Lee Daniels' 'Empire' picked up by Fox, will 'likely' film in Chicago

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It looks like "Chicago Fire" and "Chicago PD" are going to have some company when they start filming again in Chicago. Lee Daniels' hip-hop drama "Empire" has been picked up by Fox and will likely film in Chicago.

It looks like “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago PD” are going to have some company when they start filming again in Chicago.

Lee Daniels’ hip-hop drama “Empire” has been picked up by Fox and will likely film in Chicago, according to Fox spokesperson Gaude Paez. The New York-based series – which features Oscar-nominated actors Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson and Gabourey Sidibe – filmed its pilot in Chicago in March.

Howard plays a street hustler-turned-record label head named Lucious Lyon and Henson will play his character’s ex-wife, Cookie Lyon, who has just been released from prison after serving 17 years for drug dealing. Sidibe will have a recurring role on the drama, playing Lucious's assistant.

Daniels directed Howard in 2013’s “The Butler” and Sidibe in 2009’s “Precious.” Danny Strong -- who wrote the screenplay for "The Butler" -- will write "Empire." Strong and Daniels will also executive produce the show with Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo. Hip-hop producer Timbaland wrote the music for the pilot.

“I wanted to make a black ‘Dynasty,’” Daniels told the Hollywood Reporter Tuesday. “You sit there and go, ‘No, this (expletive) didn't! Oh my (expletive) God!’”

lgomez@tribune.com | Twitter @TribLuis

For more celebrity news in Chicago, go to chicagotribune.com/luis

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