As Empire Season 3 draws closer, the showrunners are slowly revealing more and more juicy tidbits about the hit television series. Most recently, they did so at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour.
The latest is about a potential love interest for Empire‘s formidable matriarch, Cookie Lyon, played by Taraji P. Henson. Taye Diggs’ character, Angelo DuBois, may be filling that role, according to Entertainment Tonight.
“His story is all about Cookie. It starts out as a Jamal story and, like everything else, everybody intersects. But it’s primarily a story about Cookie,” Empire executive producer Ilene Chaiken revealed recently.
She didn’t confirm that Angelo and Cookie will be hooking up in Season 3, but there’s definitely an interest on Angelo’s side.
“He certainly would like to be,” Chaiken said in reference to whether or not Angelo wants to be romantically-involved with Cookie.
Henson also weighed in on a potential romance between Cookie and Angelo, whose character has been compared to President Barack Obama.
“He’s going to have to work because Cookie’s gotten her heart broken way too many times,” the actress said.
As Empire fans know, Cookie and Lucious Lyon (played by Terrence Howard) have had a tumultuous relationship, estranged but unable to deny the chemistry and history they have together. Not to mention the fact that they can practically read each other’s minds, and they’ll always one thing in common — their sometimes-flawed devotion to their children.
“Cookie is going to try in Season 3 to leave Lucious. She’s going to try to move on. Whether or not he lets her!” Ilene Chaiken said of the couple, Variety reports.
The cast and showrunners also addressed the shocking cliffhanger in Season 2 (slight spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen the Season 2 finale).
“Apart from some specific entertainment industry tricks that we fell into a little bit, what we try to be mindful of is that even though we’re telling stories, you can’t do that lightly. Killing [a character] is not your go-to move. It’s a huge move and we always challenge ourselves to find other places to go before we go there because that’s an endgame,” Chaiken said.
Earlier this week, TVLine reported that Mariah Carey will be guest starring on Empire Season 3 as a musician named Kitty. Kitty collaborates with Jamal Lyon (Jussie Smollett) on a new song, and helps him reach a “musical breakthrough.”
“She was great. She’s fabulous. She’s beautiful to look at. She brings a sense of what Mariah brings to the music industry. She brought it to our show. I’m grateful she spent time with little old us,” Henson said of Carey, who appears in the October 5 episode of the show.
Empire has become known for its slate of celebrity cameos, including Alicia Keys, Ne-Yo, radio personality Sway, Becky G, and more from past seasons. Rappers French Montana and Birdman are also on the list of cameos for Season 3.
Empire‘s producers said that its infamous cameos won’t distract from the series’ main premise though — the Lyons and their complex family dynamic.
“We learned that the stories that work best and that we love telling most are about the family, and that always will be our focus. No matter what’s going on at Empire, it’s always about the family,” Chaiken said.
The showrunners discussed possible spinoffs, as well, according to TV Guide. Chaiken admitted that there’s room for a spinoff focusing on Lucious and Cookie, and they’ve also considered crossing over with creator Lee Daniels’ other Fox television series, Star.
Star focuses on a girl group, played by Jude Demorest, Ryan Destiny, and Brittany O’Grady. Like Empire, it will feature a soundtrack with original music and guest appearances from famous musicians. Fox picked the show up for a 13-series run, but a premiere date hasn’t been announced yet.
Empire Season 3 debuts on FOX on September 21 at 9 pm EST.
[Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP Images]