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Empire

EMPIRE Fall Finale: Taraji P. Henson, Jussie Smollett & Trai Byers Deliver Top-Notch Drama!

If you missed the Empire fall finale on Wednesday night on Fox, you should catch-it! While it also gave the hip-hop soap a boost in its ratings numbers, it also showcased the power of three of its series stars: Taraji P. Henson (Cookie), Jussie Smollett (Jamal) and Trai Byers (Andre).

Courtesy/FOX

In story, the hour featured a heartbreaking intervention sending Jamal to rehab, but before that, mama Lyon needed Jamal to get it together to perform at The People’s Ball to help her beau, Angelo (Taye Diggs) get elected and garner votes.  After first demanding Jamal turn over his stash of pills, she later finds him puking his guts up and going through withdrawal, and he is late for his performance.  So, what’s a mother to do?  Well, show-off her plumbing skills – go under the kitchen sink where she threw away his pills down the drain – open the pipes up, and get some pills to help him get to the stage!

Courtesy/FOX

Later, after Jamal wows the audience he comes off-stage to be greeted by the Lyon clan and company telling him he is being taken to rehab right now.  Jussie Smollett played the betrayal of his family and in particular his mother and sadness beautifully, while Taraji P. Henson throughout the episode proved why “The Cookie Effect” as noted in the episode is in full bloom.

And as for Trai Byers, this season he got to show his acting chops and none more so, than when Andre reveals he suffers from bipolar disorder to Nessa, and he tells her how his late wife Rhonda helped him manage it. Nessa tell him: “I’m not gonna do any of those things for you. “I want you to learn to do them for yourself.”

Courtesy/FOX

Next, Andre who has been having hallucinations all season, has one last one, and this one is on the beach where Andre and Ghost Rhonda say their final goodbyes. But before she goes she tells the mentally unstable Lyon: “Promise me you will destroy that bitch that murdered me and killed our baby.”  Andre, in a show of symbolism, tosses his wedding ring into the water.  He then reveals to Shyne that he knows that he indeed liquidated his assets two weeks before Lucious’ assets were frozen.  He then very steely and confidently tells him how it’s going to be from here on out. That he is pulling the strings.  Andre tells Shyne to respect the heirarchy, “’til it’s time to kill my father.”  Andre looks down right scary.  The episode fades to black till Empire returns in March of the new year.

TV Line spoke to executive producer Sanaa Hamri in on what mght become of Jamal and his stint in rehab when the show returns in 2017:  “Jamal having to face pain-medication addiction, it’s a horrific thing. We see the rawness and the truth. It’s the unglamorous side of what a lot of artists have gone through over the decades — from Janis Joplin to Michael Jackson. We see what it does. It’s real. Cookie will do anything to get her son out of that pain, and that’s why she gave him those pills. It had to be addressed, but she couldn’t let him withdraw that severely. She and Lucious and the family all bonded in that amazing moment where Jamal has to go to rehab. He has to go through the program and come to terms with his addiction. And the journey now for him is if he can be sober — and if he can create being sober, which is a whole other thing.”

So, what did you think of the Fall finale of Empire?  What were your thoughts on the performances of Henson, Smollett, and Byers? Comment below!

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su0000
Guest
su0000

Empire has been excellent, it also holds variety..
It is one of my all time favorites..
I did not the last episode was the final 🙁 can’t wait for the return!!

James R. Poissant
Guest
James R. Poissant

I am just glad to have another soap on the air even if this one is prime time—the show is very well written and it’s actors are always top-notch.

Jane
Guest
Jane

I don’t like theses people , the acting is expected , no surprises.
Cookies one liners have been funny , Lucius in bed with a rag on his head with his women about to go down on him as his mother walks in with Vaccum. Disgusting.

