TV Talk

Empire Creator Lee Daniels Has Another Music Show in the Works

Plus, Fox Is Rebooting Prison Break

by | August 6, 2015 | Comments

Fox presented Thursday at the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills. Among the many sessions of producers, executives, and cast, there were a few highlights that stood out for the day, including news about Lee Daniels’ next Fox show, a reboot for Prison Break, Jamie Lee Curtis’ thoughts regarding Scream Queens, and updates on the Minority Report TV show!


Fox executives Dana Walden and Gary Newman announced a new pilot from the creator of their smash-hit TV show Empire, Lee Daniels. Called Star, the new program will also be set in the music business, except this time in Atlanta instead of New York City. The main characters will be a “girl group” who are put together by a record label.

“They don’t have an organic reason to be together, but are tied to each other,” Walden said. “That set-up lends itself to a great soap opera storytelling machine.”

One character in Star will have a story that echoes a lot of Daniels’ own experience. “It’s the perspective of the artist,” Walden explained. “One of characters is rising out of poverty, and there’s a lot from Lee’s own life that’s baked into the DNA of this project. He’s been so successful in everything he’s done so far, that it really lends some authenticity to these worlds.”

As for an EmpireStar crossover, there aren’t any plans for one yet, but it’s certainly possible to have both shows exist in the same universe.


Fox’s Newman and Walden also announced a new event series in the works: a 10-episode reboot of Prison Break from creator Paul Scheuring. According to Walden, the series picked up a new and substantial audience while streaming as a library title on Netflix — and now Fox is ready to pick up a new season.

“Paul Scheuring came in and pitched a great story to bring the show back,” explained Newman. “It’s going to bring back both brothers, Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell, and Paul’s busy writing the first episode and a bible, and once we have those written materials, I feel confident we’re going straight to series with that one.”

Walden described the new Prison Break as a sequel. “It picks up the characters several years after we left them in the last season of the show,” she said. “Some of the iconic characters from that show will be back. I don’t think Paul knows exactly where he’s going over the 10-episode arc, but it will definitely address some questions that were set up at the end of the series.”

For fans who actually watched the straight-to-video finale released in 2009 (Prison Break: The Final Break), rest assured that the reboot will ignore that particular installment and any character deaths that may have transpired.


In his new series Scream Queens, producer Ryan Murphy (Glee, American Horror Story) combines his two favorite genres: comedy and horror. The result? It’s something of a satire.

Focusing on a sorority in Anywhere, USA, Scream Queens uses the ruthlessness of college Greek life as the backdrop for a number of gruesome murders on a college campus. “Scream queen” par excellence Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween) plays Dean Cathy Munsch and described the satirical elements of the show.

“I think what’s so fantastic about the show is that it’s a social satire and, actually, we say what people think,” Curtis said. We all live in this protected bubble where we’re all trying to behave and look a certain way. The thing that’s so brilliant about this show is that it strips away — it flays — the imagined behaviors of human beings and it actually shows, I think, what people really are — which is inherently dark, inherently unhappy, and frustrated human beings who are trying so desperately to hold it together. And what’s so fun about this show is that everything you think about every single one of these characters? You don’t know s— about anything.”

Scream Queens premieres Tuesday, September 22 on Fox at 8:00 p.m. and also stars Neicy Nash, Diego Boneta, Nasim Pedrad, Abigail Breslin, Skyler Samuels, Keke Palmer, Lea Michele, and Emma Roberts.


When the adaptation of Steven Spielberg’s 2002 film Minority Reports hits the airwaves on Monday, September 21, viewers can expect quite a few differences in the new TV show.

For starters, the futuristic plot, in which law enforcers can see crimes before they happen, will skip from the movie year of 2054 to 2065 (where Washington D.C. has its own football team called the Washington Red Clouds after “a renowned Indian chief”). This may surprise fans of the movie, which ended in a rather definite manner.

A major difference between the TV and movies versions will be more of a focus on the “precogs,” the characters who can see “precrime” — rather than the Enforcers who nab the criminals (famously played by Tom Cruise in the movie). Overall, the tone of the TV version will present a warmer, more inviting future, according the executive producer Daryl Frank. And speaking of producers, the panel stressed that Spielberg has been very hands-on regarding his involvement with the TV show, personally finalizing the cast, which includes Laura Regan as Agatha, Nick Zano as Arthur, Wilmer Valderrama as Will Blake, Meagan Good as Det. Lara Vega, and Stark Sands as Dash.

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