*If you haven’t tuned into “Empire,” count yourself among the minority.
Fox’s hip-hop “Dynasty” continues its game-changing trek of attracting new viewers with each episode as it heads toward its March 18 season one finale, the question is what does “Empire” have in store for season 2?
Chatting with The Hollywood Reporter, Fox Broadcasting’s David Madden mentioned that he “wouldn’t be surprised” to see “Empire” come back before mid-season. One thing that’s sure to please viewers is Madden’s admission that although he isn’t sure how many more, the addictive show will be back with more episodes than the first season’s 12 episodes.
And while more “Empire” episodes for season 2 are OK with co-creator Danny Strong, he stated that “given the nature of the storytelling and original music, it won’t be a full 22. On the opposing side is the show’s other creator Lee Daniels, who had no problem letting the Reporter know that he wants the number of episodes to remain at 12 and is down to fight the increase.
“Bring it on,” Daniels said.
Looking into the next season, Strong and “Empire” showrunner/producer Ilene Chaiken are active in increasing the show’s writing staff to handle the challenges ahead. For Strong that would mean courting emerging African-American talent.
“I wanted to bring in some playwrights because we have these delicious soap turns but we also have very layered character development,” he shared.
With Daniels, he’s got many ideas to share, which include a desire to bring in more of the poorer-class African-American experience into the storyline.
“I think we’ve seen the opulence,” he told the Reporter, “but now we have to go back to where they come from.”
In addition to Daniels’ requests, there are requests from potential guest stars and directors. Among those wanting to direct an “Empire” episode is Spike Lee.
“That’s when I realized what a beast Danny and I have created,” said Daniels, who also confessed to calling Oprah Winfrey many times to get her to on “Empire.”
“I tell him: ‘Lee, it’s not enough that you’ve taken every viewer possible on Wednesday night. Now you want me to leave my own network?’ ” says Winfrey, to which Daniels howls with laughter, “I’m wearing her down!
For more on Fox’s strategy for season 2 of “Empire,” click here.