Empire showrunner Ilene Chaiken is staying in business with 20th Century Fox TV, signing a new multiyear overall deal with the studio behind Fox’s flagship drama series. Under the pact, she’ll continue at the helm of Empire, and also develop projects of her own for the studio.
“Ilene has done an extraordinary job running Empire, which is not only the number 1 drama on our air, but one of the most creatively ambitious and wildly entertaining series on any network,” said Fox Television Group Chairmen and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman. “She’s a talented writer who somehow manages to walk the tightrope of being both a great leader and a team player simultaneously.”
Empire, created by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, has been a blockbuster for Fox since it premiered in 2015. In its first season, it averaged 17.33 million viewers with 7.1 rating among adults 18-49. It was the season’s #1 broadcast series, #1 series with African-American viewers and the highest-rated broadcast drama since Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy during the 2007-08 season. It averaged 15.73 million viewers in Season 2. While its ratings have slipped in Season 3, it remains Fox’s No. 1 broadcast drama in the key 18-49 demo.
Chaiken, who created and executive produced the Showtime series The L Word, is repped by WME and 3Arts.