Fox Does Not Have a Sweet Tooth for the Empire Spinoff About Cookie, So It's Being Shopped Elsewhere

Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard in Empire (2015-2020)
Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard in Empire (2015-2020)
Photo: 20th Television

Fox, the original broadcast home of Empire, apparently isn’t too hungry for its breakout character, Cookie. Well, the network isn’t too interested in hosting her own leading series, that is.

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According to Deadline, Fox is not moving forward with the previously reported Empire spinoff starring Taraji P. Henson, which is set to focus on Cookie. Apparently, Disney TV Studios’ 20th Television and Imagine TV are looking at ABC and Hulu as possible network homes.

More info (which also gives some insight into how the Fox network fits into the huge Disney family tree), via Deadline:

The mothership series, created by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, ran on Fox for six seasons. A spinoff of such a successful series comes with a high price tag, which is hard for a broadcast network to cover, especially when it is not affiliated with the studio as is the case with Fox and 20th TV, which became separated by the Disney-Fox acquisition toward the end of Empire‘s run. (Fox Entertainment has no ownership in the spinoff, written/exec produced by Strong, Stacy A. Littlejohn and Yolonda Lawrence, with Empire vet Sanaa Hamri set to direct.)

While Fox brass felt this was not the right show for the network at this time, they are committed to staying in business with the creative collaborators of Empire and the proposed spinoff. The network recently opened a writers room for drama Our Kind of People, from Lee, Karen Gist and 20th TV, with an eye to a series order that appears likely.

Cookie truly became a whole phenomenon, so it definitely made sense to strike the Empire Cinematic Universe fire while it was hot. In a 2016 Variety “Actors on Actors” interview with Ryan Reynolds, Henson opened up on her new level of superfame following her standout portrayal of Cookie.

“You’re walking down the street and they’re just like, ‘Hey Cookie’—maybe I didn’t want the world to see how I looked today, maybe I wore these sweats yesterday,” Henson said at the time. “It was fine until Cookie came, I was okay under the radar, I could go to Target. I never saw that coming. I go from this normal life to having to find a house on a private gated road, it’s crazy.”

Should the pending spinoff land at Hulu, ABC or somewhere else, I guess we’ll see if that initial Cookie Craze is still a thing. Besides, Cookie has a new wardrobe closet to show off!

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.

DISCUSSION

Please no. Just because Cookie was a popular character does not mean we need a spinoff. This is lazy and she deserves so much better than that. Surely there are some original scripts out there that would benefit from her powerful presence. Let her put Cookie to rest once and for all.