The Best InLAND EMPIRE Black Entertainment Reporting  

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                            FOX Television has hit TV Show "EMPIRE"
                                                               ​by Lea Michelle Cash/Celebrity Showcase/Published in print 01/29/2015


















Over the years off and on, there have been dramatic movies and cable television productions about wealthy blacks and their families. Not to my remembrance has there been an hour-long dramatic television series on a primetime network, regarding a wealthy black family and all their challenges and roads to glory. Yet there has always been on network television comedy series featuring African American families, which for decades have become a tapestry of American culture.

It appears the FOX network has scored a major hit, even though a golden longevity has yet to be proven. The new television drama series “Empire” where Terrence Howard (Lucious Lyons) and Taraji P. Henson (Cookie Lyons) are the lead actors, ratings went completely through the roof. According to the Nielson ratings, three episodes later, the television show featuring a powerful hip hop mogul has taken the lead on Wednesday night among the age group of 18-49 with millions of viewers. 

Excitement generated has people talking and tweeting about the apparent hit. The information has gone viral. The story plot is about Lucious Lyon (Howard) as the father looking to groom one of his three sons to take over the music business empire that he has built from the ground up. Cookie Lyon (Henson) started the company with Lucious and is the mother of their three sons. Lucious and Cookie are divorced. Pitting the three siblings against one another to inherit the empire creates family drama, not to speak of the daily life activities that come with running an empire. Lucious is a former thug and drug dealer at the top of his game, a mogul running a music empire. He is sick and gets a troubling medical diagnosis of ALS with three years to live, which he hides from the family members. 

The sons are each uniquely different, with secrets, open and hidden agendas surrounding their lives.  The sons are each uniquely different, with secrets, open and hidden agendas surrounding their lives.   Season and sauté the plot with Cookie being an informant for the FBI, going to jail for 17 years for a crime she and Lucious committed. However, since she did the time, he got the money and started the business. Seventeen years later, Cookie is released and wants her share of the empire. The show, created by Oscar nominated director Lee Daniels (The Butler & Precious) and Danny Strong (The Butler & The Hunger Games) features Jussie Smollett, Malik Yoba, Grace Gealey, Bryshere Y. Gray, Trai Byers and Kaitlin Doubleday in leading star roles. Gabourey Sidibe, Macy Gray, Tasha Smith, Courtney Love, Rafael de LaFuente and Naomi Campbell have recurring roles in the series. “I am truly thankful to Fox,” states Lee, “for understanding my and Danny Strong’s vision and embracing it.” As the story unfolds, a host of big name music talents will appear on the show. 

The talent and future talent lined up for the black dynasty is exciting and long overdue in primetime television. Under the direction of Timbaland, the show professes to have a mixture of good music, which anyone can purchase on iTunes after the segment airs. It will be interesting over the next few weeks and months to see how the characters develop and the weaving of the plot that moves the story forward to keep the television viewers hooked and engaged.