A new day is coming. “Fox” is getting ready to put the great series “Glee” out to pasture so now Fox is beginning to develop a new image. Last Wednesday, they premiered the anticipated series “Empire” Even though now it is a safely nestled on Wed night, it is obvious who Fox is coming for but that queen of TGIT, Shonda Rhimes. The producers even sent Rhimes a cookie with a picture of the heroine and matriarch “Cookie” on a cookie wrapper saying the message “We bow to the Queen” So Analise and Olivia, you better get ready cause here comes Cookie.
Lee Daniels, director of “The Butler” created this hip hop version of the hit ABC series, “Nashville” It reminds me of Nashville because it is about a dysfunctional family involved in the music business. But it is a show with a lot of soul. Terrence Howard, is Luscious Lyon , a former drug dealer now record mogul who has been dealt the final blow, ALS and a prognosis of three years. He now has the decision to name the new king to the throne. Empire Records is now ready to go public and just as when he thinks every thing is bad , they get worse. His ex wife , Cookie is released from prison after 17 years and wants her piece of the pie. Apparently she took the fall for Luscious and claims the company is hers. Luscious has been very cozy since her incarceration and has another love interest. Cookie is played by Taraji P Henson.
The three sons make up the remainder of the cast. Bryshere Gray is the youngest son and Luscious’s favorite Hakeem. Hakeem was very young when his mother went away. He is also fame driven and can see himself as the next hip hop star. Jussett Smollett is Jamal , also talented but his father despises his gay lifestyle. The scene where Jamal prances about in Mommy’s heels is heartbreaking when his dad beats him for acting like a girl. Anrdre is played by Trai Byers . Andre kind of reminds me of Olivia’s first love , Edison on “Scandal” and Carlton on “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” He doesn’t want to be black at all and he wants that power. He even has a white wife who wants the same. She is played by Kaitlin Doubleday.
When Cookie returns in her jungle prints and high heels and breezes into the board meeting, no black woman has made such an impact since Olivia Pope put on her white trench coat took out her phone and announced “It’s Handled!” referring to her call to the White House in the pilot. She loves her boys but making it perfectly clear she is the Queen and this is her jungle. Luscious is now paying for his sins as these events pan out. I think this is going to be a hit because it reminds me of the great television night soaps of the eighties. Greed and ambition are always in style.
“Empire” earned its slot on Wednesday, now let’s see if it can stay consistent. It is on Fox . Consult your local listings for times.