The Hip-Hop Inspired ?Empire? Set to Debut January 7

Empire“Empire,” a new television series starring academy award nominees Terrence Howard (Crash, Hustle & Flow) and Taraji P. Henson (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), debuts on January 7 and with the usual lack of African Americans appearing in leading roles on network television these days, the heavily promoted, hip-hop drama is expected to do well. Created by Lee Daniels (The Butler, Precious) and musically produced by hit-maker Timbaland, the show ? which will appear on Fox ? is said to appeal to a ?diverse viewership.?

Though some have criticized Empire as being one big clich?, others have touted Henson?s performance as Cookie, the ex-wife of music mogul Lucious Lyon (Howard) ? and deservingly so. This is good news for Henson who, back in 2011, was excluded from a TV Guide magazine cover featuring her male (and White) co-stars on CBS?s “Person of Interest.? She was the female lead in a 3-member cast but rarely appeared in any coverage of the show. She is best known for her feisty role in John Singleton’s “Baby Boy” (2001).?

Still, fans of the popular actors are anticipating its arrival and the storyline promises to deliver. In a NY Times article, Gary Newman, a chairman and chief executive of Fox Television Group, said of the series? pitch, what connected for him was ?the specificity of its characters, the authentic way they spoke about the world.?

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