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Oprah & Common Planned For Roles In Season Two Of EMPIRE!

Photo: Twitter

Photo: Twitter

The hottest show on television, Fox’s Empire has been bringing some musical star power to the series along with its phenomenal core cast for season one!  But with the series concluding for now with a two-hour season finale next Wednesday March 18th, of course plans are in the works for season two!

And what do you know?  Confirmed today via an interview with Access Hollywood, Empire creator Lee Daniels confessed, of sorts, to the fact that both Oprah Winfrey and rapper and now Oscar winner, Common will have roles next season on the sudsy hip-hop musical drama series.

Daniels offered up on Oprah, “Yes,” admitting he is writing a part for her and then adding. “Yeah, she’s going to be on it.” Lee also copped to admitting to writing a role for Common, since the musical star had stated previously he would love to appear on the show.  Just what kinds of role Oprah and Common would play is anybody’s guess at this time.

Watch Daniels chat with Access Hollywood after the jump.  Then let us know, what role would you cast Oprah and Common in on Empire? A never-before-seen-member of the Lyon family? A record executive? A former prison mate who spent time with Cookie (Taraji B. Henson) behind bars? Some other kind of role?  Share your thoughts below!

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EMPIRE's Final Season Cut Short Due To COVID-19; Series Finale Now Set For April 21
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Gmbenetdavidevansmithjaybird369Mary SFsu0000 Recent comment authors
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su0000
su0000

NO NO NO !!!

Oprah do not enter Empire..
You do not belong in Empire, you do not belong in Empire..
GO AWAY OPRAH …
I am p’oed lol .. It is a mistake and will simply hurt Empire..

Gmbenet
Gmbenet

How will Oprah’s presence on Empire hurt the show?

I’ll share a secret. I don’t watch Empire. I saw the commercials advertising the show and decided then and there that I would not watch it. But because I don’t like what I saw doesn’t mean other people wouldn’t like the show. So I am not familiar with the plot and/or storylines.

If Lee Daniels invited Oprah to do the show, I am sure he thinks she can do a good job in whatever role he wrote for her. It is not like they haven’t worked together before. Lee directed Oprah in The Butler! So he has a good idea of what she can do as an actress.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

How did just the commercial made you decide not to watch…im just curious!

MBmomof3
MBmomof3

I love this show. Wish they would keep Oprah far away from this project. So sick of her and her enormous ego.

Gmbenet
Gmbenet

What ego? What has Oprah done that causes you to say she has an ego problem?

Gmbenet
Gmbenet

It seems to me it is an act of humility for Oprah to act on a TV show because the actors have to take direction from the director. If Oprah had an ego problem, I doubt Lee Daniels would have bothered to ask her to be a part of the show because she would have been too much trouble! He would know, having directed her before. So to say Oprah has an ego problem doesn’t make much sense in this context.

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

An act of humility, Gmbenet? Oprah’s not as relevant as she once was. EMPIRE has the fastest growing ratings in the country right now. There’s nothing humble about being on that show…she wants in! ( not saying I blame her…she loves acting and it’s a hit show) but let’s be real. She’s doing it for Oprah. Personally? Seeing her on that show will break that forth wall for me. Unless she plays herself…that might work if she’s there to interview the family or one if…I cops. Deal with that…

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

Fourth wall

Ican deal with that.

Harry
Harry

Here’s my “light bulb moment”, Oprah,
Anytime I see your face endorsing any project, any tv series and any major motion picture, and mostly any novel, I run from the hills from the aforementioned.

Gmbenet
Gmbenet

What did Oprah do that was so bad?

Charday
Charday

Agree 100 percent. Too bad for the show.

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

Have zero desire to see Oprah on EMPIRE…though admittedly she’s a good actress. Just…no.

Gmbenet
Gmbenet

What is wrong with Oprah being on Empire? Are you mad with her because of the movie Selma? Is that why you don’t want to see her on Empire?

This is weird!

What about Common? Should Should he not be on Empire too? If so, is it because of the song “Glory” and his acceptance speech at the Oscars?

