Debuting on January 7th, Empire is a hip-hop-centered drama heralded as TV’s “Black Dynasty.” Co-created by The Butlers‘ Lee Daniels and Danny Strong and set to original music by Timbaland, the series delves into heavy subjects, from homophobia to mortality.
Oscar-nominated Terrance and Taraji star as Lucious Lyon, a drug dealer turned music mogul and Cookie Lyon, his fresh-out-of-prison ex-wife. When Lucious is diagnosed with ALS, Cookie, along with their three sons are vying for his musical empire.
The series is seen as a notable risk, but Walden and Newman see it as a possible hit that could help propel FOX out of its current fourth place spot.
A first single from the show’s soundtrack, “No Apologies,” featuring Empire’s Jussie Smollett, released in December, albums and concerts are being discussed with partner Columbia Records, and the marketing is on par with FOX’s multimillion-dollar Gotham campaign.
There has also been “influencer” screenings held throughout the country, an ad blitz planned for Fox’s NFL games, first-look specials airing on local channels and a themed light show to be staged at the Empire State Building.
The cast of Empire is rounded out by Gabourey Sidibe, Macy Gray, Malik Yoba, Kaitlin Doubleday, Trai Byers, Grace Gealey and Tasha Smith.
From 20th Century Fox TV and Imagine Television, Brian Grazer serves as executive produce alongside Daniels, Strong and Francie Calfo.
Watch some behind-the-scenes clips from the series below and be sure to tune into Empire every Wednesday at 9:00 pm EST on FOX.