Empire Season 2

Empire Creator Confirms Young Cookie Spinoff Plans: 'There's Ripe Story'

The Empire is expanding.

At the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills on Thursday, exec producer Lee Daniels announced, in no uncertain terms, that the Empire franchise will expand via an offshoot.

“There is going to be a spinoff from Empire, without question,” he said. “There’s so much ripe story that we’ve talked about already— about Cookie’s family, what makes her her. That in itself is fascinating to me.”

Following the panel, Daniels elaborated that the spin-off would be a quasi-prequel that delves into Cookie’s upbringing in North Philadelphia. “Here Cookie is now, but how did she get to where she’s at right now?” he shared. “Let’s go back and understand her mother, her sisters…. Let’s understand the makings of her…  It’d be like a prequel.”

Thoughts? Young Cookie casting suggestions? Hit the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Sarah says:

    What a tough job that actress will have. Let Taraji play her younger self!

  2. JEF says:

    It’s too soon.

    • Chris says:

      Agreed. 40 something guest stars and talk of a spinoff already is causing way too much build too fast. I know Fox is probably excited that this is probably the first show in a long time to have gained viewers almost every episode since its premiere, but give the show some room to breathe.

      • Considering they’ll have X files and Prison Break revivals, Sleepy Hallow/Bones cross-over… And are just a few weak ratings away from ordering Married…with Children spin-off, 24 spin-off and probably many more to come (The OC?)… Empire offshoot sounds reasonable and remember that nowadays things must happen fast while there is buzz because u know it that 5+ rating will be down to 1.3s….

        • Mary says:

          That is Fox problem, to much of a good thing. Not sure a spin off at this time will be good. They could of done an episode hitting on it but to devote a whole series, not so sure.

  3. O'yaya says:

    I don’t work in hollywood so please take what I say with a grain of salt but this is such a bad bad idea, there are already going to be shows trying to rip off empire next tv season, Lee Daniels really want to over satrate his own brand… also I know for a fact that Taraji isn’t interested in doing more tv she barely signed on to this one, so are they going to cast another Actor as Cookie? good luck I guess.

    • abz says:

      Taraji won’t be recast. She’ll remain on Empire. He intends to cast a younger actress as a young Cookie for the prequel spin-off.

      • danyelle says:

        seriously how was this not obvious? lol

      • Jo B. says:

        For those saying it’s too soon – let me say: Chicago Fire and Chicago PD. Chicago PD premiered during Chicago Fire’s season 2 and both are doing so well for Dick Wolf and NBC. Nuff said. :-)

    • Tom says:

      I do work in Hollywood and I completely agree with you. Daniels is out of his mind if he or the fox execs think it’s not too soon or a good idea at all. Let the show live alone for a bit longer then expand the universe but in the present not the past.

      • Cadence says:

        I’ve been watching lot of Youtube videos of sizzle reels for new shows that premiered over the last 50 years, and the truth is that in any given season you will find shows that look exactly alike. This is nothing new.

  4. Guest says:

    Empire is going to implode.

    • nate says:

      What show doesn’t. Just enjoy it while it last

    • robandco says:

      My opinion too. I mean look at all the guest stars and the spin-off. It has a weird “Glee season 2” vibe… They are starting to write people in for no apparent reason and may lose focus on the core cast.

  5. abz says:

    I’m starting to think the massive success of Empire’s first season is really going to this man’s head. All of these guest stars/cameos plus some other musical show he’s developing at FOX and now this spin-off. Don’t get me wrong, I’d definitely tune in to see a Cookie-spinoff at some point but not if it’s gonna come at the expense of the mother show. Spin-offs shouldn’t happen this soon. The show is still starting out. He should focus on trying to keep the show successful and maintaining and even improving the writing. The show hasn’t even started its sophomore run yet and he wants to jump to the next thing. I’m thinking he’ll become the next Ryan Murphy if he keeps this up.

    • Cadence says:

      How does having another show mean that the success has gone to his head? He was given a development deal with Fox. He wouldn’t be the only producer to have more than one show on he air. The world can exist with more than one CSI type show, and it can handle more than one serialized drama.

      • abz says:

        I don’t have a problem with him having more than one show. I know lots of producers do. It’s the timing of this spinoff. It’s too soon. I don’t know, it just seems like he’s trying to do too much all at once and in the end it’ll be Empire that suffers. There’s already a lot of red flags for this upcoming season of Empire with the endless list of guest stars and stunt casting. He should try to give Empire a little more time to establish itself and live on its own. Focus on maintaining the success of the show going into the second season and avoiding a sophomore slump. To give an example of someone who is clearly doing well with this, Shonda Rhimes, to her credit, didn’t start the Grey’s spin-off, Private Practice, till the show was beginning its fourth season and she didn’t add more shows (Scandal, etc.) till well into Grey’s run after that. Of course she is definitely not perfect and not everything about Grey’s was perfect, but she’s clearly doing well and her shows are still going strong and she has a night of TV for herself. On the other hand, you look at Ryan Murphy, he’s had the recurring problem of starting off his shows great and making great TV and then just abandoning them and moving onto new projects or working on too many at once. Glee lost its early quality with many openly hating it by its end. Even AHS which I still enjoy is not perfect. Same thing with the Arrow people I think. They started The Flash last season (which I admit I absolutely loved), but Arrow’s last season was just not all that great. I’m no Hollywood expert, but working on so many shows at once too soon just doesn’t seem like a great idea to me. Some can clearly be successful at it and some can’t.

