Fall TV Preview: Who's Lording Over Fox's Hip-Hop Empire? Get an Exclusive First Look

Fox has built an Empire for the 2014-15 TV season, and TVLine has an exclusive first look at those who will lord over it.

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From Academy Award nominee Lee Daniels (Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Precious) and Emmy winner Danny Strong (Game Change, Lee Daniels’ The Butler), Empire is described as a sexy and powerful new drama about Lucious Lyon (Academy Award nominee Terrence Howard, Hustle & Flow), the head of a music empire whose three sons and wife (Academy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Person of Interest) all battle for his throne.

VIDEO | Fox’s DC Comics Drama Gotham Is Ordered to Series — Watch the Full Trailer

Set to an original soundtrack written and produced by Timbaland, the Lyon family, seen below, is populated by (L to R) Trai Byers (90210) as Andre, Henson as Cookie, Howard as Lucious, Jussie Smollett (On Our Own) as Jamal and Bryshere Gray (aka rapper Yazz the Greatest) as Hakeem.

(Click to zoom)


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  1. dj says:


  2. CK says:

    Yasss, Taraji! Werk! I’m getting fierce boss realness from this image. If she brings that energy to the performance, I already know she’s going to be my new season fave.

  3. K says:

    I just can’t get excited for this. Even so I don’t think FOX is the right network for a project such as this.

    • Lena says:

      Why? Too black for you?

    • Jerraka K says:

      So sad..and.,,,i’m glad fox did a show like this….all your saying is it’s 98% african american cast,with our urdan music is hard for you….but thank you fox for taking chance at a show your not use of writing and producing….numbers show …whoever thought of this show is brillant

    • Prentella Williams says:

      I really would love to get a part on the show i love the show plus i need the money

  4. I predict a fallen Empire very early in the season.

  5. David says:

    I thought Macy Gray was going to be in the cast.

  6. It's Hard Out There Finding Quality Minority Portrayals on Television says:

    I will give Empire a good look. As a Taraji P. Henson fan, I wish her every success after the abominable treatment she received from Nolan and Plageman, CBS Nina Tassler and the crazy Person of Interest bunch. Also, more diversity is needed on network television. Too bad the story has to be about drug dealing jailbirds and hip hoppers. How about a few MBAs from Harvard or some fighter pilots or astronauts. Minorities do those kind of things and have stellar careers and occupations……believe it or not. Of course, Dr. Dre is about to sell his “Beats” business to Apple for 3.2 billion………..but no….that’s not a good story because he didn’t kill anybody and go to prison.

    • Gabby says:

      In “Empire”, one of the sons has an MBA from Harvard.

      • Sure............a Black Alexis Carrington says:

        The MBA from Harvard will be overshadowed by other more easily attainable assets and will lack the credibility and desirability of “bling, furs and booze.” Just wait and see…….
        Lee Daniels said he wanted a “Black Dynasty” show. How’s that for an aspiration?

    • Jewels says:

      And yet stereotypically…the black female lead is named “Lucious.” I was immediately taken aback by that.

      • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

        Howard is playing Lucious, Henson’s character is named Cookie.

      • Valarie says:

        Lucious is a male name. It means light. Lucious is the male lead on the show. I think you misread Lucious as Luscious. The name of the female lead is Cookie not Luscious. 

        All of TV is hackneyed and formulaic. The whole point of wanting to be a Black version of The hit series “Dynasty” is an attempt to fit into a stereo type. Fortunately, the actors in the show and the producers are able to add a different dimension to the stereotypes that we usually see on TV. It could possibly lead to widening the range of what is shown and provide a larger platform that will include the reality of more

  7. Candice says:

    I miss Taraji on Person of Interest.

  8. Lauren says:

    Yes Taraji worst mistake POI ever done was let her go now it has two robot females

  9. Sheldon Wiebe says:

    Kinda sounds like something I once read by William Shakespeare…

  10. Coal says:

    I’m going to love it, but it won’t last.

  11. ivy says:

    she left POI for this
    big mistake
    these kinda shows are dead at the moment

    • Gabby says:

      Taraji did NOT quit Person of Interest. It was the writer’s decision to write off the character. That was their plan, and they informed her about their decision. She’s moved on and found another gig on TV.

      • Mai says:

        Wrong. Taraji told Nolan from the start she didnt want to commit to a long running series, because she loves doing movies and taking other projects. Then they told her they planned on killing the character off at some point, so she got on board on doing POI. Which makes me wonder how long her character is going to be on this new series…

  12. Dee says:

    I for one can’t wait to see this show!I am getting flashbacks to Hustle & Flow and I love it! Taraji & Terrence reunited again!! Then there’s gonna be original music as well!! Awesome!!

    • Betty says:

      I agree, I’m excited about this show “Empire”, I love Terrence and Taraji and they have great chemistry together. It’s going to be a great show.

    • B.J. Jones says:

      Love “Empire”, Great programming to run episodes again on Saturday nights. Program is well made, costumes, scenery, plots, scenes are thorough, short and to the point, profanity is limited, addresses problems/situations of our “Society”. My Family and Friends love this show. We txt each other to make “SURE” no one misses an “Episode”. Good luck, hope it is here until the 12th of Never ………..

