Co-creator and executive producer of Fox’s the Empire, Lee Daniels, has situated a multi-year deal with Twentieth Century Fox Television. The deal outlines that he will be writing and directing new television projects for Fox. Not only will he be overseeing new projects, but his deal also includes that he will still be one of the executive producers for his show Empire.
Before Daniels had Empire, Daniels had also many significant achievements in filmmaking. His two biggest achievements in films come with Lee Daniels: The Butler and Precious. Lee Daniels: The Butler has grossed over 113 million worldwide in box office sales. While Precious, was nominated for six academy awards. Both are critically acclaimed and both have achieved economic and commercial success.
Lee Daniels’ television show with Fox, Empire, was released in January of 2015 and has garnered a strong viewership. Empire, in its first season of airing, had the highest ratings in broadcast drama for the past seven years according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The show is centered around the Lyon family and their father’s company, Empire Entertainment. Situated in a backdrop of the music and hip-hop industry, each son is fighting to take control of Empire Entertainment when their father is diagnosed with an incurable disease. Now add in an ex-wife just released from jail, and Fox Television has a wildly successful hour long drama.
With a cast and crew as talented as Empire’s it did not come as a surprise when the show achieved critical acclaim. For the cast, Terrence Howard (Hustle & Flow) plays Empire Entertainment head, Lucious Lyon. While Taraji P. Henson (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) plays his ex-wife, Cookie. For the crew, Empire is also executively produced by Danny Strong (The Butler), Brian Grazer (Frost/Nixon), Francie Calfo (Those Who Kill) and Ilene Chaiken (The L Word).
Fox Television hopes that Lee Daniels’ talents produce the same success Empire has. Fox Television Group CEOs and chairmen, Gary Newman and Dana Walden, stated that “Lee Daniels has a gift for telling authentic, provocative stories that are both truthful and wildly entertaining… His casting instincts are incredible, whether he is discovering tomorrow’s stars or attracting the most accomplished performers to his projects”. Fox only hopes to build off of Lee Daniels’ talents and success in the television world. Lee Daniels is also just as enthusiastic saying, “I’m incredibly excited to continue my relationship with Dana and Gary, and the rest of the Fox team” (via Variety).
The multi-year deal should leave Lee Daniels and Empire fans looking toward future television shows coming from Twentieth Century Fox.
But for now fans can look toward Empire season two, which airs September 23, 2015 on Fox.