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Empire’s Trai Byers Fires Back At Reports He Wants To Quit The Fox Drama!

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

After a scathing item from Page Six, actor Trai Byers (Andre, Empire) is pushing back at the reports, and letting people know that they are  simply not true, and in fact, he loves his role on the Fox hip hop sudser, and has plans to return for its third season.

The rumors started when Page Six sources revealed Byers was ready to leave Empire:  “Trai wants out.  He feels that he studied at Yale and he’s a ‘true thespian’ . . . The character is beneath him. He has an idea of himself as being this big Shakespearean actor.”   Another source added, “He thinks he has the acting chops of Taraji (P. Henson)and Terrence (Howard). He doesn’t get how the show benefits him, and he feels he has way too much talent when he’s not the star by any means.”  The source also noted: “Trai threw a temper tantrum during filming in the past few weeks, saying, ‘I don’t get to do enough, I might leave.’ But producers called his bluff and said, ‘Fine, if you’re not happy, we don’t need you.’ He thinks he is a brilliant guy who deserves a better role, but he’s hardly one of the most popular or dynamic actors on the show.”

Now Trai took to his Instagram acccount on late Thursday night to dispel the rumors with this statement:  “I don’t normally spend my time dispelling rumors, but there is something I’d like to address. I have nothing but love and respect for ‘Empire’ and all who are involved on the show. I have a fabulous relationship with FOX, and hold myself to the highest standards professionally. How could I think of demanding something larger than Andre, where I get to express a man with Bipolar disorder, who is on a spiritual journey to find his identity? I’m so proud, so happy, and so lucky to be a part of this cast. This show has started my career. See you in Season Three!”

Empire wrapped its second season on Thursday and look for the show to return for more of its second season on March 30th!

So, are you glad to hear Trai Byers is refuting the rumors and staying put on Empire? Do you enjoy his performances as Andre? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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Lia

I didn’t think he said that. People need to stop telling lies , and people like Wendy Williams and others need to stop reporting them as if true.

Jonboy

He’s my favorite character…after Cookie.

Abruzzfan

Great news!

Carolyn Good

I like him. He is good as Andre, and I love Empire!

Empire

EMPIRE Season Four Finale: A Wedding, Two Deaths … Maybe More!

On the season four finale of Empire, two deaths, maybe another, and a marriage, highlighted the twists and turns of the Fox hip-hop music soap opera.

First, Cookie’s (Taraji P. Henson) long time rival, Boo Boo Kitty aka Anika, played by Grace Gealey, took one of the more horrific signature tumbles that Empire is known for.  Payback is definitely a bitch!

Courtesy/FOX

Andre (Trai Byers) spiked Anika’s champagne before her press conference when she announces she has taken over as CEO of “Empire.”  While she is making her speech, she starts seeing visions of Rhonda, featuring Kaitlin Doubleday reprising her role. As she is speaking to the press, Anika is having hallucinations of Rhonda and her delusions reach epic proportions.  Then, we watch Anika smash through glass and fall several floors below to her death. According to showrunner EP Greg Mahoney, Anika is truly dead.

But also, at the top of the hour, recovering junkie Tori, played by Rumer Willis, was rushed to the hospital.  This was following an emotional confrontation with Jamal (Jussie Smollett). He visits her in the rehab center where she realizes she’s still got deep addiction issues.  After, they have a talk, she tells him to watch out for himself, and that the Lyon family will bring him down, and he needs to find his own path in life. Later, Jamal comes back to see her, only to find out that she has suffered complications from a grand mal seizure, and has died.  This prompts Jamal to go on a self-journey, and leave the Lyon’s nest for now.

Meanwhile, at the end of the episode, Cookie and Lucious (Terrence Howard), finally, finally after all the bickering … all the backstabbing … all the health issues … all the betrayals … went down to city hall to get re-married.  This was a long time coming. It was a simple ceremony, but as with any Empire season finale, there was a major juxtaposition going on adjacent to the main scene, and this was also the case for season four’s final moments.

While Cookie and Lucious were getting married, the camera cuts to Hakeem (Bryshere Gray) and his baby mama Tiana (Serayah McNeill) getting ready to travel in a car along with white rapper Blake in tow, only to see that Blake’s racist father comes out of nowhere and attempts to assassinate Hakeem!  We don’t know if anyone was struck … we don’t know if anybody died … we fade to black.

On the business end of things, Eddie, played by Oscar winner Forest Whitaker, won the “Empire” auction.  He has forced the Lyon family to start from scratch as they no longer have the business that they spent years putting their blood, sweat, and tears into.

Courtesy/FOX

When TV Line asked showrunner Brett Mahoney about the shooting at the end of the episode and if it will lead to a third death, he said, “I won’t say.  I will say that things won’t be the same between the four people that were involved in that.” Mahoney added that the early part of season five will focus on the Lyon family building a new empire.  He teased, “Yes.  But I think it’s going to be a much more difficult process than Cookie thinks it’s going to be.  And it’ll tear at the relationship between Cookie and Lucious and the boys, in terms of trying to achieve that goal.”

 

So, what did you think about the season four finale of Empire?  What did you think about who died?  What did you think about Cookie and Lucious tying the knot?  Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Empire

EMPIRE Renewed For Season 5!

The Lyon family drama lives on!  News today from Michael Thorn, entertainment president for Fox Broadcasting, confirmed that Empire has been officially renewed for its fifth season!

With only four episodes left in its fourth season, and the Upfronts in New York in just a few weeks previewing the  2018-2019 season for advertisers, this was the perfect time to reveal the pick-up for the sudsy musical drama series.

In his statement, Thorn said of the series: “Empire is as compelling, emotional and unpredictable as it ever was. We are so proud of our amazing cast, led by Terrence and Taraji, who deliver powerful performances week after week. We’d also like to thank our tremendous creative team – Lee, Danny, Brett, Ilene, Sanaa, Brian and Francie – whose inspired storytelling continues to create the unforgettable, jaw-dropping OMG moments that have always been signature to Empire.”

Although the once huge Wednesday juggernaut has slid significantly in the ratings in 14 episodes this season, the show is averaging a 1.9 rating in the 18-49 demo and 5.8 million total viewers — down 31% and 24%, respectively from last season, the series is the network’s second most watched in multi-platform viewing, averaging 11.3 million viewers.

There was no confirmation of how many episodes will be ordered for the fifth season of Empire, but it is says to be most likely 18. (more…)

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Empire

Sneak Peek: Alfre Woodard’s Debut as Cookie’s Mom on Empire!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

When the casting news broke that award-winning actress, Alfre Woodard was cast as Taraji P. Henson’s mom on Empire, fans of the series could not wait to see what would go down when Cookie was reunited with her momma!

Now that Empire is back on FOX for its back half of its fourth season, the series put out a teaser video of Woodard’s entrance into the storyline.

In the sneak peek video, Woodard plays Renee Holloway who is trying to reconnect with her daughter after many years.

Can this mother and daughter come to a resolution and move forward in their relationship, or does Renee have alterior motives when it comes to getting her hands on some of the money from the musical empire?

Watch Alfre on Empire after the jump.  Then ket us know, what do you think of the casting of Alfre as Taraji’s on-screen mom? Comment below. (more…)

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