Brown novel The Lost Symbol that is part of the DaVinci Code series. His most recent film, the J.D. Salinger biopic Rebel in the Rye, is set to hit theaters Jan. 24.
Daniels is the creator of another hit Fox drama, Star, which features Jude Demorest, Ryan Destiny and Brittany O’Grady.
Empire returns March 22.
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