  13. Coal says:

    The greater population or Network Television are just not that interested about minority stories or subject matter irrespective of how well the story is told. HBO (example The Wire) would have a better vehicle for this even BET or FX. They were probably try to make a Hip Hop vision of Nashville

    • Hello Yellow says:

      Well hopefully more networks realize that the world is a very diverse place! Everything can’t be vanilla I see u CW network! In my world I see a multitude of races! I see transgendered people at Taco Bell, girlz making out on the train, gay men at the check out line! Its called reality! All I do is get on with my day! Im not here to judge! The networks need to realize that not only old white men watch tv! My five cents!

  14. jane mark says:

    Love taraji. Hope it works out!

    • N tTVf says:

      Agree – I really grew to like Taraji so much on PoI. I’d seen her in some feature films, thought she was terrific [Benjamin Button, I Can Do Bad], but wasn’t sure about her on PoI until I saw her in action – wow. Was sorry to see her written out of PoI, but I knew she had something else in the works – it turned out to be Empire.

      I’ll be watching this series big time – looking forward to it. With the recent news about Dr Dre and his company/Beats and Apple, this storyline on Empire is quite timely. Should be fun to watch.

  15. Dragonfly says:

    So Almost Human was cancel for this?

    • Relaxxx says:

      Actually alot of good shows have been cancelled by Fox only they know the reason why! I miss Almost Human but Fox has always done alot of weird stuff so all u can do is shake your head n move forward! Right now I only watch one show on Fox and thats Sleepy Hollow …..maybe every now and again I’ll check out their cartoons! Hope this one works out!

  16. guy says:

    This is the fall show I’m most excited about! Wish it were on cable, though.

  17. Alex says:

    Looks like a real stinker.

  18. Jazmine says:

    I think this is great and I think people are way too quick to jump to conclusions. This show is more than Hip-Hop but I do like that it is Hip-Hop since lets be perfectly honest hip-hop is so important to the black community and I mean REAL hip-hop not some of the trash out today and I think Lee is trying to tie that into the show that hip-hop is what brings these characters together, the love of music you can’t bash that.
    Sure there is reference to drug deals and prison but let’s be real A.A make up what percentage of the entire prison population? I’ll tell you way more than any other racial group.
    I like that it’s going to deal with issues not talked about in the black communities like homosexuality, father/son relationships it’s going to be good, like others said I don’t know about it being on Fox it seems like it was more suited for cable but I’m excited to see how it does and cool for Fox giving them a shot, all this representation on TV it’s going to be a great year for POC.

  19. Relaxxx says:

    LOVE Taraji and Terrence being back together for this one! Taraji looks stunning in the promo pictures as usual! Love the fact that Timbaland is doing the music. I hate when I have to listen to wack arse music in the background! I KNOW Timbaland will bring his A game! This show being on FOX……..well thats another story! Im still mad about Almost Human but hopefully this show will be great! I will definetly be checking this out in the fall!

  20. Hello Yellow says:

    Looks good! Fingers crossed that this works out for everyone involved!

  21. Josh Knoll says:

    It doesn’t matter what is coming to FOX. It’s going to be put on Fridays or cancelled within a short period. Will not start any new programs on this network. I’ll finish off what I am watching and then that’s it after the whole Enlisted debacle.

    • Relaxxx says:

      The Fox Burn! I feel your pain! They are so quick to give up on potentially great show! They need to take notes from AMC!

  22. dman6015 says:

    Canceled after three episodes. Doesn’t matter that Lee Daniels and Danny Strong are behind it. They said the same things about Alfonso Cuaron and ‘Believe’ earlier this year.

  23. Empire sound like it will be a great show to watch. I hope that it will be a winner.

  24. Avon says:

    I’m Looking forward to seeing the show. Keep your head up cast!!!!

  25. Nina Galvan says:

    I absolutely love it and will be watching every single episode..Love Terrance Howard and Taraji Henson and the whole cast.It is very well written and the music by Timbaland is off the hook.I can’t wait for next episode and am looking forward to see so many talented guest stars..☆☆☆☆☆

  26. Nina Galvan says:

    I absolutely loved it. Great cast Terrence Howard and Taraji Henson are great together again and the rest of the cast is great. I think that music by Timbaland is off the hook can’t wait for next episode looking forward to seeing all the special guest stars that will be appearing I’m hooked ☆☆☆☆☆rating

  27. Jerraka K says:

    Love,Love,Lovethe Show…fox you did a great job…great cast,every episode,every small detail,all the extra you give….gives me.life…3 shows in and i can’t wait til next season

  28. Geezy says:

    Maybe Empire isn’t for everyone. …go check for duck dynasty or The latest bachelor season…..

  29. torricka says:

    Best show ever😃

    • This cast have made their mark and it is indelible. Captivating, to those that choose to view, addictive, unpredictabe and modern. The best looking cast ever on network TV. We are enamoured with everything we have seen. You have some element of this show in your life. These kids have walked the pavement for this spotlight. God bless and protect them while they work hard to entertain us.

  30. Prentella Williams says:

    I really would love to get a part on the show i love the show plus i need the money

  31. deaire simpson says:

    This show need to be shown each and every night we will pay for this show to be seen every dayTrrance should be able to name his own pay scale everybody in the world want to see him play in that show also cookie

  32. deaire simpson says:

    Please don’t take Lucious and Cookie off the show if you do I will never ever watch another episode of Empire