Possible ‘Empire’ spinoff in development

0 The former FOX Network juggernaut Empire, which was filmed at Chicago’s Cinespace Studios, have ended prematurely last spring due to the rampant novel coronavirus COVID-19, but you clearly can’t keep a Lyons down. There is now talk of a spinoff series starring Taraji P. Henson as matriarch Cookie Lyons. According to TheWrap, the project … Continue reading “Possible ‘Empire’ spinoff in development”

‘Empire’ finale delivers best ratings since October 2019

3+ This is the way to end a series. Empire signed off with its premature series finale on Tuesday night, after the coronavirus forced the Fox show to shorten its production at Cinespace Studios. The final episode delivered a 0.8 rating and 2.9 million total viewers. That represents the show’s highest rating and largest audience … Continue reading “‘Empire’ finale delivers best ratings since October 2019”

As EMPIRE series ends, here’s our Top 10 favorite episodes

4+ Golden Globe-nominated EMPIRE is now in its sixth and final season as one of television’s most popular and groundbreaking shows. A powerful drama about a family dynasty set within the glamorous and often dangerous world of hip-hop music, the show revolves around the Lyons and their media company, Empire Entertainment. Tuesday is the EMPIRE Season … Continue reading “As EMPIRE series ends, here’s our Top 10 favorite episodes”

‘Empire’ airs 100th episode tonight on Fox

1+ What does Fox’s Empire, now in its sixth and final season, have in common with NBC’s Chicago Med, Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D. have hit E.R. and even Showtime’s  Shameless? They are all scripted shows based and filmed in Chicago that have reached the milestone of 100 shows.   The hip-hop drama, once a ratings powerhouse and pop culture … Continue reading “‘Empire’ airs 100th episode tonight on Fox”

Season 6 to be ‘Empire’s’ last

4+ It happened to Rome. Now, it’s happened to the Lyons. Today before the Fall 2019 Upfronts began in New York, Fox announced that Empire, which is filmed locally at Cinespace Studios, would come to an end after the upcoming sixth season. The network also said the drama would return in the fall to its … Continue reading “Season 6 to be ‘Empire’s’ last”

Fox renews ‘Empire,’ Smollett’s return unclear

5+ Cinespace Studios will have a busy season as the Fox series was renewed for Season 6 along with Showtime’s ‘The Chi’ Fox has announced that Empire, which shoots at Cinespace Studios, has been renewed for a sixth season at Fox one week before its Season 5 finale. Jussie Smollett’s, who plays Jamal Lyons, role … Continue reading “Fox renews ‘Empire,’ Smollett’s return unclear”

‘Empire’ cast calls for the return of Jussie Smollett

4+ Castmates tell Fox that the actor “has shown us who he really is as a leader.” What is a week at Reel Chicago if we don’t have a Jussie Smollett story? On the same day, The Chicago Tribune ran a story about Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx appearing Tuesday night on Girl Talk … Continue reading “‘Empire’ cast calls for the return of Jussie Smollett”

‘Empire’ star Jussie Smollett beaten by MAGA supporters

7+ Details suggest the actor was targeted by racist and homophobic attackers during 2 a.m. assault CNN is reporting that Empire star Jussie Smollett was viciously attacked in the early Tuesday morning in what Chicago police are calling a possible hate crime. The 35-year-old actor has starred on the hit Fox series, which is filmed … Continue reading “‘Empire’ star Jussie Smollett beaten by MAGA supporters”

Fox picks up legal drama from “Empire” co-creator

1+ Danny Strong is bringing yet another show to the Chicago production community. The co-creator of “Empire” has had his legal drama, “Proven Innocent,” greenlit by Fox for the Fall.   Led by a fierce and fearless female lawyer with a hunger for justice, a wrongful conviction firm reopens investigations, putting the team’s own lives … Continue reading “Fox picks up legal drama from “Empire” co-creator”

Periscope praises “Empire,” Trump calls “Roseanne”

6+ Half of ‘Empire’s’ mid-season premiere filmed as one-act play (Spoiler alert: Please don’t read ahead unless you’ve seen “Empire’s” midseason premiere.) Sheesh, it sure has been a minute since Empire has been on. The series, which is filmed at Cinespace Studios, returned with its mid-season premiere last night. In the episode titled “Birds in … Continue reading “Periscope praises “Empire,” Trump calls “Roseanne””

9:58 p.m. — Rich Lederer, “Empire”

9+ It’s ten o’clock at night, and Empire unit production manager / co-producer Rich Lederer is about to wrap a shoot that began roughly thirteen hours ago. “They started at 7 a.m.,” he says. “But there’s an hour for lunch.” Production ran all day at a loading dock in the underground streets of Chicago, but … Continue reading “9:58 p.m. — Rich Lederer, “Empire””

Terrence Howard records “Empire” finale tune at CRC

It wasn’t too long ago that giant recording studios were the norm in Chicago. There was Streeterville, Universal and Paragon.

Now? All gone. But still left standing is CRC. Recently, the recording studio has provided ADR and mixing for films including Hidden Figures, Spike Lee’s Chi-raq and Michael Bay’s Transformers: The Last Knight as well as numerous commercials and podcasts even.

If you ask CRC business affairs director, Dave Dakich, CRC’s continued success is due in part to their constant mix of music artists, films and commercials.

Lee Daniels to lead “Empire” spinoff and new series

Fox’ “Empire” is expanding with a spinoff of the hit show and also with a new dramatic pilot called “Star,” being developed by “Empire” co-creator and executive producer Lee Daniels.

“Without question” there will be a spinoff of Fox’ mega hit series, Daniels declared. At the Television Critics Association Panel in Beverly Hills last Thursday.

Fox picks up “Empire,” IFO confirms filming here

The sole pilot that shot in Chicago this year, happily has turned into a series.  Fox TV announced yesterday that dramatic “Empire” was picked up as a series for a slot on Fox’ fall schedule, as confirmed by Betsy Steinberg of the Illinois Film Office.

“Empire” filmed here in March at Cinespace. 

Fox TV’s “Empire” pilot adds two new cast members

NEW STAR IN TOWN will be Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson (“Person of Interest”) and Jussie Smollett (“On Our Own”) joining star Terrance Howard in Fox TV’s pilot, “Empire,” director Lee Daniels and Danny Strong’s hip-hop drama. It starts shooting at Cinespace in mid-to-late March.