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Empire Series Premiere Preview 

Empire Series Premiere Preview
Photo Credit: Michael Lavine/FOX
Photo Credit: Michael Lavine/FOX

Forget the Carringtons. There’s a new family Dynasty in town. Let the drama begin.

Official Fox Synopsis:

Photo Credit: Michael Lavine/FOX

LUCIOUS LYON (Academy Award nominee Terrence Howard, Crash, Hustle & Flow) is the king of hip-hop. An immensely talented artist, the CEO of Empire Entertainment and a former street thug, his reign has been unchallenged for years. But all that changes, when he learns he has a disease that is going to render him crippled and incapacitated in a matter of three years. The clock is ticking, and he must groom one of his three sons to take over his crowning achievement, without destroying his already fractured family.

Photo Credit: Michael Lavine/FOX

Lucious’ favorite is his youngest son, HAKEEM (newcomer Bryshere Gray), a gifted musician and a spoiled playboy who values fame over hard work.

Photo Credit: Michael Lavine/FOX

The middle son, JAMAL (Jussie Smollett, North, The Mighty Ducks), is a sensitive soul and a musical prodigy who, unlike Hakeem, shies away from the spotlight. Jamal also happens to be gay, which infuriates and embarrasses his father.

Photo Credit: Michael Lavine/FOX

ANDRE (Trai Byers, 90210), the eldest son, is CFO of Empire Entertainment. Wharton-educated with a brilliant business mind, Andre lacks the charisma that Lucious believes is crucial to running the company.

Photo Credit: Michael Lavine/FOX

But in his quest for power, Andre is assisted by his manipulative and like-minded wife, RHONDA (Kaitlin Doubleday, Hung, Catch Me If You Can).

Photo Credit: Michael Lavine/FOX

As Lucious prompts his sons to vie for the empire, his plans are thrown into chaos when his ex-wife, COOKIE (Academy Award and Emmy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Person of Interest), mysteriously emerges seven years early from prison, where she’s been for almost two decades. Brash and fearless, she sees herself as the sacrificial lamb who built an empire with Lucious and then took the fall for running the drugs that financed Lucious’ early career.

Photo Credit: Michael Lavine/FOX

For now, Lucious remains firmly in control of Empire Entertainment. He is attended to by his hard-working assistant, BECKY (guest star and Academy Award nominee Gabourey Sidibe, American Horror Story, Precious)

Photo Credit: Michael Lavine/FOX

…and relies on longtime friend and Chairman of the Board VERNON TURNER (Malik Yoba, Revolution, Girlfriends) for advice and support.

Photo Credit: Michael Lavine/FOX

He relies on a whole lot more from ANIKA GIBBONS (newcomer Grace Gealey), the head of A&R for Empire and his current girlfriend.

Photo Credit: Michael Lavine/FOX

As the Lyons slug it out, an emotional chess game begins that will either cause the family’s destruction or redemption. Lives and loves will be lost as the complicated family will come together and fall apart over the elusive throne, all set to an original soundtrack written and produced by legendary hip-hop hitmaker Timbaland. Will the family unite and learn to love each other before it’s too late? Love, war, family, sacrifice, money and music: this is the story of  EMPIRE.

FOX’s Empire is Must. See. TV. Here are a few reasons why:

  • The pilot starts off strong. It really takes us into this world and sets a tone for the series that compels us to watch.
  • Taraji P. Henson. Don’t mind admitting that losing Henson on Person of Interest was huge. When Carter died so did the true emotional center of the show. We’re still in mourning over a year later. However, POI‘s loss is Empire‘s gain. Henson commands attention like nobody’s business. She’s simply fabulous and diva-licious. Can’t wait to see what kind of trouble Cookie’s going to cause.
  • Terrence Howard. Oh man. We’ve loved him from so many movies. But now he gets to wow us on TV? And in something other than a procedural? Sign us up. The character he plays is going through a tough time. You want to like him but he gives us a few reasons why we’re not sure that can happen. Lucious is someone who made his own way. He rose to the top and he had to do some despicable things to do it. What’s great is that the show throws in flashbacks to back in the day. So we’ll get to learn everything about Lucious and his dangerous and dramatic past. We’re looking forward to every single one of those flashbacks. By the way, can’t wait to see Howard in another FOX series, Wayward Pines.
  • The three brothers. Don’t know why but we love brotherly drama. There’s going to be lots of it on Empire. Lucious wouldn’t have it any other way. We already have our favorite (we won’t tell just yet). A battle over their dad’s company is going to be hard fought and there will be casualties. But we hope everyone survives what’s coming.
Photo Credit: Chuck Hodes/FOX


  • Malik Yoba. Had no idea he was part of this show until we watched the pilot. You don’t see a lot of him in that first episode but something tells us he’s going to be causing some trouble of his own in no time flat. The New York Undercover and Alphas star is one of our favorites.
  • The music. With Timbaland on as Empire‘s music producer, we’re looking forward to the sounds and the beats along with everything else.

Music Featurette

Extended Trailer

Empire premieres tonight at 9/8c on FOX.

PHOTOS (from the series premiere)
Photo Credit for Images: Chuck Hodes/FOX














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