It looks like we won't be seeing more of Cookie Lyon. Fox has passed on the Empire spinoff series devoted to Taraji P. Henson's character, Variety reports. However, producers will shop the program to other networks.
Announced earlier in July as being in development as part of Henson's first-look deal with 20th Television, the series left much speculation as to what the new story would follow. The only indication given was the vague message that it would "follow what's next for Cookie" after the original series ended in April. Empire ran for six seasons on the network, but its last season was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Empire co-creator and executive producer of The Butler Danny Strong was part of the spinoff series as a writer alongside Yolanda Lawrence and Stacy A. Littlejohn. Henson would executive produce alongside Lee Daniels, Brian Grazer of Imagine Entertainment and Sammie Falvey. Sanaa Hamri (Shameless, Glee) was attached as director. According to IMDb, Strong is also currently developing Dopesick for Hulu, Sweet Thunder, and a screenplay entitled The Lost Symbol.
One speculated issue behind the network's rejection could lie in ownership. At the time of its launch, 20th Television and Fox Entertainment were part of the same company. As of March 2019, Disney owns 20th Television and holds ownership of the show. Fox has no stake in the series.
Henson currently has other projects in the works. The actress will be lending her voice on Universal Pictures' Minions: The Rise of Gru, which is scheduled for a 2021 release, and she's slated to make her directorial debut with high school comedy Two-Faced. The accomplished actress quickly rose to higher heights of fame following her role on the former Fox series. Following its 2015 debut, Henson picked up two Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe win for best actress in a drama series. Her other popular works include Hidden Figures, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (for which she earned an Academy Award nomination), Hustle & Flow and Think Like a Man.
Additionally, Cookie fans can hold onto some hope as the series is still eligible for other networks or streaming services to pick up the drama where the Lyon family left off.