The Empire lives on: Taraji P. Henson and Fox to develop Cookie spin-off
The Emmy-nominated actress and Fox are developing a followup to their hit music drama, which signed off earlier this year after six seasons. Produced by Henson and Empire co-creator Danny Strong, the potential new series would focus on Cookie Lyon taking her talents to Los Angeles.
Back in April, Empire said goodbye with an unintended series finale, the result of the coronavirus pandemic causing production to shutdown in the middle of filming the series' penultimate episode. The decision was made to rework the last completed installment into the new finale and with the creative team and stars hoping to eventually film a proper conclusion, but now Cookie (and potentially other members of the Lyon family) could return via the spin-off.
"As an artist, to not be able to finish something that you started, that hurts me," Henson told EW about Empire being cut short. "I feel incomplete. I don’t ever start something and don’t complete it. And so, for me, it’s deep; I have to finish, or this will haunt me for the rest of my life and career. As it would the audience. And I don’t think we should deprive such a loyal fan base of that ending. They deserve to be in their feelings. They deserve more than this abrupt ending. And I get it, where we are right now, we have to be responsible. But I think when the dust settles, at the end of the day, the audience deserves it."