*Macy Gray is the latest to join the expanding cast of “Empire,” a hip hop themed pilot for Fox starring Terrence Howard as a rap mogul.
Taraji P. Henson stars as Cookie Lyon, the ex-wife of Lucious Lyon (Howard), the head of a record label at the center of the drama. Gray will recur as Tasha, a woman having an affair with the much-younger Hakeem Lyon (Bryshere Y. Gray aka rapper Yazz The Greatest), over whom she exercises considerable influence and control.
Gray joins a cast that also includes Gabourey Sidibe (recurring as Lucious’ assistant), and regulars Jussie Smollett, Malik Yoba, Kaitlin Doubleday, Trai Byers, Grace Gealey and Tasha Smith (also recurring).
The drama, from “The Butler’s” Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, will feature original and current music, with Timbaland on board as a songwriter/music producer.
Gray’s casting serves as a reunion with Howard, with whom she starred in “Cardboard Boxer.” Her credits include features “November Rule,” “Brotherly Love” and TV gigs on “Ally McBeal,” “American Dreams,” “That’s So Raven,” “Lackawanna Blues” and “Cold Case.”
Strong, who penned the script for “The Butler,” which was produced and directed by Daniels, will write “Empire,” while Daniels will make his TV directing debut with the project.
From 20th Century Fox TV and Imagine, Brian Grazer will exec produce alongside Daniels, Strong and Francie Calfo.