The “Empire” co-creator has signed a multiyear overall deal with the studio that will allow him to develop, write, direct and supervise new television projects under his Lee Daniels Entertainment banner. He will also remain an executive producer of the popular Fox drama.
“Lee Daniels has a gift for telling authentic, provocative stories that are both truthful and wildly entertaining,” commented Fox Television Group chairmen and CEOs Gary Newman and Dana Walden, who announced the news. “His casting instincts are incredible, whether he is discovering tomorrow’s stars or attracting the most accomplished performers to his projects. As a director, he elevates world class material to even greater heights, balancing heart-wrenching poignancy with surprising moments of levity that are over the top and fun. Quite simply, we love working with this inspired storyteller, and this deal is about extending and deepening our relationship.”
To say that “Empire” has been a win for Fox would be an understatement. The music industry-focused series, which stars Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson, is the highest-rated broadcast drama in seven years.
Daniels serves as an executive producer on “Empire” along with co-creator Danny Strong, Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo and showrunner Ilene Chaiken, who inked an overall with 20th Century Fox Television in May. Daniels also directed the pilot.
“I’m incredibly excited to continue my relationship with Dana and Gary, and the rest of the Fox team,” said Daniels. “I’m looking forward to developing content and finding alternative voices for both in front of and behind the camera.”
Daniels is represented by CAA and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren & Richman.