Empire Rakes in the Ratings

So, about last night.

It appears that Fox’s new series, Empire, starring Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Howard and Malik Yoba is a ratings winner.  The soapy serial about a record label mogul trying to choose his heir apparent attracted 9.8 million viewers in the coveted 18 to 34 demographic, according to Entertainment Weekly.

As always, the show’s success comes with a side of controversy.

Social media shade about one of the sons being gay and the utterance of the f-word by Henson’s character (who, to be fair, is the son’s sole advocate) raised the hackles of those who don’t appreciate seeing same love on the small screen.  (Nothing new, right Shonda Rhimes?)

Additionally, the core characters could be considered somewhat stereotypical, with Howard, aka “Lucious,” going from drug dealer to business man a la Jay-Z.  And Henson, “Cookie,” repping as that ride-or-die chick who seemingly takes one for the team and is locked up for nearly two decades before returning for revenge and a brutal broomstick beating for one of her boys.

Still, the show also upends the typical images with a business-savvy eldest son with more degrees than a Juvenile album and, again, the gay son living happily with a boyfriend despite his father’s disdain, contempt, and in one disturbing scene, outright abuse.

No, this ain’t musical Mayberry, but wondering if you think that Empire was entertaining?  Or are you concerned it offers yet another series of unflattering images of African Americans?  On the latter question, you probably better not say you’re worried, but steadily watching women get pushed in the pool on Love and Hip Hop: (Fill in the City) or Real Housewives: (Of Anywhere).

Just kidding, no judgement.  Your real Empire opinions, please!


  • Mahki

    I didn't find it entertaining at all. I understand it is designed for a younger demo, but to think that Taraji is going to hold this trainwreck down without her cast mates and writers increasing their pen game is unrealistic. As a pilot goes, I give it a D+. Taraji was the only actor who made an attempt to reach down and find the art of her character.

    • kkyles

      Thank you for your response, Mahki! Fair enough observations. I look forward to hearing whether or not your opinion changes.

  • B.Gaines

    Success! The demographic was successfully reached and locked in with an entertaining and engaging well done pilot. The overall quality of the production was excellent. The black audience is always overly critical of their own so I'm not surprise to hear some criticism of the show. However, the buzz on social media is overwhelmingly positive. Empire has the potential to be bigger than Scandal.

  • Pearl

    Great show!! Very we'll done. I give it a A+

  • D. Moss

    "It's haaaard out hear for a pimp 2" is really a smashing success. The slang, the music, story lines, etc. were really entertaining. And I usually don't watch this kinda of stuff.

  • Thanx for this sharing Nice article. i realy like the serie