Jan. 07, 2015
Returning Series
60 min.
FOX TV Network

Top Contributors

Empire (2015) tv show photo

Empire (2015)

EMPIRE is a powerful new drama that follows Lucius Lyon the head of a music empire whose reign has been unchallenged for years. But all that changes when he learns he has a disease and must choose one of his three sons to take ove..Complicating matters is their mother and Lucious' ex-wife Cookie Lyon who emerges from prison to claim her share. Plenty of drama pack, family tv show,America's most watched tv show.

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Trivia Facts | Top Quotes | Goofs/Mistakes
  • Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson both starred in the movie Hustle & Flow, which is also about Hip Hop.
  • Tim Mosley (Timbaland) produces the music for the show. All of the songs are original tracks.
  • Jussie Smollett is the older brother of actress Jurnee Smollett-Bell.
  • SPOILER: This show is based on William Shakespeare's King Lear.
  • Wesley Snipes was considered for the part of Lucious Lyon before Terrence Howard was ultimately cast.
  • Taraji P. Henson said that she would only do the show under the condition that Terrence Howard played the lead male role.
  • The show is based on The Lion in Winter.
  • Taraji P. Henson's character of Cookie has to report to an "Agent Carter", similar to the Detective Carter - Cookies character in her last program "Person Of Interest"
  • The show is Fox's highest rated debut show in over three years. The premiere brought in 9.8 million viewers and ratings increased with each episode.
  • The show portrays the events and story as taking place in Philadelphia, and uses establishing skyline shots of Philadelphia. However, the series is actually filmed in Chicago.
  • Quincy Brown was originally cast in the role of Hakeem, but turned it down after contract negotiations failed.
  • Bryshere Y. Gray's acting debut.
  • Terrance Howard and Taraji P. Henson are also in Four Brothers, although unrelated.
  • The character of Puma was supposed to have a three-episode arc and be played by another actor, but when this actor had to back down of the project, co-creator Lee Daniels called his friend Cuba Gooding Jr., who happily agreed to play Puma but could only do it in one episode, due to scheduling conflicts.
  • During its first season, viewership in the United States increased with every episode - a rarity in television where most shows lose viewers after the pilot episode. The pilot attracted 9.9 million people, culminating with an audience of 17.6 million for the season finale. Since modern Nielsen tracking began in 1991, the record for the most consecutive weeks of increased viewership for a new show was held by Who Wants to Be a Millionaire with five episodes, a record Empire broke with twelve episodes.
  • Though Grace Byers (II) plays Anika, Lucious's fiancée who is in his age group, in real life she's a year younger than both Trai Byers (André) and Jussie Smollett (Jamal).
  • SPOILER: When Jamal comes out as gay at the White Party, he has an "=" tattoed on his forearm, symbol of the equality between gay and straight people. This tattoo is seen in episode 1 when the sons are all called to the table to be told of the upcoming leadership choice.
  • The scene in the pilot when Lucious throws young Jamal in the garbage was taken from Lee Daniels' childhood. His own father had done this to him when he was a child. When filming the scene, after a few takes, Lee told Terrance Howard to be more forceful. He wanted it to be done the same way it was done to him.
  • The character Jamal is inspired by creator Lee Daniels' life. Andre is inspired by creator Danny Strong's mother, who also suffers from a mental illness.
  • 'MoNique claims she was offered the role of Cookie Lyon, though Danny Strong and Lee Daniels deny this. Daniels admits to discussing the role with Mo'Nique, but that early discussions with the Fox Network prevented him from offering her the part, as she had gained a "difficult" reputation following her Oscar win.
  • John Slattery turned down the role of Billy Beretti.
  • Macy Gray was initially cast in a recurring role in Season 1 as Tasha, a woman having an affair with Hakeem but her storyline was written out.
  • The character of Elle Dallas is based on Whitney Houston, though Lee Daniels created the part for Courtney Love, of whom he was a great admirer. When Daniels contacted Love about playing the recurring character, she thought it was a joke.
  • For her audition to play Elle Dallas, Courtney Love was asked to sing a Patti LaBelle song, which by all accounts, including Love's, was a disaster. Rather than cast another actress, Lee Daniels retooled the character as a megastar singer who lost her voice and asked Love to perform an Al Green song instead, so as to take advantage of Love's more rock-oriented vocals, rather than the R&B type-sound he'd originally envisioned. Love then won the part.
  • Originally pitched as a movie
  • Trai Byers and Kaitlin Doubleday (married on show) share the same birthday. Byers is one year older.
  • Taraji P. Henson, who portrays Cookie Lyon, the mother of Jamal (Jussie Smollett), is only 13 years older than he is. Trai Byers (Andre Lyon) and Jussie Smollett (Jamal Lyon) are the same age (born in 1983), although Andre is the older brother in the series.
  • In 2011, Howard played Nelson Mandela in Winnie Mandela alongside Jennifer Hudson .
  • Terrence Howard as Lucious Lyon in the TV series Empire in 2002 appeared in Mary J. Blige's video for " Be Without You ".
  • Taraji P. Henson (Cookie) and Adam Rodriguez (Delgado) both previously stared in Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself, as love interest.

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