'Empire' Crosses Atlantic to U.K.'s Channel 4

Chuck Hodes/FOX

Lee Daniels' ratings dynamo will air later this spring on the network's youth-oriented E4 channel.

With the recently concluded first season of Empire having earned outstanding ratings for Fox in the U.S., British audiences will soon get to see what all the fuss is about.

Lee Daniels' “black Dynasty” has been picked up by Channel 4, which will air it later this spring on its youth-oriented E4 channel.

"Empire has been a record-breaking hit in the U.S. It’s grown and grown as audiences have fallen in love with its unforgettable characters and sound track," said Channel 4’s chief creative officer Jay Hunt. "I’m delighted it’s coming to E4."

Although the show will likely get a boost from its American success, British television hasn’t traditionally offered particularly fertile ground for such “urban” series. 

The Cosby Show was the last major sitcom with a majority black cast to see widespread success in the U.K., although Channel 4’s homegrown drama Top Boy was critically well received, despite only two seasons being produced.

Channel 4 will no doubt be hoping Empire follows in the successful footsteps of 12 Years a Slave – produced by its own Film4 movie-making unit – and bucks the trend on the small screen.