“Empire” stars in TV special to spread holiday cheer

Taraji P. Henson and Terrance Howard

FOX’S EMPIRE STARS Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard will host Taraji and Terrence’s White Hot Holidays — which the network is billing as a music and variety special to spread cheer, goodwill and some holiday magic — on Dec. 9 at 8 p.m. CT.

The special will feature a duet by Henson and Howard, and modern performances of classic holiday songs by Mary J. Blige, John Legend and Jamie Foxx, and other guests. 

The music special airs one week after the series’ fall finale on Dec. 2. “Empire” has been on hiatus and will begin third season filming Jan. 4 at Cinespace to start airing March 30.

NEW CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER at Cardenas Marketing Network is William F. Perry, whose track record includes work for Coca Cola, Chevrolet, Cadillac USA and Europe, and for Samsung Global, among other major brands.

Perry’s hiring comes at a time when the Chicago-based agency doubled the size its experiential marketing team, tripled the size of its entertainment division and of its overall number of employees, including the addition of several key leadership positions.

TO WELCOME BETSY STEINBERG as its executive director, Kartemquin hosts an invitation-only breakfast at Gene Siskel Film Center, Thursday, Dec. 3.   This special occasion also will thank Justine Nagan, whom Steinberg replaces, for her service; present plans for Kartemquin’s 50th anniversary and applaud artistic director Gordon Quinn as he receives the International Documentary Association’s 2015 Career Achievement Award.

DECADES BEFORE CORPORATE VIDEOS for the web, there was the “industrial film” written and produced exclusively for a Big Industrial Manufacturing Company’s national sales annual meeting.  “Industrials” (aka “trip through the factory”) were the lifeblood of every studio in what was then industrialized Chicago, and the genre and surpassed all others in gross revenues.  

The industrial film is being reincarnated for one night, Thursday, Dec. 3, at the Music Box Theatre. “The Wonderful Days of Industrial Musicals,” is presented in conjunction with The Found Footage Festival.  Former “Letterman” and “Simpson’s writer Steve Young, who coauthored the book, hosts the evening.  Tickets are $11.

CELEBS ABOUND AT BAM. “Chicago Fire’s” Taylor Kinney recorded ADR with Dave Leffel for his new horror film, “The Forest,” to be released Jan. 8 … Oliver Platt, starring as Dr. Daniel Charles on “Chicago Med,” recorded ADR with BAM engineer Philip von During for his role as Pope Clement VII in the upcoming adventure epic thriller “Emperor.”

WALTON ISAACSON AGENCY co-founder Aaron Walton was named  2015 Advertising Executive of the Year at the 16th Annual Marketing to African Americans with Excellence Monday, hosted by Target Market News at the Hyatt Gold Coast Hotel.

“Walton Isaacson has demonstrated a consistent ability to deliver cutting-edge work for its clients,” says Ken Smikle, president of Target Market News“He has earned his place among the best in the industry, and this recognition is well-deserved.”

Chicago Recording Company fired up its recently renovated Studio 3 with dozens of guests, a performance by the Mini Reubens and a motherlode of holiday cheer. See the photos here.