Fox has a pretty strong product on its hands with Empire, the over-the-top midseason replacement drama that managed to be a sensation in the ratings when it premiered last winter. The network knows a good thing when it sees it, and plans seem to have already been bandied about for a possible spinoff following one character: none other than Miss Cookie Lyon herself.

The vivid and intricately-dressed Cookie is an integral part of the reason Empire has been such a success, obviously, and Fox wouldn’t be taking any chances with pulling her off of the music-oriented drama. Instead, the prequel would follow Cookie in her early years. It would delve into life in North Philadelphia and the time she spent in the same household as her mom and her sisters. It would give us a better idea of what made Cookie the intense personality she is, and why.

Executive Producer Lee Daniels brought up the spinoff at the TCA summer tour earlier this week, and according to TV Line, he’s pretty positive the spinoff is moving forward with the network.
There is going to be a spinoff from Empire, without question. There’s so much ripe story that we’ve talked about already— about Cookie’s family, what makes her her. That in itself is fascinating to me.

Of course, that’s not an official announcement from Fox, so any Empire prequel is actually probably a decent—if not long--way off from getting made, if it does end up moving forward, at all. However, if ratings are strong when Empire returns to the schedule for Season 2, it’s totally reasonable to think Fox will be on board for an Empire spinoff, whether or not it be the Cookie prequel that Lee Daniels is currently envisioning.

Following a solid Season 1 premiere, Empire did something pretty unprecedented, increasing viewership every week during the show’s 12 episode run. Because of this, the show earned a much bigger 18-episode order (although that’s a little short of the 22 episodes most network programs end up putting out). The supersized season and supersized ratings have led to plenty of opportunities for some high-end guest stars, and Empire has already signed on a slew of big names for Season 2. Chris Rock, Alicia Keys, Lenny Kravitz, Ne-Yo, Marisa Tomei, and Ludacris have all officially come on board for Season 2, so even if the potential prequel doesn’t happen, there’s a lot to look forward to.

Empire hits the schedule on Wednesday, September 23 at 9 p.m. ET. You can check out the rest of the fall premieres here.

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