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'Empire' plotting potential Cookie Lyon prequel

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Chuck Hodes/Fox

Could Empire‘s Cookie crumble into her own prequel series?

Creator Lee Daniels definitely think so. Though another series is not officially in development, Daniels told reporters at the Television Critics Association’s press tour in Beverly Hills on Thursday that he’s seriously considering a spin-off focusing on a younger version of Taraji P. Henson’s break-out character.

“I think there is going to be a spin-off from Empire, without question,” Daniels said. “There’s so much ripe story that we’ve talked about, about Cookie’s family.” 

After the panel, Daniels added to a huddle of reporters the series would explore Cookie’s upbringing in Philadelphia. “How did she get to where she’s at right now? Let’s go back and understand her mother. Let’s go back and understand her sisters. Let’s understand the makings of her. And that I know—because I know Cookie. … I’d be like a prequel. But I don’t think we’re there quite yet. I’ve got to work on Star.”

Star is Daniels’ other potential new series, which was officially announced today as a pilot order. Though not directly tied to Empire, the show is clearly inspired by the first show’s success. It’s a musical drama, only this time about three impoverished girls who moves to Atlanta to try and find success. The lead character—whose name is Star—is white, he told reporters, and another member of the group (her sister) is half black and the final member is black.  

“Star is white and she’s thrown into a world of blackness,” he said. “Where Empire was based on dynasty, Star is like TLC, Dreamgirls, The Supremes—that world. It’s that world meets Good TimesIt’s the making of a girl group.”  

More on Empire at TCA: The 7 best quotes from the panel