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

I myself havent seen Selma but i plan to rent it…looks like a beautiful made picture and ive long admired MLK for his fight for equal rights…there have been many movies and documentries on him that was well done too…i have no problems with Oprah on Empire but if someone dislikes her it doesnt make it a racist issue…the color of ones skin doesnt matter to me-its whats inside that counts…do you believe those who dont want OW on Empire are racist-its how it appears in your replies-Kenye West jumps on stage and interupts a grammy winner because Beyonce didnt win in that category-did you ask him if it had anything to do with the winners being white? Just because someone is black and someone isnt a fan doesnt mean they are a racest or hate them for doing Selma or whatever-i dislike but dont hate many celebrities of different colors-white, black ect. simply because im not a fan and it has nothing to do with race-i believe those you question feel the same way and it has nothing to do with ones color. Ive had many friends of different color over the years. Gmbenet-weve never met but if we had we could be best friends or not friends at all and it wouldnt matter what our skin color is-it could be our personalities clash…for just reading your well written comments you do seem like a smart intelligent person-sometimes i like your comments and sometimes i disagree…it doesnt matter if your male or female, black or white, and straight or gay or a vegan or meat lover!!! But not everyone can like everything-its the way of the world!!! Peace!!!

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

Jimh…I agree with everything you wrote…you put into words exactly what I interpreted from Gmbenet’s questions/comments…but I have something to add to Gmbebet…if anyone posting here didn’t want Oprah because he/she was racist…why would any of us be watching EMPIRE in the first place.

Jimh…I actually DO think Kanye’s incredibly inappropriate, insulting behavior to other artists he deems unworthy of winning is tied in to racism on his part…yes, I that example,mi think it really is. Until and if he pulls the same stunt if black artist wins, that’s the impression I’ve gotten.

Gmbenet
Gmbenet

Jimh

Thanks for your reply. I do agree that not everyone who dislikes Oprah feels that way because they are racist. I also agree that not everyone who disagrees with the views of an African-American does so because they are racist. Kanye West’s rude behavior toward Taylor Swift was not necessarily racist either, but it sure was a terrible thing to do to anybody regardless of race.

But in this case involving Oprah there had previously been so much backlash regarding the movie Selma and the events commemorating the Selma March that I did wonder. The backlash had occurred by comments on the website. That’s why I asked the question.

There seemed to be no explanation for the responses I was reading. And please note that I did ask rather than spew accusations of racism. I can accept that opposition to Oprah may be due to something other than racism. I’ve also read here that Oprah has a big ego. I do find that amusing based on everything I have seen from Oprah.

But let me share this for those who may be interested to hear. I think Lee Daniels just wanted to work with Oprah in this project. Period. Why? To have some FUN doing it. That is all! I also believe Oprah said yes for the same reason.

Have you noticed the number of African-American stars who have come on the show as guests or have recurring roles. In that sense, Oprah is just one in the number!

Not to take anything away from the show in any way but when was the làst time you saw a successful Primetime drama with this many African-American actors and producers, writers etc. involved? This is a thrilling time for them as entertainers! Excuse my expression, but “every hog and his brother” (an expression common among African-Americans) is coming on that show and they are having a blast! Oprah is an African-American (obviously) and those other African-American entertainers love and appreciate her for her accomplishments as well as for herself. So the idea of all of them being together on a project such as Empire in their minds is “Yes!”

I am confident that if those same African-American entertainers had read the exact same comments that I read in the same context, they would have asked the same questions too!

Gmbenet
Gmbenet

By the way, just because I don’t watch Empire (the story is not my “cup of tea”), doesn’t mean I am not aware of what stars are appearing on the show. I do keep abreast with the comings and goings. The premise is just not what I like to watch stories about.

Chris
Chris

Actually I had a friend that was an audience member of Oprah’s talk show. Seriously, audience members were not allowed to look into her eyes b/c that was a rule. Her ego is way too big. Depending on the year, it matches her waistline. She is full of herself and will add nothing to this show at all.

