Lee Daniels Confirms There Will Be an 'Empire' Spinoff

It's unclear if it would be a back-door episode or if the project would be for this pilot season.
Chuck Hodes/FOX
'Empire'

If Lee Daniels has his way, there will be two versions of Empire on television.

The co-creator of the Fox hip-hop drama told The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday, following his time onstage at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour touting freshman series Star, that there would be a second show stemming from the ratings hit.

"We're in talks," Daniels told THR. "We're finally figuring it out. It takes a minute, you know? We just really had to build the foundation of Empire, so we then try to figure out what that B-chorus is. It looks like it's going to happen."

Pressed for details, Daniels remained mum on whether the spinoff could be for this current pilot season or if it would be a planted episode that serves as a back-door pilot. Also unclear is the firm premise, though there had been talk in August 2015 that a spinoff could serve as a prequel revolving around Taraji P. Henson's character Cookie.

"It could be," Daniels told THR about a prequel series. "We really are in deep talks about it, and we're having all these ideas thrown around to figure it out. But I can officially say that we will be having a spinoff."  

Empire, which scored an early fourth-season renewal on Wednesday morning, continues to rank as broadcast's top-rated drama. In its third season, the series — co-created by Danny Strong and produced by 20th Century Fox Television, where both Daniels and Strong are under rich overall deals — has faced new competition for the crown from NBC phenomenon This Is Us. Empire recently notched a series-low 2.5 in the all-important adults 18-49 demographic, but has served as an effective launch pad for Daniels-created music drama Star.

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