UPDATE, 3:50 PM: Fox has made it 3-for-3, picking up all three of its drama pilots with a series order to Red Band Society, starring Octavia Spencer, from Amblin TV and ABC Studios. The adaptation of the acclaimed Spanish hospital series Polseres Vermelles was written by Margaret Nagle. Red Band Society, which has been a favorite staffing choice for writers this season, is a coming-of-age drama with humor set at a big-city hospital. It explores with dark humor the daily life of a group of teenage kids living in a hospital who become unlikely friends. Nagle is exec producing with Amblin’s Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank as well as Sergio Aguero; Carlos and Julio Fernandez of Filmax co-executive produce. The newly picked-up Fox drama series Red Band Society, Empire and Gotham join previously ordered Backstrom and Hieroglyph. On the comedy side, Sober Companion and Cabot College have been garnering buzz — I hear Sober Companion possibly for fall, Cabot College for midseason — with Dead Boss in the mix.
PREVIOUS 3:10 PM: I’ve learned that Fox has added another new drama to its slate for next season, picking up to series Empire, its drama pilot from The Butler‘s Lee Daniels and Danny Strong and Imagine’s Brian Grazer. Written by Daniels and Strong and directed by Daniels, Empire is described as a unique family drama set in the world of a hip-hop empire. It centers on Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard), a charismatic, savvy music superstar who is about to take his company, Empire Entertainment, 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. Henson plays Cookie Lyon, Lucious’ ex-wife and former business partner. Taraji P. Henson co-stars. Besides its narrative, Empire also has been getting high marks for its music, supervised by top producer Timbaland. 20th Century Fox TV and studio-based Imagine TV are producing, with Strong, Daniels, Grazer and Francie Calfo executive producing. For Imagine, the pickup comes as the company’s 24: Live Another Day just premiered to solid ratings. Empire‘s order follows Fox’s pickup yesterday of Batman prequel Gotham. Word is that there may be more pickups at Fox today so stay tuned.
Related: 2014 Fox Pilots