Fans who thought they’d seen the last of Cookie Lyon (portrayed by Academy & Emmy Award-nominated star Taraji P. Henson) when FOX’s ‘Empire’ was abruptly ended this year should think again.
“The independent broadcast network is re-teaming with Taraji P. Henson for an untitled Empire spinoff, with the actress behind Cookie Lyon reprising her role in the potential series.
The offshoot, which is in development, is the first project to stem from a newly signed two-year, first-look deal that Henson has signed with Empire producers 20th Century Fox TV. Henson’s newly launched production company, TPH Entertainment, will also produce the Empire spinoff, which will follow what’s next for Cookie. Former vp television at Working Title Christine Conley will partner with Henson to run TPH.
Danny Strong — who co-created Empire with Lee Daniels — will be joined by the franchise’s Yolanda Lawrence and Stacy Littlejohn to co-write the series. All three will serve as co-showrunners. Sanaa Hamri is also attached to direct. Henson will also exec produce alongside Strong, Daniels, Littlejohn, Lawrence and Hamri.”
The series rebirth will likely give a proper end to ‘Empire’ and answer fan questions.
Elated at the news, Henson issued a statement to say:
“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!”
As of time reported, there is no tentative release date attached to the project and no confirmation if any of ‘Empire’s other main characters will be joining her on the new venture.