Empire Spinoff in Development From Taraji P. Henson in New First Look Deal
Taraji P. Henson is developing an Empire spinoff series as part of the Golden Globe-winning, Emmy and Oscar-nominated star’s new first-look deal with 20th Century Fox TV. According to Deadline, Henson has partnered up with Working Title alum Christine Conley for Conley to run her newly formed TPH Entertainment banner.
“I believe that normalizing stories around stigmatizing matters will make them more palatable for audiences to embrace,” Henson said. “Art can change perception, and I plan to develop projects that can help further the conversation. I also aim to help cultivate and establish new young talent and their stories because they are our future and deserve a voice and a platform to be heard. I’m so excited to have 20th, led by the talented Carolyn Cassidy, support me in this new endeavor!”
The spinoff series, centered around Henson’s character Cookie Lyon, will be written and executive produced by Empire co-creator Danny Strong, along with Stacy Littlejohn and Yolanda Lawrence with the trio serving as co-showrunners should the project pilot get picked up. Empire veteran Sanaa Hamri will direct while Henson, Empire co-creator Lee Daniels, Brian Grazer, and Samie Falvey executive produce.
“We were lucky to have a front-row seat to Taraji’s meteoric rise as a fixture on television through Empire,” added 20th Century Fox TV president Cassidy Thursday. “Through that relationship, everyone at the company grew to appreciate her passion for storytelling and her strong creative gut instinct. With Empire finished we look forward to helping her explore stories that need to be told through her talent and advocacy.”
On top of the spinoff series, Henson and TPH Entertainment’s new deal with 20th Century Fox TV also includes other projects for multiple platforms.