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Star is getting a second act.
“Lee Daniels is a true visionary and he and Tom Donaghy have delivered a series with a unique and meaningful point of view,” network entertainment president David Madden said Wednesday in a statement. “Our incredible cast, led by Queen Latifah and Benjamin Bratt, instantly infused their characters with tremendous depth and passion, and the show has proved to be both powerful and really entertaining. We are thrilled that this Star will continue to shine for a second season.”
Star‘s renewal comes after some pre-premiere changes behind the scenes, including the exit of showrunner Charles Murray, who was replaced by Chuck Pratt in September. Co-created by Daniels and Donaghy, the show follows three young singers trying to make it big as a girl group in Atlanta. A nationwide casting call was used to fill the three main roles, with Queen Latifah and Benjamin Bratt also starring. Pamela Oas Williams and Effie Brown also executive produces the series, which hails from 20th TV.
Daniels has also been vocal about the show’s tonal change in the wake of the presidential election. “We knew what the hard truths were. You could turn on the news to see — it was ugly. So I said, ‘OK, let me make this less in your face about politics and more about the magic and dreams behind making a girl group,'” he told The Hollywood Reporter in December. “Dreams can come true. It sort of shifted. I started out wanting to make a political statement through music and it sort of shifted.”
Like Fox’s Empire, Star has been able to lure impressive names to guest-star. Lenny Kravitz, Naomi Campbell and Tyrese Gibson all recur, while Missy Elliot and Gladys Knight have appeared as themselves. Paris Jackson, the daughter of late pop icon Michael Jackson, is set to make her acting debut in an episode later this season. Also like Empire, Star features original music in every episode.
Star opened to a 2.2 rating among adults 18-49, launching as a special preview behind the fall finale of Empire in December. The series then dipped to a 1.6 rating when it officially took over Empire‘s time slot during its winter hiatus in January. Although those numbers pale in comparison to Empire, Star has seen considerable gains in live-plus-seven-day numbers, most recently jumping 54 percent to a 2.0 rating.
Star wraps its first season run on March 15, ahead of Empire‘s spring return on March 22.
In addition to Empire, Star joins Fox returning series Lethal Weapon, Lucifer, The Mick and The Simpsons.
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Thomas Brodie Sangster