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

Wow…is that true? I remember there was a former employee, a female, who said she felt Oprah treated her very badly because she was overweight and treated the thin, attractive female staff better. Saw the interview on either 20/20, 6o
minutes or dateline a few years back…don’t recall which show.

jaybird369
jaybird369

Chris…I can DEFINITELY believe that!!!!! Check this out: A long time ago, a friend of my mom’s had an older sister who (also) was an audience member of Oprah’s talk show. According to my mom’s friend’s older sister, Oprah (1) refused to make any eye contact with anyone sitting in the audience, (2) would not sign any autographs before or after the taping of the show and (3) VERY RUDELY kept barking out orders to the whole and entire staff (especially the cameramen) before and after taping of the show. Chris, as far as I’m concerned, Oprah’s E-G-O is BEYOND RIDICULOUS!!!!! Most of all, Oprah is nothing but a MEDIA-HUNGRY H-O-G who will do ANYTHING to make it all about H-E-R!!!!!! Beyond lame.

Have a good one, Chris. Peace.

penny
penny

So glad Oprah is doing Empire! She’s the most honest beautiful soul I’ve come across in a long time. I admire this women who came from nothing, built herself an EMPIRE, even after facing racism and ugly stereotypes because her skin wasn’t light enough, her body wasn’t small enough and her hair wasn’t long enough. She’s an intelligent woman whose confidence got her where she is today. Love you Oprah, keep doing YOU and never let anyone steal your JOY!

su0000
su0000

Oprah does not belong on Empire..
Her being mixed in with the awesome cast will just drag it down..
she is NOT the personality for Empire she is Oprah.. no matter what she acts in she is always Oprah..
Reading other sites comments, not many are happy about having her on Empire it will change the atmosphere of Empire having Oprah..
She is well for Selam and the Color Purple but not Empire..
It has nothing to with her ”soul, intelligences, or her looks”.. she will suck big time on Empire..no matter who she plays she will be Oprah..

A mistake to bring her in..

penny
penny

You have your opinion and I have mine. She’s an ACTRESS and I’m sure she’ll play the part Daniel’s wants her to play and she’ll do great. It’s not her problem that other people can’t separate the difference.

Mo
Mo

It doesn’t matter either way, but I don’t like stunt casting. If they contribute to the show and the story and can act, okay.

Mark Y
Mark Y

I think Oprah should play Cookie’s tacky sister.

Sue M.
Sue M.

I could care less about Oprah on Empire. Not interested at all.

Mary SF
Mary SF

All soaps daytime, prime time, past and present have use stunt casting in their shows. GH had Liz Taylor; Dynasty had Rock Hudson— I believe AMC had Carol Burnett??? Anyway the point is if Oprah is willing to do it– why wouldn’t they take advantage of it and write her a role. The same with Common- or any big name that would be willing to do it. Empire’s success will renew networks interest in the prime time soap—so I am all for Oprah doing it if it adds to the success of the show and that leads to a new crop of compelling night time serials.

su0000
su0000

Stunt casting is needed when a show is not doing well.
Empire is not daytime..
Empire has 14.33 million viewers and rising..
Oprah is not needed and she is Ophra no matter what role she plays she is still talk show Oprah..(her acting in movies she is still Ophra)

Empire is raw and new cutting media..
Oprah is an old hasbeen and not for Empire ..
🙂

Mary SF
Mary SF

Both DAYTIME and PRIME TIME use stunt casting–and NOT just when the show is doing bad, for example Liz Taylor was on GH when the show was at its prime. So stunt casting can happen anytime—perhaps prime time uses the word special guest star, but it is still stunt casting and all shows do it now and then.

I understand your point. Oprah is a personality and depending on the role it might be hard not to see anyone but Oprah on the screen. However, she is good friends with Lee Daniels and he is going to put on the show, whether you like or not– Oprah will be on this show, but take heart, knowing how busy she is I expect whatever role he writes for her, it would be short live.

davidevansmith
davidevansmith

LMAO… I personally love the series EMPIRE and they’ve been “stunt casting” all season.

