Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Fox Picks Up 'Empire' and 'Red Band Society' for 2014-15 Season

On the heels of greenlighting the Batman origin series Gotham, Fox has ordered both Lee Daniels' hip-hop drama Empire and the Octavia Spencer-starring Red Band Society to series for the 2014-15 season.

Empire is a family drama set in the world of a hip-hop empire and centering on Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard), the head of a record label at the center of the series. Taraji P. Henson will play Cookie Lyon, the ex-wife of Lucious, and a total badass who has just been released from prison after serving 17 years for dealing drugs -- money she funneled into Lucious' then-fledgling music empire. Released for good behavior, she now wants what's hers. She's the real force behind his rise to superstardom and champions her son Jamal's (Jussie Smollett) career, but that puts her at odds with her ex, who has an issue with their son's homosexuality.

The Empire cast also includes Malik Yoba, Bryshere Y. Gray, Trai Byers, Grace Gealey, Kaitlin Doubleday and recurring player Gabourey Sidibe.

Red Band Society, from ABC Studios/Amblin Television, follows a diverse group of teenagers become unlikely allies and friends in this unconventional and, at times, comic high school drama, set in the pediatric wing of a hospital. This is one of the most ambitious and unorthodox shows in anyone's development this year. It represents a completely inspired way into young soap, a comedic one-hour, a hospital show, and a (surrogate) family drama.

The Red Band Society cast includes Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer, Dave Annable, Griffin Gluck, Charlie Rowe, Rebecca Rittenhouse, Zoe Levin, Ciara Bravo and Nolan Sotillociara.

The executive producers of the series are Spielberg, Margaret Nagle - she wrote the pilot, Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank and Sergio Aguero.

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