On the heels of giving the Batman prequel series Gotham a green light, Fox has ordered both Lee Daniels’ hip-hop Empire and the Octavia Spencer-starring Red Band Society to series for the 2014-15 season, TVLine has learned.
With a pilot directed by Daniels and penned by him and Lee Daniels’ The Butler‘s Danny Strong, Empire is described as a unique family drama set in the world of a hip-hop empire and centering on music mogul Lucious Lyon (Hustle & Flow‘s Terrence Howard). With Timbaland serving as a songwriter and song producer, the series will feature both original and current music.
The Empire cast also includes Taraji P. Henson (Person of Interest) as Lucious’ ex-wife and business partner, Malik Yoba (Alphas), Jussie Smollett, Bryshere Y. Gray, Trai Byers, Grace Gealey, Kaitlin Doubleday and recurring player Gabourey Sidibe (American Horror Story: Coven).
Red Band Society, which counts Steven Spielberg among its executive producers, follows a group of teenagers who meet as patients in the children’s wing of a hospital and become unlikely allies and friends. The cast includes Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer (The Help), Dave Annable (Brothers & Sisters), Griffin Gluck (Private Practice), Charlie Rowe, Rebecca Rittenhouse, Zoe Levin, Ciara Bravo and Nolan Sotillociara.