Fox is ‘Empire’ Building Featuring Standout Taraji P. Henson

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Taraji P. Henson is Empire’s standout.
(Photo: Chuck Hodes/Fox)

Winter’s breakout hit is a throwback soap pitched as “black Dynasty,” and viewers are watching. It’s this season’s top-rated newcomer among young-adult viewers, and ratings for Wednesday’s second episode climbed from the show’s premiere, a rare feat.

The show stars Terrence Howard as Lucious Lyon, a dying hip-hop music mogul, who wants to bequeath his business to one of three sons. But along comes ex-wife Cookie (Taraji P. Henson), fresh out of a 17-year jail stint, to fight her way back into the family business. She latches onto Jamal, their gay son, after Lucious is ashamed by his interest in coming out.

Co-creator Danny Strong “wanted to have someone who was running this family but doing it in an iron-fisted way,” while addressing social issues and “attacking homophobia in a mainstream genre.”

“It’s life, with a little bit of camp, so we can laugh,” said pajama-clad co-creator Lee Daniels (The Butler). “Don’t y’all miss Dynasty?” he asked writers at the Television Critics Association.

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SOURCE: USA Today – Gary Levin

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