TVLine Items: Cosby Vet Joins Empire, Emily Watson Is Genius and More

Empire Phylicia Rashad

Cookie’s potential romance with Taye Diggs has hit the mother of all snags.

Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show) will recur during Season 3 of Empire as the mom of Diggs’ ambitious city councilman Angelo Dubois, Fox announced Monday.

Rashad’s Diana is a powerhouse from one of New York’s oldest and most prominent African-American families, who has her sights set on a higher office for her only son. Her interactions with Cookie, Lucious and the rest of the Lyon clan will expose the class divides that can exist within the black community.

When asked by TVLine at the Television Critics Association summer press tour if Angelo will be a love interest for Taraji P. Henson’s alter ego, executive producer Ilene Chaiken teased, “He certainly would like to be.”

Empire returns Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 9/8c on Fox.

Ready for more of today’s newsy nuggets? Well…

* Emily Watson (Theory of Everything) will star in National Geographic Channel’s anthology series Genius as Elsa Einstein, the second wife — and first cousin — of Albert Einstein. Also joining the cast are Michael McElhatton (Game of Thrones) as the scientist’s early role model, physicist Dr. Philipp Lenard; Seth Gabel (Salem) as Einstein’s longtime friend Michele Besso; and Vincent Kartheiser (Mad Men) as Raymond Geist, a consulate official in Berlin.

* TNT has given a pilot order to Let the Right One In, based on John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel about a young, bullied boy who finds solace in his friendship with a charismatic female vampire. Jeff Davis (Teen Wolf) penned the script; the book was previously twice adapted for the big screen.

* SNL alum Jay Pharoah’s Showtime comedy pilot White Famous has cast Megalyn Echikunwoke (Damien, Arrow) as the ex-girlfriend of Pharoah’s character and Utkarsh Ambudkar (The Mindy Project) as his frustrated agent.

* HBO has released a new trailer for the upcoming drama Westworld (premiering Oct. 2 at 9 pm), as well as key art for its new comedy Divorce (Oct. 9 at 10 pm), starring Sex and the City‘s Sarah Jessica Parker. Scroll down to check out both.

Divorce HBO