Taraji P. Henson First Look Deal with 20th Century Fox TV Includes Possible “Empire” Spinoff

Long live Cookie Lyon. Taraji P. Henson is hoping to see the iconic character get her own show and those dreams just may come true. Henson and her production company, TPH Entertainment, have signed a first look deal with 20th Century Fox TV that among other projects includes a potential Empire spinoff.

What’s Happening:

  • Deadline is reporting that Taraji P. Henson is working on a Empire spinoff series focusing on family matriarch Cookie, as part of a new first look deal with 20th Century Fox TV.
  • Beyond the Empire spinoff, Henson’s deal also includes other projects for multiple platforms.
  • Henson recently formed her own production company TPH Entertainment which will be run by Christine Conley formerly of Working Title.
  • Everything is still in early development phases but plans for the Cookie series have Empire alum Danny Strong on board to write and executive produce along with Stacy Littlejohn, and Yolonda Lawrence. The trio will also serve as co-showrunners.
  • Sanaa Hamri is attached to direct.
  • Henson, Lee Daniels, Brian Grazer and Samie Falvey will also executive produce should the series get a pilot order.

 What they’re saying:

  • Empire showrunner Brett Mahoney: “I don’t know what that is and I’m not a part of it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone was trying to work on something.”
  • Taraji P. Henson: “I believe that normalizing stories around stigmatizing matters will make them more palatable for audiences to embrace. Art can change perception and I plan to develop projects that can help further the conversation. I also aim to help cultivate and establish new young talent and their stories because they are our future and deserve a voice and a platform to be heard. I’m so excited to have 20th, led by the talented Carolyn Cassidy, support me in this new endeavor!”
  • 20th Century Fox TV president Carolyn Cassidy: “We were lucky to have a front row seat to Taraji’s meteoric rise as a fixture on television through Empire. Through that relationship everyone at the company grew to appreciate her passion for storytelling and her strong creative gut instinct. With Empire finished we look forward to helping her explore stories that need to be told through her talent and advocacy.”