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Empire

EMPIRE Creator Lee Daniels Chats On: Series Meteoric Rise, Daytime Soaps, Homophobia & The Season One Finale!

Photo Credit: FOX

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

FOX hit primetime soap opera Empire continues to be the darling of the television season, and with plenty of good reason! Compelling family drama set against the backdrop of the hip-hop music world, sharp writing, a palette of characters that is any soap fans dream (Cookie Lyon, we mean you!), 80’s style sudsy fare a la Dynasty, and its socially conscious tales and relevance of today.  All of this stems from the creative genius of Oscar-nominated director (Precious) and Empire creator, Lee Daniels.

On-Air On-Soaps Michael Fairman chatted with Daniels while he was editing the season one finale of Empire for a new feature out on newsstands and online today for Frontiers LA.

In it, Lee discusses just how he is determined to cast a light on homophobia in the African-American community during the run of Empire, and how the character of Jamal (brilliantly played by the multi-talented Jussie Smollett)  is poised, ready, and willing to take the family business with his take-no-prisoners attitude and inner-resolve, as those around him try to keep him down through their narrow-minded thinking.

It came as no surprise during our chat, that Daniels was a big fan of daytime soaps growing up, and in particular revealed there is one celebrity he has never met that would probably make him faint … Susan Lucci!  Here are a few excerpts from the feature below:

Courtesy/FOX

Daniels on how his love of the soap genre impacted his storytelling: Growing up on daytime soaps was an important part of the fabric of who I am as a filmmaker.  I have met many stars, but the celebrity I am most impressed with that I haven’t met, and I would probably faint if I did is Susan Lucci (Ex-Erica All My Children)! Dynasty really came to me hard. It affected me deeply, and the queen in me. I always wanted to do something that was reminiscent of that, but it needed to be something that I could relate to. Empire—this is my world, but it’s got a residue of Dynasty.”

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Daniels on how Jamal is not going to be the down and out gay character of the series … far from it!”  “I didn’t want the stereotypical gay man up against something, and being a victim.  No, Jamal is coming in and taking it down! That’s just at the beginning, by the way, of what a gay man can do. He is (The Godfather’s) Michael Corleone, and he is his father’s son.”

Courtesy/FOX

Daniels on the impact the series is having on the relationship between father’s and sons, in particular after the horrifying flashback scene earlier in the season, which had a young Jamal being stuffed in a trashcan by Lucious (Terrence Howard), after he saw the boy wearing his mother’s heels.: “You don’t realize the power that you have through art, and that lives are saved, and the healing that is done with gay men and their fathers.  I’ve received tons of letters and emails from fathers who have embraced their sons.  It’s crazy!”

Daniels on what to expect in the season one finale of Empire: “It’s just sex, scandal, fights, bloodshed and weaves being torn apart. (Laughs) I wanted to take down those girls—you know, all of those ‘Atlanta Housewives’. There’s a part of that cheekiness in our finale, too.  It’s a hot mess!”

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What do you think of Lee’s comment on the soaps and Susan Lucci?  His way of telling Jamal’s rise to power,and to persevere against all odds and homophobia?  Intrigued by what he has to say about the upcoming season finale?  Share your comments below!

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vinman
vinman

Watch out BooBooKitty…..the Cookie Monster is gonna eat yo ho ASS!

clh
clh

I am really loving this show! Had me from the first episode. I love Taraji (Cookie) and so miss her on Person of Interest, but glad she has turned up on this show. She is such a badass and I love her!

Patrick
Patrick

showcase black women… and i mean that in the sincerest form

when this season started :

right out of the gate

Viola Davis : “how to get away with murder”
Olivia Spencer: “red band society”
CCH Pounder : “NCIS: New Orleans”

and now… this spitfire tell it like it is : Taraji B. Henson : “Empire”

how can we not cull from… blow me away

this is just the women.. but they catch me first

Jake NJ
Jake NJ

Love this show!

Jeremy
Jeremy

yeah, I love that Jamal is not going to be a victim. Instead, he’s a strong man who happens to be gay, and conquers his dreams and aspirations. Loves it. Love Empire.

