January 7 is going to be a very musical night on Fox. American Idol returns for its 14th season at 8 PM followed by the new music-business drama Empire, making its debut at 9. As I say in my video review above, this hip hop family drama is shamelessly soapy and fearless fun.

As with all the best soaps, it’s all about who will inherit the empire, in this case the powerhouse Empire Entertainment, led by the Terrence Howard, playing Lucious Lyon, the don of the family business.

Unlike a lot of similar shows, Empire is smart as well as entertaining and of course, as one would expect, has a great soundtrack. Brian Grazer, Lee Daniels, Francie Calfo, Ilene Chaiken and Danny Strong are executive producers of the show, which also features Howard’s Hustle and Flow cast mate Taraji P. Henson. Other stars include Bryshere Gray, Jussie Smollett and Trai Byers as sons of the long estranged – to put it mildly – couple. Oscar nominee Gabourey Sidibe appears, and Courtney Love and Naomi Campbell join later in the season. Daniels directed the pilot that airs Wednesday night.

Like Gotham, which has matured in its first year into one of my favorite new shows of 2014Empire could be another sure step into the future for Fox.

Take a look at my review, tell us what you think. Are you in an Empire state of mind?