Director Lee Daniels can breathe a little easier now that FOX announced his Empire Hip-Hop drama has been picked up to series for the 2014-2015 season. Empire centers around hip-hop record label Empire Entertainment and the family of its owner Lucious Lyon played by Terrence Howard. Lyon is a street smart business man determined to take his record label to the next level with help from his ex-wife and former business partner Cookie Lyon, who spent 17 years in prison for drug charges that helped build the successful label, played by recent Vogue Italia model Taraji P. Henson. The series will reunite Daniels and actress Gabourey Sidibe, who earned an Oscar nod for her role in Precious.
The director, known for including complex and sensitive topics such as incest, teen pregnancy, and racism through the eyes of African-American characters, won’t shy away from tackling some of those topics in the series. He said he wants the series to serve as a black Dynasty and will be in the vein of popular show Nashville. Hitmaker Timbaland is in charge of songwriting and producing original songs for the series. Notably, the super producer worked on Michael Jackson’s Xscape album set to be released next week.