Raven Symone, Mary J. Blige, Naomi Campbell, Courtney Love… The more popular the series gets, the stunt casting will be bigger. Not surprised. And Oprah worked with him before, I’m sure they have a mutual respect, makes sense for her to do the show.

I’m pretty shocked by all the Oprah hate. LOL

Empire

‘Empire’ Series Finale Brings Lyon Family Together; While Many Viewers Dissatisfied Over Makeshift Ending

Following Tuesday’s night series finale of Empire, which featured once again, brilliant performances from Taraji P. Henson (Cookie) and Terrence DaShon Howard (Luscious), many longtime viewers took to social media unsatisfied with its conclusion.  However, it should be noted that the shows producers did their best to use the footage they had in the can to craft something they hoped would be meaningful.

As previously reported, due to COVID-19, Empire had shot 18 episodes and a half of episode 19, of their 20 season order, when they were forced to shut down production.  Thus, the set-up and focus of the finale had to be significantly changed.

If you have not seen last night’s finale and plan to watch, do  not read any further for spoilers.

In an episode entitled “Home is On The Way,” which now makes complete sense post-viewing, Cookie and Luscious throughout trials, tribulations, realizations, deaths, and wrestling back control of the company, find their way back to each other.  Throughout the episode, viewers are treated to flashbacks of the duo’s long and twisted history – the good, the bad, the ugly, the dirty, and the nasty.

Photo: FOX

To get them back together, the series had to figure out what to do to with Yana, the musical protege with whom Luscious was involved with.  Backstage at a major concert event, Yana realizes that Luscious is not going to come on the world tour with her, because he still deeply loves Cookie.  He does not deny it.  When Yana’s father, Damon sees her backstage in what looks like she is hugging and all into Luscious, he pulls out a gun.  When we come back from commercial, we learn Yana was shot and killed, sending Damon on a spiral to get Luscious once and for all.

Following the shooting, Lucious tries to cancel the premiere of Hakeem’s Lyon legacy movie over concerns for the safety of his entire family,  but the Andre of old steps up and says they won’t let fear force the family to do that.

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Earlier in the episode, Luscious had previously requested that in the event something should happen to him to please get a special letter he wrote to Cookie, where he opens up about his feelings for her.  When Cookie gets the letter, it is juxtaposed with the Luscious vs. Damon showdown; which Luscious ultimately wins when he clubs Damon over the head with his own prosthetic leg.

Photo: FOX

With the threat to their ultimate happiness eliminated, the series ends with the entire family attending the premiere party of the film Birth of an Empire, where Hakeem performs a rap, “The Oath,” as an ode to the Lyon legacy. The  lyrics of the song detail Cookie and Luscious’ family story and flashbacks from all six seasons are used throughout the rap.  Then came how to deal with the missing Jussie Smollett and the character of Jamal Lyon in said flashbacks.

While Luscious, Cookie, Andre and Hakeem’s flashbacks showed the actual actors who play their respective roles, Jamal’s flashbacks only showed a young child portraying the middle son of the clan – eliminating any appearance of Smollett from the finale; even via previously shot footage from the five seasons in which Smollett appeared.

Empire showrunner, Brett Mahoney spoke to TV Line as to the decision on ending of the finale: “I realized that the movie premiere, with the family coming together, with Cookie and Lucious recognizing their love for one another, we definitely have the spirit of what I had intended for our true series finale, It’s almost the idea that the family is more important than the empire. That the love that they have for each other is more important than anything else … that’s definitely where we’re headed in terms of the actual series finale.”

As to the premise from the beginning of season 6 that fans were hoping would be answered in the series finale – who blew up Cookie’s car and who shot Luscious – Mahoney shared: “I was not able to answer that in a satisfying way with what we had shot, so that’s why I’m hoping that we can really still shoot our intended series finale and answer those questions.”

The biggest cliffhanger to come out of the series finale from Tuesday night is; will Mahoney and company be able to re-group and shoot the series finale they intended; following any lessening of the COVID-10 safety measures in the coming months? Stay tuned.