        • Annie says:

          I don”t think Lee Daniels has a lot to do with the day to day operations of Empire. He hired Ilene Chaiken as the showrunner, because he doeosn’t have a history of working on television, and so that he could do other things. It was Chaiken and Danny Strong who wrote the erratic season finale, and it is Chaiken and Strong who pretty much have the finale say in what’s happening on screen.

  6. nate says:

    My aunt was just saying Patti Labelle should be her mother

  7. If they have enough material, they might as well get it ere while it’s hot. The question is: Where and when will they put the new show? Don’t they have all the fall spots filled already? Who is going to lose out?

  8. A.M says:

    …who would they cast as a convincing young Cookie & Lucious too I’m guessing.

  9. Wendy says:

    Way, way too soon. First wait and see if “Empire” won’t fall prey to a sophomore slump. I have heard of strike while the iron is hot, but still.

  10. Timmah says:

    One season and they’re already talking spin-offs? Is Hollywood that hard up for original ideas?

    • Cadence says:

      This season we have the comeback of Coach, Heros, the X Files, and Prison Break. Not to mention Full House. Aside from that, we have a lot of shows that are based on comic books, so the answer is yes, Hollywood is going to try and milk what works, or what has worked in the past.

  11. WearyTVwatcher says:

    As much as I would love this it sounds like the Lily-centric Gossip Girl spin-of that never was. What would even be the desired shelf life for a show like this, that is before it starts catching up with the timeline portrayed on the actual show and things start getting messy.

  12. David4 says:

    The show is a mega hit I made jokes that they would use characters and spin them off to other shoes like Empire: Bones and Gatham’s Empire.

  13. Jared says:

    The massive appeal of Cookie is because of Taraji’s portrayal of her. Without her, does anybody really even want to watch a spinoff? I sure dont.

    • Tim says:

      Exactly! It’s kind of an insult to Taraji.

      • Cher says:

        I agree It was disrespectful to her to even suggest, and to add “younger actress spin off ” as if the first thought shouldn’t have been to consider Taraji P. Henson for her own show! She developed the character. And whether or not he’s like to admit it, Ms. Henson built the entire show! But then again Lee Daniels track record with successful actresses isn’t quite clean! Just ask Monique! Especially, if she was unaware and he said this while she is (once again) allowing her name and face to be used to promote Empire! Again, how dare he be this disrespectful of her!

        • Annie says:

          Taraji already has her own show, one for which the network and creators constantly throw accolades her way. As far as Daniels goes, he is clearly respected by those in the industry. That’s why people continually want to work with him, and how he was able to get Empire on the air.

  14. Jeanie says:

    I love Empire, but Fox and co need to be careful of overkill. Let the hit show flourish. More is not always better.

  15. LOL says:

    No other actress can play Cookie. Leave iconic characters alone.

  16. JJ says:

    I bet it’s going to be called the Cookie Diaries!

  17. Lizo says:

    Holy sh*t yes. Yes yes yes.

  18. Cher says:

    I find it disrespectful to Ms. Henson if she was surprised by this news while sitting on the panel, again promoting Empire! Her name, draw and marketing plan, as Executive Producer of No Good Deed (#1 movie) were used to promote Empire, as she made rounds doing promo work. People tuned in in record numbers and she delivered performances that made an ordinary character iconic. She deserves to benefit from her own work. I find it insulting that they would suggest a younger actress deserves to benefit from by gaining her own show from Ms.Henson’s work. Taraji built Empire fox and even used her social media accounts to prop unknown cast and Terrence H. Terrence H. plays in all of his flashbacks on the show and his backstory is explored. Are they saying writers aren’t interested in providing Taraji with the same opportunities and material? Taraji recently attended Emmy panel on agism and sexism in Hollywood! I feel this announcement refers to the latter. Lee D. goes on to say that Cookie’s backstory is of interest and should be explored without providing Ms. Henson with an ounce of credit for making it so. I only will back this project of she personally benefits from a spin off as lead actress or Exec producer! She deserves her own show

    • Annie says:

      This is funny, it was Taraji’s idea that season 2 explore Lucious’ back story. She has stated that she was not comfortable that season 1 portrayed Lucious as a horrible person, but didn’t give a reason or any background for his behavior. She stated that she went to the writers and Lee Daniels and asked them to address this.

      This is the behavior of a professional, and someone who is thinking of the entire show. The writers following through on her request shows how much respect that they have for Taraji.

  19. K says:

    Aren’t they moving a little fast? Sure the first season has been a smash hit but there’s every chance that it could take a huge plunge in the second season. Take Heroes for instance, it ran for a few more seasons but critically wasn’t well received and it fizzled out of existence.

  20. KC says:

    Wow – stupid idea!

  21. Diz says:

    Why would anyone watch a different Cookie that’s not played by Taraj. That’s just dumb.

    • Jax&Juice's Girl says:

      Cookie is the MOST interesting/talked about character on the show. I would watch this spin-off, hell I would like to see Cookie and Gemma (Katey Sagal’s character 4rm SOA) team up……they’re kind of similar 2 badass bitches that will do some damage!!! LOL.

  22. Imagecrafters says:

    Too much, too soon.

  23. Sandra says:

    I think Keke Palmer would make a great young Cookie.

  24. Jim J. says:

    Great, every time a good show is a big hit, there is always going to be some consideration of a spin-off at some point. I think spin-offs are overrated.