Fox has one of the hottest shows on television with Empire, which is currently airing its third season. Viewers are still tuning in in droves to see what on Earth will happen next to the Lyon crew, whether it's another fall down a staircase or a secret love child or a baseball-bat wielding Cookie. Soon, viewers may get to see a spinoff of Empire. There have been rumors of a spinoff for a while now, but according to showrunner Ilene Chaiken, a new show may really be moving forward. She teased this about the potential spinoff:
There is certainly a possibility and there are various conversations ongoing about what that spinoff might be -- you might hear about something in the very near future. What I will tease is there's a story we're telling in the second half of the season that promises a spinoff. It's not character-based, but it gives us a world for a spinoff, and that's one possibility... Stay tuned.
Well, that's...vague but tantalizing. The Empire universe has been expanding in recent months thanks to the premiere of Lee Daniels' Star, which isn't quite a spinoff but still exists in the same music world as Empire. If Ilene Chaiken's teased spinoff comes to fruition, we may have three shows set in the Empire world in the not-too-distant future.
That said, a lot could depend on when the spinoff is set. While there are plenty of interesting characters on Empire who could absolutely anchor a separate series, rumor had it not so long ago that an Empire spinoff would actually be a prequel series based on Cookie's life, and a Cookie series could actually be an incredibly smart decision for Fox. She's been the breakout character from the very beginning, and a prequel series could allow the network to capitalize on Cookie's popularity without needing to give up the brilliant Taraji P. Henson from Empire. If The Big Bang Theory's Sheldon can get a prequel in primetime, why not Empire's Cookie?
That said, Ilene Chaiken's comments to Variety indicate that a spinoff would be more about story than a single character. The series could still be a prequel following Cookie's life before/without Lucious; it would probably just also be about more than her journey to becoming the woman that she is today on Empire. It could also be something entirely different and having nothing to do with the delightful Cookie; we'll have to wait and see.
Ilene Chaiken's comments do at least reassure that the earlier talks of spinoff weren't what led to Star. The two are set in the same universe, and it was possible that the original spinoff idea morphed into what became Star. Luckily for those of us who have been crossing our fingers for a show with greater connections to Empire, a different takeoff series seems to still be in the works.
Tune in to Fox on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET to see what happens next on Empire to set up a potential spinoff. Check out our midseason TV premiere guide and our summer TV premiere schedule for a look at everything else available on the small screen, and don't forget to take a peek at our rundown of all that has been cancelled and renewed in the 2016-2017 TV season so far.