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Scott (ATWT Fan)

This show is easily the best scripted primetime drama Fox has had since 90210, and I’m so glad that they’re finding their footing back in scripted drama. Plus, it’s so beautiful to see a cast predominately of a non-white principal cast. I only hope the momentum stays through the first season finale and when the second season comes around.

Jeremy
Jeremy

I agree with ya, Scott. I don’t follow shows on Fox, but now I do.
Last time, I did was the reboot Melrose Place. So, I’m so glad Empire is doing so well, I believe it will have continued success. Oh, hey… Jennifer Hudson is doing an episode, too! JHud!!!!

Patrick
Patrick

ditto on the momentum

Nancy
Nancy

I will have to check it out!

Lew S
Lew S

Yes, it is that good!

MBmomof3
MBmomof3

Love this show. It would be great if Susan Lucci did a brief cameo.

I highly recommend this show.

Marisa
Marisa

LOVE COOKIE!

Andy G.
Andy G.

Since Lee Daniels has referred to this show as his version of “Dynasty,” just for laughs I like to imagine the role of Cookie being played by Joan Collins.

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‘Empire’ Actress Amanda Detmer Arrested For DUI And Fleeing The Scene

The woman who is causing all sorts of trouble on Fox’s sudsy final season of Empire in the role of Tracy, seemed to cause a whole bunch of trouble for herself in real life over this past weekend.

Reports have surfaced via TMZ, that actress Amanda Detmer was arrested on Sunday night for a DUI while in Chico, California. This was allegedly after smashing her vehicle into a utility pole and then leaving the scene.

Apparently, law enforcement was notified about the damaged pole and did a thorough search of the area, where it located a vehicle with with major front-end damage.

Cops said that Detmer was the driver of the vehicle and confirmed she was indeed responsible for the collision.  Upon investigation they found Amanda has been drinking and driving.

The Empire star was arrested and will now be faced with DUI charges plus fleeing the scene.

Detmer is also recognized for her numerous film role including: Final Destination, and You. Me and Dupree.

So, what are your thoughts on Detmer’s DUI woes? Have you been enjoying her performance on this season’s Empire? Comment below.

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Soap Opera Halloween Costumes 2019: Which Character Would You Go As? (Photo Gallery)

Many of you already went to your big Halloween parties this weekend and played dress up either solo, with your family, or your date or your spouse, but there is still time for everyone else to get in the spirit of ‘Fright Night’ when it officially comes our way this Thursday, October 31st.

Many will go trick or treating with their young kids, or show up at an adult Halloween carnival or party.

So if your throwing together a last minute costume, or going all out, but have not decided what to be yet, here’s a little photo gallery of some of your favorite characters currently on the soaps to see if it might inspire you!

Check out MFTV’s Halloween costume suggestions gallery 2019 below.

Photos: JPI Studios

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So, what would you go as any of our suggestions for Halloween? Or, what other soap character might you go as? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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EMPIRE Season Six Premiere: Andre Is In For A Shocker

When Fox’s music biz soap opera, Empire returns for its sixth and final season (kicking off this Tuesday, September 24th, 9/8c) the opener features cancer survivor, Andre Lyon (Trai Byers) in charge of the Lyon dynasty – with his dad, Luscious completely MIA.

But when addressing the company staff on some changes within the structure of the organization and his plans, he is stunned when none other than Tracy (Amanda Detmer), that’s previously referred to and known as “White Tracy’” (due to her crack addiction), shows up with a soapy bombshell during the meeting.

The mother of Andre’s deceased half-brother, Jeff Kingsley saunters in and announces, “I’m Empire’s newest co-owner!”   And with that, season six begins its arc with a battle for control that will be front and center.

Tracy wants payback and has an ax to grind.  In the season 5 finale, she told the Lyon clan that her decision to donate her son’s heart to save Andre would come with strings attached, but did anyone expect she would go this far?  Yup!  Watch the teaser below for Tuesday’s night’s first episode of the  final season.

Meanwhile, the season six key art featuring series stars: Taraji P Henson (Cookie) and Terrence Howard  (Luscious) in the same position as the famous scene in the motion picture Titanic has with it the saying “Rule to the end”.   Who will be left standing when the series comes to its exciting and emotional conclusion?

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Now let us know, what do you think of the Tracy twist? Share your thoughts via the comment section.

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