Lee Daniels hip-hop drama 'Empire' gets Fox series order

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Fox is making more drama series orders in the wake of yesterday’s Gotham pickup.

The network has given a series order to Empire, its hip-hop family drama project from The Butler‘s Lee Daniels and Danny Strong. The series stars Terrence Howard as a Jay Z-like music mogul named Lucious. From the release: “Lucious is described as charismatic, tough, wise and a superstar in the music industry who oversees Empire Entertainment and is about to take the company public. Raised on the streets, he has never backed away from a fight and will resort to any measures, fair or foul, to defend his beloved Empire.” The series will feature both original and current music. In addition to Daniels and Strong, Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo are also executive producers.

Also picked up: Red Band Society, starring Octavia Spencer. The dramedy is about a group of teenagers meet as patients in the children’s wing of a hospital and become unlikely allies and friends in this comedic young soap. It also stars Dave Annable. Executive producers include Steven Spielberg, writer Margaret Nagle, Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank and Sergio Aguero.

The orders are in advance of Fox’s upfront presentation to advertisers and fall schedule unveiling in New York City next week.

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