Cookie lives! Taraji P. Henson is set to star in and produce a potential Empire spin-off focused on her character, Cookie Lyon, TV Guide has confirmed. The as-yet-untitled series, which is still in development, will follow what's next for Henson's character after the events of the long-running Fox drama, which ended its six-season run in April.
Not much is known about the spin-off yet, but according to The Hollywood Reporter, it could find Cookie moving to L.A. and could potentially feature other members of the Lyons family.
The news of the spin-off gives new life to a story that was forced to wrap up early, as the coronavirus pandemic halted production on Empire before the planned series finale could be filmed. Showrunner Brett Mahoney previously told TV Guide that he remained hopeful that they could eventually film a proper series finale, but he also said he believed the Lyons' story could continue with a spin-off. "People of course want to see the Lyons and where they continue, and I think any one of them you could [do a spin-off with]," Mahoney said in April.
The news is also significant because Cookie's death was teased early in the sixth season: A flashforward showed her car blowing up seconds after she got into the driver's seat. But as Henson reminded TV Guide at the time, "On Empire, things are never what they seem."
The Cookie spin-off is the first project to result from Henson's two-year, first-look deal with 20th Century Fox TV, which produced Empire. Henson's new production company, TPH Entertainment, will also produce the spin-off.
Danny Strong, who co-created Empire with Lee Daniels, will co-write the series and serve as co-showrunner with Yolanda Lawrence and Stacy Littlejohn. All three will also executive produce alongside Henson, Daniels, Brian Grazer, and Samie Falvey. Sanaa Hamri will also executive produce and is set to direct.
Empire is available to stream on Hulu.