Taraij P Henson is developing an Empire spinoff centered on her character, Cookie Lyon.
The untitled Empire spinoff will see Henson reprise her role as the matriarch of the Lyon Family. The official plot is still under wraps but according to The Hollywood Reporter, the potential series will follow Cookie as she moves to L.A. Some of her family members are expected to make an appearance.
“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!”
Since Empire never got to have a proper series finale, because of coronavirus, this may give fans a fulfilling conclusion. This could potentially, then, be an odd example where the plot of a series is actually wrapped up as originally intended in a totally different show.
Empire co-creator Danny Strong is onboard to co-write the series, along with the franchise’s Yolanda Lawrence and Stacy Littlejohn.
With Empire vet Sanaa Hamri set to direct, the trio will serve as co-showrunners on the spinoff if the Henson, Daniels, Hamri, Brian Grazer and Samie Falvey EP’d LA-set project goes to pilot. Strong re-upped his own deal with 20th Century Fox TV last year and has various projects on the go with the Disney-owned unit.
Henson will also exec produce alongside Strong, Daniels, Littlejohn, Lawrence and Hamri. Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer and Samie Falvey will also return to exec produce the spinoff. The drama, like the flagship, hails from the now Disney-owned 20th TV.
This is the first project the actress-turned-producer will work on within her two-year, first-look deal at 20th Century Fox TV. Her newly launched production company, TPH Entertainment, will also produce the Empire spinoff. Former vp television at Working Title Christine Conley will partner with Henson to run TPH.