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Empire

TONIGHT: ‘Empire’ Series Finale: How It Will Conclude? Even Taraji P. Henson Says She Doesn’t Know

The coronavirus pandemic not only has wreaked havoc on the physical, emotional, and financial well-beings of everyone in our country and around the world, but for TV viewers it really messed with production plans for many of your favorite shows.   For the primetime soap Empire, that could not have been more true.

Faced with having filmed 18 episodes and a part of its 19th (with an originally planned 20 season order), its series finale and story had to be restructured.  So tonight on Tuesday April 21st, the hip hop music drama will say goodbye on FOX.

Empire has had a very twisted road in its six seasons.  For its first few years on the air, it was a juggernaut bringing in huge ratings.  Then in 2019 things took a turn with a behind the scenes shift when one of its leads, Jussie Smollett (Jamal Lyon), made headlines for his claimed hate-crime attack on the streets of Chicago in the wee hours of the morning.  This led to plenty of revelations in Smollett’s case with the law, and his not returning to the series for the end of its fifth and in its sixth and final season.

Photo: FOX

Showrunner Brett Mahoney told TV Line that if things line up right following the pandemic, he could see trying to give the show a proper send-off: “I can’t guarantee it will happen, but we’re hopeful. And if we don’t actually get a chance to shoot the series finale, I think we’ll find some creative way to get (the information) out there, whether it’s by just releasing the script or finding another way to satisfy fans “= We don’t know what the costs will be in terms of keeping our sets. And then the question becomes who from the cast will be available at that point.”

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On Monday’s episode of the CBS daytime series, The Talk, the ladies welcomed Taraji P. Henson (Cookie Lyon) to get a preview of what to expect tonight.  She surprised the hosts by saying she doesn’t really know.

Henson expressed: “We were in the middle of the 19th episode when everything got shut down. So, I used to know how the show was going to end, but I don’t know. They are going to make some kind of movie magic in that editing room. They are going to take all the footage they have already, and just come up with some kind of finale… I will be finding out what’s happening at the same time you guys are finding out, which is kind of fun.”

She added, “I’m a little hurt because I didn’t get to say goodbye to my cast and my crew. I bought them amazing letterman sweaters, that’s my gift to them because it was our senior year.  I hope ‘Empire’s’ legacy will be that African American stories do translate, and they cross over, and they’re international.”

Watch Taraji on The Talk below. Then weigh-in: how do you think the story will conclude for Luscious (Terrence Howard) and Cookie, and the Lyon family in the makeshift ending of Empire? Let us know in the comment section.

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Breaking News

EMPIRE’s Final Season Cut Short Due To COVID-19; Series Finale Now Set For April 21

Will we now ever know just how the lives of Empire’s Lucious  (Terrence Howard) and Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson) and their dysfunctional family will resolve now that the series has had to scrap two of their planned episodes in their final season?  The sixth and final season was scheduled to run for a total of 20 episodes.

However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the production shutdown left them with only 18 episodes tht could be completed.

That means, as first announced during last night’s episode of Empire via voice-over: “Get ready for the shocking final three episodes of ‘Empire,’”  that reveal let viewers of Empire know there was change in plans.”  Now, the shortened season and series finale end on FOX on April 21st.

Reports also note that episode 19 was partially shot and that footage of that unfinished episode will be cut into the finale.

As to what happens with the character of Jamal Lyon played by Jussie Smollett, who everyone knows ran into significant trouble with the law; on last reports executives said he would not be back for the final episodes of the series, although there has still have been mentions of the character throughout season 6.

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Come April 21st, there still may be more Empire in our future, if  FOX executives decide to greenlight a potential spinoff headlined Taraji P. Henson as Cookie Lyon; that first came to light earlier this year in January as being in heavy discussions.

So, what do you think of how Empire will wrap-up after 6 seasons? Do you feel short-changed, or glad they are trying to work in everything they shot to deliver some kind of series finale for fans of the primetime soap? Comment below.

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