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Lee Daniels’ Fox TV Music Industry-Set Pilot Has Cast Its 3 Leads + Queen Latifah

Lee Daniels' Fox TV Music Industry-Set Pilot Has Cast Its 3 Leads + Queen Latifah

In June, Lee Daniels entered into a multi-year deal with 20th Century Fox Television that would see him develop, write, direct and supervise new projects for the studio under his Lee Daniels Entertainment banner, while still remaining as an executive producer of “Empire.”

As announced 2 months later, in August, the first project to be developed under the new agreement, titled “Star,” will be set in Atlanta, and will follow 3 young women who are working to make names for themselves in the music business. 

The proposed one-hour pilot will be written, directed and executive produced by Daniels, and, after an international casting search that kicked off in October, for the proposed new series’ starring roles, the actresses who will star in “Star” have been cast. Announced this evening, the three young women will be played by relative newcomers Jude Demorest, Ryan Destiny and Brittany O’Grady.

Per the press release… Demorest will star, playing the title character Star, an 18-year-old white woman with a “badass attitude.” 

Destiny is Alexandra, a black woman around 20. Though she’s described as “elegant” and “classic,” she wants to abandon her “material world” in the hopes of making “real, authentic music.”

And O’Grady will play Simone, 16, Star’s half-white, half-black sister who is “tragic and adorable.”

Also, Queen Latifah has booked a starring role in the series, playing the owner of an Atlanta beauty salon who will act as a motherly guide for the young women.

The previous casting notice, when the actress search was launched, listed a 4th lead – Cotton, a 20-year-old half-black, half-Spanish transgender woman with a “stunning look” and a “keen eye for fashion,” the press release said. However, today’s announcement doesn’t include the character. Maybe that casting is to come. Although TMZ is reporting that transgender model Amiyah Scott has been cast as the character; but no official confirmation on that from Fox.

I should mention that, over the summer, Fox did acknowledged that there might be potential for an eventual “Empire”/”Star” crossover (of course), but emphasized that it was too early to definitely confirm anything. Although, given that both shows are music business centered, as well as the immense success of “Empire,” it would make sense.

Clearly Fox is hoping to replicate “Empire’s” success with “Star” – both having one key thing in common: Lee Daniels’ stamp.

Daniels has also said that a Cookie Lyon spin-off (which will focus on the character’s much younger days) is very likely.

He (Daniels) could become to Fox what Shonda Rhimes currently is to ABC. “Empire” aside, Fox’s other new (this season and last) series aren’t exactly catching fire, with “Rosewood” being the lone standout. Although the fact that it serves as a lead-in to “Empire” on Wednesday nights might have something to do with its success. 

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