On the heels of the blockbuster success of Empire, the series’ co-creator/executive producer and director Lee Daniels has entered into a rich multiyear overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television, the studio behind the soapy Fox drama. Under the extensive pact, Daniels will continue as an executive producer on Empire, which became the highest-rated broadcast drama in seven years, growing in the ratings in each of its telecasts. He also will develop, write, direct and supervise new projects under his Lee Daniels Entertainment banner.
“Lee Daniels has a gift for telling authentic, provocative stories that are both truthful and wildly entertaining,” said Fox TV Group chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman. “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.”
Daniels developed the pilot and serves as an executive producer on Empire alongside co-creator Danny Strong, showrunner Ilene Chaiken, Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo. On the feature side, the Oscar-nominated filmmaker will next start shooting The Untitled Richard Pryor Biopic for the Weinstein Company.
“I’m looking forward to developing content and finding alternative voices for both in front of and behind the camera,” Daniels said. He is repped by CAA and Hansen, Jacobson.