Taraji P. Henson’s ‘Empire’ spin-off axed at Fox, pitched to other networks
The actress is reportedly shopping the series at ABC and Hulu
Fox Broadcast Network has opted out on an Empire spin-off starring Taraji P. Henson and centering on her character Cookie Lyon.
The actress is now reportedly pitching the series to Disney’s other platforms: ABC and Hulu.
According to Deadline, Fox passed on continuing Cookie’s journey because the network wants to greenlight newer properties, such as an adaptation of Lawrence Otis Graham’s book “Our Kind of People.” The series will premiere during the network’s 2021-2022 line of programs, and hails from Empire co-creator/EP Lee Daniels and Karin Gist.
Empire ran for six seasons and was cancelled after Henson’s co-star, Jussie Smollett, allegedly orchestrated a hate crime attack against himself. The scandal resulted in behind-the-scenes tension and Smollett was written off the show despite being a main character.
Cookie Lyon, however, has maintained a loyal following worthy of her own solo series.
Loretha “Cookie” Lyon is a fictional Philly native who served a 17 year prison sentence for drug dealing gone bad. She is the wife of Lucious Lyon, played by Terrence Howard, who co-created a successful recording label and studio, Empire Entertainment. Throughout the show, Henson’s character arcs have seen her reclaiming what is hers, reconnecting with her family, and being street tough while running a major corporation.
Whether the spin-off gets picked up or not remains to be seen. In the meantim, Henson has other Hollywood obligations.
She is set to star in and direct an original project called Two-Faced, a story about a high school student determined to expose her closeted racist principle, Deadline reports. Henson plays the main character’s mother.
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