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by Eric Eidelstein
February 26, 2014 2:34 PM
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Lee Daniels' Fox Hip-Hop Pilot 'Empire' Casts Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard As Leads

Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard

Taraji P. Henson ("The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) will star alongside Terrence Howard in Lee Daniels' hip-hip drama, 'Empire.' The Fox pilot will mark Lee Daniels' TV debut and follows the success of his features "Precious" and "Lee Daniels' The Butler." 

"Empire" will be a family drama set in the vicious hip-hop industry. Howard will play Lucius Lyon, a man coming from nothing who is on the verge of taking his record company, Empire Entertainment, public. Henson will star as Howard's vengeful ex-wife, who spent almost 20 years in prison for drug trafficking. Jussie Smollet will play their son. 

The series is written and co-created by Danny Strong (who also wrote "The Butler"), with Daniels serving as director.