Paul
Guest
Paul

The show, like Glee, takes its popularity for granted with stunt casting and somewhat generic storylines… most of the time. The thing that bothered me here is that cookie put her boytoy ahead of her son by drugging him up first to perform and then carting his ass off to rehab. I hope the rehab center is not once of those with a grand piano and a gay guy who also likes to sing so this dude gets the trifecta: a new album, a lover, and plenty of counseling sessions where he can break out in song. All three of… Read more »

Rebecca1
Guest
Rebecca1

On the one hand I ike the show. Great acting; talented musicians. On the other hand, it smacks of racism, anfi-semitism. It’s black power message not very subtle from the dialogue to the song lyrics. There ARE friendships and trust both in business and personal relationships between people of every hue and religion but “Empire” only features the bigoted aspect. The family barely blinked an eye when Rhonda died; Andre knew hsr since college. As for the season finale, objectively it was very good. Andre has become a force this season and I’m curious to see where his psychological state… Read more »

Empire

‘Empire’ Favorite Taraji P. Henson to Host the American Music Awards

She played the fierce head of record label and music empire on TV, and now she is about to take on the hosting duties at one of music’s most popular nights of the year, when she hosts ABC’s American Music Awards.   News today has former Empire on Fox star, Taraji P. Henson (Ex-Cookie Lyon) taking on the key role in keeping the night moving and the music coming for music fans around the world.

The 2020 AMAs will air live on Sunday, November 22nd at 8:00 PM ET/PT.   In a statement on her latest gig, Henson expressed: “The AMAs brings together the music community to celebrate what really drives all artists – the fans,  I’m proud to take the stage as this year’s host – and also a fan – for what promises to be an electrifying night of music.”

And coming up the motion picture and television actress will put a spotlight on  mental wellness in a new talk show for Facebook Watch.  In addition, she is also currently developing an Empire spinoff with her production company.

Broadcasting live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, this year’s AMA nominees include The Weeknd and rapper Roddy Ricch, both with eight nominations, leading the pack of this year’s nominees.  Voting for the AMA’s continues and you can a vote in all categories here.

So, it seems to us that Taraji will be a great host for the AMA’s! What are your thoughts? Comment below.

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Breaking News

‘Empire’s’ Diamond White Lands Contract Role on The Bold and the Beautiful

Look for The Bold and the Beautiful to add to their cast with news on Thursday that Diamond White (previously see on Empire as Lala) will take on the role of Zoe’s (Kiara Barnes)sister, Paris Buckingham on the CBS daytime drama.

Paris and Zoe are the daughters of crime-ridden Dr. Reese Buckingham (Wayne Brady) who was sent to the slammer for his baby-switch plot involving baby Beth and his gambling debts.

White will begin taping her new role tomorrow on Friday, and will first are on the November 2nd episode of B&B.  Deadline first reported the news.

Besides her role on Empire, Diamond has had a recurring role on Netflix’s Dear White People, as well as a guest art on ABC’s Fresh off the Boat, and more,

Looks like the Buckingham sisters might have their eyes set on Carter (Lawrence Saint-Victor) , the incoming Zende (Delon de Metz) and who knows who else on the canvas!

So, what do you think about a new Buckingham in the mix on B&B? Comment below.

 

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Breaking News

Taraji P. Henson Developing Cookie Lyon ‘Empire’ Spinoff With New First-Look Deal Via 20th Century Fox

Looks like more ‘Cookie’ is on the way, if this long bantered about Empire spinoff takes place.  But, news today via Deadline makes the whole thing look more promising! Series star, Taraji P. Henson has signed a new first-look deal with 20th Century Fox where she would star and be one of the EP’s of the new show.

The show would be written by Empire EP Danny Strong with Stacy A. Littlejohn and Yolonda Lawrence, and Empire director Sanaa Hamri to take those reins again behind the camera.

Henson said in a statement on the deal: “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 shared on Thursday: “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.”

Empire ended its sixth and final season a bit shorter than expected due to COVID-19 shutting down production, but now Henson has a way forward to tell us more of Cookie’s story.  This would just be one of the projects Henson would have under this deal with 20th Century Fox.

So, would you like to see more Cookie Lyon in a spinoff of Empire? Comment below.

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