Monday, April 19, 2021

Fox Passes on ‘Empire’ Spinoff About Cookie Lyon – Series Being Shopped to Hulu and ABC

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*Fox has opted not to greenlight an “Empire” spinoff based on the character of Cookie Lyon, played by Golden Globe winner Taraji P. Henson

Disney TV Studios’ 20th Television, which produces the project with Imagine TV, is currently shopping the potential series to Disney outlets ABC and Hulu, per Deadline

Complex previously wrote of the spinoff: ”No official info regarding the plot of the untitled project have been announced, however, sources described the story as focusing on Cookie’s move to Los Angeles, with the possibility of other familiar characters also popping up along the way.”

The spinoff is part of Henson’s First-Look deal with 20th Century Fox TV and her TPH Entertainment production company.

READ MORE: Taraji P. Henson’s New Facebook Watch Series to Serve as Mental Health ‘Therapy’ for Black Community

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Back in April, Henson and “Empire” co-creator Lee Daniels spoke about the possibility of continuing Cookie’s saga.

“I don’t know what that is and I’m not a part of it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone was trying to work on something,” “Empire” showrunner Brett Mahoney said a of the possible spinoff.

“I believe that normalizing stories around stigmatizing matters will make them more palatable for audiences to embrace,” Henson said of her studio deal and TPH.

“Art can change perception and I plan to develop projects that can help further the conversation,” she added. “I also aim to help cultivate and establish new young talent and their stories because they are our future and deserve a voice and a platform to be heard. I’m so excited to have 20th, led by the talented Carolyn Cassidy, support me in this new endeavor!”

20th Century Fox TV seemed just as excited about expanding the “Empire” franchise.

“We were lucky to have a front-row seat to Taraji’s meteoric rise as a fixture on television through Empire,” declared 20th Century Fox TV president Cassidy Thursday. “Through that relationship everyone at the company grew to appreciate her passion for storytelling and her strong creative gut instinct. With Empire finished we look forward to helping her explore stories that need to be told through her talent and advocacy.”

‘Empire” ran for six seasons before it was cancelled following Henson’s co-star, Jussie Smollett, allegedly orchestrating a hate crime against himself. The actor was ultimately  written off the show. 

Fox brass decided to axe the show because the network wants to focus on new content, such as the drama series “Our Kind of People,” from Lee Daniels and Karen Gist.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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