Lee Daniels to lead “Empire” spinoff and new series


“Empire” expander Lee Daniels

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.

“There’s so much ripe story. We’ve talked about it in the room already,” he said.

It might focus on individual characters, notably company and family heads Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) and his wife and partner Cookie  Taraji P. Henson) and their respective families.

Season two of “Empire,” which films at Cinespace Studios, returns to Fox on Wednesday, Sept. 23.

This season will consist of 18 episodes, up from 12 in season one.  However, “Empire” will air for 10 episodes in the fall, take a hiatus, then return with eight episodes in the spring.

The proposed “Star” series. from producer 20th Century Fox and set in Atlanta, is about three women who form a band and their rise to the top in a very challenging industry.

Daniels will be EP and co-writer with Tom Donaughy (“The Whole Truth”).  Casting will begin shortly. 

No details have been released about where the pilot will be filming, which might leave the door open to Fox shooting in Chicago on Cinespace stages.