Fox has given a pilot order to drama Empire, from the duo behind hit feature Lee Daniels’ The Butler – writer Danny Strong and director Lee Daniels — and Imagine’s Brian Grazer, who brought the two back together. Per Fox’s new development model, the project will be geared toward series, with Fox likely picking up additional materials, but the nature of that supplemental order (backup scripts, bible?) is still being fired out. Empire had a put pilot commitment at Fox after sparking a heated bidding war in September. Written by Strong and to be directed by Daniels, Empire is described as a unique family drama set in the world of a hip-hop empire. 20th Century Fox TV and studio-based Imagine TV are producing, with Strong, Daniels, Grazer and Francie Calfo executive producing. The project marks Daniels’ TV debut, while Strong started his writing career in TV with the HBO telefilms Recount and Game Change, earning Emmy nominations for both and winning for Game Change. At Fox, Imagine has upcoming drama series Gang Related and event series 24: Live Another Day.
TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.