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Need more Cookie in your life? All about her ‘Empire’ spinoff

Good news for fans of Empire! A spinoff series starring Taraji P. Henson’s character, Loretha “Cookie” Lyon, is in the works. The series is part of a two-year deal Henson signed with 20th Century Fox. 

Co-creator Danny Strong is set to return as showrunner alongside Stacy A. Littlejohn and Yolonda Lawrence, while Sanaa Hamri is set to direct. 

Following the underwhelming climax of Empire’s six-season run, which was altered due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fans can look forward to more Empire-related content with a new series centered around Henson’s iconic character. 

Production for episode 19 of the season’s twenty-episode run was halted, which led to the series ending on episode 18 instead. Many fans were left unsatisfied with the series finale to say the least. But Empire’s creators expressed interest in shooting the true ending they had planned for the series once the pandemic comes to an end. 

Even if the intended finale is never filmed, executive producer Brett Mahoney commented that the ending will be revealed one way or another. “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,” Mahoney said. “whether it’s by just releasing the script or finding another way to satisfy fans.” 

Not much is known about the upcoming spinoff, other than it “follows what’s next for Cookie”. The character has been a fan favorite throughout Empire’s five-year run and is widely considered as one of the key elements to the show’s success.

Henson recently launched her own production company, TPH Entertainment, and has teamed up with Christine Conley, former vice president of television at Working Title. The actress’s two-year deal will have her and THP Entertainment develop projects for 20th Century Fox.

Henson reported in a statement: “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.”

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