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Watch First Trailer For Lee Daniels' 'Empire' Starring Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson, Jussie Smollett

Television
by Tambay A. Obenson
May 12, 2014 5:57 PM
17 Comments
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(L to R) Trai Byers as Andre, Taraji P. Henson as Cookie, Terrence Howard as Lucious, Jussie Smollett as Jamal and Bryshere Gray (aka rapper Yazz the Greatest) as Hakeem.

Here's a first trailer for Lee Daniels' hip hop/family drama series Empire, which is set up at FOX, for a 2014/2015 debut.

Terrence Howard, Taraji P. HensonJussie Smollett, Macy GrayBryshere Y. Gray (aka rapper Yazz The Greatest), Trai Byers, Gabourey Sidibe, Malik Yoba, and Grace Gealey make up the starring cast of a drama that centers on a family-run hip-hop empire, hence the title.

The project, which reportedly sparked a bidding war among the 4 major broadcast networks last year, has received a series commitment from FOX.

Howard plays Lucious Lyon, a charismatic, but tough chief of a record label titled Empire Entertainment, which is on the verge of an IPO.

Meanwhile, Henson is Cookie Lyon, the ex-wife of Lucious Lyon, who's described as a "total badass" with a prison record (she served 17 years for dealing drugs, and used the money to help finance Lucious' growing music empire, when it was still in its early days). She's now out of prison, and has come for what's hers!

Jussie Smollett plays their son, Jamal, a fledgling rapper himself, who is also gay - something that Lucious, the father, has a problem with. 

Macy Gray will appear as Tasha, a woman having an affair with Bryshere Y. Gray's character, Hakeem Lyon, Lucious' other son, the youngest, and Lucious' favorite, and the frontrunner to take over his father's empire.

Trai Byers will play Andre, Lucious’ oldest son, described as tall and brilliant, but with a dark side, and Grace Gealey will play Anika, the head of A&R for Empire Entertainment, and Lucious’ current girlfriend.

Malik Yoba will play Lucious' longtime friend from the streets and business associate, who is now Empire Entertainment’s chairman of the board.

Finally, Gabourey Sidibe will recur as Lucious’ hard-working assistant Becky.

Let all the family drama ensue!

Lee Daniels, who is directing, is collaborating with his The Butler writer, Danny Strong, on the project, with Brian Grazer also producing.

Here's your first look at the trailer:

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17 Comments

  • BLACKMAN | May 14, 2014 7:50 PMReply

    IMPRESSIVE.

    Why Black Gay dude had to have a White boyfriend tho?

    (lee daniels still hating his blackness and his so-called marginality).smh

  • Word | May 14, 2014 12:18 PMReply

    Remember Platinum… well this is a remixed version of it…And I happened to like it and now this looks good. I hope it will last

  • Bruce Sharpe | May 14, 2014 7:45 AMReply

    This seems like it might be good. As long as it has secrets and dirt & drama, it will last. Bring it Mr. Daniels.

  • Mark | May 14, 2014 12:39 AMReply

    A majority black soap opera on a big 4 network? Count me in! The only downside to this is Danny Strong. Otherwise, I'm in for the season.

    OK. The premise is a bit cliched but if it is gloriously soapy yet intelligent and sexy, this could be a blast. The show just needs the right marketing push. I pray the show has a good music track and guest stars.

    I hope the haters realize how significant a show like this is for Fox.

    Has a show runner been announced yet?

  • Beemooree | May 13, 2014 8:28 PMReply

    Man those boys can't act for nothing. Taraji is the only reason why I will check it out

  • Jay | May 13, 2014 5:22 PMReply

    I feel like they should've just made this a movie... a lifetime movie

  • SAVANNAH MORGAN | May 13, 2014 4:44 PMReply

    Lee... SubTEXT my brutha... SUBTEXT!!!

  • larry Wright | May 13, 2014 6:53 AMReply

    Sure reads like my script The Storm

  • MaryJoan Devens | May 12, 2014 11:35 PMReply

    I see everything Daniels does. Always a fresh take. Never the same'ol stuff we see now. The cast is off the chain! Can't wait!

  • stp | May 12, 2014 11:08 PMReply

    Lee daniels you suck!

  • MaryJoan Devens | May 12, 2014 11:33 PM

    No Sir - it is YOU who suck! Comments like that just scream LOSER. The trailer looks HOT !
    I'll be watching. I bet your sorry ass will be watching also!
    DOWN WITH HATERS!

  • Christoper Jones | May 12, 2014 11:07 PMReply

    The Empire trailer looks hot so I know the series is gonna be CRAZY especially with my model Shavonne Marie from The #TDM Agency in the club scene and the photo shoot scene, what til y'all see her..she's gorgeous ;-)

  • Reader 1 | May 12, 2014 11:07 PMReply

    Based on the dialogue I'm curious to see what year this is set in.

    Will support at least for the first-two eps.

    Really hoping Taji's character isn't a derivative of Wendy's character on The Game.

  • Jug | May 12, 2014 10:55 PMReply

    "You want to be a prince or a king? Then claim your throne." This might be one of the first shows cancelled next season. Awful.

  • sergio | May 13, 2014 12:36 PM

    I have to agree

  • Jug | May 12, 2014 11:35 PM

    Silliness aside, this will either be a huge hit or a monstrous failure. There is no in between. From Lee Daniels, I'd expect no less.

  • Adam Scott Thompson | May 12, 2014 9:04 PMReply

    All right... I'm in.

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