Cookie’s going solo. An Empire spinoff starring Taraji P. Henson is in development at Fox, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The project is part of Henson’s new two-year, first-look deal with 20th Century Fox TV. Plot details are scarce, but THR reports that the series will follow Henson’s Cookie Lyon on her move to Los Angeles, potentially featuring other family members. Empire co-creator Danny Strong will serve as co-showrunner alongside Yolanda Lawrence and Stacy Littlejohn, longtime Empire writers. Sanaa Hamri, Empire producer and director, is attached to direct the spinoff. All four and Henson will executive-produce. Cookie Lyon, comeback queen, may just make an epic return following the show’s curtailed conclusion in May 2020. The coronavirus pandemic cut production short, forcing the show to end two episodes early, without a proper ending. At the time, creators Lee Daniels and Strong were considering a follow-up and optimistic about returning to the world. The potential new series could give fans the closure they need.
“I believe that normalizing stories around stigmatizing matters will make them more palatable for audiences to embrace,” Henson said in a statement to THR. “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!”