Fox is not moving forward with the “Empire” spinoff that would have followed Taraji P. Henson’s Cookie Lyon, an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.
The project, which is backed by “Empire” co-creators Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, “follows what’s next for Cookie.” Strong was attached to co-write the script along with Stacy A. Littlejohn and Yolonda Lawrence, with Sanaa Hamri on board to direct. Executive producers include Daniels, Strong, Littlejohn, Lawrence, Hamri and Henson, along with Brian Grazer and Samie Falvey for Imagine Entertainment.
20th Television will shop the series to other outlets, the individual added.
Henson starred alongside Terrence Howard on all six seasons of Fox’s “Empire,” which aired its pandemic-forced series finale on April 21. That episode was the 18th out of a planned 20 for the drama’s sixth and final season, but production shutdowns made it impossible to complete the final two episodes in time.
“Empire” ran for six seasons on Fox and was a massive hit for the network. Henson earned a pair of Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe win for her role. Along with Henson and Howard, “Empire” starred Trai Byers, Bryshere Y. Gray and Jussie Smollett (for the first five seasons).
The “Empire” spinoff was Henson’s first project under a new two-year first-look TV deal the actress has signed with 20th Television (back when it was still 20th Century Fox TV) through her new production company TPH Entertainment, which will be run by her partner Christine Conley.